Report of Brig. Gen. T. H. Holmes, C. S. Army, Commanding Reserve Brigade
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 565-566
HEADQUARTERS BROOKE’S STATION, July 26, 1861
GENERAL: On Wednesday, the 18th of July, I received orders from the headquarters of the Army to hold my brigade in readiness to support your army if called on by you. I proceeded with two regiments (the Second Tennessee and First Arkansas Volunteers) and Walker’s battery that afternoon towards Manassas, and on my arrival at Camp Chopawamsic sent an officer to communicate with you. Soon after the officer left I received your telegram to Lieutenant-Colonel Green urging me forward. The march was resumed, and I encamped near Brentsville.
On reporting to you in person on Friday morning I was ordered to Camp Wigfall as a support to Ewell’s brigade, charged with the defense of Union Mills and its neighborhood. My brigade rested on Saturday.
About 9 o’clock on Sunday, the 21st, I received a copy of your note to General Ewell, directing him to hold himself in readiness to take the offensive at a moment’s notice, to be supported by my brigade. This order caused me to move nearer to Ewell’s position, where, after waiting about two hours, another order was received through Ewell to resume our former places. Up to this time the firing was comparatively slow. About 12 o’clock m., or a few minutes sooner, the firing on our left became very heavy. About 2 o’clock p.m. I received a copy of a note from you to General Jones, dated at a point one mile south of Union Mills, directing me, among other movements, to repair to you.
I immediately marched in the direction of the firing, and on my arrival at Camp Walker received the first order directed to myself. This was a verbal one, requiring me to hasten forward as soon as possible. The march from thence to Lewis’ house was made in good time. The brigade was halted there by order of General Johnston, and did not participate in the fight, as the enemy commenced to retreat within a few moments after my arrival. I ordered Walker’s rifled guns to fire at the retreating enemy, and Scott’s cavalry to join in the pursuit. The fire of the former was exceedingly accurate, and did much execution, and the pursuit of the latter was very effective, taking many prisoners and capturing much property.
I cannot speak too highly of the spirit and enthusiasm of my brigade.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. H. HOLMES
Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade
General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Camp Manassas