Today in History:

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


A portion of the Fifth Maine and One hundred and twenty-first New York were ordered to charge the enemy at double-quick, without firing. The remainder of the force was held in reserve, in case of an emergency.

Major Mather soon found the brigade, and disposing his force so as to hold it, sent the remainder up the river bank to capture those who might make the effort to swim the river. The enemy supposing vastly superior force was advancing upon him, and also aware that his retreat was intercepted, laid down his arms. The entire Louisiana brigade of "Stonewall" Jackson's old division was captured behind their rifle-pits.

The enemy on the south bank made an effort to complete the destruction of the brigade, which had been fired just before it fell into our hands, but the attempt was successfully resisted.

The movement ordered by General Russell resulted in capturing 6 colors, 1 color lance, 10-3 commissioned officers, 1,200 enlisted men, and 1,225 stand of arms.

The Fifth Maine took into action 233 men and 21 officers, the One hundred and twenty-first New York 299 men and 15 officers.

The Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers were brough to the front. Lieutenant-Colonel Lessig, of the Ninety-sixth, took position to hold the brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Carroll, of the Ninety-fifth, took charge of the prisoners.

I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of both officers and men. The coolness and steadiness they displayed while advancing upon the enemy, the implicit obedience yielded to every order, are characteristic of the bets veteran troops. Colonel Edwards, commanding Fifth Maine, personally disarmed 24 officers. Major Mather, One hundred and twenty-first New York, commanded his regiment with entire success. He arrested many of the enemy who were attempting to cross the river.

From my own staff I received, in every instance, prompt and gallant assistance. Captain R. P. Wilson, assistant adjutant-general, Captain H. S. Hall, assistant inspector-general, and First Lieutenant F. W. Morse, aide-de-camp, entered the rifle-pits with the men, and to their united efforts may be attributed, in a great degree, the promptness with which both regiments reformed inside the works. Captain Wilson received a severe wound in the wrist upon entering the works, but, bearing a rebel color, refused to leave the field till after the whole work was accomplished. He is a most gallant and accomplished officer.

I would also recommend to your notice Captain J. D. Fish, Company D, One hundred and twenty-first New York, who commanded the skirmishers of the Second Brigade. He fought alongside the Sixth Maine in their assault upon the redoubts, and remained with them throughout the action.

Inclosed is a list* of colors captured, with the names of the men who captured them; also, a list of casualties.

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


Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain HURD,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


*List here omitted (it being embodied in Meade to Adjutant-General of the Army, p. 591.), also contains the name of Private Trainer, Company E, One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, as the captor of a "lance from which colors had been torn."