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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Battle of Eltham After Action Reports- Part Five

No. 9. 
Report of Col. John M. Gosline, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry. 

Brick-House Point, Va. (near head of York River), 
                           May 8, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the following in regard to the engagement of yesterday, 7th instant, in which this regiment took part: 
I received orders from brigade headquarters between 6 and 7 o'clock on the morning of the 7th to deploy the regiment under my command as skirmishers through the woods against which the enemy was supposed to be. Accordingly I deployed seven companies A, B, C, D, E, F, and K to right and left of road leading directly through the wood, holding the three remaining companies near the edge and center of the wood as a reserve; Lieutenant-Colonel Town commanding the right wing, Major Hubbs the left, and myself the center, we moved cautiously, and when near the outer edge of woods discovered a detachment of the enemy's cavalry, the denseness of the foliage, however, rendering it impossible to ascertain their exact number. Our skirmishers immediately opened fire upon them, driving them out of the woods and over a slight rise of ground. Continued our advance, and before reaching the top of the rise were met by a full regiment of infantry, supporting the cavalry of the enemy, which had been lying in ambush, apparently awaiting our advance. Orders were immediately given for the skirmishers to fall back, which they did in order, keeping their places and at the same time continuing a brisk fire upon the enemy. As we fell back upon the main road (still firing) we came upon a barricade of felled trees, supposed to have been thrown across by our pickets of the previous day and night. Thinking it more than probable the enemy might endeavor to advance upon us with cavalry and artillery in force, I immediately took means to retain possession of the barricade and thus prevent any attack in that quarter, which position we continued to hold until relieved by the Thirty-first and Thirty-second New York Volunteers. I then formed the regiment in line, flanking our artillery on the left, in which position we remained until the close of the engagement.  
During the whole day the regiment conducted itself in a manner highly creditable, and more particularly so when we consider the difficulty of the situation and the fact that most of the men were on this occasion under fire for the first time.

         Killed  (privates). . . .1
         Wounded (privates) . . . 7
         Missing (privates) . . . 7

         Total - - . . 15

   I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,
     Colonel Ninety-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. 
    Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.

Col. John M. Gosline

Col. John M. Gosline born Feb 7, 1826 in New Jersey. Originally captain of Company A, 18th Pennsylvania he was created colonel of the 95th Pennsylvania October 12, 1861 which he led until dying of wounds received at the Battle of Gain's Mill June 29, 1862 some sixty days after writing this report. The 95th Pennsylvania were known as Gosline's Pennsylvania Zouaves.

More on the 95th PA.

a soldier of the 95th

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