Today in History:

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

Page 594 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

Numbers 28. Report of Colonel Clark S. Edwards, Fifth Maine Infantry, of engagement at Rappahannock Station.


GENERAL: I have the honor respectfully to give the following account of the late movements of this regiment:

On the morning of the 7th instant, I received orders to move my regiment form its former encampment near Warrenton. In company with the corps, accordingly we took up our line of march toward the Rappahannock Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. After marching nearly 15 miles we discovered the enemy occupying a strong position near the station, intrenched within redoubts and rifle-pits. At 3 p. m. the One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers and my regiment were ordered forward to the front in line of battle. Being upon an open plain, with scarcely any protection, the advance was slow and cautions. During this advance the enemy shell or shot. Approaching within about 500 yards of the enemy's rifle-pits, we were ordered to lie down at a point where the crest or small elevation of ground afforded us a little protection, which position we held until nearly 7 p. m., when I received orders to move my regiment forward.

The line of battle was, the Fifth Maine Volunteers on the right and the One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers on the left, the line consisting of about 25 yards of the enemy in his pits, when I gave the order to "charge." At this moment we received a terrific volley from the enemy's infantry, and the next our boys had sprung into the rifle-pits, sweeping everything before them. These intrenchments were occupied by more than double the men that my own front presented, but so sudden and unexpected was our movement upon them that the enemy seemed paralyzed. After disarming them, by a rapid movement to the right we succeeded in capturing nearly the whole force in the pits, who were then ignorant of the fate of those on the left.

During the entire charge my regiment did not fire a gun, carrying all at the point of the bayonet, and the following are the captures made by this regiment alone: 1,200 prisoners, 1,200 small-arms, 1 caisson, and 4 stand of colors.

On the prisoners, there were over 100 commissioned officers, including 5 colonels, 1 lieutenant-colonel, and 1 major.

The enemy's forces consisted of the First Louisiana Brigade and a North Carolina brigade, comprising the Sixth, Seventh, and Fifty-fourth [Infantry] Regiments. The First Louisiana Brigade (most of which fell into the hands of my regiment) was the first command ever assigned to the late General "Stonewall" Jackson.

We occupied the fortifications during the night, advancing to near Brandy Station yesterday. The affair was a complete and glorious victory.

If affords me the greatest pleasure to report the unwavering bravery of every officer and man in my command, each vieing with the other in the execution of various deeds, none flinching, but press-

Page 594 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.