War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0558 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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Numbers 169. Reports of Colonel William R. Brewster, Seventy-third New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.


August 15, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this brigade from the date of leaving Falmouth to July 8, when Major-General Humphreys left the division: We left Falmouth on June 12, and marched to Hartwood Church.

June 13. -Marched to Rappahannock Station.

June 14. -At 2 a. m. I received orders to go with four regiments to Kelly's Ford and relieve a brigade from the Fifth Corps, then on picket at that point. On arriving at the ford, found the brigade which I was directed to relieve had left some hours previously. Remained on duty at Kelly's Ford until 7 p. m., when we rejoined the division at Rappahannock Station. Marched with it all night, arriving at Catlett's Station at 7 a. m. on the 15th, having in the previous twenty-nine hours marched 32 miles and performed fourteen hours' picket duty.

June 15. -Marched to Manassas Junction and remained there until the 17th.

June 17. -Marched to Centreville, where we remained until the 19th. June 19. -Marched to Gum Springs, remaining there until the 25th. June 25. -Crossed the Potomac at Edwards Ferry, and marched to the mouth of the Monocacy River.

June 26. -Marched to Point of Rocks.

June 27. - Crossed the Catoctin Mountains. Passed through the town of Jefferson.

June 28. -Marched to near Walkersville, passing through Middletown and Fredericks City.

June 29. -Marched to Taneytown, passing through Woodsborough and Middleburg.

June 30. -Marched about 6 miles beyond Taneytown, and bivouacked for the night.

July 1. -Marched to a point near Gettysburg, passing through Emmitsburg, reaching there about midnight. At about 1 o'clock on the afternoon of the 2d, I received orders from the brigadier-general commanding the division to move the brigade to the front, and form line of battle in rear of the First Brigade (then going into position on the right of the First Division), and send one regiment to the crest of the hill, about 250 yards in advance of the First Brigade, with instructions that, should the enemy attempt to take it, to hold it at all hazards. For this duty I detailed the Fourth Excelsior(Seventy-third New York Volunteers), commanded by Major M. W. Burns. The Second Excelsior(Seventy-third New York Volunteers), commended by Colonel H. L. Potter, and the Third Excelsior (Seventy-second New York Volunteers), commanded by Colonel John S. Austin, were placed on the left of the First Brigade, and connected with the First Division. The Fifth Excelsior (Seventy-fourth New York Volunteers), Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Holt commanding, was placed on the right of the First Brigade, leaving on the First Excelsior (Seventieth New York Volunteers), commanded by Colonel J. Egbert Farnum, and the One hundred