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


Numbers 5. Report of Colonel George S. Patton, Twenty-second Virginia Infantry, commanding brigade.

Lewisburg, August 31, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report:

I arrived on the morning of the 26th instant, about 9.30 o'clock, with my command (after a march of nearly twenty-four consecutive hours) at the junction of the Huntersville road with the James River and Kanawha turnpike. Information had been received the night before of the presence of the enemy on the latter road, moving in the direction of the White Sulphur Springs, and Lewisburg, and I had been ordered by Major-General Jones to endeavor to intercept him. This cross-road is about a mile and a half east of the springs, and is just where the latter road emerges from a mountain gorge.

The enemy's advance was discovered just as the Twenty-sixth Virginia Battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel George M. Edgar, reached and passed the junction. I immediately ordered Colonel Edgar to countermarch his men and form them in line of battle across the road, facing to the eastward, and to deploy a company of skirmishers to his left and front, and to advance to Miller's house at the point -, on the accompanying diagram.* This company, under command of Captain Edmund S. Read, commenced the engagement by firing upon and driving back the enemy's advance.

Captain G. B. Chapman's battery of four pieces now came up at a gallop, and immediately formed battery to the left of the Huntersville road in rear of Colonel Edgar's battalion and on a knoll, and opened fire upon the road along which the enemy was advancing and upon his reconnoitering parties, which had now appeared. The Twenty-second and Forty-fifth Virginia Regiments next came up in fine style, and were formed in line of battle, the first on the left and the latter on the right of the battery.

The enemy now brought six pieces of artillery to bear, and opened fire upon Chapman, who replied with great spirit and accuracy. An artillery duel of great heat ensued and lasted for more than two hours, when one of our pieces was disabled and another temporarily silenced.

In the meantime the Twenty-second Regiment was advanced to a fence running across a gentle ascent of open ground, and five of its companies deployed as skirmishers to take possession of the thickly wooded hill on the left of Miller's house, connecting on the right with Colonel Edgar's skirmishers. the Forty-fifth virginia Regiment also was advanced on the right through a corn-field and took position with Colonel Edgar, who with them hastily threw up a rail barricade across the road and bottom to an abrupt and well-wooded hill on their right, on which Major Woodram, with three companies, had been posted to observe the enemy's movements in that direction. Observing that the enemy was moving forces to his left, I ordered Colonel Browne, of the Forty-fifth Virginia, to move by the right flank, possess the hill, and hold it against the enemy.

These dispositions were scarcely concluded when the enemy advanced along the whole line and the action became general and


*See p. 1016.