Report on the actions of
The 15th Mass. at Bristoe Station:
October 16, 1863.

Excerpted from "The War of Rebellion", the official Army records of the American Civil War.

Bristoe Station

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the engagement with the enemy on the afternoon of the 14th instant, near Bristoe Station:

As we approached the above-named place the enemy suddenly opened fire with artillery, and I received orders to move to the right by the flank, and then by the left flank, forming a line of battle. Being on the right of the brigade at the time, we moved forward obliquing to the left to the railroad, where we halted, and the men ordered to lie down under cover of the embankment of the railroad. At this place the Eighty-second New York Volunteers, which was formed on our left, moved in our rear and to the right of us, giving place for a battery.

We remained but a short time in this position, when we were ordered to move by the flank along the line of the railroad and across Broad Run at double-quick. A portion of the command had crossed the run, when orders were given to face about, and move back at double-quick along the line of the railroad. While thus moving the enemy opened with musketry upon us without any effect. We soon arrived at a position where the railroad covered us from the enemy's fire. Here we halted, and, forming upon the side of the railroad, immediately opened fire upon the enemy, who were advancing in a heavy line of battle. We kept up a steady and rapid fire, and repulsed the enemy after about an hour's fighting, with a loss of 1 officer wounded, and 9 enlisted men, 2 of them mortally.

As soon as the firing ceased, quite a large number of prisoners came in and were taken by my men. I was then ordered to send four companies to the front of our line of battle as pickets. At dark we withdrew from the line of the railroad, taking up our line of march and leaving the four companies sent out as pickets to withdraw when the column had passed, and to join us on the following morning, which they did at Bull Run.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

15th MVI