Today in History:

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


Colonel Edgar's position, but, as usual, was repulsed handsomely. it was now night, and, after nine hours of fighting, the action ceased, the enemy still remaining in front. Sentinels were posted in front of the lines, and the two forces lay down to rest less than 300 yards apart.

The night was spent in visiting the lines, strengthening the weak points, and causing the wounded to be removed and cared for. At daybreak the attempt was again made to storm our position, but with so little spirit that it was evident that the enemy had lost confidence. They replied to our artillery, however, and maintained a brisk fire of small-arms until about noon, when, after another ineffectual attack, they commenced to retreat. Pursuit was immediately made by Colonel J. M. Corns, of the Eighth Virginia Cavalry, with a portion of his regiment, the Thirty-seventh Battalion, and a piece of artillery, and the infantry advanced.

it was soon found, however, that the enemy had so heavily blockaded in their rear that much delay would be experienced. Pioneer parties were detailed to cut out the blockade, and very early the next morning the cavalry started again in pursuit, the infantry also moving as far as Callaghan's, when it was found that the enemy had passed Gatewood's, where it had been hoped they would have been intercepted by Colonel Jackson's command. I was then ordered by the major-general commanding to return to this point.

My force is the action consisted of the Forty-fifth and Twenty-second Virginia Battalion, a detachment of the Thirty-seventh Cavalry Battalion, and Chapman's battery of four pieces; in all about 1,900 men. Colonel Corns, with his cavalry, was not in the action on the first day, and only a mall portion on the second day, yet rendered efficient service in pursuit. The enemy's force was all mounted (about 3,500 strong), under Brigadier-General Averell, and consisted of five regiments, a battalion, and sic pieces of artillery.

Our loss was 154 killed and wounded and 12 missing. That of the enemy, as estimated by themselves (especially a captured surgeon), between 400 and 500. We captured 117 prisoners, including a major and 3 captains (many of them wounded), and - pieces of artillery.

It would be invidious, where all conducted themselves so well, to make particular mention of any, but I feel bound to express my appreciation of the high service of the regimental and battalion commanders, and Captain G. B. Chapman, of the battery. I also take great pleasure in mentioning the valuable services of Major McLaughlin, chief of artillery of this department, who was with me during the entire action, and aided me much by his excellent judgment, and acted with conspicuous gallantry.

My thanks are also especially due to Lieutenant J. W. Branham, of General Echols' personal staff, who has been serving with me since the general has been absent. He did us great service by a reconnaissance in rear of the enemy, the result of which he reported just as we were going into action, and during the fight he exhibited the utmost energy, skill, and courage.

I take occasion also to call favorable attention to the conduct and gallantry of Lieutenant Noyes Rand, acting assistant adjutant-general of the brigade; Lieutenant E. C. Gordon, ordnance officer; Lieutenant James F. Patton, acting brigade inspector, and Lieutenant Henry C. Caldwell, volunteer aide.

Lieutenant Colonel A. C. Dunn, although under arrest, offered his services