The Story of the 32nd Regiment Mass. Infantry
The 32nd Mass was part of the Second Brigade during the battle of Petersburg but became part of the Third Brigade in October 1864. See page 239.
Page 223 the author briefly describes the mortal wounding of their Colonel George Prescott at Petersburg.
Joining with Chamberlain's brigade in the midday attack on June 18th Prescott was wounded in the chest and brought
back to the division hospital. Chamberlain who was wounded sometime after 3 o'clock would be brought back and placed next to Prescott.
Neither one was expected to live. Arrangements were made to bring both officers to City Point on the following morning, but
only Chamberlain would survive the night. See Medical Records
Page 241 describes the Weldon Railroad expedition or Apple Jack Raid as the soldiers came to call it. The History of the Corn Exchange Regiment
relates, "General Chamberlain, who had the infantry rear guard at this time, was obliged to make half his brigade a provost guard to keep our men from running out of the column and
being lost or left along the road." The ones who did escape into the night were found with their throats cut, prompting some of the men to burn houses in retaliation.
An act Chamberlain tried to prevent the best he could. See 185th New York
Page 254 describes the formal surrender and the two armies saluting one another. The 32nd was not part of the Third Brigade during the Battle of Gettysburg,
nor after when Chamberlain briefly commanded it. They joined the Third Brigade in 1864 and knew only General Bartlett as its commander.
For this reason it is strange that they would describe Chamberlain as being in command of their division.
Bartlett outranked Chamberlain and was in command since the battle of Five Forks when General Griffin replaced Warren as commander of the 5th Corps.
The confusion stems from the fact that Chamberlain, who by request was transferred back to his old Third Brigade, was placed in charge of the surrender ceremony.
Not wanting to exclude the two brigades that he previously commanded from the ceremony, Chamberlain begged permission to have them as well. Bartlett acquiesced.
After the surrender Bartlett was transferred to another corps and Chamberlain was placed in command of the First Division. This may have
been a sign of favoritism towards Chamberlain from Griffin. But for whatever the reason Bartlett was then out of the picture.
When recalling all of this some histories simplify the account to be that Chamberlain took command of the Division after Griffin was promoted.
The confusion is understandable because Chamberlain was indeed in command of them while the ceremony was taking place.