War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0383 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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Numbers 35. Report of Brigadier General James B. Ricketts, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, of operations August 17-September 4, including engagement at Thoroughfare Gap and battle of Bull Run.


Hall's Hill, September 4, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the report of operations of my division from the 17th of August, when directed by you to retire to the east side of Cedar Mountain, to this date:

On the 18th the command was ordered to retire from near Mitchell's Station in the direction of Culpeper, and at 11 p.m. the baggage and supply trains having preceded the division, and the march much impeded by roads blocked by trains of other corps, delaying our crossing at Rappahannock Station until after sundown on the 19th. Pursuant to orders from the major-general commanding, on the 20th two regiments, Third Brigade, with a section of Matthews' Pennsylvania battery, under General Hartsuff, recrossed the river and occupied the heights commanding the ford, the rest of the brigade remaining on the north side of the river. The First Brigade, under General Duryea, with Leppien's Maine battery and two sections of Matthews' Pennsylvania battery, was stationed on the north side of the river. The Second Brigade, under General Tower, with Hall's Maine battery, stretched up the river on the right, the Fourth Brigade, under Colonel Thoburn, First Virginia, being held in reserve. During the night a trestle bridge was constructed and the morning of the 21st the remaining regiments of the Second Brigade, with Thompson's Pennsylvania battery and the other sections of Matthews' Pennsylvania battery, crossed to the south side of the river, and skirmished with the enemy during the day.

On the 22nd Hall's Maine battery did good execution against the guns of the enemy. During the night a heavy rain swept away the trestle bridge and endangered the railroad bridge, causing the withdrawal of the Third Brigade on the 23rd under the excellent fire from Matthews', Thompson's, and Hall's batteries, which were then posted on the heights commanding the railroad bridge, supported by the First Brigade, upon and a brisk artillery fire was kept up for several hours, until ordered to destroy the bridge and retire.

I would here mention the untiring exertions of Brigadier-General Hartsuff, who, although much prostrated by severe illness, continued manfully to do his duty, and also regret the severe wounding of Lieutenant Godbold, Matthews' battery, whose leg was here taken off by a shell. The destruction of the railroad bridge and the arduous duty of protecting the rear were intrusted to Brigadier-General Tower, who performed it with admirable skill, and the night closed in a bivouac on the road toward Warrenton.

On the 24th the division passed through Warrenton, and took position on the road to Sulphur Springs.

On the 25th moved toward Waterloo, resting about 4 miles from Hedgeman's River.

The 26th was occupied in a reconnaissance near the crossing at Sulphur Springs.

The 27th, retired from that position to Gainesville.

On the 28th, being ordered to "assist Colonel Wyndham, who at 10.15 a.m. reported the enemy passing through Thoroughfare Gap,"