Official Report of the 16th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Gettysburg Campaign
Numbers 45. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Augustus B. Farnham, Sixteenth Maine Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS,
August 19, 1863.
Report of the part taken by the Sixteenth Maine Volunteers in the recent operations of the army, from June 28 to July 24, 1863.
June 28, 1863. -On picket 5 miles to the north of Middletown, Md. At 3 p. m. received orders to be ready for a move, and at 4 p. m. the regiment moved by the old road over the mountains to Frederick City, arriving there at 3 a. m. on the morning of the 29th. Resumed our line of march at 5 a. m., and marched a distance of 26 miles, passing through Emmitsburg at 6 p. m., and camped near the town. Distance marched from 4 p. m. June 28 till 6 p. m. June 29, 40 miles. June 30. -Marched at 8 a. m., and, after proceeding about 4 miles, crossed the Pennsylvania line, and camped for the night.
July 1. -Marched at 6 a. m. After proceeding a short distance, heard cannonading to the front. After reaching the battle-ground, we were ordered with the rest of the brigade forward toward the right and in rear of a large house and ridge, where we halted for a few moments. We were then ordered, with the Ninety-fourth New York Volunteers, to the left and front, and threw up a barricade of rails, &c. In fifteen minutes we were ordered to the right, to engage the enemy at the top of the ridge, and which being done we changed front, our right resting on the top of the ridge and running parallel with the fence and woods and in front of our original lines. Here we engaged the enemy, and drove him from his position, after which we were ordered to the rear in the woods, where we lay skirmishing with the enemy a few moments. We were then ordered, alone, by General Robinson, to take possession of a hill which commanded the road, and hold the same as long as there was a man left. We took the position as ordered, and held the same until, finding the enemy in such force, and rapidly advancing on us, and seeing no support coming to our aid, we fell back into the hollow, and formed again, but could not hold our position, and finally fell back into the woods, where we engaged the enemy until, finding that we were again left without support, and the enemy engaging us both front and flank, ordered a retreat, but not in time to reach the main body of the brigade. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing for the day was: Officers killed, 1; enlisted men killed, 8; officers wounded, 5; enlisted men wounded, 47; officers missing, 11; enlisted men missing, 151; total, 223.
July 2. -Supported a battery on Cemetery Hill until nearly dark, when we were ordered to the left, and ran the gauntlet of a very heavy artillery fire, reaching the point of attack just as the enemy were being driven back. We returned to our position on the right, and about 9 p. m. moved on the hill in front of the batteries and near the town, where we were much annoyed by the enemy’s sharpshooters firing from the windows and houses.
July 3. -Soon after daylight we were ordered to the rear of the batteries. As we rode up from behind the stone wall, we received a volley from the enemy’s pickets, but fortunately did us no damage. We held a position in support of a battery until the enemy making a desperate attack on the center, our division was sent to re-enforce the Second Corps. Reached the point of attack as the enemy were being driven back broken and defeated. We relieved the Second Corps, built breastworks on the edge of the woods, and after sending out a strong picket, bivouacked for the night.
July 4. -Our pickets skirmished with the enemy’s during the day. July 5. -The regiment was relieved at 12 m., and moved to the left and rear, and bivouacked in a small piece of woods for the night. Our loss in killed and wounded during the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th, was as follows: Officers killed, none; enlisted men killed, none; officers wounded, 1; enlisted men wounded, 3; total, 4.
July 6. -Moved at 7 a. m. and camped near Emmitsburg. Length of march, 8 miles.
July 7. -Marched through Emmitsburg, Mechanicstown, near the Catoctin Mountains, and camped on the western slope, 4 miles north of Middletown. Length of march, 25 miles.
July 8. -Marched at daylight in a heavy rain. Passed through Middletown, and halted 1 mile west of the town at 11 a. m. Marched again at 4 p. m., and bivouacked on the western sloped of South Mountain.
July 9. -Remained in line of battle on South Mountain.
July 10. -Marched at 5 a. m. through Boonsborough, and halted 3 miles west of the town and threw up breastworks. Moved about 80 rods to the rear, and threw up more breastworks at right angles with the first, the former running north and south. Length of march, 7 miles.
July 11. -Remained in line near Beaver Creek till 3 p. m., when we went on picket.
July 12. -Were called in at 10 a. m. Moved through Funkstown, and formed a line of battle on north side of Antietam Creek, facing Hagerstown, at 4 p. m. Remained in line two hours, and then moved by the left flank about 40 rods, and formed on the left by file into line; then by the left flank about 30 rods, and built breastworks; then bivouacked for the night.
July 13. -Remained in line; some skirmishing in front.
July 14. -Moved at 1 o’clock toward Williamsport, and camped 1 mile this side of the town.
July 15. -Marched at 5. 30 a. m., and passed through Smoketown, Keedysville, and Knoxville, and camped at the base of the Catoctin Mountains, on the west side, near Crampton’s Gap.
July 16. -Marched at 6 a. m., and passed through Crampton’s Gap past Burkittsville, and camped near Berlin.
July 17. -Remained in camp.
July 18. -Marched at 6 a. m., and crossed the Potomac at Berlin. Passed east of Lovettsville, and bivouacked near Waterford. Length of march, 10 miles.
July 19. -Marched at 6 a. m. through Waterford, by Harmony Church, through Hamilton, and camped half a mile west of the town. Length of march, 6 miles.
July 20. -Marched to Middleburg; distance, 15 miles.
July 21. -Remained in camp.
July 22. -Marched at 7 p. m. toward White Plains. Until about 11 p. m. the marching was very slow and tedious, being in the rear of the train. At 12 o’clock men still on the march.
July 23. -Marched until 4 a. m., and bivouacked at White Plains. At 7 a. m. marched toward Warrenton. Reached Warrenton at 5 p. m., and formed a line of battle on the southwest side of the town. Bivouacked for the night.
A. B. FARNHAM,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Sixteenth Maine Volunteers.
Captain BYRON PORTER,
from Official Records, Series 1, Volume 27, Part 1, Pages 295-297