Today in History:

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


line of retreat was through a narrow ravine some 10 miles in length, and by the time I was able to reach the mouth of the ravine the enemy had commenced blockading their rear. By the aid of a rifled piece sent to my assistance by you I was enabled to dislodge him from his position behind the blockade. The blockade having been removed, I dashed on again in pursuit.

such were their facilities for filling the road with timber, and the formation of the country being such that it was impossible to get around the blockade with cavalry, I was compelled to give up the pursuit until morning. Having left a company of my command to cut out the blockade during the night, and also to watch the movements of the enemy, I returned to Dry Creek, the nearest point at which I could get forage for my horses and provision for my men. While at Dry Creek I received your order to start again in pursuit. At 5 a. m. on the 28th, at the hour indicated, i started with five companies of my command and a portion of the Thirty-seventh Battalion, in command of Major Claiborne, and finding, through my scouts, that the enemy had left Callaghan's about 2 o'clock in the night, I pushed on rapidly with the hope that Colonel Jackson, who I understood was at the Warm Springs, would so blockade the roads and otherwise delay the enemy's retreat as to enable me to come up with him; and it is the opinion of all of my officers and myself that had 100 men been thrown down the road leading from the Warm Springs turnpike to Gatewood's, that they could have so obstructed the road in two hours' time as to have compelled the enemy to abandon all of his transportation and cannon, and perhaps to surrender his entire command.

Finding that the enemy had taken the road above indicated, I pushed on as fast as possible until within 6 miles of Gatewood's, where I reached a dispatch from Colonel Jackson, stating that the enemy had passed out of the road (upon which we hoped he had been intercepted), and had passed Gatewood's in the direction of Huntersville. I proceeded to Gatewood's, and found it impossible to go farther without feeding my horses, they being very much jaded by the great distance they had traveled the day previous to the battle of Dry Creek.

While resting at this point I received an order from Major-General Jones to join with Colonel Jackson in a vigorous pursuit of the enemy. I started immediately, and reached Huntersville about sunrise on the 29th, where I overtook Colonel Jackson, who had with him about 300 infantry were much broken down by the long march from Camp Northwest to Millborough and back to Huntersville.

Learning that the enemy was still at Marling's Bottom, I pushed on and found that his rear guard had left about two hours before I got there. My command being in no condition to pursue, most of the horses being broken down and barefooted, I concluded to come back to camp through Pocahontas by the way of Frankford.

Hoping that my action in pursuit of the enemy, although unsuccessful, may meet your approval, I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Cavalry, First Brigade.


Commanding First Brigade.