US – PA 83rd – Woodward

No.  201

Report of Capt. Orpheus S. Woodward, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.


July 6, 1863.

LIEUTENANT: In compliance with orders from headquarters Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Corps, I have the honor to report the following as the operations of my command during the battle of the 3d, 3d, 4th, and 5th instant:

On the morning of the 3d instant, moved to the front.  At about 2.30 p.m. was ordered into position on our extreme left, the Forty-fourth New York on my right, the Twentieth Maine on my left.  At 3.15 p.m. the enemy advanced and engaged my skirmishers, pressing on in force, with bayonets fixed.  They soon drove in my skirmishers and engaged my regiment, posted behind rocks and stones hastily thrown up for defense.  The contest continued lively until nearly 6 p.m., when the enemy fell back.  I instantly threw forward a strong line of skirmishers, who captured between 50 and 60 prisoners and 250 stand of arms.

My men and officers acted splendidly.  Where all did so well, I cannot discriminate.

My loss amounted to 10 killed and 45 wounded.

At 1.30 a.m. on the 3d, moved, to the support of the Twentieth Maine, which had succeeded in taking a high hill a little to the left of my former position.  Remained here until 10 a.m., when, being relieved by a regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserves, rejoined my brigade, massed in the woods, just at the right of General Sykes’ headquarters.  Here I remained until 12 m., the 4th, when the brigade was thrown forward on a reconnaissance.  We moved out, and occupied the position occupied by the enemy the previous day; threw forward skirmishers, but found no opposing force within 2 miles.  I deem it but proper to state that but for the prompt and skillful disposition made by Colonel Vincent of the troops under his command (the Third Brigade), the enemy would have succeeded in turning our left.

I regret to state that Colonel Vincent was severely wounded.  My command (his regiment) esteemed him highly as a gentleman, scholar, and soldier, and bitterly avenged his injury.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. S. WOODWARD, Captain, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant HERENDEEN,

Asst  Adjt  Gen., Third Brig., First Div., Fifth Corps.

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