July 4th Report of Colonel John C. Starkweather, First Wisconsin Infantry

HDQRS. 1ST Regiment WIS. VOLS., 2nd DIV., 6TH Brigadier,
Martinsburg, Va., July 4, 1861.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor of reporting for your information and that of the War Department, that on the 2nd day of July, 1861, when en route for Martinsburg, within a short distance of Hoke’s Run, at about 10 o’clock a. m. of that day, First Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers being in advance of the column’s main body, I detailed Company B, Captain H. A. Mitchell, to deploy to the right and left of the road as skirmishers in advance of the column, being sustained on the road by the cavalry. After such deployment had been made and an advance forward of about a quarter of a mile, firing was heard in continued long volleys from a large body of the enemy’s troops, which was well replied to by Company B and McMullin’s Rangers. The strength of the enemy being too great, however, for the skirmishers engaged, I deployed Company A, Captain George B. Bingham, to their assistance, and kept them all in position, doing great execution, until ordered to fall back slowly, so as to allow the artillery to work more effectually, who had in the mean time been placed in position on the right. The companies rallied upon the center, and fell back slowly and in perfect order keeping up their firing upon the enemy, and after reaching the head of column I deployed the whole right wing, Companies A, B, C, D, and E, assisted by Company F, of left wing, upon the enemy’s left front as skirmishers, sending at the same time the balance of the regiment by companies to the front by the road. The skirmishers, sustained by the left four companies to the front by the road. The skirmishers, sustained by the left four companies, turned the right flank of the enemy, and with the assistance of the artillery, drove the enemy’s right flank in, and routed them from the woods. The whole regiment was then rallied on the color company, and deployed immediately to the front and in advance of the column as skirmishers, sustaining such position until a halt was made by the whole column. My regiment was most handsomely sustained in the outset by the artillery and Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment Volunteers, Colonel Jarrett, and afterwards by them and other troops in the column.

The field officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, Major Lane, and Adjutant Poole, are entitled from me to great praise for their promptness and great efficiency in the skirmish. Officers and men all behaved with the utmost bravery, and are entitled to great credit as raw troops.

The casualties consist in the death of Private George Drake, of Company A; Sergeant W. M. Graham, Company B, dangerously wounded, being shot in three separate places; Color Sergeant Fred. Hutching, wounded in the leg, belongs to Company E, color company; Privates William Matthews, P. O. Pummer, and Henry Young, of Company G, wounded; first two in the legs, other in the head; and Sol. Wyse, of Company K, taken prisoner by the enemy’s cavalry on the extreme right of skirmishers, when deployed to the front, just as a halt was ordered and a rally being made on the center.

I have the honor to be, yours, to command,

Colonel, Commanding First Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers.

Colonel ABERCROMBIE, Commanding Brigade.


The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.