#114 – Capt. John D. Alexander

29 06 2008

 

Report of Capt. John D. Alexander, Commanding Campbell Rangers

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 564-565

CAMP NEAR STONE BRIDGE, July, 1861

SIR: In obedience to your orders, on the morning of the 21st instant I reported with my company of cavalry to Major Wheat, who had been thrown forward with his battalion, and occupied a position upon our extreme left in the immediate vicinity of the enemy. By command of Major Wheat, I forthwith proceeded with my whole company to the front for the purpose of reconnoitering, and advanced in close proximity to the enemy’s lines. Having ascertained as precisely as possible his progress and position, I returned and reported the same to Major Wheat. I then by his direction took position a short distance in rear of his left wing, and held my command in reserve, ready to take advantage of any confusion in the enemy’s ranks or to perform any service that might be required. This post I occupied until Major Wheat’s command, with the Fourth South Carolina Regiment, under Colonel Sloan, having gallantly maintained the action for a considerable time, was forced at length to retire before the overwhelming numbers of the enemy and tremendous fire of his batteries. I fell back slowly and without the slightest confusion before the advancing line of the enemy, halting at short intervals and every available point, and holding my company ready for instant service. In this manner I retired, along with Captain Terry’s company, until we fell in with Colonel Radford’s command near Lewis’ house. Major Wheat having fallen from a severe wound received by him early in the action, I joined Colonel Radford’s battalion of cavalry and remained with him the rest of the day.

After the enemy was repulsed and forced back upon our left we received orders with Colonel Radford’s battalion to make a circuit of several miles to our right for the purpose of charging and intercepting the enemy on the turnpike in the direction of Centreville upon their retreat. This order was received by our men with enthusiasm, they having remained the whole day patiently under the enemy’s fire. We came out into the turnpike near the White House, about two miles from the stone bridge. Near this house, and about three hundred yards in rear of the point where we came into the turnpike, the enemy had planted a battery so as to command the road, and in the woods adjacent to the road on either side of the battery they were posted in considerable force. On the opposite side of the road the enemy was retreating rapidly and in great numbers. A portion of the battalion, and among them my company, charged up the turnpike towards the battery, when a tremendous fire was opened upon us from the battery, and also from the whole force stationed in its vicinity. By this fire I lost several horses, but no men. This was the last stand made by the enemy. After they were broken here the rout became general and irresistible. Some of my men joined in the pursuit and became somewhat scattered, but were all collected that night and reported to you the next morning at these headquarters.

I should perhaps mention in appropriate terms the conduct of the officers and men under my command. From the commencement of the action in the morning until late in the evening they were under the enemy’s fire and within point-blank range of their batteries, and at times almost enveloped in their musketry. They remained firm and unshaken, exhibiting an anxiety only to meet the enemy, and awaiting patiently an opportunity to strike an effective blow. I am gratified to inform you that my officers and men all escaped without personal injury. I received a slight wound in my leg, which did not disable me, and in the charge upon the enemy in the evening at the turnpike, which I have mentioned, Lieutenant Page’s horse was shot, and fell dead while in his proper place at the head of the company. During the day we lost four other horses either killed or permanently disabled. I commend the conduct of all my officers and men to your favorable consideration. It gives me pleasure to inform you that my company is now ready to take the field again and to perform effective service.

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

JOHN D. ALEXANDER,

Captain of Campbell Rangers

Brig. Gen. N. G. EVANS





#113 – Lieut. George S. Davidson

29 06 2008

 

Report of Lieut. George S. Davidson, Commanding Section of Artillery

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 563-564

HEADQUARTERS GENERAL N. G. EVANS’ COMMAND,

Stone Bridge, July 23, 1861

GENERAL: The second section of Latham’s battery, under my command, was on the morning of the 21st stationed on the hill commanding the stone bridge over Bull Run and its approaches. It was on the south side of the turnpike, and about six hundred yards west of the bridge. About 6 o’clock a.m. the enemy appeared on the high ground east of the bridge, nearly opposite my position. They opened fire from a single piece of rifled cannon, which was stationed on high ground north of the turnpike, not less than three-quarters of a mile east of my position. The fire from this piece and others near the same position was kept up at intervals until near 9 o’clock a.m.

About this time it was known that the enemy was forming in force upon your left flank. I was ordered to join Major Wheat’s command, which lay nearly a mile northwest of my first position. I passed by Van Pelt’s house, and went on to the Carter house, about one hundred yards northeast of which I placed my section in battery. Finding that the enemy, still encroaching upon our flank, had changed his position, I was ordered by yourself to return to the turnpike, which I followed to a high point about fifteen hundred yards west of the stone bridge. I placed my pieces in battery on open ground within two hundred yards north of the turnpike. From this position you ordered my second piece, under Lieut. Clark Leftwich, to advance along the turnpike and up the Sudley road. He accordingly took position about one hundred yards east of the Sudley road, bearing nearly five hundred yards north from the stone house of Matthews.

From this position Lieutenant Leftwich opened upon the enemy, advancing along the Sudley road, about one thousand yards distant. He inflicted considerable injury upon them, and maintained his position until our infantry had retired. He then retired to a hill south of the turnpike, and about one thousand yards distant from and west of Robinson’s house. Here he remained, firing upon the enemy until he had expended all ammunition from his limber chest. The horses of the caisson having run off, Lieutenant Leftwich came to ask me for ammunition, which I being unable to furnish him, he proceeded to the Lewis house, where he rejoined and reported to Captain Latham.

Lieutenant Leftwich had not fired more than six or eight times from his first position on the Sudley road when the enemy advanced toward our right (as our regiment then fronted), and came within range of my gun. I immediately opened fire upon him, which I kept up until I found the enemy advancing along the Sudley road toward my position. I then moved my gun into the turnpike immediately at the mouth of the lane leading to Robinson’s house, and fired upon the enemy with canister, and with good effect, until he had come up within one hundred and fifty yards of my gun. Having expended my ammunition, I reported my command to Captain Latham, then posted on Lewis’ farm, about four hundred yards east of the house.

I cannot close my report without testifying to the courage and coolness of my gunners, Charles Perry and James B. Lee. The men also served at the guns in a manner highly honorable to them. I had one man wounded by a shell, but met with no other casualties, except that I broke a caisson pole and a gun-carriage axle while obeying your double-quick command along the turnpike to my third position north of the turnpike. About the same time also a wheel ran off from my gun-carriage. I, however, repaired these damages and went on.

Respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,

GEORGE S. DAVIDSON

Brig. Gen. N. G. Evans





#112 – Capt. W. R. Terry

29 06 2008

 

Report of Capt. W. R. Terry, Commanding Troop of Cavalry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, p. 562

JULY 23, 1861

I have the honor to report the movements of the cavalry company under my command in the engagement of the 21st, as follows:

Early in the morning, soon after the firing of cannon was heard beyond the stone bridge on the turnpike in the direction of Centreville, I drew up the company near Bull Run below the bridge, and posted skirmishers, according to orders received from you. We had not remained in that position long before I received orders from you to bring up my company to the point where the action had commenced, (woods beyond stone house). I then posted them near the skirt of woods behind which the firing was going on. Soon afterwards, according to orders, we took position on the hill-side to protect a piece of artillery, and remained until it fired thirty rounds, and we received orders to retire. Afterwards during the day we protected artillery at two other points on the field. Falling in with Colonel Radford’s Rangers late in the day, when the order was given to charge the enemy, I proceeded with them, and took part in the general pursuit. The men under my command killed several of the enemy in the charge, captured about eighty prisoners and seven horses and took two stand of colors, one regimental. Among the prisoners taken were Colonel Corcoran, of New York; Lieutenant Gordon, of Colonel Keyes’ staff; a captain and a lieutenant belonging to a Michigan company.

We had the good fortune to come out of the engagement with only one killed and one slightly wounded.

Respectfully submitted.

W. R. TERRY,

Captain

General EVANS





#111 – Col. J. B. E. Sloan

29 06 2008

 

Report of Col. J. B. E. Sloan, Fourth South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 560-562

HDQRS. FOURTH REGIMENT SOUTH CAROLINA VOLS.,

Stone Bridge, Bull Run, Prince William Co., Va., July 23, 1861

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that about 3 o’clock a.m. Sunday, July 21, the officer of the guard awoke me and stated that my picket towards the stone house reported that he heard commands in the woods beyond, as if some one was commanding forces. I ordered him to report the same to you. Towards 4 o’clock I heard the firing of pickets on the opposite side of Bull Run from my camp, and at once ordered the men to be waked up. In a few moments afterwards your orders came, ordering me to get ready and move up on the hill at once. I ordered the men to fall in, and before 5 o’clock formed in line of battle on the left side of the road, covered by an undulation near the bluff of the hill, about six hundred yards distant from stone bridge.

I sent out, as ordered by you, Captain Kilpatrick’s company, Calhoun Mountaineers, to deploy as skirmishers on the left of the bridge, and Captain Anderson’s company, Confederate Guards, to the right of the bridge, both of them sending their advance skirmishers to the bank of Bull Run. Captain Dean’s company and the Palmetto Riflemen, the latter commanded by Lieutenant Earle, was left at the camp, some three hundred yards distant, as a reserve. The enemy could be seen in the woods opposite. About six o’clock the enemy sent a man out with a flag, which he attempted to plant in the road about two hundred yards from the bridge. Captain Kilpatrick fired at him five or six shots. The man with the color fled precipitately to the woods. The enemy’s battery, which was planted on the left side of the road in the edge of the woods, then commenced firing at intervals in different directions, as if to make us show our position, which was still concealed from them. Sometimes they would burst a shell about the bridge; again, fire a ball from a rifled cannon just over us. I could also hear firing of cannon below. Up to 8.20 they had fired six times towards us.

About 8.30 o’clock you ordered me to get ready and move up on the ridge, leaving the reserve and the companies sent out as skirmishers. After advancing one-fourth mile I formed in line of battle on the left of Major Wheat’s battalion, he having already formed on the right of the field. Your cannon formed in our front. I had not occupied this position but a few moments when, by your orders, I moved a little to the front and about three-fourths of a mile to the left, and formed in line of battle in a ravine, my left resting on the pike road leading from stone bridge by Sudley’s Mill, and about two hundred yards in advance of the stone house, and sent out Captain Hawthorn’s company as skirmishers in the woods, resting on our right.

Major Wheat’s battalion, which had been left with the cannon, advanced in front of the woods and was fired into by my skirmishers, which was returned by Major Wheat’s. My skirmishers sustained no loss, but wounded two of Major Wheat’s men. My skirmishers then returned, both Major Wheat and Captain Hawthorn having discovered the mistake. Major Wheat at once opened fire on the enemy and kept it up vigorously for about five rounds. I sent Captain Hawthorn to assist him as soon as he returned. I ordered the cannon to open on the enemy, who had commenced filing out in large force to our left. I then ordered the battalion to open fire by company, and then moved up to the left and advanced through the woods to the field in front. Major Wheat having rallied part of his forces and formed on my left, at that time General Bee came up on my right and advanced part of his force on my right and commenced a vigorous fire. At the same time I sent forward part of Captain Hollingsworth’s company as skirmishers. I had the fence pulled down to charge to the front when the skirmishers and General Bee’s forces advanced to the right. Major Wheat at the same time advancing on the left, the enemy’s battery and musketry opened on us in large force, which was returned, principally directed about the center of the regiment. The regiment retired to the rear of the woods. Captain Shanklin rallied his company around the colors until the entire force had left the ground. I discovered the enemy attempting to flank us in large force, to which I called the attention of General Bee, who, seeing the force, said that we had better retreat and form on the opposite side of the hill, after which re-enforcements came up and the engagement became general.

Lieutenant Earle, commanding Company B (Palmetto Riflemen), and Captain Dean’s company (C), both reserves, occupied the position first held by the regiment (on the left of the road near the bridge) until after the battery retired, when they also retreated toward Lewis’ house and were then formed into a battalion, with portions of Captain Shanklin’s company, under Lieutenant Cherry, and Captain Long’s company and the New Orleans Zouaves, Captain ——-, and some Alabamians, under Major Whither and Colonel Thomas, of Maryland, and by them led to the field of battle on our extreme left. They charged a battery of the enemy, and, after a severe conflict, repulsed him. Sergeant Maxwell planted the colors of the Fourth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers on the cannon of the enemy and maintained his position until after his comrades had been repulsed by a superior force, who had deceived our men and prevented their firing upon them by using our colors and sign of recognition. During this contest Major Whitner had his horse shot under him while endeavoring to rally the men led to the charge. Captain Kilpatrick held the position on the left of the bridge until the enemy advanced in large force to the left and near the bridge, when he left and attached his company to Colonel Hampton’s Legion. Captain Anderson remained on the right side of the bridge till near 1 o’clock, when he retreated toward Lewis’ house and then formed on some forces said to be under command of Ex-Governor Smith, and advanced with them into the field, engaged the enemy’s battery, when the forces under command of Colonel Thomas and Major Whitner came up, when he united with them in a charge on the battery which is above mentioned, in which our colors were planted on the cannon, but afterwards repulsed. I rallied the other remnants of companies on Captain Kilpatrick’s company on the right of Hampton’s Legion and led them up to three different advances. Afterward the men under my command worked the battery under the direction of Captain Ferguson, aide to General Beauregard, who made several telling fires on the enemy, assisted by Lieutenant Sloan, commanding fragments of companies.

Captain Kilpatrick behaved most gallantly, and was shot through the sword hand while bravely cheering his men onward. His first lieutenant, Horton, was shot in the head in a charge. Lieutenant Hunt, of Company H, deserves particular credit for his bravery in reorganizing the company. Sergeants Hawthorne and Fuller both acted their part well; the former was exceeded in gallant daring by no one. Captain Anderson sustained his character as an officer. Many of the officers and soldiers behaved well, among whom were Captain Hollingsworth, Corporal Williams, Privates Ferguson, Smith, and Wilkinson, of Company I. The Palmetto Riflemen were very efficient and behaved well. Lieutenant-Colonel Mattison was active in my assistance during the day in encouraging the men to do their duty. Captain Pool and his second and third lieutenants were all seriously, if not mortally, wounded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. E. SLOAN,

Colonel Fourth Regiment S.C. Volunteers

General N. G. EVANS








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