eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

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

You are currently in Volume XII | Pages range from 1 to 820

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
Page 727 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

tion, pushed boldly forward his regiment by the road, General Robertson, with his main body (Sixth, Twelfth, and Seventeenth Virginia Cavalry), keeping, by my direction, to the left, so as to sweep across the open country toward Barboursville and flank the enemy's position. The enemy's force engaging us appeared to be cavalry only, and gave way gradually along the road toward Rappahannock Station, but about midway between Brandy Station and Rappahannock made a determined stand in solid column of squadrons on the ridge, with skirmishers, mounted, deployed to the front, with which Jones soon became engaged with unequal force. I knew the country to be too much intersected by ditches to render operations free, and considered it necessary, therefore, to advance along the road. Robertson, who was now sent for in haste to support his advance regiment, was found to have mistaken the direction and borne too much to the left; but as the enemy did not profit by this mishap nothing was lost by the delay, and the remaining regiments, were hurled in rapid succession in column of fours upon the enemy's main body. It was perfectly plain that the enemy's force was superior in number to ours; but as Pope had evidently with his main body reached the other side of the Rappahannock, it was not probable, therefore, that a fierce onset of such cavalry as ours, animated by such incentives and aspirations, could be withstood, and sure enough, before the clash of their sabers could make havoc in his ranks, he turned in flight and took refuge close to the river under the protection of his batteries, planted beyond the river. Our squadrons rapidly reformed for a renewal of the fight, but having no artillery yet up, the ground was such that cavalry alone could not have attacked the enemy under such protection without sacrifice inadequate to the risk. General Fitzhugh Lee's brigade was sent for to re-enforce Robertson as soon as the enemy was found in force here. It arrived just at this time with Pelham's battery of horse artillery, but the enemy had safely passed the ford before a battery could be placed to interfere with his progress, and there being now no enemy south of the Rappahannock except those in our hands, the remainder of the day was devoted to rest. The advance of Jackson reached the vicinity of Brandy Station that night. I kept the commanding general notified of my whereabouts and the enemy's movements during the day. In the mean time Munford had advanced to Culpeper, where he found a number of prisoners.

In the action at Brandy Station our troops behaved in a manner highly creditable, and Colonel Jones, whose regiment so long bore the brunt of the fight, behaved with marked courage and determination. I regret his report has not yet been furnished. The enemy, occupying woods and hedge roads with dismounted men, armed with long-range carbines, were repeatedly dislodged by his bold onslaughts, while Flournoy and Harman nobly supported the Seventh in the critical moment when confronted by two brigades of the enemy's cavalry.

General Robertson had cause to be proud of the command which his superior discipline, organization, and drill had brought to the stability of veterans.

Major Heros von Borcke, my adjutant-general, was conspicuous in the charge, and led an important flank attack at the critical moment of the engagement, while that brave soldier and venerable patriot, animated with the fires of youth, Captain Redmond Burke, while among the foremost in the fierce onset, received a severe wound in the leg, disabling him for some time from active duty.

Brigadier-General Robertson's report accompanies this, and will give


Page 727 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon