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

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Page 579 Chapter XLI. ADVANCE TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA.

Sykes, commanding the corps, to advance with the three brigades of my division against the enemy in support of the skirmish line, commanded by Brigadier-General Garrard. In accordance with my instructions, I moved forward in line of battle of battalions closed in mass, my right resting on the railroad. When within range of the enemy's artillery, I ordered the right and left regiments of each brigade to deploy in line of battle 200 paces in front, and continue the advance, preserving the interval. In this formation, the command advanced to the nearest practicable position to assault the enemy's works on the right or protect the skirmish line on the left, and halted to await the movements of the troops on the right of the railroad, commanded by Brigadier-General Wright.

In the meantime, the skirmishers on the left had been pushed to the river, holding its bank for a distance of 800 yards, and clearing my entire front of his skirmishers on the left bank of the river. The ground occupied by the skirmish line was not suitable for charging over in lines of battle on account of the swamp and numerous ditches traversing it in every direction. The enemy was engaging the right of the skirmish line from his works when the assault was made upon the redoubt by the troops of the First Division, Sixth Corps.

It was impossible for me to get two regiments that I had already ordered to the front, at doubt-quick, forward in time to participate in the assault, and I countermanded the order, but pushed forward the skirmish line (which was a very strong one) with so much vigor that it entered the works simultaneously with the line of battle on the other face, and succeeded in capturing 1 battle-flag, 8 officers, and 78 non-commissioned officers and privates.

The division bivouacked for the night in the timber covering the road to Kelly's Ford, and moved at an early hour in the morning, crossing the Rappahannock on the brigade near that point, and bivouacking for the night within 2 miles of the river.

On the evening of the 9th instant, I moved the division, by order of Major-General Sykes, to the left bank of the Rappahannock to protect the ford and the road leading to Bealeton.

During the engagement of the 7th instant, the troops executed all orders with commendable promptness and regularity, and so far as I am able to judge behaved in a soldierly manner. Inclosed are the reports of the brigade commanders. A full report of casualties has been transmitted to you.

The skirmish line which entered the works of the enemy in conjunction with the Sixth Corps was composed of troops from the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, Sixteenth Michigan, Forty-fourth New York, and Twentieth Maine Volunteers, commanded by Captain Hill, Sixteenth Michigan Volunteers.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. J. BARTLETT,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Lieutenant Colonel FRED. T. LOCKE,

Asst. Adjt. General, Fifth Corps.

ADDENDA.


HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, November 11, 1863.

Brigadier-General BARTLETT,

Commanding First Division:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding desires me to return your report of the recent operations near Rappahannock Station,


Page 579 Chapter XLI. ADVANCE TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA.

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