War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0485 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT DRANESVILLE, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

the first platoon of my company [the second platoon, under Lieutenant Pattee, having been placed with Lieutenant-Colonel Kirk as a portion of the foraging party] out some distance to the left flank of our line and pick off the artillerymen of the enemy. I immediately marched forward, and when we came to the edge of the woods I found that the enemy's artillery was being removed farther back, but discovered a number of infantry on the extreme right of their line advancing toward us as though they intended flanking us. I then ordered my men to secrete themselves in some deep gullies and fire upon them, which they immediately did so well as to force them back. They then advanced again, and again were forced to retreat. I then moved still farther to our left, so as to defeat any flank movement. Any of the enemy found to the right of their artillery I believe were killed by my men, there being no other troops firing upon the right of their line. I observed a mounted officer of the enemy fall, and believe they carried him off the field. None of my command dead, wounded, or missing.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,


Captain Company B.

Colonel J. S. McCALMONT.

CAMP PEIRPOINT, VA., January 3, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following statement of the battle of Dranesville, which occurred on the 20th December, 1861, my first report being rather brief on account of the haste in which it was prepared.

When the attack was made upon the skirmishers of the Ninth Regiment and Kane's regiment, our battalion was just outside of Dranesville, the artillery and cavalry being in front of us, the Sixth and Twelfth Regiments just in our rear. You then ordered the men to load, and immediately thereafter to give way on the right and left, so that the battery might assume a position in our rear, our troops being in column of platoon, and thus occupying almost the entire road. You then ordered us by the left flank through the fields on the northern side of the road, the fences soon being removed by the pioneers, and at the same time cheered the men by encouraging remarks and by boldly leading the way. When we came opposite Easton's battery, against which the heavy fire of the enemy was almost constantly directed, the balls from their guns flew thick and fast, but fortunately for our gunners and our battalion their aim was too high, all their shells and balls passing over us. Here we moved out to the turnpike, marching by the right flank, and when near Easton's battery you marched us by the left flank and filed right into the woods, our right resting near the turnpike, the entire battalion half-facing towards our battery.

Being on the left of the battalion, you directed me to throw out my platoon to the outer edge of the woods, just by the Alexandria and Leesburg turnpike, with instructions to pick off, if possible, the gunners of the enemy, and at the same time to keep a good lookout that we were not flanked by the enemy on the left. [Here allow me to state that Lieutenant-Colonel Kirk's foraging party, and was not present until after the engagement was over.] When I marched to the opening of the woods I observed one gun of their battery retiring, the others