53rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Mine Run

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Report of Col. William A. Owens, Fifty-third North Carolina Infantry.
SIR: The following is a report of the operations of this regiment
from November 27 to December 3, 1863, inclusive:

About 1 o'clock on the morning of November 27, I moved with the
brigade to Zoar Church. About 8 that morning we moved down
the road leading to Locust Grove. About 10 o'clock, and when
within about a mile of the latter place, we discovered the enemy in
our front, when, in obedience to orders from Brigadier-General
Daniel, I deployed my regiment in a field at the foot of a hill, my
center resting on the road. I had no sooner deployed than the
enemy appeared on a hill in my front, and I fell back about 100 yards
to the crest of a hill in my rear, so that my men might be sheltered
by the woods.

I remained at this place until about 2 o'clock on the morning of
the 28th, when we moved by the right flank up the turnpike to Mine
Run, on the west side of which we formed line of battle, where we
remained until morning. At daylight I threw out skirmishers in
my front and commenced throwing up breastworks on the side of
the hill. Just after dark that night I moved up to the crest of the
hill, where I threw up a new line of works.

We remained at this place until just before light on the morning
of December 2, when we moved by the right flank about a mile
across the turnpike. As soon as it was light that morning, finding
that the enemy had disappeared from our front, I moved by the flank
with the brigade down the turnpike in the direction of Germanna
Ford, and after going about 5 miles we halted, faced about, and
marched back to Locust Grove, near which place we bivouacked for
the night.

On December 3, we returned to Morton's Ford. On November 29,
P. A. King, Company B, and H. Cullen, Company C, while acting
as sharpshooters, were mortally wounded, and died within a few hours
after receiving the wounds. Several others were slightly wounded
at the same time, but returned to duty after a few days.

Respectfully,

W. A. OWENS,
Colonel, Commanding.

Capt. J. H. WHITE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Source: Official Records, OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. [CHAP. XLI, Series I, Vol. 29, Part I, Reports. Serial No. 48.]

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Recommended Reading: Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War (Hardcover; University of Missouri Press). Description: Herman Hattaway analyzes the Civil War with an emphasis on contemporary advances in military technology and their effects on behavior in the field. Ulysses Grant was speaking, practically literally, when he wrote, "the iron gauntlet must be used more than the silken glove to destroy the Confederacy.” In the end, Hattaway demonstrates that it was superior iron and steel that won the Union cause. Continued...

He examines the development and use of submarines, mines, automatic weapons, balloons, and especially rifles and artillery, which became so accurate in time that contending armies took to trench warfare. Battle by battle, Hattaway retraces the grim course of the war, yielding a helpful introduction to its history, complete with abundant notes and suggested readings.

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