previous next

[563] have discharged their duty during the long and arduous marches as well as the hard-fought engagements of the past few days. Too much praise cannot be given to the officers and men of battery M, Second artillery, for the gallantry displayed on more than one occasion. For the untiring zeal and energy, added to the unflinching bravery displayed in transmitting and executing my orders upon the field, my acknowledgments are due to the following members of my staff: Captain R. F. Judson, A. D. C., Lieutenant R. Baylis, A. A. D. C., Lieutenant William Colerick, A. D. C., and to Lieutenant E. G. Granger, A. A. A. G. Lieutenant Granger, while leading a charge at Brandy Station, had his horse shot in two places. Surgeon Wooster, of my staff, in addition to his professional duties, rendered me valuable assistance by aiding in transmitting my orders. Respectfully submitted,

(Signed) G. A. Custer, Brig. Com. Second Brigade Third Division Cavalry Corps.

Me. A. Paul's narrative.

headquarters army of the Potomac, Wednesday, October 21, 1863.
The advance of this army--Lieutenant Whittaker and twenty of General Kilpatrick's cavalry division--entered Warrenton last evening, the enemy's cavalry, under Stuart, at the same time retiring toward Sulphur Springs.

The recent gallant cavalry fight of General Kilpatrick's division at Buckland's Mills and vicinity is still the subject of conversation throughout the army. Now that all the command is in, I am able to furnish a more reliable account of that affair than the first despatches, which were necessarily incomplete, owing to the absence of a portion of the command. The commander of the division received orders on Sunday last to move as far as possible toward Warrenton, under the supposition that nothing but cavalry would oppose his progress; and knowing that Kilpatrick had whipped Stuart alone on several well-contested fields, it was not thought worth while to advance infantry within immediate supporting distance. Notwithstanding this division has been constantly on active duty, and the men and horses were considerably the worse for wear, the order to march was obeyed with alacrity, and the command was moving by three o'clock P. M. on Sunday. But little progress had been made from Bull Run before the enemy's pickets were encountered and driven back upon their supports at Gainesville, where two regiments were found drawn up in line of battle. Night coming on, the command encamped. Early Monday morning the advance was sounded, and the enemy retired from Gainesville, fighting as they went, taking the Warrenton pike. From Gainesville General Kilpatrick took the precaution to send the First Virginia regiment, Major Farrable, to Haymarket and vicinity to guard the right flank, and the Seventh Michigan, Colonel Mann, to Greenwich and vicinity to guard the left flank, while the remainder of the division moved up the Warrenton pike. The enemy fled precipitately until they had crossed Broad Run, at Buckland's Mills, where Hampton's and Jones's brigades, under the immediate command of Stuart, with two batteries, occupied a very strong position west of the run. The banks of Broad Run in this vicinity are very steep, and, therefore, are fordable only at a few places. Pennington's and Elder's batteries were opened with effect, compelling the enemy to move their batteries several times. After an artillery duel and skirmishing for nearly two hours, and the Commanding General having received word that there was no enemy near at hand on his right or left, under a concentrated fire of the artillery a crossing was effected in force by the pike bridge. The skirmishers, not to be left behind, boldly waded the river, and notwithstanding all the obstacles to such a movement, kept up an excellent line, the whole command pushing forward under a very heavy fire. The conflict, though comparatively brief here, was sharp, the enemy contending manfully for every foot of ground, but when they did give way, General Davies's brigade, which had before been held in hand while Custer's had the advance, moved rapidly forward, pressing the enemy above New-Baltimore. While General Custer's command was taking a nooning, a messenger came in out of breath to General Kilpatrick, with the information that a column of the enemy was threatening his left. Suitable disposition of the force was at once made to resist this unexpected danger by Major Cook, Chief of Staff, and Adjutant-General Estes. No sooner had this been done than a portion of the Seventh Michigan which had been stationed on their flank was forced back by a line of rebel infantry, acting as skirmishers, with a strong reserve, believed to have been at least one full division, with a brigade or more of cavalry. The extreme danger of the command as situated was seen at a glance by General Kilpatrick, and he despatched Lieutenant Hickey with orders to General Davies to fall back at once, as he was in danger of being cut off. General Davies had in part anticipated the order, for upon hearing firing at his rear, had fallen back to within one mile and a half of General Custer's brigade, and was there awaiting orders when the messenger arrived. While this was transpiring, the Fifth Michigan, Colonel Alger, was deployed as skirmishers to so far as possible fill up the gap between the two brigades and keep back a threatened movement of the enemy to divide the command. A severe struggle now took place for possession of the pike — our forces trying to hold it so as to enable Davies to pass and take up a new position, while the enemy were determined that the movement should not be made. Having both infantry and cavalry, in this they were successful--General Custer, however, succeeding in getting his command in safety across Broad Run after the most desperate fighting, in which Pennington's battery, (company M, Second artillery,) as usual, took a most important part, firing with great rapidity, and making their guns a terror to all massed forces with which the enemy threatened the retiring troops, though at one time they boldly came

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 21st, 1863 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: