from The Worcester Spy, October 30, 1861 , (Volume 90 # 43), 
The Fight at Ball’s Bluff

Our later dispatches state that Lieut. J. Evarts Greene of North Brookfield is among the killed. at Ball’s Bluff. Lieut. Greene was a lawyer of great promise in his profession, possessing in an uncommon degree all the manly qualities which makes the good officer and the useful citizen. His father, the Rev. Daniel Greene, formerly secretary of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, now resides at Westborough, in this county.

It appears now that Capt. Studley of the Massachusetts fifteenth regiment was not killed. Several letters have been received here, in which the report of his death is contradicted. One of them, written to his wife, states that Capt. Studley was seen alive and unhurt on the Virginia shore some time after the firing had ceased; and a dispatch from Gen. Stone to Mrs. Studley says he is undoubtedly a prisoner.

A letter we publish today from Hon. Amasa Walker, dated at Poolesville, states that Capt. Bowman was there safe. This we think is a mistake , for accounts agree in stating that Capt. Bowman not being able to swim the river, was taken prisoner. Perhaps Mr. Walker meant Capt. Forehand, and wrote Capt. Bowman's name inadvertently.


The Courage of the Fifteenth 

We received, yesterday a variety of letters bearing uniform testimony to the gallant and unfailing courage of the men of the fifteenth regiment. Col. Devens writes in a private letter that “ the regiment behaved nobly; the officers without exception stood up resolutely from the first hour of the day to the last, and the men seemed determined and unflinching to the last.” One of the privates who had several bullet holes through his cloths, and a bayonet scratch on his cheek, writes that the thought of surrender was not entertained for a moment. The accounts fro Washington, official and unofficial, agree in according all praise to the noble and knightly courage of the men who fought so long and almost against hope on the west bank of the Potomac 

Rev. Mr. Scandlin bore himself with great courage and humanity during all the trials of the week. It is not of course possible to copy all the testimony of affectionate gratitude which we receive, not only from the wounded and suffering around him, but also from the friends at home, whose painful anxiety his thoughtful letters has allayed. He has proved to be the soldiers truest friend, uniting in the hour of their greatest trial the encouraging and sustaining influences of friendship with the consolation of religion. 

It is not necessary to add anything to the approving testimony of the bearing of the officers of the regiment. We cannot however refrain from copying the following from a private letter:---“We cannot say too much in praise of the cool courage and considerate movements of Col. Devens. He is in my opinion, unsurpassed for cool bravery, being in the thickest of the fight, with his men, encouraging them with hopes of success as long as a shadow of a hope lasted.” 

The following extracts from a private letter from the headquarters of Col. Devens, the day after the fight, relate a few particulars of the battle, not heretofore published:---

The news was quite encouraging till nine o’clock Monday evening. The regimental driver arrived about that time, and said our boys were advancing, and that Leesburg would be taken before morning. A little later we had a different report. On the Virginia shore, where our troops landed, they had to climb a very steep bluff nearly opposite Conrad’s Ferry. After the order had been given “Save yourselves as well as you can,” the men retreated toward the river. They kept their order till they came down to the bluff, when they piled down in heaps. The rebels pursued, fired at the boats and the hundreds of human beings who were in the river, dead dying and wounded. One boat was heavily loaded with wounded, which sunk within a few rods of our shore. As the wounded were the first to cross there were none to save them. Volley after volley was fired from the bluff, into the boats and all about it in the water, wounding scores who had ventured to swim the Potomac. 

The first report was that every company officer, with one exception was dead, wounded or missing. I have a report from five companies. Co. A. (Leominster) report two noncommissioned officers, and two privates wounded, and the captain, corporal, and twenty one privates missing. Company F (Brookfield) reports the captain, sergeant, corporal, and one private wounded, one lieutenant, one sergeant and thirty two privates missing. Captain Studley has been taken prisoner. Lieutenant Grout remained unharmed till late in the evening. He swam till midway in the river, when he was shot. He spoke to a comrade and said, “Tell Co. D. I should have gained the shore, had I not been shot, I must sink!” Capt. Bowman is also a prisoner, with two sergeants, five corporals and between twenty and thirty privates. Capt. Gatchel swam nearly across, when he was shot dead. The colonel, major, and nearly all the commissioned officers, flung their equipment, watches and all their valuables, into the river. Capt. Simonds was taken prisoner. Capt. Forehand was shot through the foot. Three or four of Co. D. were shot dead, among them were John W. Smith and Charles Gough, Sergeant Goddard may be on his way to Richmond, as he is missing.

Lieut. Col. Ward.---In a letter from Lieut. Col. Ward to his wife, he states that he was wounded in the left leg, and that the bone was badly splintered that it was necessary to amputate the leg about half way between the knee and the ankle. He writes in excellent spirit and expresses the most hopeful view of his condition, suggesting how much worse he might have been hurt, in the dreadful carnage of the fight, that his amputated limb may be mended with an artificial leg, and saying that everything possible is done for him. Dr. Bates is around and omits nothing that can be done in the case. At present , he is in the hospital at Poolesville, but he will be removed to a private house as soon as the removal can be affected with safety. “And when I am in a fit state,” he says “I shall come immediately home.” A note from Rev. Mr. Scandlin says Col. Ward is doing nicely. “ If any changes ocurs for the worse, I will immediately notify you by telegraph.” 



15th Massachusetts VI