Major Brady’s Report
The official report of the Seventeenth’s role at Chancellorsville was written by Major Allen G. Brady. Colonel Noble was severely wounded during the fight, and was sent home to recuperate. Lt. Colonel Walter was shot and killed, and Major Brady assumed command temporarily.
CAMP NEAR BROOKE’S STATION, VA.,
May 9, 1863.
GENERAL: In compliance with instructions, received from division headquarters this morning, I have the honor to make the following statement of the part taken by the Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers in the engagement of May 2:
The regiment, under command of Col. William H. Noble, was placed in position to support Dieckmann’s battery. The right wing, commanded by Colonel Noble and Lieutenant-Colonel Walter, was posted in the garden (in rear of the house occupied as headquarters by Generals Devens and McLean), along the garden fence, extending the whole length of the front, and partially covering the two sides, thus forming portions of a square.
The left wing, under the direct command of Maj. A. G. Brady, was in line of battle along the Culpeper road, and on the right flank of Dieckmann’s battery, continuous with the general line of battle of the brigade, though separated from the next regiment on our right by a space somewhat greater than that occupied by the right wing before its advance, of about 75 yards into the garden.
During the day we had two companies out on picket, one from each wing. These were driven in about5 p.m., rapidly pursued by the enemy.
Our right wing could not fire upon the enemy while our pickets were retreating, but as soon as the rebel line was unmasked by the pickets we poured several severe volleys into their ranks, until, being overpowered by the rapid advance of the enemy in overwhelming numbers, we were compelled to retreat, in obedience to command and in good order.
The left wing was exposed to a cross and enfilading fire, which caused the major commanding to order the men to lie down. They remained firmly at their posts, exposed to a galling fire, until after the battery which we were supporting had retreated without firing a gun.
I must here state that not a man belonging to the battery stood at his post when the attack commenced, neither did they undertake to fire a gun. After the battery had retreated, and as our left wing could not see the enemy, but was exposed to the most galling fire, I gave the order, and marched them out by the left flank, in good order.
Soon after the colonel had retreated with the right wing, which was posted in the garden, he was wounded. The lieutenant-colonel (Charles Walter) is supposed to have been killed in the garden. This left the command of the regiment with the major, which he assumed at once, and rallied the men behind the rifle-pits near General Howard’s headquarters, and remained there until driven out at the point of the bayonet and superior force. The regiment again made a stand at the rifle-pit on the right of the road, and remained until driven out, and again retreated toward General Hooker’s headquarters, and again made a stand in the woods under the battery, and compelled soldiers from other regiments to rally with us. Here we remained until ordered to change our position to the hill in rear of the batteries and near General Hooker’s headquarters. We entered the fight with 3 field and 5 commissioned staff’ officers, 27 line officers, and 482 enlisted men.
The following is a list of the casualties of the regiment:
Officers and Men Killed Wounded Missing Total
Officers …. 4 6 10
Enlisted men 1 31 78 110
Total 1 35 84 120
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALLEN G. BRADY,
Major, Commanding SeventeenthConnecticutVolunteers.
Brig. Gen. N. C. MCLEAN,
Commanding First Division.