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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 29, Part 1 (Bristoe, Mine Run)
Page 621 Chapter XLI. ADVANCE TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA.

would have been given as soon as the facts reached General Lee and Lieutenant-General Ewell. I carried no artillery with me because none was at my disposal.

As soon as I had ascertained the condition of things in front and in the works, I rode back across the river to see if my other brigades were coming up, and communicated with General Lee, who had taken his position on the hill on which Graham's guns were posted. Shortly after I reached this point our skirmishers commenced falling back, and the enemy commenced advancing more rapidly, and I sent back to hurry up my brigades. The enemy, having gotten possession of the range of hills in front of our position, now planter a battery of artillery on a prominent point in front and opened, no artillery having been previously displayed by him. These guns were replied to by Dance and Graham, but with little or no effect, as the distance was too great. The enemy's skirmishers, in very heavy line, continued to advance until ours from the front and flanks were compelled to retire into the works, and the enemy's on the right advanced to the river bank, about half a mile below the bridge.

About this time General Lee ordered one of Dance's guns to be sent to the pits on the right of the railroad, but before the order was executed the enemy's sharpshooters had advanced so close that General Lee countermanded the order, as he thought the guns might be disabled by having the horses shot down.

About 4 o'clock General Hays arrived and took command of his brigade, and in a short time after the advance of my column, Hoke's brigade, under Colonel Godwin, arrived, and I sent Colonel Godwin with the brigade across the river to report to General Hays, and to occupy that part of the trenches which Hay's brigade could not occupy. This plan met with the approval of General Lee, and he directed me to send no more troops across the river, but retain the other brigades on the south side. I sent Gordon's brigade to occupy Jamison's Hill to the right and the river bank in front of it, and formed Pegram's brigade in rear out of range of shells, sending the Thirty-first Virginia Regiment from it to occupy the rifle trenches at the gun-pits on the right of the railroad.

About this time the enemy opened another battery in front of our left, on the road from the direction of Warrenton, and very shortly afterward another battery was opened on the right from the edge of a woods. The fire from these batteries crossed, and in a great measure enfiladed our position and rendered the brigade quite unsafe. The battery on the hill in front also continued to fire, and the fire from all of them was continued until near dusk. The fire from Dance's and Graham's batteries was stopped (by order of General Lee, I believe), as it was manifestly producing little or no effect and resulted in a mere waste of ammunition. Green's battery, however, continued to fire as well as it could. During all this time the wind was blowing very hard toward the enemy, so that it was impossible to hear the report of the guns even at a very short distance. I had remained with General Lee, at his request, who in the latter part of the afternoon had taken his position on the hill occupied by Dance's battery, and about dark the artillery fire ceased, and some movements of the enemy took place which we could not well distinguish. In a short time, however, some firing of musketry at and in front of the rifle trenches was observed from the flashes of the guns, it being impossible to hear the report by reason of the wind, though the distance was but short.


Page 621 Chapter XLI. ADVANCE TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK, VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 29, Part 1 (Bristoe, Mine Run)
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