War of the Rebellion: Serial 048 Page 0465 Chapter XLI. THE BRISTOE, VIRGINIA, CAMPAIGN.

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No. 113. Report of Brigadier General Lunsford L. Lomax, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.


December 7, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the recent campaign beyond the Rappahannock, for details of which you are referred to the accompanying reports of regimental commanders:

On the night of October 10, while under marching orders, information was received of the enemy's crossing the Rapidan at Germanna Ford. The Fifth Virginia Cavalry, Colonel Rosser commanding, was immediately sent out to meet this advance, and at daylight on the 11th the remainder of the brigade moved forward to the support of the Fifth Virginia. I soon came in view of the enemy (Buford's cavalry division) near Morton's Ford. Dismounting my brigade and ordering up the two infantry regiments put under my command, I occupied a portion of our recent line of earth-works with skirmishers in front. The enemy opened fire upon the line with two pieces of artillery. This position was held until Colonel Chambliss' brigade, with one piece of artillery, arrived, when I advanced the whole line, and by a gallant charge of the sharpshooters drove the enemy across the river with considerable loss. The command then crossed over at Morton's Ford and pursued the rapidly retreating foe in the direction of Stevensburg, where they attempted again to make a stand, but were soon dispersed on the right by the well-directed fire of Chew's battery and the sharpshooters.

On reaching the vicinity of Brandy Station, I took possession of the railroad at that point, and found the enemy's cavalry massed near Fleetwood, supported by infantry; but seeing a force of the enemy moving down upon the rear and flank from direction of Culpeper Court-House, I withdrew the command and prepared to charge the column coming rapidly from Culpeper Court-House. The sharpshooters were ordered to occupy the woods near the station to resist the force moving from the river. Soon commenced a series of charges and countercharges by the Fifth, Sixth, and Fifteenth Virginia Cavalry (the Maryland battalion was dismounted). At times the sharpshooters were completely surrounded by the enemy's cavalry, but they used their pistols with good effect, and, by well-directed charges of the cavalry, were rescued each time. There were five distinct charges made at this point, which resulted in leaving us in possession of the railroad and station and in completely dispersing the enemy.

While leading his regiment in one of these charges, Colonel Harrison, Sixth Virginia Cavalry, was severely wounded. Several other officers of the command were wounded at the same time. The loss on neither side was great. Some prisoners and horses were taken from the enemy.

I will take this opportunity to call attention to the part taken by the sharpshooters of the brigade of this and every other occasion when called upon. Dismounted by regiments and led by the regimental commanders, they proved more than a match for those of the enemy, and an obstacle that their mounted men could not overcome.