Report of Colonel Hall.
headquarters Cooke's brigade, near Rappahannock Station, Virginia, October 22, 1863.Major: I have the honor to report that, on the fourteenth instant, on arriving within one or two miles of Bristoe Station, the brigade formed a line of battle on the right of the road in the following order: first, Forty-sixth North Carolina; second, Fifteenth North Carolina; third, Twenty-seventh North Carolina, and the Forty-eighth North Carolina on the left. After forming we advanced through a very thick undergrowth. On clearing the woods and arriving in the first opening, the brigade was halted a few moments to correct the alignment. The enemy was discovered massed upon our left beyond the railroad, and to the left of the road leading to the station. Being then in command of the extreme right regiment, I immediately discovered that the enemy was in heavy force on my right, and busily engaged in getting in position. In a few moments we were ordered to advance, and soon after the enemy's skirmishers commenced firing on my right flank. I discovered the line of battle behind the railroad, extending as far on my right as I could see. Also, a mass of troops lying perpendicular to the road, and on the side next to us, from which body an advance was made on my right in considerable numbers. I then sent word to General Cooke that I was much annoyed by the fire and seriously threatened. I sent my right company to engage the skirmishers on my right, but they were soon driven in. I then changed the front of my regiment on the first company and checked their advance. The brigade had again halted, just before getting under fire, and I moved back just in time to join the line in its final advance. Soon after getting under fire, I found that the left of the brigade had commenced firing as they advanced, which was taken up along the whole line. Shortly afterwards information was brought me that General Cooke was wounded, and that I was in command. I ordered my regiment to cease firing, and passed up to the centre of the brigade, stopping the firing as I went. The brigade was then within two hundred yards of the railroad. On getting on the top of the hill, I found the brigade suffering from a heavy flank fire of artillery, from the right — the number of guns I cannot say, evidently more than one battery. Also, the guns on the left and rear of the railroad had an enfilading fire on us. The musketry fire from the line of railroad was very heavy. I soon saw that a rapid advance must be made, or to withdraw. I chose the former. I passed the word to the right regiments to charge, which was done in what I conceive to be in good style. The Fourth regiment was somewhat confused. But I sent the Lieutenant-Colonel commanding word to follow the line, which he did with about two-thirds of his regiment, the balance giving way. The brigade charged up to within forty yards of the railroad, and from the severity of the fire, and from then seeing the extreme left of the line falling back, they fell back; the two right regiments in good order; the third (Twenty-seventh North Carolina) in an honorable confusion, from the fact that between one-half and two-thirds of the regiment had been killed and wounded, they being in a far more exposed position than the other two regiments, and had gone further. The Forty-eighth, in advancing, encountered the whole line falling back. I halted the brigade in the first field we came to, about four hundred yards from the enemy's line, from which position we fell back beyond the second field, on seeing the enemy come out on our right and left. After a short time the brigade of General Davis joined us on the right, when we again advanced to within four hundred yards of the enemy, and, on seeing the right brigade halt, I halted, where we remained during the night. As there was a battery of artillery lost during the engagement, and from its proximity to the brigade the loss may be laid to it, I will state that I knew nothing of the guns being there until we had fallen back to the second field. The guns may have been in our rear, but they must certainly have been placed there after we advanced; and, in retreating, from our losses, both by casualties and straggling, shortened our line so much that, with the addition of one of General Kirkland's regiments (Forty-fourth North Carolina), which joined our left, the left of the brigade was some distance to the right of the guns. On learning the guns were there, and in danger, I despatched a portion of one regiment to the relief, but the guns had been taken off before the relief arrived. I would respectfully state that I have been with the brigade during some of the heaviest engagements of the war, and have never seen the men more cool and determined, and that their falling back resulted from no fault of theirs, but from the great superiority of numbers and position of the enemy, and entire want of support, both in rear and prolongation of our lines. I have the honor to be, Respectfully,
E. D. Hall, Colonel, commanding.
Report of Major McIntosh.
headquarters McIntosh's battalion artillery, in camp, near Beverly Ford, Oct. 23, 1863.Captain: In accordance with your request, I have the honor to submit the following report, being duplicate of one already furnished Colonel Walker, of the part taken by this battalion in the engagement at Bristoe Station on the afternoon of the fourteenth instant: When within about a mile of the station, I received an order from Major-General Anderson, through Major Duncan, his staff officer, to move my battalion to the front. Passing the division, I halted a moment upon the open ground
Captain W. N. Starke, A. A. G. Third Army Corps:
Captain W. N. Starke, A. A. G. Third Army Corps: