Today in History:

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

Page 54 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

heavy. Our skirmishers in advance on the left were now hotly pressed by largely superior numbers, but under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Andrew R. Barbee, of the Twenty-second Virginia Regiment, held their ground with admirable tenacity until their ammunition was exhausted, when they fell back in good order without any confusion, and, with the exception of a part of one company which was able to rejoin its regiment, were, by the nature of the ground, forced to take position on the extreme left of our line. In this change of position Lieutenant Colonel A. R. Barbee was severely wounded after being conspicuous for gallantry.

Repeated charges were now made on the right and left, which were in every instance handsomely repulsed. Desperate efforts were made to dislodge the Forty-fifth Regiment, but the steadiness of that regiment and the courage and skill of its commander foiled them all. During this time the fire of musketry and artillery was heavy and continuous, Chapman with his two pieces gallantry holding his own against the six of the enemy.

The enemy were bringing fresh troops into action and strengthening their position and line, and the issue of the contest seemed doubtful, when Lieutenant-Colonel Derrick, with his Twenty-third Virginia Battalion, arrived from Greenbrier Bridge. Colonel Derrick, with the Twenty-third, was immediately advanced to the left of the Twenty-second Regiment, not in the prolongation of the same line, as at first intended, but equally as near the near the enemy on the opposite hill, which tended in his direction.

In order to get to his position Colonel D. was compelled to move under a perfect storm of shot and shell, which caused some loss and some confusion, which latter was quickly remedied by that gallant officer. In obedience to my instructions, two companies of the Twenty-third, under Major Blessing, advanced through the open field under a galling fire, and took position on the left of the Twenty-second Regiment, where they remained during the remainder of the action.

At this juncture the enemy made a determined charge against Major Bailey near the center of our lines, who handsomely repulsed them, and drove them back in confusion, capturing their leader, Major McNally, and killing and wounding many within 15 paces of our lines.

This charge had hardly been repulsed when the enemy formed a squadron of cavalry on the main road, who charged Colonel Edgar's position, but were driven back in utter confusion and rout, many of their horses coming into our lines. A second charge was no more successful.

Having thus tried the left and center, a very heavy force of at least two regiments was formed to force my right, but Colonel Browne, every vigilant, informed me in time to send him Major Claiborne, with about 200 men of the Thirty-seventh Battalion, and with them again repulsed the enemy with great slaughter.

It was now getting late in the evening. The enemy had been repulsed at all points, and not a foot of ground lost by our men since morning. For some time the action was almost suspended, except for the dropping fire of sharpshooters and the occasional boom of a gun. Just at sunset, however, the increased rapidity of the firing and the reopening of artillery foretold and another attack. For a few moments the firing was very heavy, and then the enemy charged

Page 54 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.