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Lt. Harry Haskell Gettysburg After-Action Report

Harry L. Haskell wrote an after-action report for the 125th NY Volunteers.

OR Series 1 Vol. XXVII (Gettysburg in three parts):

Numbers 131. Report of Lieutenant Harry L. Haskell, one hundred and twenty-fifth New York Infantry. -, - -, 1863.

SIR: The regiment left Centreville, Va., on June 25, and arrived at Gettysburg on the morning of July 2. Took position on a nameless hill, situated about half a mile from the village.

Three companies were immediately after our arrival deployed as skirmishers in front of our position, suffering some considerable loss during the day. Just before sunset of that day the brigade was ordered to take position on and support the left, where the entire brigade charged the enemy and drove them, after which we were ordered by Colonel Willard, commanding the brigade, to retreat, which was done in excellent order. The loss on that day was heavy. About 9 p.m. took the position previously occupied, and held it until after the battle.

On the 3d, skirmishers were kept in front of our position. About 2 p.m. the enemy formed line, and made a desperate charge on our position, and was repulsed with heavy loss. All prisoners agree in saying that it was by far the most desperate battle of the war. Nothing further, other than skirmishing, occurred on our front up to the time the enemy fell back.

[On July 3, 1863, during Pickett's Charge, Confederate Division Commander James Pettigrew's men were under fire from the moment the advance began. About halfway between Seminary Ridge and the Emmitsburg Road, Pettigrew halted his men and redressed or reformed the line. As the line began to move on, Brockenbrough's Virginians, their confidence shattered by the enemy artillery fire, remained where they were.

This halt was noticed by Union Army Lt. Colonel Franklin Sawyer. He brought up the 160 men of his 8th Ohio and, supported by 75 men of 125th New York, led them against Brockenbrough's troops. They destroyed Brockenbrough's command and then began to harass the exposed left flank of Pettigrew's lines. Other parts of Pettigrew's unit, including Joseph Mayo's 3rd Virginia began to flee for the safety of their own lines. By the time the Confederate troops were within 400 yards of Cemetery Ridge, Pettigrew had lost a quarter of his brigade to either enemy fire or fear.]

The regiment left Gettysburg July 5.

HARRY L. HASKELL, Second Lieutenant, and Acting Adjutant.

{Lieutenant ELIAS P. SHELDON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General}


Second Battalion, Battle of El Caney, Cuba, After-action Report

IN THE TRENCHES IN FRONT OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA.

July 8, 1898

To the REGIMENTAL ADJUTANT TWELFTH UNITED STATES INFANTRY.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of Company F in the combat at Caney, near this place, July 1 last:

Company arrived in vicinity of stone blockhouse as part of Second Battalion (Haskell's). After some maneuvering it reached a position behind a hedge, about 450 yards east of blockhouse about 11 a. in. It remained there firing on blockhouse during the right. Between 3 and 4 p.m. the company, one by one, sneaked into the dead space in a ravine immediately in front of its position behind the hedge. About 4 p.m., at the suggestion of General Chaffee, brigade commander, the company advanced up the southeast slope to the blockhouse supported by Company A, Twelfth Infantry. No resistance was met during the advance. Three armed Spaniards were found in the trench in front of blockhouse. They surrendered. Nine men and one officer (Second Lieutenant Canalda) were captured inside the blockhouse. Soon after other troops followed and a vigorous fire was received from the town, which was duly returned. The firing finally ceased about 4:30 p.m., I judge, and the battle was ended.

Casualties in Company F: Behind the hedge - First Sergeant Miller and Private Scott, killed; Corporal Schendelmeyer, wounded. At the blockhouse – Sergeant Wilson and Private Gering, killed. In the ravine (fire from town) – Private Moore, wounded.

I Respectfully submitted.

WALLIS O. CLARK,
Captain, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company F.


Contributors

For information on Civil War Captain and later Brigadier General Henry Haskell, we are indebted to Jim McGraw, who contributed a very fine portrait, and Win Haskell of Germany, who sent us a number of documents telling us quite a lot about the Private, later Brigadier General, Haskell. Sgt. Vincent M. Jockimo, a member of the 125th N.Y. Volunteers reenactment group, told us about the badge itself and its meaning, and sent us portions of the regimental history. Stephen Schmidt send us Harry's enlistment record. And Jody Roberts sent us some info about Harry from the Sons of the American Revolution. Information on Harry's marriage, later military service, and his wife's family members is courtesy of Virginia Mylius.