E. B. C. Cash’s Report

24 02 2008

  8th-sc-flag.jpgLots of hyperlinks in the following – be sure to click on them to get the full effect!

alfred-ely.jpgA reference is made in the report of Col. E. B. C. Cash of the 8th SC of the capture of Congressman Alfred Ely of NY (left).  A pretty tame account, though the story that is handed down and can be found in Ely’s diary is more colorful.  According to the gentleman from Rochester, when taken before Cash the colonel leveled his pistol at Ely’s head and swore, G—d d—n your white livered soul.  I’ll blow your brains out on the spot!  Cash was prevented by subordinates from carrying out his threat.  Based on his post-war history, I have little doubt that Cash was in earnest. 

Ellerbe Boggan Crawford Cash, though born in 1823 in North Carolina, was raised in his mother’s native South Carolina, and eventually passed the bar before taking over her family’s plantation in the Chesterfield District, near Cheraw.  He served in the general assembly and rose to Major General in the militia.  At the outset of the war, he was elected colonel of the 8th SC.

When the regiment reorganized in the spring of 1862, Cash was either not reelected or resigned because he was not promoted.  Cash remained in reserve or with the state militia in South Carolina for the remainder of the war.  He was an outspoken opponent of Reconstruction, and ran against Wade Hampton for governor because he felt Hampton was too soft to represent the white population of the state.

Perhaps Cash is best known for his participation in what is recognized as the last duel fought in South Carolina.  On July 5, 1880, Cash shot and killed Col. William M. Shannon of Camden in a formal duel resulting from a legal action against Mrs. Cash in which Shannon was lead counsel.  (UPDATE: Shannon had raised the Kirkwood Rangers, which became one of the five companies of the 7th SC Cavalry.  This regiment was home to Alexander C. Haskell and Dr. E. M. Boykin – hence, Shannon and his brothers are referred to often in Mary Chesnut’s diary.)  Cash was tried for murder and dueling and, after one mistrial, was acquitted.  Legislation was enacted thereafter outlawing dueling in South Carolina (though I’m a little confused at this, because Cash was tried for dueling, which kind of leads me to believe it was already illegal; one aspect of the new legislation was that it rendered ineligible for public office anyone who had participated in a duel).

The image of the battle flag of the 8th SC above is from this site, which has a biography of Cash.  This site is an account of the duel. Herehere, here, here, and here are New York Times articles on the trial, though there are more – beware, the NYT archive is a huge time-sucker!  UPDATE: Here is a link to a 1932 Time Magazine article on the duel. 

The Colonel’s son, VMI alum W. Bogan Cash, was also not unfamiliar with violence.  He was accused of killing at least two men, and before he could be brought to justice was himself killed while resisting a sheriff’s posse in 1884.  You can read about him here and here, and here is his VMI bio – surprisingly, he served as Governor Hampton’s chief-of-staff.  His father was also indicted as an accessory to his son’s crimes, but was I think not prosecuted.

Cash died at his home in Chesterfield in 1888, and was buried next to his desperado son.  Here is his obituary.

I couldn’t find any photos of Shannon or either of the Cashes on the web, but if you go here you’ll find a pdf document and can scroll to their images.  (That link is broken, but I think it was a draft of Carnival of Blood, which you can find along with the photos on page 20 here.)  Unfortunately the document is incomplete.  UPDATE: Ok, I used my noggin and figured out how to get the images of E. B. C. Cash, Shannon, and W. B. Cash as a VMI cadet – these are from the link in this paragraph:

ebccash.jpg shannon.jpg wbcash.jpg

Coming on the heels of my finishing The Bloody Shirt, perhaps all this is not as surprising to learn as it otherwise might have been.  I’ll have a review of that book up within the next few days.

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#92 – Col. R. C. W. Radford

24 02 2008

 

Report of Col. R. C. W. Radford, Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 532-533

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY,

Camp Vienna, August 1, 1861

CAPTAIN: In accordance with instructions from headquarters First Brigade, Army of the Potomac, I have the honor to report that the cavalry of First Brigade, under my command, was under the fire of the enemy’s heavy guns on the morning of the 21st of July for several hours, and was compelled to change its positions several times to avoid the fire. An order was received from General Beauregard about 11 o’clock a.m. to support the left wing of the Army of the Potomac at the stone bridge, which was the right wing of our forces, when we were again under heavy fire of the enemy’s guns, In advancing the cavalry was divided as follows: Under my own command I had at first but one squadron, composed of the companies of Captains Radford and Pitzer, the latter in charge of Lieutenant Breckinridge. I was joined by Captains Terry, Alexander, Wickham, and Powell, with their companies, while moving towards stone bridge. The remaining companies were placed under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Munford.

While en route to my position I received an order from the commanding general to support General Jackson’s right, and for several hours succeeding was under heavy fire from the enemy’s cannon, throwing shell and rifled-cannon balls. As soon as it was discovered that the enemy were giving way I received a verbal order through Colonel Lay to charge upon them and cut off their retreat.

It affords me much pleasure at this point to have an opportunity of commending the gallant conduct of the companies under my own command, who charged upon a battery, killing the horses attached to two pieces, taking between sixty and eighty prisoners and the standard of Colonel Corcoran’s Sixty-ninth New York Regiment, and leaving forty-two dead bodies of the enemy upon the field. I have no hesitation in saying that the charge made by my own command, in connection with that made by the command under Lieutenant-Colonel Munford, composed of Captains Payne, Ball, Langhorne, and Hale, caused the jam at Cub Creek Bridge, which resulted in the capture of fourteen pieces of cannon, their ammunition and wagons, five forges, thirty wagons and ambulances, and some forty or fifty horses. I base this opinion on the fact that we were in advance of all our forces, and by our charge the enemy were thrown into wild confusion before us, their vehicles of all sorts going off at full speed and in the greatest disorder.

Having dispersed the enemy in our front in the direction of Cub Run bridge I then charged upon them between Cub Run and Bull Run, but soon came on a column of infantry, about five thousand strong, posted on each side of the road in thick woods, supported by a battery of three pieces, blocking up the road. All three of these pieces immediately opened upon my command, throwing the cavalry into some confusion, and killing Capt. Winston Radford, charging at the head of his company, and by his side Corporal Alexander T. Irvine, of his company, also Sergeant Edward Fountaine and Privates Richard W. Saunders and Philip G. Spindle, of Captain Wickham’s company. Lieut. Boldman H. Bowles, of Captain Wickham’s company, was separated from his company during the charge and was killed, also Private Fuqua, of Captain Terry’s company. Of all the brave and gallant men who fell on the 21st instant fighting for their homes and freedom, none died covered with more glory than the braves who fell in this charge. Peace be with them!

I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of Colonel Chisolm, aide to General Beauregard, who volunteered to guide my command by the nearest route to intercept the retreating enemy. He was among the foremost in making the charge, and distinguished himself by his gallantry, coolness, and bravery. He was of great assistance to me. My adjutant, B. H. Burk, was with me throughout the entire day, and acted with great coolness and bravery, taking Colonel Corcoran, of the Sixty-ninth New York Regiment, with several other prisoners. All the officers of the command distinguished themselves equally. I can make no distinction between them. The following are the names of the officers who were in the charge: Captains Terry, Wickham, Powell, Radford, and Alexander; Lieutenants Harris, Breckinridge, Johnson, Halsey, Beale, Price, Page, Tardy, Waller, Newton, Watts, Izzard, Kelso, Triplett, Bowles, and Timberlake.

The following men were wounded, viz: Private B. T. Witt, of Captain Winston Radford’s company, and Privates James H. H. Figgat and William T. Marks, of Captain Pitzer’s company; also C. Turpin, of Captain Terry’s company.

Four horses were killed and two wounded in Captain Radford’s company; one horse wounded in Captain Powell’s company; one horse killed, one wounded, and one missing in Captain Wickham’s company, and three horses wounded in Captain Terry’s company.

The non-commissioned officers and men of all the companies did their duty in every respect.

Charles, the colored servant of Adjutant Bark, unaided, captured a prisoner armed with gun and pistol, and turned him over to the commanding general of the First Brigade.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. C. W. RADFORD,

Colonel Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry

Captain STEVENS,

Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brigade, Army of the Potomac





#91 – Col. E. B. C. Cash

24 02 2008

 

Report of Col. E. B. C. Cash, Eighth South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 530-532

HDQRS. EIGHTH REGIMENT SOUTH CAROLINA VOLS.,

Camp Victory, July 31, 1861

In obedience to orders from the general commanding the First Brigade, Army of the Potomac, I beg leave to submit the following report of the operations of the Eighth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers during the 21st instant:

Early on Sunday morning, the 21st instant, heavy canonading and rapid discharges of musketry were heard about two miles to my left, and about 11 o’clock a.m. I received orders through Colonel Kershaw to move forward and engage the enemy. As soon as my regiment was put in motion the batteries of the enemy on the opposite side of the run were turned upon us, the balls striking very near my line, but doing no injury. The two regiments, proceeding rapidly to the scene of action, were formed in order of battle some two or three hundred yards from the ground which afterwards proved to be to us the main point of battle. For a detailed account of this movement I ask to refer to the official report of Colonel Kershaw, the senior colonel in command.

My orders were to form on Colonel Kershaw’s left. The greater portion of my regiment being at this time in a dense wood and not receiving the order immediately, Colonel Kershaw preceded me in the march and arrived a few minutes before upon the field of battle. Here he changed his front, placing his immediate command at right angles to my own. Advancing, I found a considerable force fronting my line and concealed by a rail fence. For a time we supposed them to be our friends. Captain Pawley, of my staff, boldly moved forward with a view to ascertain the real character of those thus concealed. He had advanced some twenty paces when he was fired upon. Escaping uninjured, he immediately returned the fire, killing one of the enemy, as they now proved to be. I at once ordered the firing from my line to commence. After several well-directed volleys had been delivered the enemy (zouaves) were driven back from their position. Falling back in great confusion, they were rallied in a valley some distance in the rear, where the enemy was posted in great numbers.  From this point they returned my fire, killing five of my men and wounding several.

Seeing that the enemy were well acquainted with my position, and being unable to return their fire, they using guns of longer range than those in the hands of my men, and it being out of my power to advance without exposing the regiment to a cross-fire from-the enemy and Colonel Kershaw’s regiment, I ordered a flank movement to the left, intending to fall upon the enemy’s right. Unfortunately my order was not heard along the whole line, owing to the noise of battle in our front. Order, however, was soon restored, and the regiment advanced, receiving an occasional shot from the enemy, the mass having retired beyond a hill in rear of the position held by them when my flank movement commenced.

After a short delay I was ordered by Colonel Kershaw to follow his command in the direction of the stone bridge. While executing this order I was met by General Beauregard, who ordered me to dislodge a body of the enemy supposed to be in a wood to my left. I at once proceeded to discharge this duty, but found that the orders of the general had been already executed by a body of cavalry. I continued in pursuit of the enemy towards the stone bridge. At this time the remnant of Hampton’s Legion was attached to my regiment, and placed under my command.

After crossing the stone bridge I found Colonel Kershaw’s command drawn up on the right of the road, and was ordered by that officer to take position on the left, Captain Kemper occupying the road. We continued to advance in this order, I deploying as skirmishers to the front Captain Hoole’s company, who drove the enemy before them. Occasionally the artillery of the enemy would fire upon us, but without effect. After continuing the pursuit for some two and a half or three miles we came in full view of the heavy columns of the retreating enemy. The regiments were halted, and Captain Kemper commenced a rapid and well-directed fire upon them, which caused them to abandon their guns, wagons, &c., and completed the defeat. The enemy now fled in the utmost confusion, throwing away everything which at all impeded his flight. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Captain Kemper for the manner in which he managed his guns on this occasion. Directing the fire, he displayed all the attributes of a brave, gallant, and accomplished officer. It was during this pursuit that my sergeant-major, W. S. Mullins, took as a prisoner Mr. Ely, a member of Congress from New York, who armed with a revolver, had come upon the field to enjoy the pleasure of witnessing our defeat.

The enemy being hopelessly routed, I was ordered by Colonel Kershaw to send forward a detachment from my regiment to take possession of the cannon deserted by the enemy and bring them within our lines, fearing that these might rally and attempt to retake them. Captain W. H. Evans and fifty men promptly volunteered for this service, and well and faithfully discharged their duty. I remained upon the ground with my command until all the pieces which could be moved were carried to the rear, and at 2.30 o clock a.m. on Monday returned to the stone bridge, taking position on Colonel Kershaw’s left. Here we remained until ordered to advance to this place.

My officers and men behaved gallantly during this trying ordeal, displaying that heroism and bravery which have ever characterized Southern troops. Where all behaved so well I would do violence to my own feelings were I to institute any comparisons by individualizing any as particularly distinguished for meritorious conduct. I would mention as a fact worthy to be recorded that every member of the regimental color guard was wounded.

Annexed to this report is a list of the killed and wounded of my regiment.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

 E. B. C. CASH,

Colonel Eighth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers

 Brig. Gen. M. L. Bonham





#90 – Col. Thomas G. Bacon

22 02 2008

 

Report of Col. Thomas G. Bacon, Seventh South Carolina Infantry (July 20 to 21, including Mitchell’s Ford)

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 528-530

HDQRS. SEVENTH SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS,

July 26, 1861

GENERAL: In obedience to Special Order, No. –, issued from your headquarters, dated 23d July, I proceed to give you a detail of the operations of the Seventh Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, under my command, from the 17th instant to the 24th inclusive:

About sunrise of the 17th instant the picket of the Seventh Regiment, stationed on the Flint Hill road, three miles above Fairfax Court-House, was fired into by the enemy’s advance guard, and retreated without loss. Immediately as this information was received I ordered the tents struck and the baggage train loaded. By 9 a.m. the train was ready, and ordered to move to Centreville, thence to their camp half a mile beyond Bull Run Creek, in the direction of Manassas.

At 8.30 a.m. I marched the Seventh Regiment to the trenches, as ordered, and remained there until near noon, when the enemy had approached within cannon range of our embankments, presenting as they approached several lines of battle, fronting from one to three regiments. Before an attack was made the Seventh regiment was ordered to retreat to Centreville, crossing from the Fairfax to the Braddock road. We reached Centreville at 2 p.m., where we remained as a regiment of vedettes until 1 o’clock a.m. of the 18th, when, marching orders being received, we again retreated quietly and in good order to Bull Run, arriving at the run at 3 a.m. Immediately the Seventh Regiment began intrenching, and in a few hours were securely protected against musketry.

Quite early on the morning of the 18th instant the enemy appeared on the northwest side of the Centreville road, about twelve hundred yards distant. By 9 a.m. they had located their batteries, and forthwith commenced throwing shot and shell against the embankments behind which the Seventh Regiment was located. Random firing was kept up against this and adjacent points during the day, and until the close of the battle fought by General Longstreet’s Brigade on Bull Run, just to the right of the Seventh Regiment. The pieces directed against our embankments seemed to be rifled and 6 pounder cannon, throwing 12-pound conical shell and 6 pound round balls.

During the 19th and 20th instants nothing of material interest occurred, and we continued strengthening our position. In the mean time the enemy were constantly in sight at the point they first appeared. Occasionally the pickets of the Seventh Regiment would approach within firing distance of the enemy’s outposts, and a few of the enemy’s pickets were captured or killed by the pickets of the Seventh Regiment South Carolina Volunteers.

Throughout Sunday, the 21st instant, batteries, near the same locality they were on the 18th, continued firing at the embankments on Bull Run. The shot and shell were the same as those of the 18th, but thrown with less accuracy. At 5.30 p.m. the Seventh Regiment, with other regiments, were ordered from their intrenchments to charge, if necessary, the batteries on the Centreville road; but before they reached the top of the hill the batteries were withdrawn and the enemy were in full retreat, leaving scattered along the road and in the forest on both sides what appeared to be their entire camp equipage. We pursued but a short distance, being recalled by dusk to our intrenchments on Bull Run.

At 8 a.m. on the 22d instant the Seventh Regiment, with other portions of the First Brigade, were ordered to march on to Centreville. There we remained during the day, assisting in collecting the myriads of articles the enemy had abandoned, with which the earth around Centreville seemed literally covered. Throughout this day the rain fell constantly and often very heavily. From 8 to 11 p.m. of the 22d the soldiers of the Seventh Regiment were arriving, much wearied and fatigued, at their intrenchments on Ball Run, which post they again left on Tuesday, 23d, at 12 m., or shortly thereafter. At 2 p.m. they reached Centreville, encamping in the forest immediately southwest of the village. At 8 p.m. they were ordered to move again, and before 9 p.m. were en route for Vienna via Germantown. From Bull Run to Centreville is about three and a half miles; from Centreville to Germantown about six miles, and perhaps a little farther from Germantown to Vienna. The Seventh Regiment reached Vienna about half hour of sunup in the morning of the 24th, where they are now encamped.

During the week, from the 17th instant to the 24th instant inclusive, no accident occurred with the Seventh Regiment, nor were any lives lost, none of its members being missing up to date. Since the 17th instant the ranks of the Seventh Regiment have been considerably reduced by the prevalence of the measles; otherwise the general health of the regiment is good.

I am general, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

THOS. G. BACON,

Colonel, Commanding Seventh Regiment S.C. Volunteers

General G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Commanding First Corps, Army of the Potomac





#89 – Col. J. H. Williams

22 02 2008

 

Report of Col. J. H. Williams, Third South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 257-258

VIENNA, VA., Camp Gregg, August 3, 1861

I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 21st I was reminded of the presence of the enemy by his iron messengers, which fell in rapid succession just in the rear of my lines. After the action of the 18th I had caused strong earthworks to be thrown up and the undergrowth in front to be cut away, which preparations, together with the fine natural advantages of the ground I occupied, made my position formidable to an attack.

Learning that the enemy were deploying in front, I kept my men constantly under arms in the trenches, fully assured that the center would be the point of attack. Heavy artillery soon afterwards heard to my left indicated that another direction had been chosen, but their fire, still kept up at intervals on my lines, encouraged the first supposition. This irregular fire continued throughout the day, each repetition renewing the assurance that an attack would follow. But in this we were doomed to suspense. Their fiery missiles wasted their fury in the air above or buried themselves in the forest in front of us, a few of them falling against the embankments.

At 5 o’clock p.m. I was ordered to move forward and attack the enemy in front. The order was promptly obeyed, and my regiment put immediately in motion. I crossed the stream at Mitchell’s Ford and moved up the ravine to the left of the road. On approaching the woods from which the enemy had been saluting us I deployed Captain Nance’s company as skirmishers, Who moved in double-quick in advance of the regiment. I moved my command in quick time up to the enemy’s camp, of which they had taken a hasty leave, and deployed to the left of the road, the skirmishers still covering my front, in discharge of which duty four prisoners were taken; two others were taken by Captain Kennedy, all of whom were sent under guard to Manassas. Early in the night I returned under orders to my position at the run.

On the morning of the 22d I was ordered to proceed in the direction of Centreville, scour the woods, collect abandoned munitions and stores, and send them back to Manassas. A considerable quantity of quartermaster’s and commissary stores were obtained, and one wagon of officers’ private baggage, all of which were sent to headquarters. Late in the evening of the 22d I returned under orders to my original position.

In all the maneuvers of my regiment it affords me pleasure to acknowledge the active co-operation of Lieut. Col. B. B. Foster, Maj. L. M. Baxter, Adjt. W. D. Rutherford, and the officers and men under my command.

Your obedient servant,

J. H. WILLIAMS,

Colonel Third Regiment S.C. Volunteers

Brig. Gen. M. L. BONHAM,

Commanding First Brigade, Army of the Potomac





Kershaw’s Report

21 02 2008

Col. Joseph B. Kershaw’s regiment, the 2nd SC, captured the colors of the First Maine Infantry during the battle.  As noted in Kershaw’s report, the banner was adorned with the Maine state motto, Dirigo – a Latin word meaning “I Lead” or “I Direct”.  While some sources link this motto to the fact that Maine once was the only state to hold its elections in September, it seems more likely that its choice was associated with the Polar Star, which leads mariners on the open sea to safe harbor.  The word is part of the official seal of the state (below).

dirigo.gif

 

Kershaw also mentioned some bad behavior by Federal Zouaves:

The escape of so many of the zouaves to our rear was accomplished by their lying down, feigning to be dead or wounded, when we charged over them, and then treacherously turning upon us. They murdered one of our men in cold blood after he had surrendered, and one attempted to kill another of our number who kindly stopped to give him water, supposing him wounded.

There are lots of reports of less than honorable behavior by both sides at Bull Run, and I’ll have more to say about that later.  But for now, perhaps some confirmation of the above can be found in the Historical Sketch of the Nottaway Grays, afterwards Company G, 18th Virginia Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia.  The 18th was part of Cocke’s Brigade, under Col. Withers, who is mentioned in Kershaw’s report as acting in concert with his command.  A future captain of the company, Richard Irby, wrote:

Soon the scene of the hottest part of the day’s battle was reached.  This was where Bee’s men had been driven back and the famous Stonewall Brigade had turned the tide.  Here the red-breeched Federals were lying thick, dead and wounded.  The first man killed in our Regiment was shot by one of these men as the line swept by him.  It was a spiteful act, and he did not live long to repent it, for as soon as he had fired, Major Cabell shot him down with his pistol.  This occurred in the thick pines.

The stories fit together.  The 18th VA and Kershaw’s command fought together.  Kershaw wrote his report five days after the battle, but Irby wrote his sketch in 1878.  And as discussed here, there’s a good bit of confusion surrounding the Zouaves of the 11th NY and the Chasseurs of the 14th Brooklyn.  Did Irby refer to the red-breeched Federals because that’s how he remembered it, or did he add it for effect?  Did Kershaw see Fire Zouaves of the 11th NY (who did not wear red pants), or did he see red trousered members of the 14th Brooklyn?

Beats me.

I haven’t been able to track down the identity of the Maj. Hill who brought the battalion of cavalry to Kershaw, or to whose staff he was attached.





#88 – Col. J. B. Kershaw

20 02 2008

 

Reports of Col. J. B. Kershaw, Second South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 522-527

HDQRS. SECOND PALMETTO REG’T S.C. VOLS.,

Vienna, Va. July 26, 1861

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a report of the operations of the troops under my command in the engagement near stone bridge on the 21st instant:

About noon on that day I received an order to move to Lewis’ house, some three miles distant, to the support of Colonel Jackson’s brigade, then engaged with the enemy, with my own regiment, that of Colonel Cash, and Captain Kemper’s battery. These troops, with the exception of Captain Perryman’s company, of my regiment, were at once put on the march. As we neared the road it was perceived that the passage of troops, indicated to the enemy on the north side of Bull Run by the clouds of dust, had attracted a dangerous fire of rifled cannon, and I directed the march across the fields. Captain Kemper was directed to precede the column to Lewis’ and await my arrival.

Arrived in the vicinity of Lewis’, a large number of our troops were met returning in a disorganized condition, and giving the most unfavorable accounts of the aspect of affairs on the field. Colonel Miles, of General Beauregard’s staff, met me to hasten our march, and informed me that Hampton’s Legion had just engaged, and that the enemy had acquired a decided advantage.

Soon after orders were received from General Johnston to enter the field on the left of Lewis’. Turning to the left, we passed over a hill through a thicket of woods under a fire of shot and shell from a battery directly in the line of our march, which wounded several, and killed one of our men. Emerging from the wood into an old field, near a ravine, with rising ground in front, I formed line of battle preparatory to entering the field at a point which seemed to indicate the left of the line of fire, which was very heavy in front and constantly increasing, and which I supposed to be directed upon Hampton’s Legion.

Before Colonel Cash had got into position upon my left it was perceived that the firing had passed still farther to our left and covered the whole front of my regiment, rendering it necessary to move the whole command in that direction by a flank. This movement had just been made when the line of fire made a corresponding change; rendering a still further movement necessary to avoid what I supposed to be the line of our troops in front of us. I therefore broke to the right into column, marched to the left, and formed on right into line. When my regiment had formed, the men were made to lie down, to avoid the shower of balls which was passing over us while Colonel Cash was conforming to the movement.

At this moment the head of a regiment marching by a flank passed to the right of my regiment and partly over my right wing, led by an officer who was said to be General Smith. I immediately rode up to the officer, and desired him to form on the left of Colonel Cash. Before he could respond he received a ball in his left breast or shoulder, and his men commenced firing to their front and right into the wood from which the shot came, and formed hurriedly in front of my right wing.

Colonel Cash, having to form in a thick wood, had not yet got into line, when a staff officer gave me the valuable information that a road on my left, leading perpendicularly to the front from my line, would bring me into a flanking position upon the enemy. Desiring to avail myself of the position, I immediately ordered my regiment to the front in line, obliquing to the left, to avoid the regiment which had formed partly in front of my right, and directed Colonel Cash to follow as soon as possible. The left of my regiment rested on the road to which I have referred. Reaching a fence which skirted the wood in front of us, which I then found to be in full possession of the zouaves of the enemy, I ordered a charge, which was responded to by a shout from the whole regiment. They swept through the wood, broke and dispersed the zouaves, and opened a deadly fire upon them as they fled across the field, leaving behind them a battery of six steel rifled cannon, which was immediately in front of my right wing in the open ground. The fugitives rallied in a field on our left across the road by which we had directed our march, where a formidable force appeared strongly posted on a commanding eminence. I immediately changed front forward on my left company, occupying the road as my line of battle, which being washed out formed a ravine, giving cover to the men. Captain Rhett’s company, on the left wing, was thrown at an obtuse angle in the skirt of a wood which ran parallel to the line of the enemy. Colonel Cash arriving formed promptly on the left of Captain Rhett, gaining a direct fire from the wood upon the enemy in front, while my regiment had an enfilade fire upon their left flank. In this position a continuous fire was kept up by our whole line until the enemy were driven back and reformed upon the crest of the hill.

Affairs were in this condition when Captain Kemper reported his battery, and was ordered up and directed to take position on the hill by the captured battery, and to fire upon the flank of the enemy over the heads of my regiment in the road. Returning to execute the order he was taken prisoner by some of the fugitive zouaves in our rear and detained some minutes, but released by the timely arrival of some of our troops and his own address. He soon brought up his pieces and placed them in the position indicated, whence he poured a most destructive fire through the ranks of the enemy, who filled up their files with a regularity, steadiness, and precision worthy the ancient fame of the U.S. Regulars, of which it is believed that force was composed. Twice were they broken and twice they reformed, but, again driven from the hill, they fell back out of our fire. Captain Kemper then withdrew his battery to rest his men, having lost one killed, two wounded, and some of his horses.

During the heat of the engagement a single company of Marylanders, under Lieutenant Cummings, I am told, reported to me and asked for a position, which I gave them on my left, where they conducted themselves gallantly during the fight. Meantime the enemy occupied in great force an elevated ridge in front and to the right of us, about a half mile distant. No troops of ours being visible except the forces immediately under my command, and having received no order since I entered the field, I deemed it prudent to retain my position and rest the command for the present. Within a few minutes, however, I perceived a regiment emerging from the wood on the left of Colonel Cash, and advancing in admirable order up the slope to the hill recently occupied by the forces of the enemy whom we had driven off. I immediately advanced my whole command, moving my regiment by the right flank along the road, Colonel Cash in the field in line.  Arriving on the face of the hill towards the enemy, I formed line of battle to the left of the road.  Here I found Colonel Withers’ Virginia regiment on the hill to the right of road, to whom I communicated my purpose to form line and advance to the attack, and I asked his co-operation, to which he immediately acceded. With Colonel Withers’ command I found also the remnant of Hampton’s Legion, under Captain Conner, assisted by Captain Gary. Captain Conner reported to me and was assigned to my left.

As soon as the entire line was displayed evidences of movements became perceptible in the line of the enemy, and in a few moments they were in full retreat by the rear of their left flank. I then proposed to Colonel Withers to proceed towards the stone bridge with a view to cut them off, and forming to the right into column, Colonel Withers being in advance, we marched towards that point.

I detailed some of my men under General Johnson Hagood and Col. Allen J. Green, of South Carolina, who were doing duty in my regiment as volunteer privates, each to take charge of one of the captured guns and turn them on the enemy, while Captain Kemper took charge of two others, and they continued firing until ordered to desist by one of our general officers.

I directed my march along the turnpike to the stone bridge, while Colonel Withers turned to the right and entered the wood. He threw out a skirmishing company, who crossed below the bridge in advance, while my command was marched along the road. Arriving on the north side of Bull Run, a reserve of the enemy was seen occupying the wood in front with artillery, and I deployed line of battle in the field to the right of the road, Colonel Withers forming line in my rear. Here I sent Adjutant Sill to the rear to report to the first general officer he might meet with that I had occupied that position; that the enemy was in front, and that I awaited orders. He delivered his message to Colonel Chesnut, aide to General Beauregard, and returned.

In the mean time Major Hill, C. S. Army, of the staff of General ——, reported to me with a squadron of cavalry, under the command of Maj. John Scott, C. S. Army, and stated that General Beauregard authorized the pursuit of the enemy with a view to cut them off. I immediately formed column for the advance, when Surgeon Stone, U.S. Army, rode up and asked why I was retreating (mistaking us for friends). He was informed of his mistake, and sent to the rear as a prisoner, first informing me that the enemy were in force in our front. Throwing out the rifles of Captain Hoke (now under the command of Lieutenant Pulliam) and Captain Cuthbert to the right and left of the road, and the cavalry, accompanied by Major Hill, along the road, I moved by column of company along the right of the road towards Centreville. Arrived at the house on the hill which was occupied by the enemy as a hospital, having made many prisoners by the way, we found that a portion of our cavalry (Captains Wickham’s and Radford’s*) had had an engagement there with a battery of the enemy which they had taken, but had retired after being fired on by the heavy reserve corps which intervened between them and my command. This cavalry had come into the road by Lewis’ Ford, below the stone bridge, and neither of us knew of the position of the other until some time after. At this point Captain Radford, Virginia Cavalry, was found mortally wounded.

Here the enemy opened upon us a fire in front, and I again formed line of battle, my regiment and the cavalry on the right of the road in the wood with a field in front, the Hampton Legion as a reserve, and Colonel Cash in column on the left ready to deploy. Here a staff officer rode up and gave me an order from General Beauregard not to engage the enemy until re-enforcements arrived, stating that they were on the way. Soon after Captain Kemper overtook me with his battery, when I formed column with my regiment and the Legion on the right, Colonel Cash on the left, and the battery in the road. At the request of Major Hill he was permitted to go in advance with Captain Cuthbert’s company deployed as skirmishers, and in this order the whole column was moved on to the hill commanding the suspension bridge, where our skirmishers became engaged with the enemy. I directed Captain Kemper to unlimber two of his pieces on the hill and open fire on the enemy, while I deployed my regiment on the right with the Legion and retained Colonel Cash in column on the left. The main body of the enemy were retreating by the Sudley Ford road, which comes into the turnpike at the suspension bridge on the south side of the run. Captain Kemper fired from one gun on the column retreating by the former road and from the other along the turnpike.

The effect of the firing was most disastrous. The reserve which we were pursuing, meeting the main body of the enemy coming by the other road, just at the entrance of the bridge, completely blocked it, and formed a barricade with cannon, caissons, ambulances, wagons, and other vehicles, which were abandoned with horses and harness complete, while the drivers fled. Many of the soldiers threw their arms into the creek, and everything indicated the greatest possible panic. The venerable Edmund Ruffin, who fired the first gun at Fort Sumter, who, as a volunteer in the Palmetto Guard, shared the fatigues and dangers of the retreat from Fairfax Court-House, and gallantly fought through the day at Manassas, fired the first gun at the retreating column of the enemy, which resulted in this extraordinary capture.

At this point I received a peremptory order to return to Bull Bun and take my position at the stone bridge. Here also the skirmishers recaptured General Steuart, of Maryland, who had been for several hours in custody of the enemy. Reluctantly I ordered my command to return, but, directing Colonel Cash to remain, I went with a detachment of twenty Volunteers from his regiment to the bridge, where I found Lieutenant-Colonel Munford, with a portion of the Virginia Cavalry, extricating the valuable capture. They had arrived by the Sudley Ford road, having pursued the enemy from the battle-field, and came up to the bridge when Captain Kemper ceased firing. Here I remained until 10 o’clock at night, aiding Colonel Munford, when I returned to camp.

Colonel Cash’s regiment remained in position until 1 o’clock, when the most valuable of the captured articles had been secured and carried to the rear. I am informed that about thirty pieces of cannon were taken at this point. At the time when we were first ordered forward Captain Perryman had been sent with his command on scouting duty across Bull Run, and I dispatched my aide-de-camp, Mr. Edward Wallace, to conduct him to Lewis’. Arrived there, finding the regiment had entered the engagement, he went with Mr. Wallace in search of his comrades, but not being able to obtain any information of our position, he attached himself to Colonel Hays’ Louisiana regiment, and entered the fight in time to participate in the final charge and pursuit of the enemy on the Sudley Ford road. Captain Perryman reports himself as much indebted to Mr. Wallace for his efficient aid in conducting his company through the engagement, and particularly mentions his coolness and gallantry.

One of my personal aides, Mr. W. H. Hardy, was most serviceable during the engagement, gallantly bearing order after order with promptness and intelligence. Having been sent by me to conduct Colonel Preston’s regiment to a position on my left, he was shot in the breast at the head of that regiment before he had proceeded sixty yards, and died instantly. A youth of pure and gentle spirit, he evinced on the field the cool, self possessed heroism of the veteran soldier.

Mr. John A. Myers, private, Captain Casson’s company, mounted Mr. Hardy’s horse, and rendered me most efficient aid during the remainder of the day.

Mr. A. E. Doby, also of my staff, was most active in assisting me on the field, and was most conspicuously exposed. His gallantry and intelligence in conveying my orders deserve particular mention. Riding into a squad of some of the zouaves when sent to Captain Kemper, then in the rear, he preserved his life by promptly repeating a signal which he saw one of them use as he rode up.

Colonel Cash distinguished himself by his courageous bearing and his able and efficient conduct of his regiment during the whole day. He will particularly report the conduct of his command.

Captain Kemper, of the Alexandria Artillery, and all his officers and men, engaged as they were under my own eye, merit the most honorable mention in this report. To the efficiency of this battery I have no doubt we are chiefly indebted for the valuable capture of arms, stores, and munitions of war at the suspension bridge. Without this artillery they could not have been arrested.

It is difficult to discriminate among my own officers and men, since all engaged in the fight with enthusiastic bravery and spirit, and bore themselves with light-hearted and vivacious gallantry to the end.

Captain Hoke, bravely leading his company, which was flanked by the left wing of the zouaves, was severely wounded in the flint charge and borne from the field, was taken prisoner by the enemy, but soon rescued. His company was subsequently courageously led by Lieutenant Pulliam.

Captain Richardson was wounded early in the action, gallantly leading his company. Upon being sent to the rear he, too, was captured by the zouaves, but afterwards rescued. The escape of so many of the zouaves to our rear was accomplished by their lying down, feigning to be dead or wounded, when we charged over them, and then treacherously turning upon us. They murdered one of our men in cold blood after he had surrendered, and one attempted to kill another of our number who kindly stopped to give him water, supposing him wounded. The command of Captain Richardson’s company devolved upon Lieutenant Durant, who efficiently conducted it through the day.

Captain McManus was painfully wounded in the arm early in the engagement, but bravely led his company through the day.

Captain Wallace was slightly wounded in the face at the head of his company. Lieutenant Bell was also smack. Lieutenant De Pass was most dangerously and severely wounded in the head, in the hottest of the fight, after most gallantly conducting himself in his position with his company. Captain Kennedy was struck, but only bruised, by a ball in the side. Captains Casson, Haile, Cuthbert, and Rhett were uninjured, though bravely conspicuous, as were all the company officers, in rallying and cheering their men in the thickest of the fight.

To Lieutenant-Colonel Jones and Major Goodwyn I am much indebted for their efficient discharge of their important duties. The latter was particularly exposed from time to time, and bore himself with reckless courage. Captain Sill, adjutant, and Sergeant-Major Haile were active and efficient, and did good service in the fight, the former with his pistols and the latter with his musket.

Many individual instances of distinguished gallantry have been brought to my notice, but where the whole command have conducted themselves with courage, devotion, and spirit it would be unjust to particularize. So, too, incidents illustrating the gallantry and spirit of the whole regiment might be mentioned, but would swell this report to too great a length.

Dr. Salmond, surgeon, and Dr. Nott, his assistant, were on the field, courageously devoting themselves to the wounded, and the chaplain, Rev. E. J. Meynardie, was assiduous in his attention to our unfortunate comrades.

The regimental flag, gallantly borne by Sergeant Garden, was three times struck during the engagement, and one of the color guard was wounded. The flag of the Palmetto Guard, Captain Cuthbert, was struck four times, that of Captain Kennedy once, and Captain Wallace’s once.

Among the trophies taken by my regiment was the flag of the First Regiment, Second Brigade, Fourth Division, of the State of Maine, with its proud motto, “Dirigo,” and a small Federal ensign.

I would particularly mention the gallant conduct of the Rev. T. J. Arthur, whose rifle did good service, and that of Professor Venable, of South Carolina College, Capt. F. W. McMaster, Gen. Johnson Hagood, Col. Allen J. Green, Maj. J. H. Felder, Mr. Edward Felder, and Mr. Oscar Lieber, citizens of South Carolina, who fought in the ranks of volunteers with distinguished bravery and efficiency.

Accompanying this report I have the honor to inclose a list of the casualties of the day in my regiment, with a statement of the number engaged.(+)

I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. KERSHAW,

Colonel Second Regiment S. C. Volunteers, &c.

Brig. Gen. M. L. BONHAM,

Commanding First Brigade, &c.

(*) See second report, p. 527

+Embodied in No. 121, post.

—-

CAMP NEAR FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, August 22, 1861

GENERAL: If not improper, I would like to amend my official report of the battle of Manassas in the following respect:

In the paragraph where the names “Captains Wickham’s and Radford’s” occur in parenthesis insert “Powells and part of Captain Pitzer’s,” so that the whole passage in parenthesis will read thus: “(Captains Whickham’s, Radford’s, Powell’s, and part of Captain Pitzer’s).”

Only yesterday I learned that Captain Powell’s and part of Captain Pitzer’s company participated in the charge upon the battery near the hospital north of Bull Run.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. KERSHAW.

Colonel, Commanding Second Regiment, S. C. Volunteers

Brig. Gen. M. L. BONHAM,

Commanding First Brigade, &c.








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