Report of Col. William P. Baily, Second Delaware Infantry.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43]
CAMP NEAR BEALETON STATION, VA.,
August 15, 1863.
Lieut. CHARLES P. HATCH,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
SIR: In obedience to circular from headquarters Army of the Potomac, dated August 12, 1863, I have the honor to submit the following report of this command from June 28 until its arrival in the vicinity of Warrenton, Va.:
At 6 a.m. Monday, June 29, we broke camp, being then within 4 or 5 miles of Frederick City, Md., and took up a line of march across the Monocacy River Bridge, and successively passed through the villages and towns of Mount Pleasant, Liberty, Union Bridge, Johnsville, and Middletown, reaching a short distance beyond Union-town, Md., at or about 10 p.m., and bivouacked for the night, having marched a distance, as is usually computed, from 32 to 35 miles. After getting in camp, a detail was taken from this command for picket.
Tuesday, June 30.--The regiment was mustered and inspected for pay.
Wednesday, July 1.--At 8 a.m. we took up a line of march, passing through Taneytown, crossing the Maryland line into Pennsylvania, halting at about 9 p.m. within 5 or 6 miles of Gettysburg, where we threw up a breastwork of rails and dirt, which was completed about midnight. Marched this day about 14 miles.
Thursday, July 2.--At daylight the regiment, by order of Colonel Brooke, commanding brigade, moved toward Gettysburg, and about 6 a.m. the regiment was placed in line of battle, occupying a position on the right of the brigade.
At 4.30 p.m. the regiment moved with the brigade about half a mile to the left, where we deployed by the left flank and faced by the rear rank, and faced the enemy. At this moment, Colonel Brooke ordered the line forward. The regiment moved briskly and with regularity, crossing stone walls, fences, and a morass in face of a heavy fire of musketry. The enemy immediately in our front occupied a most advantageous position behind a ledge of rocks upon the brow of a hill. At the foot of this hill the regiment opened fire upon the enemy, and advanced rapidly up the ascent, driving him from his position, capturing a number of prisoners, among whom were 2 commissioned officers. The enemy at this point attempted to rally and regain the ground he had lost, but was held in check. He then made a strong demonstration on our right flank (now our left). There being no support on this flank, the regiment was in danger of being outflanked, when orders were received from Colonel Brooke, commanding brigade, to fall back. The regiment then withdrew and took position on the right of the woods, about 600 yards in the rear of the position it held. The regiment bivouacked at this place. In this engagement our loss was severe.
At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 3d, we received orders to fall in, and move to the left and front, and form line of battle behind the crest of a hill. The enemy immediately opened his batteries with great vigor upon this position, at a range of about 1,500 yards. The colonel commanding then ordered the line about 60 yards to the front, where we threw up breastworks.
At 9 a.m. Captain Evans, of Company A, was detailed with 30 men to picket in our front. During the day he sent in 64 prisoners, chiefly from North Carolina and Georgia regiments. The enemy kept up a constant and rapid fire of shot and shell upon our position from 5 a.m. until 4 p.m.
I regret to report the loss of Lieut. H. W. Ottey, Company B, and Lieut. George G. Plank, Company E, who were killed in the discharge of their duty in the action of the 2d.
It would be invidious to particularize or make any selections where all had discharged their duty nobly and with so much gallantry.
In the action on July 3, the regiment was commanded by Captain Christman. Total of our casualties was 87.
Saturday, July 4.--The regiment still in command of Captain Christ-man, with no change of position. By command of Colonel Brooke, commanding brigade, details were early made to bury our dead and bring in our wounded. All was quiet in our immediate front, excepting picket firing and an occasional shell from the enemy. Toward noon, lines of our troops, of another corps, were deployed some three-fourths of a mile in our front.
Sunday, July 5.--It was discerned that the enemy had left his position the night previous. At about 3 p.m., by order of Colonel Brooke, commanding brigade, we left the breastworks, and took up a line of march, and at 8 p.m. halted at the Two Taverns, having marched about 8 miles. We bivouacked here for the night.
Monday, July 6.--We remained at the Two Taverns all of this date.
Tuesday, July 7.--We again took up a line of march, and reached within half a mile of Taneytown, where we then halted at noon and bivouacked, marching some 8 miles.
Wednesday, July 8.--We again took up a line of march at 6 a.m. in a heavy storm, which rendered the roads, fields, and runs in a terrible condition. At 5 p.m. we halted, and bivouacked for the night on the banks of the Monocacy River, distant about 6 miles from Frederick City. Marched nearly 20 miles this date.
Thursday, July 9.--We again took up a line of march at 6 a.m., passing through Frederick City, Jefferson, and Burkittsville, and, passing through Crampton's Gap, Md., bivouacked for the night, having marched 20 miles this date.
Friday, July 10.--Again took up a line of march at 6 a.m., passing through Keedysville, and halted after having made 11 miles, and bivouacked.
Saturday, July 11.--Again took up a line of march, and reached Jones' Cross-Roads, when, at 11 a.m., the enemy's pickets were met. By order of the colonel commanding brigade, we took up a position in a wheat-field, the left of the command resting near the Hagerstown turnpike. A detail of skirmishers was made from this regiment at 3 p.m., who advanced upon the enemy's skirmishers in our front, and drove them about half a mile, occupying at dark their position. At 9 p.m. our position was changed, so as to become parallel with the turnpike road, and we then rested for the night on our arms.
Sunday, July 12.--At 3 p.m., by command of the colonel commanding brigade, this command moved out to the front, occupying the position of our skirmishers of the 11th instant. The skirmishers in our front also moved forward. At dark we were ordered to throw up breastworks, which we did, of rails and dirt. There was an occasional shot between the pickets during the day. It rained very heavily during the night.
Monday, July 13.--At daylight we commenced strengthening our breastworks, expecting an attack from the enemy at any moment during the day.
Tuesday, July 14.--By command of Colonel Brooke, commanding brigade, at daylight the regiment was deployed as skirmishers, and moved forward, passing over the enemy's works down to the Potomac River at Falling Waters without opposition.
Wednesday, July 15.--Took up a line of march at 7 a.m., and arrived at sundown near Maryland-Heights; bivouacked for the night.
Thursday, July 16.--Took up a line of march at 9 a.m., and encamped at Sandy Hook.
Friday, July 17.--Lay all day at this place.
Saturday, July 18.--Took up a line of march at 6 a.m., and crossed the Potomac River, passing through Harper's Ferry, across the Shenandoah River, and into Virginia once more. We then struck into Loudoun Valley, and, after marching 6 miles, we halted and bivouacked for the night.
Sunday, July 19.--Took up a line of march, and, after marching 8 miles, halted and bivouacked for the night. This day was very warm and close.
Monday, July 20.--Took up a line of march at 8 a.m., and marched about 5 miles and bivouacked near Snickersville.
Tuesday, July 21.--In the same place we stopped at last night.
Wednesday, July 22.--Took up a line of march at 1 p.m., and marched to Ashby's Gap. Our brigade (the Fourth)went on picket, passing through the village of Paris. The enemy's cavalry was seen during the day.
Thursday, July 23.--The corps started on the march at daylight, our brigade remaining on picket until 1 p.m., when we were relieved by a brigade of the Twelfth Corps. We then started to rejoin our corps at Manassas Gap, reaching that place at midnight. This was, without exception, the hardest march we had ever endured; not that the distance was great, but the roads were so stony, hilly, and so many small streams to cross. The Third Corps had a skirmish with A. P. Hill's corps during the day.
Friday, July 24.--Took up a line of march, and halted near a small village at the mouth of the Gap and bivouacked for the night.
Saturday, July 25.--Took up a line of march; reached White Plains, near Thoroughfare Gap, and bivouacked for the night.
Sunday, July 26.--Took up a line of march at 5 a.m., and passed through White Plains and New Baltimore, and reached Warrenton about noon. After resting about an hour, we marched to Catlett's Station. Distance marched, about 20 miles.
The above is a correct report to the best of my knowledge.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. P. BAILY,
Colonel Second Delaware Volunteers.
RETURN TO BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG UNION ORDER OF BATTLE PAGE