War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0459 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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Numbers 82. Report of Lieutenant Colonel George C. Burling, Sixth New Jersey Infantry, of engagement at Kettle Run and battles of Groveton and Bull Run.


Camp near Fort Lyon, Alexandria, Va., September 4, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by the Sixth Regiment in the battles of the 27th, 29th, and 30th of August.

On Tuesday, August 26, in compliance with orders received from headquarters, the Sixth Regiment left camp near Alexandria and embarked on the cars. Arriving at Warrenton Junction, we disembarked and encamped for the night.

Wednesday morning, August 27, received orders to march with three days' rations. Left camp near 7 a. m., and marched in the direction of Manassas, and when near Bristoe Station found the enemy in force. After crossing the stream the Sixth and Seventh Regiments were temporarily detached from the brigade by General Hooker in person. We then marched forward, deploying skirmishers on our left. In a short time we met the enemy's pickets and drove them in. We were then ordered to take an advanced position on a hill to the right, in front of us, which position we gained without loss under a terrible fire of shell from the enemy. We were then ordered to relieve the Second New York, Eighth New Jersey, and One hundred and fifteenth Pennsylvania Regiments, who were engaged on the right.

immediately on reaching our new position the enemy fled in great confusion, leaving their dead and wounded in great numbers on the field. We pursued them for 2 miles, when we encamped for the night.

Thursday, August 28, pursued the enemy through the day, and encamped near Blackburn's Ford (Bull Run) that night.

Friday, August 29, left camp at 3 a. m., pursuing them through Centreville down the Warrenton road, crossing Bull Run at 10 a. m. At 11 a. m. we formed a line of battle and advanced into the woods to relieve one of General Sigel's regiments, where we found the enemy in force behind the embankment of an old railroad. After delivering and receiving several volleys we charged and drove the enemy from his position, when he received re-enforcements, and we were compelled to fall back nearly 50 yards, which position we held until we were relieved by the Second Maryland Regiment. During this engagement Colonel G. Mott and Major S. R. Gilkyson, while gallantly encouraging their men, were wounded. We encamped in the open field for the night.

Saturday, August 30, formed a line of battle about 4 p. m., and was ordered to support batteries to the right and rear of the position we had held the day before. Through some misunderstanding, my regiment being on the right, the other regiments composing the brigade were withdrawn without my knowledge, leaving me in a very critical position. The enemy making a charge upon the batteries in front, compelling them to fall back, I determined to resist their advance, when to my utter astonishment I found we were flanked right and left. I then ordered the regiment to fall back in the woods, which was done in order, and thus checked the advance of the enemy in front. At this time, finding the flanks of the enemy rapidly closing around us, the only safety for my command was to retreat. In trying to extricate ourselves from the critical position in which we were placed my command suffered severely. I was enabled to rally my regiment on a hill in close proximity to the battle-field under the shell of the enemy,