#47 – Col. J. H. Hobart Ward

29 09 2008

Report of Col. J. H. Hobart Ward, Thirty-eighth New York Infantry, Commanding Second Brigade, Third Division

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 410-411


Camp near Shooter’s Hill, July 29, 1861

SIR: The temporary command of this brigade having devolved upon me in consequence of the mishap to Colonel Willcox, I have the honor to transmit herewith the following report; also, the regimental reports of a portion of the brigade, viz: From the First Michigan Regiment, the Scott Life Guard (Thirty-eighth Regiment New York State Volunteers), containing detailed accounts of their action during the engagement near Bull Run, on Sunday, 21st instant; the remaining regiments of the brigade, viz, the Fire Zouaves (Eleventh Regiment New York State Volunteers) and Arnold’s battery having already rendered their reports to division headquarters.

This brigade commenced the action under command of Colonel Willcox, of Michigan, who was wounded while gallantly leading his command, and whose bravery could not have been excelled, and who is now a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. While I deeply deplore the circumstances by which it became my duty to forward this report, yet it affords me much gratification to speak in terms of the highest commendation of the brave and officer-like conduct of the gentlemen composing his staff, viz, Lieutenants Woodruff, Parker, and Edie,  in their efforts to bring order out of chaos under a most galling and deadly fire from the enemy. Having myself been in command of the Thirty-eighth Regiment (Scott Life Guard) New York State Volunteers during the action, I am unable to speak as particularly as could be desired of other regiments of the brigade from personal observation, and respectfully refer you to their respective reports. The reports of killed and wounded furnish sufficient evidence of their fidelity and courage. But of the field officers of the Fire Zouaves I can speak in terms of unqualified praise. Colonel Farnham, Lieutenant-Colonel Cregier, and Major Leoser were incessant in their exertions in rallying and encouraging their men. The officers and men of the First Michigan nobly discharged their duty to their country, and well may their State feel proud of her defenders. The officers and men of the Thirty-eighth being under my own supervision, I can only corroborate the report rendered by Lieutenant-Colonel Farnsworth. Where all acted so well it would appear invidious to make comparisons; but in the case of Lieutenant-Colonel Farnsworth, Thirty-eighth Regiment, I cannot find words to express my admiration of his conduct. He was confined to a sick bed for several days previous to the engagement, and arrived on the scene of action in an ambulance; and the fact of his rising from a sick bed and entering the field with his regiment, and his courage and coolness during the day, entitle him to the highest commendation.

In conclusion, I most respectfully submit that the duty of making this report devolving upon me at so late a day – intelligence of the absence of Colonel Willcox not having reached me until the day after the battle – renders it impossible to give a more detailed statement.

My duty as commander of the brigade being ended with this report, I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Colonel Thirty-eighth N. Y. V. Second Brig., Third Div.

Col. W. B. Franklin,

Commanding Third Division



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