where we bivouacked for the night, and remained until the 22nd ultimo, when we moved to Piemond. The operations of the brigade on July 23, 24, and 25, including the action at Wapping Heights, are detailed in the following report of Colonel J. Egbert Farnum, then commanding the brigade:
HDQRS. EXCELSIOR (SECOND) BRIG., SECOND DIV., THIRD ARMY CORPS,
July 27, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command during the days of July 23, 24, and 25: Early on the morning of the 23rd instant, being then in command of my regiment, First Excelsior (Seventieth New York Volunteers), the regiment and brigade left Piedmont, and marched with the other brigades comprising the Second Division on the road through the Manassas Gap toward Front Royal. On arriving at Linden Station, the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers was detached and sent upon picket on the road to the left, leading from the station. Arriving near Wapping Station, we were massed by divisions, and, taking the hills upon the right side of the road, advanced to the crossing at that station; then, crossing to the left range of hills, we were advanced close upon the line of skirmishers of the First Division, Third Corps, arriving and halting at about 4 p. m. At about 5 p. m. we were informed by General Spinola, commanding the brigade, that he had received orders from General Prince to march the brigade through a defile up to the skirmish line, for the purpose of assaulting the enemy on a hill in our front. On the promulgation of this order, the brigade, marching left in front, proceeded to the designated position, and was there formed in line of battle. The order was given to fix bayonets and charge the line in front of us. My regiment, being on the left of the brigade, moved at a double-quick, in conjunction with the other four regiments, under a severe fire from the enemy, and, arriving on the crest of the hill, driving the enemy before us, we found the work but half done, the enemy being in strength on two hills in front of us, the farther being held by their artillery. The brigade charged on, returning the enemy's fire, taking prisoners, and carrying all before it. At this time General Spinola fell, seriously wounded, and the command of the brigade devolved upon me by seniority. Having arrived at the crest of the second hill, I received orders from General Prince to reform the line of battle and hold the ground which we had charged and occupied. This being done, I threw out a strong line of pickets and scouts in front and both flanks of my command, and, using stones and fence rails, threw up breastworks in front of our position. Nothing of interest transpired during the night, and at early dawn I detached the First Excelsior (Seventieth New York Volunteers) and threw them forward to feel the enemy, and soon learned that he had evacuated all his positions in front of us during the night. Having communicated these facts to General Prince, I received orders to bury the dead, which was done, but hastily, as we were so soon ordered to march. Leaving our position at about 7 a. m. on the 24th, we moved by the flank to within about a mile of Front Royal, where I formed line of battle on the left of the road, and, supporting the Third Brigade of the Second Division, which was the advanced line of battle, moved a short distance toward Front Royal, when we received orders to return. Marching by the flank, we reached Markham Station, and bivouacked for the night. On the morning of July 25, taking up the line of march, we proceeded through Salem to a point within 7 miles of Warrenton, where we again bivouacked, and remained until we left for this camp. During the 25th instant, the One hundred and twentieth Regiment rejoined the column, having been relieved from picket. In an action where all sustained their reputation gained on other fields with so much gallantry, bravery, and devotion, I am constrained to speak of all alike. It is impossible to select any single officer or man who did less than his full duty; all were alike brave, true, and gallant soldiers. I have the honor to append a list of casualties sustained by the brigade during the action of the 23rd instant.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
J. EGBERT FARNUM,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Lieutenant ALBERT ORDWAY,
Actg. Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Division, Third Corps.
36 R R-VOl XXVII, PT I