Report of Col. Kenneth M. Murchison, Fifty-fourth North Carolina
of action at Williamsport [Gettysburg Campaign].
Near Rapidan Station,
August 5, 1863.
Sir: Agreeably to instructions,
I have the honor to report briefly
the operations of this regiment during the late campaign.
on Monday, June 4, after a succession of
marches we reached the vicinity of Winchester on 13th instant, where
was thrown in line of battle with the brigade. During
the two days' engagement around that town, which consisted mostly
skirmishing, the regiment took no active part.
The enemy having evacuated on the night of June 14, and losing
prisoners, the regiment was detailed on the 18th to guard 2,000
prisoners to Richmond, via Staunton. With as little delay
the regiment returned to Winchester on July 3, when, in conjunction
with a Virginia regiment, it was
ordered to guard an ordnance
train to the army, then in Pennsylvania.
Reaching Williamsport, Md., on the 5th, I
was ordered by Gen.
Imboden to take position, and repel any attack that might be
made on the wagon train of the army,
which had arrived there, but
could not cross, owing to the high stage of the river.
On Monday [July 6], the enemy
advanced on Williamsport, by
the Hagerstown and Boonsborough roads, with cavalry and artillery.
Our infantry force being
small, four companies of my regiment were
sent to support two batteries of artillery at different points. With
I deployed, so as to check any advance of the enemy
on the Boonsborough road. Several detachments of soldiers returning
their commands were placed under my command, and acted
with the regiment. After a brisk engagement of two hours, night
on, the enemy withdrew.
My loss in this engagement was 17 men wounded, of whom 2 have
since died; besides, a number
of those attached to my command
were killed and wounded.
On Tuesday (July 7), I was ordered by Gen. Lee to cross
south bank of the Potomac, to guard a wagon train and hold the
heights. Remaining there until the 11th, I was
relieved, and joined
the brigade same day near Hagerstown.
With the army, the regiment again recrossed the Potomac
morning of July 14. Marching almost continually, the regiment
reached this point on the 3d instant, where it
remains to this date.
It is not deemed necessary to give a detailed account of marches,
as it is familiar to the
brigade commander, in whose report it is supposed
Justice to the officers and men under my command requires
I should say that they have withstood the long marches and hardships
incident thereto with a firmness worthy of
the cause in which
they are engaged.
I am, very respectfully,
K. M. MURCHISON,
[J. M.] Adams,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Hoke's Brigade.
Source: Official Records, Series I, Vol. 27, Part II. Reports. Serial No. 44
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