The Battle of Brandy Station


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 19, 1863

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection contains a wealth of original material on the war. Reading the news that was written within hours of the battles and events can yield new insight into this important event in American History.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)


Trenton Falls

Trenton Falls

British Pirates

British Pirates

Capture of Knoxville

Charleston Siege

Quantrill's Destruction of Lawrence Kansas

Brandy Station

Battle of Brandy Station

Remington Advertisement



Siege of Charleston

Lawrence Kansas Ruins

Lawrence, Kansas Ruins

Warrenton Sulphur Springs

Warrenton Sulphur Springs, Virginia

Southern Exiles

Southern Exiles




[SEPTEMBER 19, 1863.



"IT was the prettiest cavalry fight that you ever saw," said the Adjutant, stretching his legs and lighting a fresh cigar.

" It was just my luck to lose it," I answered. "Here have I been lying growling and grumbling while you fellows have been distinguishing yourselves. It was miserable to be taken sick just when the army got in motion, and still worse not to hear a word of what was going on. I almost wished that we had been a newspaper regiment, so that I could learn something about our share in that day's work. Be a good fellow and play reporter for my benefit. Freshen hawse, as the nautical novelists say, and begin."

"Well, we were lying at Warrenton Junction, making ourselves as comfortable as possible after the raid, when, on the morning of the 8th of June, the whole division was ordered out in the very lightest marching order. That night we lay close to Kelly's Ford in column of battalions, the men holding their horses as they slept and no fires being lighted.

"At four o'clock on the morning of the 9th we were again in motion, and got across the Ford without interruption or discovery. Yorke, with the third squadron, was in advance, and as we moved he managed so well that he bagged every picket on the road. Thus we had got almost upon the rebel camp before we were discovered. We rode right into Jones's Brigade, the First Jersey and First Pennsylvania charging together; and before they had recovered from the alarm we had a hundred and fifty prisoners. The rebels were then forming thick upon the hill-side by the station, and they had a battery playing upon us like fun. Martin's New York Battery on our side galloped into position, and began to answer them. Then Wyndham formed his whole brigade for a charge, except a squadron of the First Maryland, left to support the battery. Our boys went in splendidly, keeping well together, and making straight for the rebel battery on the hill behind the station. Wyndham himself rode on the right, and Broderick charged more toward the left, and with a yell we were on them. We were only two hundred and eighty strong, and in front of us was White's Battalion of five hundred. No matter for that. Wyndham and Broderick were leading, and they were not accustomed to count odds. As we dashed fiercely into them, sabre in hand, they broke like a wave on the bows of a ship, and over and through them we rode, sabring as we went. We could not stop to take prisoners, for there in front of us was the Twelfth Virginia, six hundred men, riding down to support White. By Jove, Sir, that was a charge! They came up splendidly, looking steadier than we did ourselves after the shock of the first charge. I do not know whether Wyndham was still with us, or if he had gone to another regiment; but there was Broderick looking full of fight, his blue eyes in a blaze, and his sabre clenched, riding well in front. At them we went again, and some of them this time met us fairly. I saw Broderick's sabre go through a man, and the rebel gave a convulsive leap out of his saddle, falling senseless to the ground. It seemed but an instant before the rebels were scattered in every direction, trying now and then to rally in small parties, but never daring to await our approach. Now there were the guns plain before us, the drivers yelling at their horses, and trying to limber up. We caught one gun before they could move it, and were dashing after the others when I heard Broderick shouting in a stormy voice. I tell you, it was a startling sight. The fragments of White's Battalion had gathered together toward the left of the field, and were charging in our rear. The First Maryland was there, and Broderick was shouting at them, in what their Colonel considered a 'very ungentlemanly manner,' to move forward to the charge. At the same time two fresh regiments, the Eleventh Virginia and another, were coming down on our front. Instead of dashing at White's men the First Maryland wavered and broke, and then we were charged at the same time front and rear. We had to let the guns go, and gather together as well as possible to cut ourselves out. Gallantly our fellows met the attack. We were broken, of course, by the mere weight of the attacking force, but, breaking them up too, the whole field was covered with small squads of fighting men. I saw Broderick ride in with a cheer and open a way for the men. His horse went down in the melee; but little Wood, the bugler of Company G, sprang down and gave him his animal, setting off himself to catch another. A rebel rode at the bugler, and succeeded in getting away his arms before help came. As Wood still went after a horse another fellow rode at him. The boy happened at that moment to see a carbine where it had been dropped after firing. He picked up the empty weapon, aimed it at the horseman, made him dismount, give up his arms, and start for the rear. Than he went in again. Lucas, Hobensack, Brooks, and Beekman, charged with twelve men into White's Battalion. Fighting hand to hand, they cut their way through, but left nine of the men on the ground behind them. Hughes was left almost alone in a crowd, but brought himself and the men with him safe through. Major Shelmire was last seen lying across the dead body of a rebel cavalry man. None of us thought any thing of two to one odds, as long as we had a chance to ride at them. It was only when we got so entangled that we had to fight hand to hand that their numbers told heavily. It was in such a place that I lost sight of Broderick. The troop horse that he was riding was not strong enough to ride through a knot of men, so that he had to fight them. He struck one so heavily that he was stunned by the blow, but his horse was still in the way; swerving to one side, he escaped a blow from another, and, warding off the thrust of a third, managed to take him with his point across the forehead; just as he did so, however, his sabre, getting tangled with the rebel's, was jerked from his hand. He always carried a pistol in his boot. Pulling that out, he

fired into the crowd, and put spurs to his horse. The bullet hit a horse in front of him, which fell. His own charger rose at it, but stumbled, and as it did Broderick himself fell, from a shot fired within arm's-length of him and a sabre stroke upon his side.

"I saw all this as a man sees things at such times, and am not positive even that it all occurred as I thought I saw it; for I was in the midst of confusion, and only caught things around by passing glimpses. You see I was myself having as much as I could do. The crowd with whom Broderick was engaged was a little distance from me; and I had just wheeled to ride up to his help when two fellows put at me. The first one fired at me and missed. Before he could again cock his revolver I succeeded in closing with him. My sabre took him just in the neck, and must have cut the jugular. The blood gushed out in a black-looking stream; he gave a horrible yell and fell over the side of his horse, which galloped away. Then I gathered up my reins, spurred my horse, and went at the other one. I was riding that old black horse that used to belong to the signal sergeant, and it was in fine condition. As I drove in the spurs it gave a leap high in the air. That plunge saved my life. The rebel had a steady aim at me; but the ball went through the black horse's brain. His feet never touched ground again. With a terrible convulsive contraction of all his muscles the black turned over in the air, and fell on his head and side stone dead, pitching me twenty feet. I lighted on my pistol, the butt forcing itself far into my side; my sabre sprung out of my hand, and I lay, with arms and legs all abroad, stretched out like a dead man. Every body had something else to do than to attend to me, and there I lay where I had fallen.

"It seemed to me to have been an age before I began painfully to come to myself; but it could not have been many minutes. Every nerve was shaking; there was a terrible pain in my head, and a numbness through my side which was even worse. Fighting was still going on around me, and my first impulse was to get hold of my sword. I crawled to it and sank down as I grasped it once more. That was only for a moment; for a rebel soldier seeing me move rode at me. The presence of danger roused me, and I managed to get to my horse, behind which I sank, resting my pistol on the saddle and so contriving to get an aim. As soon as the man saw that, he turned off without attacking me. I was now able to stand and walk; so, holding my pistol in one hand and my sabre in the other, I made my way across the fields to where our battery was posted, scaring some with my pistol and shooting others. Nobody managed to hit me through the whole fight. When I got up to the battery I found Wood there. He sang out to me to wait and he would get me a horse. One of the men, who had just taken one, was going past, so Wood stopped him and got it for me. Just at that moment White's Battalion and some other troops came charging at the battery. The squadron of the First Maryland, who were supporting it, met the charge well as far as their numbers went; but were, of course, flanked on both sides by the heavy odds. All of our men who were free came swarming up the hill, and the cavalry were fighting over and around the guns. In spite of the confusion, and even while their comrades at the same piece were being sabred, the men at that battery kept to their duty. They did not even look up or around, but kept up their fire with unwavering steadiness. There was one rebel, on a splendid horse, who sabred three gunners while I was chasing him. He wheeled in and out, would dart away and then come sweeping back and cut down another man in a manner that seemed almost supernatural. We at last succeeded in driving him away, but we could not catch or shoot him, and he got off without a scratch.

"In the mean time the fight was going on elsewhere. Kilpatrick's Brigade charged on our right. The Second New York did not behave as well as it has sometimes done since, and the loss of it weakened us a great deal. The Tenth New York, though, went in well, and the First Maine did splendidly, as it always does. In spite of their superior numbers (Stuart had a day or two before reviewed thirty thousand cavalry at Culpepper, according to the accounts of rebel officers) we beat them heavily, and would have routed them completely if Duffle's Brigade had come up. He, however, was engaged with two or three hundred men on the left; the aid-de-camp sent to him with orders was wounded and taken prisoner, and he is not the sort of man to find out the critical point in a fight of his own accord.

"So now, they bringing up still more reserves, and a whole division of theirs coming on the field, we began to fall back. We had used them up so severely that they could not press us very close, except in the neighborhood of where the Second New York charged. There some of our men had as much as they could do to get out, and the battery had to leave three of its guns. We formed in the woods between a quarter and half a mile of the field, another moved back to cover the left of Buford, who was in retreat toward Beverly Ford. Hart and Wynkoop tried hard to cover the guns that were lost, but they had too few men, and so had to leave them. The rebels were terribly punished. By their own confession they lost three times as many as we did. In our regiment almost every soldier must have settled his man. Sergeant Craig, of Company K, I believe killed three. Slate, of the same Company, also went above the average. But we lost terribly. Sixty enlisted men of the First Jersey were killed, wounded, or missing. Colonel Wyndham was wounded, but kept his saddle; Lieutenant-Colonel Broderick and Major Shelmire were killed; Lieutenant Brooks was wounded; Captain Sawyer and Lieutenant Crocker were taken prisoners; and I, as you see, have had to come in at last and refit.

"I have spun you a pretty long yarn, and you must feel pretty tired; but when the memory of the fight conies over me I get almost as enthusiastic

and excited as when it was going on. I am so proud of the regiment, officers and men, that I am almost sorry for the promotion that takes me out of it. Of course I have had to be egotistical, and tell you what occurred to myself, as that was to me the most intensely interesting; but I do not want you to fancy that I think I did any better or fought any harder than the others. In fact, I know that most of the others did a good deal more than I did; but not having seen it, of course I could not describe their share of the fight quite so well as that which occurred in my own neighborhood and to my own person.

"Now I am going to bid you good-night. I have talked more than is good for me, and you have listened as much as is good for you. Tomorrow I will come and tell you something about what we did around Aldie and Upperville."


Sent free by mail for 60 cents. Dyspepsia Tablets, For INDIGESTION, HEARTBURN, &c. — Manufactured only by S. G. WELLING, No. 207 Centre St., New York. Price 50 cents per box. Sold by Druggists generally.

BOOK TRADE SALE, NEW YORK, Sept. 22.—GEO. A. LEAVITT, Auctioneer. The great BOOK TRADE SALE in New York will commence on TUESDAY MORNING, Sept. 22d. The Catalogue, 450 pp., is now ready, and is the largest Trade Sale Catalogue issued in many years. It embraces full invoices of the publications of nearly all the Publishers in the United States, which are to be sold by auction without reserve. Parties wishing to buy at this sale can obtain catalogues by application to J. E. Cooley, Trade Sale Rooms, Nos. 498 and 500 Broadway, New York.

EVERY ONE WHO Has learned or wishes to learn the best Shorthand, the Beautiful and Useful Art of Phonography, should send for No 1 of the PHONOGRAPHIC VISITOR. Price, post-paid, 7 cents. Contains a complete Catalogue of the best Phonographic Instruction books. Address, A. J. GRAHAM, 491 Broadway, New York.

Portable Printing Offices.

For the use of the Army and Navy, Merchants, Druggists, and Business Men generally. These Printing Offices are now extensively and profitably used throughout the States and Canadas, and are considered indispensable by those who have given them a trial. The printing press is simple and durable, and the printing material is of the best manufacture. Full instructions for use accompany each office.

Press No. 1, 3x 4 in., $10.00—OFFICE COMPLETE, $20.00

Press No. 2, 6x 9 in., 15.00—OFFICE COMPLETE, 30.00

Press No. 3, 9x11 in., 20.00—OFFICE COMPLETE, 50.00

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Circular sent free. Sheets of Type, Cuts, &c., 6 cents.

Adams Press CO., 31 Park Row, N. Y.

AND ALSO FOR SALE BY CHASE & LEAVITT, 35 Lincoln Street, Boston, Mass. Office 429 Broadway.

The "Ridgewood" Patent
Smoking Case.

Most ingenious in its combination of the Metallic Case, containing Pipe and Stem, Matches and Pipe Cleaner, with a handsome Tobacco Pouch attached, filling the Pipe by means of a valve, without use of the. fingers or waste of Tobacco, the whole securing freedom from all odor, and portable as a Cigar Case. Nothing can excel its comfort and utility for Smokers. It is of various styles, at 12s., 15s., 18s., 20s., and 22s., to $3.75 and $5.00, the two latter richly plated and engraved. It is substantially made for service, and secures what it promises for all Smokers, at home or abroad, in the ARMY or NAVY.

Style, comfort, and economy. As a Present to friends, nothing could be more acceptable. For the Soldier, in Camp or on the March, it is invaluable.

Also is offered

The Ridgewood Smoking Tobacco,

Of superior flavor and equal in style and quality to any granulated Tobacco in the market. Put up in packages to fill the Pouch (about a week's smoking), or in larger packages as desired, for the general Trade. Officers, Smokers, and Dealers, are invited to call and examine these Goods.

A liberal Discount to Dealers. Single Cases sent by mail or Express, paid, on receipt of price and 25 cents.

The Attention of Sutlers is particularly
invited to these Goods.

All orders will receive prompt attention.

RIDGEWOOD MANUFACTURING CO., Office 429 Broadway, cor. Howard Street, New York.

Le Bon Ton, for September, Imported by S. T. TAYLOR, 407 Broadway, N. Y., is the most reliable Fashion Book for the ladies.


All Articles for Soldiers at Baltimore, Washington, Hilton Head, Newbern, and all places occupied by Union troops, should be sent, at half rates, by HARNDEN'S EXPRESS, No. 74 Broadway. Sutlers charged low rates.

Something New.

Patent Fountain Marking Brush and Pencil, for marking Boxes, Packages, &c. 1000 Agents guaranteed 75 Dollars per month. Send stamp for circular, or One Dollar for sample, free by mail. E. P. CLARK & CO., Manfuacturers, Box 25, Northampton, Mass.

Five quires (120 sheets) nice commercial note paper for 50 cents. Single quires, for a sample, 12 cents. 100 fine white envelopes, 50 cents. 100 buff do., 40 cents. All the above sent, post-paid. Address GEO. K. SNOW & HAPGOOD, Pathfinder Office, Boston, Mass.


We will forward to any address, on receipt of order (accompanied by cash), ANY ARTICLE REQUIRED, at the LOWEST PRICES; Photographs, Albums, Latest Publications, Music, Jewelry, Books, Playing Cards, Army Corps Badges, or any other articles procurable in this city.


Address   J. W. EVERETT & CO.

111 Fulton Street, or P. O. Box 1,614,

$2 positively made from 20 Cents.—Something urgently needed by every person. 10 samples sent free by mail for 20 cents that retails for $2, by

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WANTED.—DISABLED AND DISCHARGED SOLdiers, and others, maimed and crippled, can hear of a pleasant and profitable business by addressing P. O. Box No. 45, Philadelphia. (Sample free for 25 cents.)

Printing-Press for Sale.

One Taylor Double Cylinder, five Rollers, Table Distribution, Bed 38x51. Price $3500.

Apply to HARPER & BROTHERS, 329 Pearl St., N.Y.


"As it lives and moves — as it eats,
drinks, dresses, and sleeps—as it
rides, walks, jokes, bathes, and
goes to the play—as it buys,
sells, digs, sows, and reaps."

Have just Published:

ALCOCK'S JAPAN. The Capital of the Tycoon: a Narrative of a Three Years' Residence in Japan. By Sir RUTHERFORD ALCOCK, K.C.B., Her Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Japan. With Maps and Engravings. 2 vols. 12mo, Cloth, $3.00.

It abounds in graphic descriptions of life, manners, and scenery. Language, religion, domestic manners and habits, all have their place. . . The author has not neglected to give us those minute and delicate touches which present the scenes depicted forcibly to the mind's eye of the reader.—London Reader.

The pictures of Japan as it lives and moves—as it eats, drinks, dresses, and sleeps — as it rides, walks, jokes, bathes, and goes to the play—as it buys, sells, digs, sows, and reaps—are most tempting and very capital pictures they are... We have not previously had a book like this on Japan. As a narrative, it is excellent; and as containing the results of large observation and close study among a strangely-interesting people, it possesses an importance for all thinking readers.—London Athenaeum.

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All things, small and great, native feudalism and European discomforts, the tricks of the Tycoon's Government and the drift of English diplomacy, Japanese women's immodesty and European merchants' aggressiveness, the system of agriculture and Japanese toilettes, the policy of the oligarchy and native caricature, all are described with a fullness which leaves on the reader's mind the impression of acquiring exhaustive knowledge. The author's style is clear and simple, his mind has few prejudices, and he has a pictorial power easily and incessantly applied. His book will be read with almost excited interest.—London Spectator.

KAY'S CONDITION OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE. The Social Condition and Education of the People in England. By JOSEPH KAY, Esq., M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge; Barrister at Law; and late Travelling Bachelor of the University of Cambridge. 12mo, Cloth, $1.00.

LIVE IT DOWN. A Story of the Light Lands. By J. C. JEAFFRESON, Author of "Olive Blake's Good Work," "Isabel; the Young Wife and the Old Love," &c. 8vo, Paper, 50 cents.

ROMOLA. A Novel. By GEORGE ELIOT, Author of "Adam Bede," "The Mill on the Floss," "Silas Marner," and "Scenes of Clerical Life." With numerous Illustrations. 8vo, Paper, $1.25; Cloth, $1.50.

FANNY KEMBLE'S GEORGIA PLANTATION. Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839. By FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

DRAPER'S INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPE. A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe. By JOHN WILLIAM DRAPER, M.D., LL.D., Professor of Chemistry and Physiology in the University of New York; Author of a "Treatise on Human Physiology," &c., &c. 8vo, Cloth, $3.50.



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