#125 – Generals J. E. Johnston and G. T. Beauregard

23 08 2008

Congratulatory Proclamation of Generals Johnston and Beauregard

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, p. 574

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Manassas, Va., July 25, 1861

Soldiers of the Confederate States:

One week ago a countless host of men, organized into an army, with all the appointments which modern art and practical skill could devise, invaded the soil of Virginia. Their people sounded their approach with triumphant displays of anticipated victory. Their generals came in almost royal state; their great ministers, senators, and women came to witness the immolation of our army and the subjugation of our people, and to celebrate the result with wild revelry.

It is with the profoundest emotions of gratitude to an overruling God, whose hand is manifest in protecting our homes and our liberties, that we, your generals commanding, are enabled, in the name of our whole country, to thank you for that patriotic courage, that heroic gallantry, that devoted daring, exhibited by you in the actions of the 18th and 21st, by which the hosts of the enemy were scattered and a signal and glorious victory obtained.

The two affairs of the 18th and 21st were but the sustained and continued effort of your patriotism against the constantly-recurring columns of an enemy fully treble your numbers, and their efforts were crowned on the evening of the 21st with a victory so complete, that the invaders are driven disgracefully from the field and made to fly in disorderly rout back to their intrenchments, a distance of over thirty miles.

They left upon the field nearly every piece of their artillery, a large portion of their arms, equipments, baggage, stores, &c., and almost every one of their wounded and dead, amounting, together with the prisoners, to many thousands. And thus the Northern hosts were driven from Virginia.

Soldiers, we congratulate you on an event which insures the liberty of our country. We congratulate every man of you whose glorious privilege it was to participate in this triumph of courage and truth–to fight in the battle of Manassas. You have created an epoch in the history of liberty, and unborn nations will call you blessed. Continue this noble devotion, looking always to the protection of a just God, and before the time grows much older we will be hailed as the deliverers of a nation of ten millions of people.

Comrades, our brothers who have fallen have earned undying renown upon earth, and their blood, shed in our holy cause, is a precious and acceptable sacrifice to the Father of Truth and of Right. Their graves are beside the tomb of Washington; their spirits have joined with his in eternal communion. We will hold fast to the soil in which the dust of Washington is thus mingled with the dust of our brothers. We will transmit this land free to our children, or we will fall into the fresh graves of our brothers in arms. We drop one tear on their laurels and move forward to avenge them.

Soldiers, we congratulate you on a glorious, triumphant, and complete victory, and we thank you for doing your whole duty in the service of your country.

J. E. JOHNSTON,

General, C. S. Army

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, C. S. Army





#124 – Capt. Edgar Whitehead

23 08 2008

Report of Capt. Edgar Whitehead, Radford’s Rangers, of Pursuit July 22

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, p.573

CENTREVILLE, July 28, 1861

SIR: On the morning of the 22d instant I was ordered by General Longstreet to accompany Colonel Terry, of Texas, and pursue the enemy, and find out their exact position. On reaching Centreville we found the main body had fled, and we pursued the stragglers, taking twenty-five or thirty prisoners on the route to Fairfax Court-House, where Colonel Terry shot down the United States flag and placed the stars and bars on the top of the court-house. The large flag sent back by him was intended, we learned, to be put up at Manassas. Another was taken from the Court-House, and the third one, to which you probably refer, was taken from some soldier by Private R. L. Davies, of my company, who had it in a haversack–no doubt to be raised on the first captured battery taken. It had no staff, but was carried carefully wrapped in the haversack.

Very respectfully,

EDGAR WHITEHEAD,

Captain Company E, Radford’s Rangers

Col. THOMAS JORDAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Manassas

For particulars in regard to horses, wagons, guns, and ready-made clothing, see Colonel Terry’s note to General Longstreet.(*)

*Not Found





#123 – Capt. John F. Lay

23 08 2008

Report of Capt. John F. Lay, Commanding Squadron of Cavalry, of Operations July 18 and 21

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 572-573

CAMP PICKENS, VA., August 15, 1861

COLONEL: I am ordered to make a report of the operations of my command upon July 18 and 21 upon the field. I have omitted to do so hitherto simply from the fact that I did not know it was expected of me.

Acting immediately under the orders of the general commanding, on the morning of the 18th, with my command–consisting of my own company (the Powhatan Troop) and the Little Fork Rangers, commanded by Capt. K. E. Utterback–I acted as an escort to the general commanding to the field, and took position some 400 yards west of McLaws’ house, and there remained until some hour or two after the firing commenced, during which time I had to change my position, then directly in range of the long Parrott gun, the shell of which were falling about us and in full view, I thought, of the enemy’s position. When the firing at Mitchell’s Ford commenced I moved by order with the general to a position near that ford, and during the day acted immediately under his orders, transmitting orders to the various commands.

By order I dispatched Captain Utterback with his company to report to General Longstreet, to aid in the pursuit when the enemy were retiring, which order was promptly obeyed, but not fully carried out, as immediately afterwards the order for the pursuit was countermanded.

That night I returned with the general to camp, and  during the intervening days was actively occupied in the transmission of orders to various points, among others dispatching three couriers under a forced and rapid ride to Piedmont at night to communicate with General Johnston’s command. In this ride a very valuable horse was seriously injured.

On the morning of the 21st I early received orders, and marched as an escort to the general commanding with the same command as before to a position upon the road near to Mitchell’s Ford. From this position I was ordered to fall back, owing to a fire from the same long-range gun, attracted, doubtless, by the dust from the cavalry and wagons upon the road. From this point I dispatched various orders to commanders at different points, and then with my command moved with the general to a position near Lewis’ house, when it was ascertained the enemy were making their flank movement in that direction, when I was stopped by order of the general, through his aides, and remained in position during the day, furnishing, under orders, couriers to different commands, guides into position for batteries and regiments, and mounting aides and other officers when ordered to do so.

During the morning, the cavalry being ordered to fall back from this position, in the absence of any immediate commander I reported to Colonel Munford, in command of the cavalry forces near me, and acted under his orders until I could dispatch a messenger to receive orders from the general or one of his aides. By order of Colonel Munford, Captain Payne, of the Black Horse [Cavalry]; Ball, of the Chesterfield Troop, and myself, selected a position for the cavalry, and there remained in formation ready for instant movement, when I received orders to resume my former position under the hill southwest of Lewis’ house. From this position I sent off couriers as desired. By request of an aide I sent my surgeon with two men and a horse to aid in the recovery of the body of General Bartow. In this effort they were unable to succeed, owing to a heavy advancing fire, this aide properly refusing to permit them to go in. Here I lost a horse, but have since recovered him, slightly wounded in the foot. Here, by order of General Johnston, I was successfully engaged for two hours in rallying stragglers from infantry commands and sending them to him, who reformed them under the hill below Lewis’ house.

When the order for the pursuit was given I was in advance of the main body of the cavalry, and started off with Colonel Chesnut, with orders, however, to report to General Beauregard. Before reaching the Warrenton turnpike, below Fairfax House, not finding the general, and learning that he was on [the] other side of the run road, I asked permission to go on, which was granted by Colonel Chesnut, he stating his purpose to accompany me. We were starting upon the main road to Centreville, when a messenger from the adjutant-general ordered me to the left, to disperse a body then apparently forming, but which proved to be of our own men. From this point I advanced beyond the ford at Sudley, taking and paroling prisoners and aiding Colonel Jordan in caring for the wounded at or near that point, and with him returned to camp with men and horses much wearied and exhausted.

I lost no men from my command. One horse, while his rider, acting as guide to a battery, was taking down a fence, was struck by a shell and instantly killed. Two others, while on active courier duty, died from heat and exhaustion; others are permanently injured, I fear.

In conclusion, my officers and men were cool and composed, ready promptly to obey all orders; most of them under fire repeatedly during the day; some of them constantly with the general in his exposure, and with his aide, Colonel Chisolm. I had no opportunity other than to discharge those duties assigned me, which I hope were as efficient as they were cheerfully rendered.

Respectfully,

JOHN F. LAY,

Captain, Commanding Squadron of Cavalry

Col. THOMAS JORDAN

Assistant Adjutant-General





Sharpsburg Heritage Days

23 08 2008

I’ll be presenting a version of my Threads program as part of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF) Lecture Series at Sharpsburg Heritage Days, September 13 & 14.  I believe I’ll be doing this on the 13th, sometime between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in town.  Here’s a schedule of events.  The SHAF lectures are free.

Related events coming up include a crossing of the Potomac the following Saturday, Sept. 20th, in commemoration of the 146th Anniversary of the Battle of Shepherdstown.  The crossing (from the Maryland side to the West Virginia side) will be followed by a tour of the Cement Mill which figured so prominently in the battle, as well as some privately owned battlefield land, with refreshments provided afterwards by the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association (SBPA). There is a fee for this event.  Here are the details from Tom Clemens.  Leave a comment here if you’re interested in attending, and I’ll put you in touch with him:

We’ll meet at 3:00 Saturday Sept. 20 on the Maryland side of the Potomac at Boteler’s (Packhorse, Shepherdstown) Ford. This may entail some car-pooling from Antietam Visitor’s Center if there are a lot of us. We’ll wade the Potomac at the ford site, and on the other side some folks from Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association (SBPA) will meet us. They will arrange for us to use the actual ford site, which is on private property, and we’ll stop and look at the ruins of the Cement Mill. Then we’ll ascend the bluff roughly along the route of Barnes’ Brigade and go to the place where the 118th PA fought, all of which is also on private property. After viewing the main battle area we’ll walk to the original farmhouse, also privately owned, where the opposing forces first met, and see a shell embedded in the farmhouse wall. From there we’ll go to the Dunleavey’s home, just a short distance away, where they will serve us hamburgers, hot dogs and all the trimmings, as well as adult liquid refreshments that will slake the thirst of all dedicated battlefield trasmpers. When we have had our fill of everything, they will provide drivers to take us back to our vehicles, thus we only have to wade once. All of this wonderful stuff for only a paltry $25 per person donation to SBPA, which is tax-deductible! It doesn’t get any better than this! Tramping a privately-owned battlefield, helping a preservation group, and a good meal!!

On Columbus Day Weekend, October 10-11, SHAF will sponsor a dinner and lecture with Marion V. Armstrong, author of “Unfurl Those Colors”, McClellan, Sumner, and the Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign on Friday evening at the South Mountain Inn, followed by a tour of the relevant portions of the field on Saturday.  There will be fees for these events as well.  I recently interviewed Mr. Armstrong for the SHAF newsletter, and that will be put up on the SHAF website along with details of the event once they are ironed out.








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