December 20, 1861
Transcribed by Shirley Pierce
The part taken in the Drainsville affair by the Sixth Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer corps has been almost overlooked in the various accounts which have been written. Colonel Ricketts, of the regiment, is exceedingly ill from disease contracted in the service, and the command devolved on Lieut. Col. Penrose.
The Sixth marched down the Leesburg road, near the town of Drainsville, where it halted just before the enemy's battery opened fire before the road. A portion of the regiment, led by Col. Penrose and Captain Painter, of General Ord's staff, both mounted, was moved up under the full fire of the enemies' battery to the support of Easton's guns, placed some distance in the advance of the road. The shot and shell of the rebels flew around in all directions. Had their guns been managed by experienced artillerists, the slaughter in our ranks would have been terrific, as the position held by this division of the Sixth was immediately in front of the rebel battery.
The other divisions of the regiment, led by Captain Ent and Lieut. McKean, made a detour into the woods, where they made several brilliant charges upon the enemy, in conjunction with Colonel Kane's Bucktail Rifles. The rebels were completely driven out of the woods. The Sixth lost three men killed, and fourteen wounded. The entire regiment behaved gallantly throughout.Colonel Ricketts, in consequence of the precarious state of his health, it is feared, will be compelled to resign his commission. He is a graduate of West Point, an accomplished and brave soldier, and much beloved by the men under his command.
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