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Rappahannock Station.

Russell's brigade consisted of the Sixth Maine, Fifth Wisconsin, Forty-ninth and One Hundred and Nineteenth Pennsylvania. The first two, charging, seized the fort without firing a gun; then followed a hand-to-hand fight, and in ten minutes, before the other regiments of the brigade had been brought forward, the Maine and Wisconsin regiments had each lost nearly half of its members. [197] Then the remainder of the brigade, with the survivors of the first two regiments, who had fallen back, leaped over the embankments, capturing hundreds of prisoners.

Mention should be made of Upton's brigade of the same division, occupying the left of the Sixth Corps, which charged the Confederate rifle-pits on the right (facing north) of the fort carried by Russell's brigade; carried them at the point of the bayonet, capturing 1,600 prisoners, eight pieces of artillery, and four battle-flags.


While these events transpired at Rappahannock Station, Gen. Birney, in command of the Third Corps, led the advance of his column across at Kelley's Ford, where as at Rappahannock Station the Confederates had left a force to obstruct the passage of the Federal troops. While pontoons were being laid, Union artillery of the Third Corps, on the north bank, were to shell the fields on the opposite bank, and thus prevent the reinforcement of this advance detachment of the Confederates. This they did, and under cover of the fire, a division crossed before the bridge was built, and a select assaulting force, consisting of Berdan's sharpshooters, Fortieth New York (Mozart), One Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania, First and Twentieth Indiana, carried the rifle-pits, capturing several hundred prisoners. During the infantry assault the artillery on the north bank rendered effective service. This exploit of the Third Corps was almost the last performed by that noble command under its corps name, it being before spring distributed in other corps.

Note to the second chapter.

Artillery duel at Mechanicsville. We saw Lieut. McCartney aim the guns, and saw the apparent result of the shots as related in the second chapter. In justice, however, to Comrade J. W. Kenney, then gunner in the centre section, it should be said that his gun also sent a shot with similar effect.

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David Russell (2)
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