November 8th 1863
By November the Confederate Army had retreated all the way back to the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers in Virginia. The 138th which is attached to Colonel Keifer's Brigade of the Army of the Potomac started the march after the Confederates began on November the 6th. This march was part of General Meade's Bristoe Campaign. The advancing Union troops ran into a Confederate rear guard dug in on a hill near Brandy Station on the 8th. The 138th and the 110th Ohio were dispatched to advance upon the hill and disperse the Rebels. This would be the regiments's first real engagement. Shortly after the engagement started a rebel shell exploded in the middle of the 138th's line. The shell killed Captain Andress and carried away Sergeant Rapp's left arm. Five other members of the unit would also fall. Despite their losses the unit took the hill and routed the Confederates making the operation successful.In Colonel Keifer's report the unit would recieve special commendation for their "splendid conduct." The army would rest at Brandy Station till the 23rd of November where it will engage in the Mine Run Campaign.
Map of the Bristoe Campaign