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 XXIX | Pages range from 1 to 1036

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 29, Part 1 (Bristoe, Mine Run)
Page 847 Chapter XLI. MINE RUN, VIRGINIA, CAMPAIGN.

that the chivalric Colonel Raleigh T. Colston, commanding the Second Virginia Infantry, fell desperately wounded. This brave officer has since died. Here, too, the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Walton, commanding the Twenty-third Virginia Infantry, fell while leading on his men. Though wounded, he had refused to leave the field, when he was shot through the heart and instantly killed. The loss of such men as these, who were at once good citizens, brave soldiers, and cultivated gentlemen, is one equally to be deplored by their country and their comrades.

At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the position of the enemy having been as well ascertained as the nature of the ground permitted, a general advance was ordered, Steuart being directed to wheel his brigade gradually to the right as he advanced, and the command went forward with loud cheers to drive the enemy out of the tangled wilderness in which he had sheltered himself. The resistance of the enemy was stubborn, but he was steadily driven back for a considerable distance through the woods and pursued across an open field. The density of the thicket through which our men advanced was such, however, that it was found impossible to maintain an unbroken line, and each brigade commander in turn, finding himself unsupported either on the right or the left, and in an open field, ordered back his brigade to the fence skirting the field. By this time our ammunition was well-night exhausted, and all efforts to obtain a supply having failed, it was impossible to push our success further. The men, however (many of whom had used all their cartridges), maintained a resolute front along the fence, and a dropping fire was kept up on both sides. Though night was rapidly falling and the fire gradually slackening on the part of the enemy, it was deemed prudent, in view of the exhausted cartridge-boxes of the men, to send to General Doles, having reported, was directed to move to the front. It being now night, my division was ordered back to the road.

During the advance of our troops, a section of Carpenter's battery behaved with great gallantry and efficiency in replying to a battery of four pieces of the enemy, who were pouring grape into the ranks of Steuart's brigade, and dispersed also a column of infantry who were endeavoring to turn our left. A section of Dement's battery, placed in front of our center, through under a galling fire of musketry, played with telling effect upon the ranks of the enemy. The officers and men of these commands (composing part of Andrews' battalion) exhibited on this as on every previous occasion when they have served under me in action, a courage and efficiency of the highest order.

About 12 p. m. the command was marched across Mine Run, by direction of Major-General Early, commanding the corps, and took up its position on the hills along the western bank. We brought off all of our wounded except 2 and some of our dead. The enemy, in retiring before us, had left many of his dead wounded upon the field. We captured also a few prisoners.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was 545, of which 69 were killed, 429 wounded, and 47 missing. That of the enemy was probably not far from 1,000 men.

My warmest acknowledgment are due the brave officers and men of this division who, attacked while on the march by a greatly superior


Page 847 Chapter XLI. MINE RUN, VIRGINIA, CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 29, Part 1 (Bristoe, Mine Run)
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