War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0420 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

We crossed the Rappahannock with the brigade on the morning of the 1st instant, leaving camp on April 28, the intermediate time having been passed in the operations below Fredericksburg. On the evening of the 1st, we were drawn up in column with the brigade, supporting a battery which had opened on the enemy, who soon spiritedly replied with shell, wounding one of our pioneers. Here we remained during the night.

The next day we were moved into various positions, principally in forming lines of battle in the woods and covering the skirmishers in the operations against the enemy on the left. We retired in the evening, and remained in position with the brigade.

The next morning, before the men were fully prepared, the enemy made a vigorous attack on our left and front, and the position of my regiment was changed to the extreme right, so as more fully to cover the battery we were supporting, now firing rapidly. The onset, however, was so rapid and determined, and the front lines having broken and fallen back in some confusion, the regiment was forced to retire with the brigade.

After retiring, the brigade was reformed, and with it we quickly moved again to the front, in columns doubled on the center. Deploying at the edge of the woods to the right of our first position, which the enemy now held, we rendered it, and soon engaged him in his rifle-pit, which was charged and taken after a sharp and severe contest. My regiment acted with the brigade in this successful onset; we capturing some 35 officers and men of the Tenth Virginia Regiment, their colors and color-guard. Being nearly out of ammunition, unsupported, and the enemy strongly pressing us on the right flank, we retired with the brigade, closely pressed by the enemy, back to our last position.

All this time the battle had been raging furiously all over the field. My men were now suffering greatly from exhaustion and back of sustenance, having been engaged some four hours without intermission and had nothing to eat as yet. Many dropped from complete exhaustion, and with great difficulty some got within the lines. I myself, having lost my horse the day previous, and being on foot nearly all for both days, was completely prostrated, and compelled to deliver the command over to Major Winslow, and retire to the rear for medical treatment. He will detail the operations of the regiment for the balance of the day.*

The officers and men in my command behaved very well, some of them being engaged for the first time. To Major R. E. Winslow and Adjt. G. G. Murgastroyd, who aided me in the field, I am much indebted for their efficient services. I must mention, also, for their coolness and gallantry, Captains Funston, McLearn, Davis, Auchenbach, Fulmer, and Shields (mortally wounded); Lieutenants Glenroy, Ealer, Keenan (severely wounded), Palmer, and Guest, and Sergeants [William J.] Brown, [David] Albright, [Thomas P.] Miller, [Samuel] Wardlow, [Lewis] Meredith, and [Lewis T.] Jackson. Many others distinguished themselves for their intrepidity and good conduct while under the fire of the enemy. The list of casualties has been forwarded.+

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Sixty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols.

Captain F. BIRNEY,

Asst. Adjt. General, First Brigadier, First Div., Third Army Corps.


* Report not found.

+ Embraced in revised statement, p.178.