Report of Col. Leroy A. Stafford, Ninth Louisiana Infantry,
Commanding Fourth Brigade, of Operations August 12-October 5.
AUGUST 16-SEPTEMBER 2, 1862
Campaign in Northern Virginia.
CAMP NEAR PORT ROYAL, VA.,
January 21, 1863.
Brig. Gen. WILLIAM B. TALIAPERRO,
Commanding Jackson's Division.
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit the following report:
The brigade, consisting of the First, Second, Ninth, Tenth, and Fifteenth, and Coppens' battalion Louisiana Volunteers, reported near Gordonsville on or about August 12, 1862, and was assigned to duty in the division of Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson. Being the senior colonel in the brigade, the command devolved upon me. I had command but one week when Brig. Gen. W. E. Starke reported for duty and took command. Shortly after Brigadier-General Starke arrived we took up the line of march and continued it until we reached the ford on the Rappahannock near Brandy Station, on or about August 21, at which point we found the enemy strongly posted on the opposite bank.
On the morning of the 22d we resumed the march, and crossed the Rappahannock at Major's Mill, on Hazel Fork, the 25th. Passed through Thoroughfare Gap on the morning of the 27th; reached Manassas on the same day. That night we fell back and took position near the little farm called Groveton.
On the afternoon of the 28th, the enemy appearing in sight, we formed our line of battle on the crest of the hill overlooking Groveton and awaited his attack. The battle commenced at 5 p.m. and lasted until 9 p.m., resulting in the repulse of the enemy, we holding the battle ground. In this engagement, the brigadier-general commanding the division receiving a severe wound, the command of the division devolved upon Brig. Gen. W. E. Starke. The command of the brigade fell upon me.
On the morning of the 29th, being in reserve, we were not thrown forward until about 12 o'clock, at which time we received an order to charge, driving the enemy before us. We again fell back to our position, remaining in it during the night.
On the morning of the 30th Brig. Gen. W. E. Starke ordered me to send half of one of my regiments forward and occupy the railroad cut as a point of observation, to be held at all hazards. About 8 o'clock in the morning the enemy commenced throwing forward large bodies of skirmishers in the woods on our left, who quickly formed themselves into regiments and moved forward by brigades to the attack, massing a large body of troops at this point with the evident design of forcing us from our position. They made repeated charges upon us while in this position, but were compelled to retire in confusion, sustaining heavy loss and gaining nothing. It was at this point that the ammunition of the brigade gave out. The men procured some from the dead bodies of their comrades, but the supply was not sufficient, and in the absence of ammunition the men fought with rocks and held their position. The enemy retreated. We pressed forward to the turnpike road, there halted, and encamped for the night.
On the 31st we took up the line of march, and on September 1 at Chantilly we again met the enemy and repulsed them. We resumed our line of march; passed through Dranesville, Leesburg, and crossed the Potomac on September 5. Passed through Frederick City, Md.; encamped 2 miles beyond. Recrossed the Potomac on September 11 at Williamsport; passed through Martinsburg, thence to Harper's Ferry; took part in the reduction of that place. Crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown September 16. Same evening formed line of battle; slept on our arms and in position near Sharpsburg, Md.
Early on the morning of the 17th the engagement became general, continuing throughout the day, this brigade sustaining its part. It was in this battle that Brig. Gen. W. E. Starke fell while gallantly leading his command. Remained in line of battle all night of the 17th.
Remained in position on the day of the 18th; recrossed the Potomac near Shepherdstown on the morning of the 19th; held in reserve on the 20th; went into camp near Martinsburg on the 21st; remained in camps until the 28th, and moved to Bunker Hill on or about October 5. My command (the Ninth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers) was transferred from Starke's brigade to that commanded by Brig. Gen. Harry T. Hays.
No report of casualties has been received from [G.] Coppens' battalion, Captains Raine's and Brockenbrough's batteries. Inclosed find list of casualties in First, Second, Ninth, Tenth, and Fifteenth Regiments Louisiana Volunteers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. A. STAFFORD,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Source: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
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