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577 Series I Volume XXIX-I Serial 48 - Bristoe, Mine Run Part I

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Page 577 Chapter XLI. ADVANCE TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA.

left of the railroad. Upon the arrival of the Sixth Corps, the verbal instructions given me by Major-General Sedgwick were to establish my pickets on the bank of the Rappahannock. At 3 p. m. the line moved forward, supported by the First Division, General Bartlett commanding. The skirmishers advance steadily; drove in those of the enemy opposed to them; occupied and held the bank of the river from Norman's Ford on the left to within a short distance of the redoubt near the bridge. From this point to a second, about 100 yards on the right of the railroad, the line was close to the redoubt, and did excellent service in annoying the gunners and in a measure silencing the guns therein posted.

The First Division kept within supporting distance of General Garrard, and was governed in its operations by the action of the skirmishers.

In passing an exposed plain, Hayes' brigade fell under a serve fire of artillery, but its advance was in no wise checked.

On the right of the railroad, the resistance to the attacking force of the Sixth Corps being much more determined than that offered to the Fifth, the skirmishers of the latter had to wait the result. Toward sunset two rifled batteries, Rittenhouse's (D, Fifth U. S. Artillery) and Phillips' (E, Massachusetts Artillery), under Captain Martin, chief of artillery, were established within effective range of the redoubts, and, according to the reports of staff officers, more than one drove the enemy from them.

At the request of General Wright (Sixth Corps) the fire of these batteries was kept up until after dark to facilitate a strong attack he was then about to make.

In the development of this attack, which was successful, the pickets of the Fifth Corps shared and entered the redoubt simultaneously with the troops of General Wright, capturing 1 flag, 8 commissioned officers, and 78 enlisted men.

At 5 a. m. on the 8th, my command marched to Kelly's Ford, crossed the river, and bivouacked in the vicinity of Paoli Mills.

My thanks are due to Generals Garrard and Bartlett and the officers of my personal staff.

The reports of subordinate commanders accompany this, together with a list of casualties.*

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. SYKES,

Major-General, Commanding Fifth Corps.

Lieutenant Colonel M. T. McMAHON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixth Corps.


Numbers 19. Report of Brigadier General Kenner Garrard, U. S. Army, commanding skirmishers Fifth Army Corps, of engagement at Rappahannock Station.

CAMP FIFTH ARMY CORPS, November 10, 1863.

SIR: In obedient to instructions, I have the honor to report as follows of the part taken by the skirmishers of the Fifth Corps in the affair at Rappahannock Station, on the 7th instant:

These skirmishers were composed of the pickets of corps, and

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*See p. 558.

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37 R R-VOL XXIX, PT I


Page 577 Chapter XLI. ADVANCE TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA.

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