Source: Brookville Republican, November 11, 1863
Courtesy of Patricia Steele
Camp of the 148th Pa. Volunteers
Near Warrenton, Va.
October 27th 1863
Now that the election in Pa. is over, and the political excitement considerably abated, your readers might probably be interested in a short history of the doings of the 148th Pa. Vols., to which Jefferson County has contributed. As you have not published anything concerning the regt. for some time it may not be out of place to state that it has been actively engaged in the campaign of the past summer, having frequently been with the division in the advance of the army, and very close to the enemy. At the battle of Chancellorsville, in May last, the regiment was for the first time actively engaged with the enemy, and its conduct there drew forth from officers of high standing and experience the exclamation "That 148th is a fighting regiment."
Our loss in that action, in killed, wounded and missing, was 167, which shows that we were hotly engaged. Our Colonel (Jas. A. Beaver) was severely wounded in the engagement, and was not able to return to the regiment until July 19th.
On the 14th of June, under command of Lieut. Col. Robert McFarlane, we started with our division on a march, which upon the night of July 1st bro't (sic) us near the battlefield of Gettysburg. Here on the 2nd, the regiment was again in a severe musketry engagement, lasting one hour and twenty minutes, which, in connection with artillery fire of the 3d, resulted in a loss of 121. The regiment left the battle-field of Gettysburg on the afternoon of the 5th, and continued its march through Maryland and into Virginia, following the retreating rebel army. We marched without much intermission until the 1st of August. During that month we remained in camp near Bealton Station.
On the morning of September 12th, we took up our line of march again; crossed the Rappahannock River on the 13th, at Rappahannock Station, and arrived at Culpepper on the 14th. Next morning we marched through the place and arrived at our most advanced position on the Rapidan three days afterwards.
The 2d Corps remained here in the front until Oct. 5th, when we were relieved by the 6th Corps. We then marched back through Culpepper and encamped about two miles from the town. Here we remained until Oct. 10th, when our forces began the march which ended by bringing them back toward Centreville. Our 2nd Corps was moved around in different positions to cover the retreat, and, in consequence, our marches for a few days were very long and fatiguing.
On the morning of the 14th we crossed one of the tributaries of the Occoquan river, at Auburn Mills, near Catlett's station, on the Orange & Alexandria R. R., and marched upon a hill near it. Here permission was given to cook breakfast (we had commenced ouro march before "daylight") and after the division had stacked arms, each man went to work preparing breakfast; while so doing the cavalry on our left and rear were keeping up a very brisk skirmish with the enemy, who appeared to be pursuing us very closely. Just at this time, also very unexpectedly, a battery of the enemy upon our right, which had been observed by some but was supposed to belong to our forces, opened upon us at a very short range with an enfilading fire; the shot and shell lighting and exploding in our midst so as to create some confusion. We, however, formed in line immediately and marched down one side of the hill to secure cover. Shortly after another battery of the enemy was placed in position on our left and we again moved to another side of the hill, for cover.
A battery of ours was brought up, and for near an hour we were exposed to artillery fire. Before the firing had entirely ceased we left the place and marched without further difficulty until we neared Bristone Station, near Manassas Junction. Here the 3d division of our corps was attacked while marching by a flank, and we arrived at the place in time to see the enemy retreat on double quick, and our force in pursuit. Artillery and some musketry firing was kept until dark. A battery of ours in replying to one of the enemy, fired over us, and two shots dropping short fell into our regiment, fortunately wounding but one man. The casualties of the regiment this day were four men wounded. About 10 o'clock that night we started on the march again, and before morning were on the heights across Bull Run. The next day there was a good deal of skirmishing going on, along the Run, and some artillery firing upon us from the hills beyond, but our batteries soon silenced that. We remained here until the 19th when we started back after the enemy. We are now near Warrenton, and have been lying here for three or four days.
We think we have seen some pretty hard service, but all appear to be in good spirits and willing to do duty when called upon. We pleased to hear that Gov. Curtin is re-elected, and feel confident that while he is in power we have a Governor of Pennsylvania who is a friend to the soldier, and one who labors for his interest and comfort.
Company I is somewhat reduced but it has still with it good, loyal and tried soldiers, who are willing to do their ulmost for their country's best interests. If agreeable I may write again soon, but for the present Adieu. J. H. H.
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