Report of Captain Denis F. Burke, Eighty-Eighth New York Infantry.
Hdqrs. Eighty-Eighth Battalion N. Y. S. Vols.,
December 4, 1863.
Sir: In accordance with circular from headquarters Second Brigade, First Division, Second Corps, I have the honor to inform you that this battalion broke camp on the 26th of November and marched to the Rapidan River, at Germanna Ford, where it crossed, and moved in line of battle to the second line of the enemy’s breast-works, where it halted for about an hour, and threw out a picket line. Recalled the pickets and took up the line of march on the plank road, for about 5 miles, where it, with the other regiments of the brigade, formed in line, and encamped for the night.
Moved on the morning of the 27th, on the road through the Wilderness, to the Fredericksburg and Orange Court-House pike, and marched to near Robertson’s Cross-Roads, where it halted on the road until about 4 p. m., when it, with the other regiments of the brigade, advanced, and formed in line of battle on the plain around Robertson’s Tavern, where it rested for the night.
Moved next morning, 28th, along the pike road for about 1 1/2 miles, where it formed in line and rested for the night. Moved on the 29th across to the left of the line on the plank road, where this battalion was sent out to support the skirmish line of the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers; advanced up the plank road, when one company, under the command of Captain P. Ryder, was sent out on the prolongation of the line of the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, and drove the enemy for over a mile and a half up to Mine Run, where we found the main body of the enemy posted in strong force. The other company formed with the brigade in line of battle as a support.
Remained there until about 12 m. on the 30th, when, the brigade being ordered as ammunition guard, the battalion moved down the plank road to the train, and remained there until evening, when Captain Ryder’s company was withdrawn from the picket line; then moved with the train to the rear of corps headquarters, and halted for the night and next day, December 1. Moved at 9 p. m., same day, with the train to Ely’s Ford, on the Rapidan River, where we arrived on the morning of the 2nd. Crossed the river and marched back to our old camp at Brandy Station, Va., and encamped.
Both officers and men acted with the greatest gallantry and bravery, steadily driving the enemy whenever they attempted to check our advance. Our casualties were 1 private, Michael Graham, Company B, slightly wounded.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,
Denis F. Burke,
Captain, Commanding Battalion.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General,