War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0245 Chapter XIV. SKIRMISH AT BOLIVAR HEIGHTS, W. VA.

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company of the Thirteenth Massachusetts being in our rear. After half an hour, the house not affording a favorable position to fire with much effect upon the enemy, w e advanced upon the road toward the enemy, who had retreated to a ridge covered with timber; saw the enemy's cannon in the road; charged upon it with parts of Companies A and C (about 40 men in all). As we commenced, the enemy attempted to haul off their gun, but in their hasty attempts broke the axle-tree. As we approached the gun we saw one of the men spiking it and the others left it and sought cover, when a tremendous fire upon us from a masked breastwork compelled us to seek cover. We sustained and answered the fire for some fifteen minutes, saw our men falling, and were obliged to retreat, closely pursued by the enemy's cavalry. We rallied, after falling back some 50 roads, and fired upon the enemy's cavalry, driving them back and covering the retreated of our wounded and those who were aiding them off the field; then slowly retreated to the main body.

Company H, Third Regiment Wisconsin, having joined us, we formed a complete line of skirmishers from Bolivar main street to the Shenandoah, and awaited the arrival of artillery. At 1 o'clock p. m., the artillery having arrived, we moved the line slowly forward, by command of Colonel Geary, diving as we advanced,the enemy slowly falling back. On our arrival at the outskirts of Bolivar we advanced rapidly, the enemy having retreated behind the hill; and passing in our advance the gun which had been disabled, we established our line on Bolivar Heights, the enemy having retreated to a belt of wood about three-quarters of a mile away in the direction of Halltown. Captured the chaplain of one of the enemy's regiments, and sent him, along with the captured gun, to the ferry, by order of Colonel Geary.

In the charge upon the gun the following-named men of my command were killed and wounded, which was the only loss suffered by us in the action.*

I take this occasion to make favorable mention of the fearless and judicious conduct of Lieutenant Ed. E. Bryant, of Company A, Third Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, in the action.

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


Captain, Commanding Company A Third Reg't Wis. Vols.

Colonel JOHN W. GEARY, &c.

Numbers 5. Report of Captain George J. Whitmen, Third Wisconsin Infantry.

I have the honor of making the following report to Colonel Geary, commanding at Harper's Ferry October 16, 1861:

On the morning A and C, of the Third Wisconsin Volunteers, left camp at Frederick City, and marched to the Junction, and took the cars for Sandy Hook; arrived there at 8 o'clock a. m.; crossed the river to Harper's Ferry, and were quartered in Government buildings. On the of the 10th had a slight skirmish with a company of cavalry. The company was employed in moving wheat across the river and going picket duty.


* List shows 2 killed and 3 wounded.