Numbers 54. Report of Captain Edmund Y. Patterson, 88th Pennsylvania Infantry.
NEAR RAPPHANNOCK STATION, VA., August 22, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to circular from headquarters Army of the Potomac, August 12, 1863, I make the following report of operations from June 28 to July 23, date of arrival at Warrenton, Va.:
June 28. -Having been in camp with the brigade, we received orders to march about 4 p. m., and about 9 p. m. halted outside of Frederick City, Md., and encamped for the night.
June 29. -Left camp at Frederick, and marched to Emmitsburg and encamped.
June 30. -Lay Emmitsburg in camp until p. m., when the regiment was ordered on picket, and remained on duty until July 1, when we were ordered, about 7 a. m., to rejoin the brigade, which was then on the march to Gettysburg. About 11 a. m., while marching along, we heard cannonading, and after marching in quick and double-quick time some 2 miles, we were drawn up in line of battle along a stone fence. We then changed our position by left flank file left, which brought us on a slight hill, and we immediately engaged the enemy, who were advancing on us. Having expended nearly all our ammunition, we charged upon the enemy, capturing a number of prisoners and the colors of the Twenty third North Carolina and Sixteenth Alabama Regiments. Returning to the line of battle, we continued to fire the few remaining cartridges on hand until we found that the enemy were flanking us, when we fell back through the town, the enemy rapidly following and firing upon us. A new line of battle was formed and cartridges distributed. We then took a position on the left of the hill, which was afterward the center of the line of battle, and threw up breastworks made of rails and earth.
July 2. -Were moved about to different parts of the battle-field, but were not engaged in musketry.
July 3. -At daybreak, were behind a stone wall on Cemetery Hill, behind part of the Eleventh Corps. Batteries soon became engaged, and a few of our men were wounded. About 2 p. m. the enemy opened upon us from all sides. We were then at the foot of Cemetery Hill, and were compelled to change our position for safety during the heaviest of the fire. About 6 p. m. we were run double-quick to the center, where we found hard fighting had been progressing. We immediately threw up breastworks of rails, and part of the regiment was ordered out on picket, where the enemy s sharpshooters annoyed us and wounded several.
July 4. -Everything in our front unusually quiet. We lay all day behind the breastworks.
July 5. -At daybreak we fount the enemy had retreated, but remained behind our breastworks.
July 6. – Changed our position about one-half mile to the left, behind breastworks, and then marched to Emmitsburg, about 10 miles.
July 7. -Marched from Emmitsburg to Middletown.
July 8. -About 4 p. m. marched to South Mountain, by way of Antietam battle-field, and immediately threw up breastworks along the foot of the mountain with the rest of the brigade.
July 9. -Lay behind the breastworks.
July 10. -Left South Mountain about 9 a. m. ; marched about 5 miles, formed line of battle, and threw up fortifications near Boonsborough, Md.
July 11. -Lay all day behind breastworks.
July 12. -Left breastworks and marched within 1 mile of Hagerstown, Md., and about 5 p. m. commenced to throw up breastworks.
July 13. -Lay behind breastworks.
July 14. -Left breastworks about 1 p. m., and marched to Willamsport, Md., and encamped about 1 mile from the town.
July 15. -Left camp near Williamsport about 5 a. m., and halted near Rohrersville.
July 16. -Left camp near Rohrersville, and marched to Berlin, Md. July 17. -Lay in camp at Berlin, Md.
July 18. -Left camp near Berlin, Md.; crossed the Potomac upon a pontoon bridge, and reached Waterford.
July 19. -Left Waterford, and marched some 5 miles to Harmony Church, Va.
July 20. -Marched to Middleburg and encamped.
July 21. -Remained in camp.
July 22. -Left Middleburg about 6. 30 p. m., marched all night, and halted at White Plains, Va., three hours.
July 23. -Continued our march to warrenton, Va., arriving about 5 p. m. I append a list of killed, wounded, and missing during July 1, 2, and 3.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. Y. PATTERSON, Captain, Commanding Regiment.
from Official Records, Series 1, Volume 27, Part 1, Pages 310-312