Counters for Howard’s Brigade of the 1st Division of the II Corps. These are the first Union counters I’ve researched for The Birth of Lee. This unit has the distinction of being the primary builders of the famous “Grapevine Bridge.” I’ve heard a variety of stories of how it got that name including the twisting path of the Chickahominy. But according to the regimental history of the 5th NH, it was because they actually used grapevines to lash together the logs of the bridge.
Over 1000 men in two days built this bridge, which alone withstood the rising floodwaters of the Chickahominy River that washed away all the others. The men of this brigade credit that bridge with saving the Union!
The poor 81st PA gets hit hard in this battle. I can’t tell if it’s due to bad circumstances (flanked and hit from the rear) or bad leadership or first battle jitters, but they are described as “fleeing at the first sign of battle.” in the 5th NH history. Thus, the poor morale.