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92

TESTIMONY OF CAPT. BARBER.

regiment had fired about three volleys when it was announced that it was firing into the Indiana regiment; then the Seventh fired in the direction of the Indiana camp, where it was supposed the enemy was; that his company was Color Company; that it carried only the United States flag; that the State colors were not taken out on the field; that the United States colors were preserved and brought off the field.

Capt. David P. Barber, Seventh Vermont, testified: “That he was at the battle of Baton Rouge, and saw Col. Roberts when he fell; that the Colonel dismounted from his horse, which was unmanageable, came to the centre of the regiment and was there struck; that there was then no break in the regiment; that his company was in the centre of the left wing; that he never heard of any order for the Seventh to advance to the support of the Twenty-first Indiana, and did not know the position of the Indiana regiment when it fired into them; that he heard Gen. Williams give the Seventh the order to fire three times; that an officer came out of the woods and called to the regiment to cease firing as they were firing into the Indiana Regiment; that the order to cease firing came down from the right; that he never heard of any order being received to advance to the support of the Twenty-first; and during the action he had no means of knowing their position; that there was no unusual confusion when Col. Roberts fell; that after he fell the regiment was ordered to the rear; that the Seventh did not fall back until it was ordered to; that at no time during the action was the regiment in disorder, every order was obeyed promptly; that the Seventh did not leave its colors on the field; that he saw

TESTIMONY OF LIEUTS. PARKER AND WOODMAN.

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the “colors " said to have been brought from camp by John Donaghue; that it was a small National flag called a marker, and if he had seen a regiment with it he would have supposed it was some old thing which had been thrown away.”

Lieut. Jackson V. Parker, Seventh Vermont, testified: “That he was present at battle of Baton Rouge, and was on the extreme left of the regiment. The Seventh had an order from Gen. Williams to fire, and did so, and was shortly told its fire was affecting the Indiana Regiment; that an order came from Col. Roberts to cease firing, and just afterwards he saw him fall; that the regiment then moved to the rear; that a portion of the Fourteenth Maine fell back with it; that if there was any confusion in the right wing it was restored immediately; that he heard no order to advance to the support of the Indianians; that he saw the colors of the regiment brought off the field.”

Lieut. Austin E. Woodman, Seventh Vermont, testified : “That he was at the battle of Baton Rouge; that Col. Roberts fell near the centre of the line; that the regiment was not in confusion at the time he fell; that he never heard of any order to advance to the support of the Twenty-first; that he saw the officer who came out of the woods and asked it to stop firing, but did not hear him call upon the regiment to go up and help them; that he saw the colors of the Seventh brought off from the field; that Color-Sergeant Parkhurst brought them off with the color company when it came off with the rest; that he saw the “colors” alleged to have been brought off by John Donaghue; one was a marker with a

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CAPTS. CRONAN, DUTTON, AND SERGT. PARKHURST.

6

figure seven on it. There was also a small United States flag —a fifteen or eighteen inch flag.”

Capt. William Cronan, Seventh Vermont, testified: “That he was at the battle of Baton Rouge; that he did not hear any order or request to advance to the support of the Twentyfirst Indiana; that he heard Gen. Williams give the order to fire at the time it fired into them. An officer came out of the woods and called on it to stop firing; that he did not hear him ask it to come up and help them; that he saw our colors brought off the field.”

Capt. Salmon Dutton, Seventh Vermont, testified: “That he was at the battle of Baton Rouge; that the regiment received orders from Gen. Williams to fire, and while doing so an officer came out of the woods and called on it to cease firing; that he did not hear him call upon it to go up and help them; that he heard of no order or request to support the Indiana regiment; that he saw the colors of the Seventh brought off the field.”

Color-Sergeant Sherman W. Parkhurst, Seventh Vermont, testified: “That he was present at the battle of Baton Rouge, and carried the Regimental Colors; that they did not leave his hands during the engagement: that he brought them off the field; that he was with the color company all the time; that the colors were unfuried; that he stood erect all through the engagement; that it was the United States colors he carried ; that the State flag was not taken into the field.”

It will be remembered that the orders from head-quarters were not to take the State flag into action.

TESTIMONY OF COL. HOLBROOK.

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Col. William C. Holbrook, Seventh Vermont, testified: “That the Seventh had about 250 men present for duty on the day of the battle of Baton Rouge; that it had about 225 men in line; that it had just returned from Vicksburg, and the sick 'in quarters' were all in camp; that it had about 520 men on the sick list, of whom about 200 were in hospital; that he was field officer of the day, and was not with the regiment, and therefore had no personal knowledge of the circumstances connected with the fall of Col. Roberts, or the firing into the Twenty-first Indiana, or the alleged refusal to support that regiment; that all he knew personally was, that after the pickets were driven in he rode past the Seventh, told Col. Roberts the point of attack, and he, Col. Roberts, immediately moved the regiment to the left; that he met Gen. Williams a short distance from the regiment, who asked him the point of attack, and he told him, as near as he could judge, where the different columns of the enemy would come; that at this time he saw a great number of men running back towards the river, and remembered very distinctly Gen. Williams ordering them to halt; that they did not, and he rode in among them, and they stopped, saying they were sick men from the Twenty-first Indiana and Fourteenth Maine; that he judged there were 150 in all; that Gen. Williams told them to take care of themselves if they were sick; that he was then sent by Gen. Williams to look after the pickets on the right and left flanks, and to hold those positions at all hazards; that he never received an order or request to support the Twenty-first Indiana; that he saw no officer of that regiment until the action was over; that the

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REPORT OF COURT OF INQUIRY.

sick men of the Seventh in camp had orders to retire to the river bank, with the exception of eleven commissioned officers, all of whom were in the engagement; that he saw the regimental colors with the regiment at the Penitentiary immediately after the final falling back of the lines; that on or about Sept. 5th he received through his Quartermaster four guidons, said to have been brought from the field by John Donaghue; three of them were simple white flags with the figure 7 inscribed on them, while the other was a small United States flag, very much tattered and torn; that it had been used in the Adjutant's office as a blotter; that he heard nothing of the alleged misconduct of the regiment until he arrived at Camp Parapet, about the 24th or 25th of August; that just previous to the battle, the regiment had been on board river transports for the better part of six weeks; that at a review, a short time before the engagement, two or three companies were not represented, their services being needed to bury the dead; that about a week previous to the battle there was but ninety-five men present for duty in the entire regiment."

The report of Col. Dudley, an extract from which has been given at page 45, was read by me, and offered as a part of our case, at the end of my testimony.

The Court made the following report: “ Board having fully weighed and considered the evidence

report as follows: It appears from the evidence that when “the Seventh was called upon to participate in the battle “ of Baton Rouge it had been very much reduced in numbers, “ and doubtless in morale, by the severities of the campaign

6. The

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