#81a – Col. William N. Pendleton

24 09 2008

Reports of Col. William N. Pendleton, C. S. Army, Commanding Artillery, of the Battle of Bull Run

O.R.–SERIES I–VOLUME 51 Part 1 [S# 107], pp. 34-36

NEAR MANASSAS, July 23, 1861

GENERAL: As directed I report concerning the batteries under my command – those of Captain Alburtis, Captain Stanard, and the Rockbridge Artillery – that they arrived from Winchester at Manassas Junction about 2 o’clock on Saturday, 20th instant, and were assigned position for rest under shelter of some woods near the center of the line of defenses; that early on the morning of Sunday, 21st, Captain Stanard’s battery, having a rifled gun, was assigned for immediate service to General Jackson’s brigade, and advanced under my guidance with a portion of the Washington Artillery from New Orleans, under Major Walton, and with one of the guns of the Rockbridge Artillery by General Jackson’s special request, toward the scene of action then beginning on our left. While thus advancing my own course was changed by an order from the adjutant-general directing me to take the batteries under my command from the forward and exposed situation where they had rested to a better place farther back, and to await orders in readiness to move on notice into action. I accordingly conducted by a route indicated the remaining guns of the Rockbridge Artillery and Captain Alburtis’ battery to a point between army headquarters and the field, and there halting reported in person for orders. Again directed to await in readiness, I did so until yourself rapidly passing gave the word, and by your order we hastened to the scene and arrived in proper place about 12 m. In the midst of action – raging with great severity – our position was skillfully adjusted by General Jackson. Being promptly arranged, these batteries all opened upon the enemy a well-directed and most effective fire. By this timely and telling attack, continued perhaps an hour or more, the batteries of the enemy were greatly crippled and their advance effectually checked. Under cover, however, of some brushwood, and because when seen they could not for a considerable time be distinguished from our own troops, a body of the enemy’s infantry succeeded in gaining a point near the batteries on the left. They were promptly met by a charge from the infantry that had, under General Jackson, for our protection, held place in our rear. From the melee thus occasioned almost in our midst it became necessary at once to remove our guns to another point. They were accordingly limbered immediately and withdrawn to a second position to the right and rather farther back. But the work done was sufficient; the enemy, crippled by our cannon and driven by the fire and bayonets of our brave infantry, gave up the day and began to retreat, and we could only hasten that retreat by a fire well aimed from the guns of longest range. I rejoice to testify to the admirable conduct of all the officers and men under my command and observation. Without exception they behaved with exemplary coolness, skill, and persevering determination, and I am thankful indeed to be able to state that under the shield of a guardian Providence we were nearly all mercifully preserved.

W. N. PENDLETON,

Colonel, Artillery, &c.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding

—–

MANASSAS JUNCTION, July 23, 1861

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you the conduct and condition of the Rockbridge Artillery in connection with the battle of the 21st instant, as attached to your noble brigade and under my immediate command:

By command of the adjutant-general, this battery, with that of Captain Alburtis, was detained near our resting position on the night of the 20th under my command, awaiting orders to move at any moment, Captain Stanard’s battery and that of Major Walton having been sent on to your support. While we thus waited the action began to rage far to the left, and after some time General Johnston passed with his staff and directed me to advance with one of the batteries, leaving the other to follow with some infantry that were to come on. With this battery I accordingly hastened on, leaving that of Captain Alburtis to follow as directed. On the way I was met by a courier from General Beauregard urging up all the artillery. Increasing if possible our already rapid advance, in consequence of sending a messenger to bring on Captain Alburtis at once, I proceeded with the Rockbridge Artillery to the scene. Near the field’ we came up with the battery of Major Walton and part of Captain Stanard’s, awaiting orders. Here on inquiry of General Johnston I learned the general course we were to take, and being urged to press forward all that could advance, I carried on this battery, with the two guns of Captain Stanard, word being left for Captain Alburtis to join us immediately. Pressing along the narrow and difficult road through the pine thicket we reached the point where you were standing as suitable for our position. Here the pieces were all as speedily as possible brought into action and continued their skillfully directed and well-sustained fire for perhaps some three hours, doing immense damage to the enemy and contributing an important share to the glorious victory of the day. The batteries of the enemy having, under the powerful fire directed against them, become greatly crippled, an advance was attempted by them to carry our batteries. Under cover of the brushwood on our left, and because they could not be distinguished from our own men, so that our fire was for a time withheld from them, they succeeded in getting very near us on the left. At this moment the infantry in the rear, acting as our support, rushed forward with charged bayonets and a close contest ensued almost in our midst of ball and bayonet. From this melee it became necessary for us promptly to withdraw. The pieces were therefore limbered and removed, a movement which was accomplished in perfect order, the last piece of the Rockbridge Artillery continuing to fire upon the advancing enemy until all the rest had been limbered and were in motion. By the time we had reached the second position, to the right and farther back, the enemy, crippled by our cannon and driven by our gallant infantry, were in full retreat, and the only additional service left for us was to expedite that retreat by sending after our routed invaders a few balls from the guns of longest range. The officers and men of this battery, like all the rest under my observation, behaved with exemplary courage, constancy, and skill. All performed their parts with fidelity and precision, and are entitled to a just measure of honor for their good conduct. Lieutenant Brockenbrough received a slight wound in the face, Corporal Jordan experienced a severe bruise on and temporarily disabling the foot, and Private Singleton was shot by a musket-ball in the arm, the wound being painful and serious, but it is hoped not dangerous. A slight contusion on the hip by a spent ball from the left and a slight graze on the lower tip of the right ear were the only approaches to a wound experienced by myself. We had no piece injured and no horse killed in the entire fight. One or two horses were slightly injured (among them my own) by a flesh shot in the leg, and one or two that had been allowed to infantry officers for use in the action were killed, but there are no other casualties.

W. N. PENDLETON,

Colonel, Provisional Army, Confederate States, and

Acting Captain Rockbridge Artillery

General T. J. JACKSON,

Commanding First Brigade





#100a – Lieut. Col. Joseph P. Jones

23 09 2008

Report of Lieut. Col. Joseph P. Jones, Fifth North Carolina Infantry

O.R.–SERIES I–VOLUME 51 Part 1 [S# 107], pp. 32-33

BLACKBURN’S FORD, Bull Run, July 22, 1861

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report:

In obedience to orders yesterday morning to cross the creek and take position on the right of the ravine in front of the enemy preparatory to making a charge upon a battery, then being used against your command, I dispatched two companies in advance as skirmishers, and proceeded at once to occupy the hill within a few hundred yards of the battery. Upon reaching that point I found the two companies sent out as skirmishers. We were fired upon with grape and canister, killing one man and wounding three. The whole battalion stood firm until an order was received to retire to the ravine and remain until further orders, which was done in good order. Supposing, then, my men to be safe, and being told by your staff officer that you were but a very short distance from me, I committed the indiscretion of going to where you were to ask some special instructions. While absent four companies of my battalion, without any proper cause, retreated about 100 yards. I succeeded in rallying all of them except two officers (Captain Goddin and First Lieutenant Taylor). Captains Sinclair, Company A; Garrett, Company F; Reeves, Company E, and First Lieutenant Doughtie, Company H, did not retreat, but behaved well throughout the whole day’s duty. Captain Brookfield’s company (D) started to retreat, but were immediately rallied by him. The disgraceful conduct of those who retreated I cannot account for. There was no cause for it. I attribute the blame to the officers concerned in it, and not the men. I received an order to send out four companies as skirmishers, and with the others to hold myself in readiness to charge the enemy’s battery, with an order to announce to you when ready, and await further orders. I replied that I was ready, but received afterward an order to recross the creek to my position in the morning. I returned to that position and my men were fired upon by the enemy’s scouting parties. Their fire was returned, resulting in the killing of four or five of their men. The names of the killed and wounded of my battalion in the morning were: Private James Manning, Company C, killed; Private Wiley Garner, Company C, wounded slightly; Private Richardson, Company C, wounded slightly; Corporal Wiggins, Company G, wounded slightly. It may be proper for me to add that I had but little assistance in controlling the movement of my battalion, which has had no drilling, I being the only field officer present for duty, and the adjutant being absent. I beg leave to call your attention to the services of Rev. James Sinclair, the chaplain of the regiment, who acted as a field officer and rendered me all the assistance in his power.

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

J. P. JONES,

Lieut. Col. Fifth Infty. North Carolina State Troops,

Commanding Regiment for July 21, 1861

Brigadier-General LONGSTREET,

Commanding Fourth Brigade





#101a – Col. Philip St. George Cocke

23 09 2008

Report of Col. Philip St. George Cocke, C. S. Army, Commanding Brigade

O.R.–SERIES I–VOLUME 51 Part 1 [S# 107] pp. 24-32

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH BRIGADE,

Camp near Suspension Bridge, [August 1, 1861]

GENERAL: The battle of 21st of July having been fought wholly within the position which had been assigned to and occupied by and which on the day of the battle was held by my brigade and the troops temporarily attached thereto, it becomes important that I should succinctly describe that position, the disposition made of the troops under my command for defending and holding that position, and the subsequent part which my command took in the great battle in which so large a part of your army participated, coming up as it did during the day from other positions. The position of this command, that of Stone Bridge (Avon) and Lewis’ farm (Portici), was the extreme left position of the Army of the Potomac along the line of Bull Run. The position of the army on Bull Run was the result of strategic movements which commenced with the recall of our more advanced forces, and which finally ended in the great battle of the 21st of July. By your general order of the 8th of July it was directed that “if attacked by a superior force of the enemy the three brigades of the Army of the Potomac serving in Fairfax will retire in the following manner and order: The whole of the Fifth Brigade on the Bull Run Stone Bridge, and the adjacent fords, making a stand if practicable at the Suspension Bridge across Cub Run.” Accordingly I issued brigade orders on the 12th instant, and on the 17th I recalled, united, and withdrew my entire command to the position assigned to it in perfect order and without any loss or accident whatsoever, the enemy moving the same day to occupy Fairfax CourtHouse in great strength.

Topographical description of the position of my command and of the battle-field.

Beginning near our left at Stone Bridge, over which passes the turnpike road from Alexandria to Warrenton, a flat of some 400 or 500 yards wide extends west of the bridge on either side of the turnpike back to the hills, which rise with some abruptness from the flat to the height of thirty to sixty feet. A dense forest of oaks at one time masked the bridge from view looking from these hills, but the trees had been felled to open the view for firing upon the enemy as he should approach the bridge, and the felled timber served to obstruct his passage over the flat except by the defile of the bridge and road, which last had been only partially obstructed near the foot of the hill. Westward of the crest overlooking the bridge, and in the direction of our left, rear, and right about the Stone Bridge, the country is broken into hill and valley, and this uneven surface covered by bodies of original forest, copses of pine, interspersed with hedges and fences, offering a field of uneven and diversified surface, all of which was availed of to the utmost by the skill and bravery of our officers and men who met and fought the enemy on that field. From a short distance below the Stone Bridge toward the right of my position, and throughout the entire extent of Lewis’ farm (Portici), the hills of Bull Run recede from the stream, of which the banks are generally low, and a long, open plain slopes from the run up to Lewis’ house, and to the right and left throughout my entire position in that direction. At Lewis’ Ford a road crosses Bull Run leading from the turnpike about half a mile in advance of Stone Bridge, diagonally toward and immediately in front of Lewis’ house, through a dense thicket of old-field pines extending nearly to the ford, and from that ford to the house half a mile distant over a gentle, open, or unwooded slope from the creek, rising almost uniformly to the house, which stands upon an eminence commanding a view of the surrounding country, the open inclined plane of the farm itself, the course of Bull Run, of the fords crossing the same, of the position of Stone Bridge, as also many of the enemy’s approaches through the woods on the opposite side of the creek. On our extreme right of Lewis’ farm, three-quarters of a mile below Lewis’ Ford, is Ball’s Ford, where the old public road passing from Alexandria to Warrenton crosses Bull Run, a trace of which road is still distinct and the road quite passable, although disused for public purposes since the construction of the turnpike passing over the Stone Bridge. To our right of this old road on the western side of Bull Run a heavy forest of oak extends from the creek backward nearly to the crest of the hill southward of Lewis’ house. The bank of the creek along Lewis’ farm is generally low and easy to be passed, and bordering as it does the extensive open inclined plane above described rendered this part of the position one without military strength and everywhere open to the attack of an enterprising enemy except at or near Lewis’ Ford, where for a few hundred yards on either side a precipitous bank of some twenty feet rises from the water of the creek and commands the flat or level on the opposite side of the creek. At Ball’s Ford the creek bank on our side is flat and wholly untenable for about 500 yards above in the direction of Lewis’ Ford, whilst a wooded eminence rising to an elevation of from sixty to seventy feet on the eastern or enemy’s side of the creek and stretching from opposite that ford the whole length of Lewis’ farm in the direction of Stone Bridge, thus giving the enemy, if in possession of those heights with his artillery the absolute command of the entire plain of Lewis’ farm in every direction as far back as the crest of the hill upon which the house is situated and rendering untenable by our troops under such circumstances of any position upon that plain in front of the enemy’s batteries so commandingly established. On the eastern or enemy’s side of Bull Run a narrow belt of low ground of irregular width, ranging from 50 to 100, and in some places 150 to 200 yards, stretched along the banks of the creek throughout the extent of the Portici (Lewis’) farm, from Ball’s Ford on our right to Stone Bridge on our left, and from the edge of the meadow at the foot of the hill a dense skirting of second-growth or old-field pine covers the slope of the hill toward its summit, succeeded by a large growth of oak or original forest, clothing a part of the slope and the entire top of the ridge, and continuing on that side of the creek from opposite Ball’s Ford to the turnpike road on our left.

Perceiving the impracticability of holding Ball’s Ford by troops placed on its flat and uncovered bank in front of a forest and eminence such as those just described, if once allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy, it became necessary to place the troops intended for the defense of that pass upon the eminence and in the forest on the eastern side of Bull Run and on either side of the old road crossing at that ford. Accordingly Withers’ regiment, Eighteenth Virginia, was ordered to occupy the wood to our left of the road, and Preston’s regiment, Twenty-eighth Virginia, the forest on our right of the road, and to oppose the enemy in whatever force he might advance by guerrilla fight from every position, from every corner, from every tree, and if still overpowered by numbers and forced to yield ground, to continue the fight through the forest flanking our right of Lewis’ farm toward the crest of the hill south of Lewis’ house, or until they could be supported by other troops coming to their relief Preston’s regiment (Twenty-eighth) also covered the approaches to the Island Ford, and one other ford below the Island Ford on my extreme right, and this was practicable in consequence of a bend of the creek to the rear of the right of that regiment (see map).

Position of the troops of the command.

In placing the troops, dispersed, as they necessarily were, and at positions most of them so disadvantageous for defense and but partially aided by intrenchments, it was deemed highly expedient to conceal as much as possible from the enemy a knowledge both of our numbers and strength, and even of the positions of the troops and batteries, until they were actually brought into action; and to effect these highly important objects it was decided that the troops should give up their tents, send back their wagon trains and baggage a few miles in rear toward Manassas, and bivouac in their positions. To the exposure and hardships of the bivouac the men and officers yielded without a murmur and they remained uncovered from the time of taking position on the 17th of July until after the battle, which took place on Sunday, July 21. Having indicated the position of the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth Regiments, covering the approaches to Ball’s Ford, on my right, the Nineteenth Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Strange, was placed on the high bank on either side of Lewis’ Ford to oppose the passage of the enemy at that point. This regiment intrenched itself throughout its entire front, which intrenchment, by direction of Captain Harris, of the Engineers, was rendered quite effective. Between the two left companies of Lieutenant-Colonel Strange’s regiment one piece of Latham’s battery, placed in position by Captain Harris, of the Engineers, commanded the road leading to the ford through the meadow and pines in front of the ford. Next beyond the flank of the Nineteenth Regiment, along the high bank of Bull Run, was placed in position selected by Captain Harris, concealed from the enemy by a copse or undergrowth, one other gun of Latham’s battery. To the left of this second gun of Latham’s battery was placed Captain Schaeffer’s command, two companies on this side of the creek and part of one company on the opposite side of Bull Run, availing themselves of the natural formation of the bank as a breast-work from behind which to fire upon the enemy. To the left of a gorge penetrating Captain Schaeffer’s position, a section of Rogers’ battery was stationed on an eminence to command the approaches to this gorge and the gorge formed by Young’s Branch running in from our side. These guns were also placed in position by Captain Harris, of the Engineers, the bluff bank of the creek terminating at Young’s Branch near the position or gorge just above Rogers’ guns, and giving place to low banks above that point, with a growth of large trees along the bank. Just here a portion of Col. William Smith’s three companies was posted, commanded by him in person, to dispute the passage of the enemy at the gorge on Young’s Branch, which intersected our line as above described. The other part of Colonel Smith’s three companies was held in reserve (in a sheltered position), to be used as occasion might require, and ordered to charge the enemy if he succeeded in crossing Bull Run. This pass of Young’s Branch being deemed one of the most inviting for the enemy, it was thought necessary to hold in still further reserve to dispute his passage the entire regiment of Col. Eppa Hunton, which was therefore placed near by in a covered position, with orders to support Colonel Smith’s battalion in case of need. One section of Rogers’ battery, commanded by himself, and three troops of cavalry were held in reserve and placed under cover in the hollow or depression beyond the crest and to the north of Lewis’ house. From Young’s Branch toward Stone Bridge and beyond the position was covered by the troops attached to my brigade, under the immediate command of Major Evans. Two pieces of Latham’s battery, under Lieutenant Davidson, commanded from the hill the approach to Stone Bridge and the road through the felled timber described in the first part of this report. To the left of the Stone Bridge were the troops under the command of Major Evans, whilst his sharpshooters skirted the two edges of the forest bordering upon the felled timber on our side of the bridge. The cavalry of Evans’ command were engaged–some in scouting in the direction of Sudley’s Mill to give notice of the enemy’s approaches in that direction and others held in reserve.

Sudley’s Mill is on the branch of Bull Run called Catharpin, near its mouth, three miles northwest of Stone Bridge. At Sudley’s Mill a branch road crosses from the direction of Leesburg, passing directly toward Manassas, intersecting the turnpike at right angles at a stone house one mile and a quarter west, or in our rear of the Stone Bridge. It was this road of which the enemy availed himself to turn our left and to get on our flank and rear at Stone Bridge in his boasted march for Manassas. His plans were well arranged and skillfully conducted, for whilst he threatened our entire front from Stone Bridge to below Lewis’ Ford by a force estimated at from 12,000 to 15,000 men, and kept a large portion of my brigade engaged by this force in their front of treble their number, backed by batteries of artillery at several points opposite our front, and by skirmishers advanced in front of our lines, he meanwhile marched his main column of 25,000 or 30,000 men by Sudley’s Mill to take the whole position in flank and rear. I shall endeavor briefly to show in what manner he was met by my command both in our first position and subsequent movements.

The battle.

The enemy having taken up his position in our front early in the morning, fired his first gun about 5.30 a.m. This seemed to be a signal gun, as it was answered from Mitchell’s Ford, four miles below, and where also on that day he made an attack, and this gun might also have been a signal to the column marching by Sudley’s Mill on our left. The batteries in our front along Bull Run continued firing on Stone Bridge, on Lewis’ house, and on our position at Lewis’ Ford until a late hour in the day. The battery in front of Lewis’ Ford was responded to with marked effect by Captain Latham’s first section, aided by the section of Rogers’ battery, commanded by Lieutenant Heaton, skirmishers occasionally making their appearance, emerging from the dense growth of pines covering the main body of the enemy. Whilst this was going on in our front the enemy, having arrived to threaten Major Evans’ left flank, with overwhelming numbers of his main column marched by Sudley’s Mill. The major promptly and heroically turned to meet him with his entire force, having necessarily to abandon the former front of his position at Stone Bridge. Never perhaps in the history of modern warfare was there so unequal a contest as now ensued. With his small but heroic numbers Major Evans advanced to fight the head of a column of 25,000 men, amongst which were some of the best regiments of the Federal army, strengthened by numerous batteries of well-appointed artillery of the most modern improved kind. For more than an hour this contest was maintained without assistance, the other troops of my command being held to their positions by the strong demonstrations in their front, which positions, if they had been abandoned at this stage of the battle, would have opened the way to an advance of the enemy also on this side, and thus inevitably have caused us the loss of the day. As soon, however, as I perceived the first movement of Major Evans I dispatched the reserved section of Rogers’ battery at full speed to cover the approaches to the Stone Bridge. This section got into position in good time to fire into a column of the enemy attempting to pass the Stone Bridge and drove it back.

In the meanwhile General Bee and Colonel Bartow, the first to come up to our support, the general reporting to the on Lewis’ hill, were informed by me of the progress of the battle on Major Evans’ left, and those gallant commanders, without halting their commands, marched directly to the scene of action and soon commenced their glorious part in the battle. Colonel Hampton with his legion came next. To him, too, I indicated the progress of events, and he promptly marched with his command to the battle. General Jackson followed next with his brigade, and from time to time other brigades pushed on as they arrived to the deadly conflict. About this time, the contest having become very close and warm and the enemy appearing to gain ground forward and also on our flank, and a stream of wounded men pouring through the gorge of Young’s Branch near the command of Col. William Smith (as subsequently reported by Captain Harris, of the Engineers, then and there present), upon suggestion of Captain Harris, the section of Rogers’ battery under command of Lieutenant Heaton, stationed at that point, and Colonel Smith’s command, were ordered to change front in order to meet an advance of the enemy, which it was thought might be made in that direction. General Beauregard, perceiving this movement, sent an order to these troops to advance, which they promptly did, Captain Harris proceeding with them, and subsequently placing the section of Rogers’ battery in effective position near Captain Imboden’s battery, from whence the section fired with effect upon the enemy until the ammunition was exhausted. Colonel Smith from this position soon took part in the battle, having many of his officers and men killed or wounded and his own horse wounded. (For further particulars see his report.(1))

The removal of these troops from their position on Young’s Branch uncovered a portion of my front line, and thus left that line exposed, to be penetrated by the enemy; but I am satisfied that the movement of our troops was unperceived by him, as the position was covered by a thicket of willows and other trees skirting the edge of Bull Run at this point. Closely observing from my own central and elevated position on the hill north of Lewis’ house (a position, nevertheless, over which a cross fire of most of the enemy’s batteries continued to throw shot and shell for hours, in the midst of which I necessarily stood observing)–I say from this position the various movements of our own troops I anxiously watched for the moment when I might withdraw the greater portion of the brigade not then actually engaged from the front line, without inviting disaster in that quarter, in order to throw it forward to the support of our men so hotly pressed on our left. General J. E. Johnston appearing near my position about this time, I called his attention to the state of my command on the front and right of Lewis’ farm, and referred for his decision the expediency of risking the abandonment of that front, and of immediately ordering forward the whole of the balance of my command to take part in the battle now raging and becoming critical as to its issue on our left. It was decided to make the movement., and I immediately dispatched my aides to order up at double-quick the regiments of Withers, Preston, and Strange, and the battery of Latham, and proceeding myself to meet those regiments, I advanced with them rapidly to the most active scene of the conflict. Hunton’s regiment, being in advanced position, was first in the battle, but as I led on the other regiments to other positions it was separated from me, and for the part which it took in the battle I must refer to Colonel Hunton’s report, hereafter to be made. Colonel Hunton since the battle having been ordered to Leesburg with his regiment, I have neither seen him nor been able to obtain any report.(2)

Withers’ Eighteenth Regiment Virginia Volunteers was the next in order taking part in the battle. Colonel Withers’ report is full, and clearly shows the gallant and distinguished part which it enacted in achieving the great victory of the day.(3) Latham’s battery followed Withers’ regiment. This battery being now full, the four pieces having come together and replenished their ammunition chest, was, under the guidance of Captain Harris, of the Engineers, advanced to a position to the left of the road leading from Lewis’ house toward Stone Bridge, from which position it fired with effect upon the head of a column advancing from toward the turnpike, and together with the fire of another battery succeeded in driving back the column. (For further particulars see Captain Latham’s report.(4)) Whilst Latham’s battery was taking position I was advancing with Preston’s regiment toward our then left flank, which the enemy was pressing and threatening to turn. About 500 yards beyond the left of Latham’s battery, as placed in position and near the fence extending toward our left in a thicket of pines, and whilst I was immediately upon the flank of the regiment, it was fired upon by the enemy advancing in the thick forest. The fire was returned, and the enemy giving way, this regiment advanced still farther toward the left. Whilst thus advancing Colonel Preston came upon and captured with his own hands Colonel Willcox, of the Federal army, whilst a captain and other prisoners were taken at the same place. The report of Colonel Preston, to which I beg leave to refer, will show the further important part he took in the battle.(5)

In the meantime, continuing to advance with Strange’s regiments Nineteenth Virginia Volunteers, and guided by the firing, I endeavored to turn the extreme right of the enemy. Coming athwart an intense fire, and not being able to see friend or foe through the pines, the regiment was caused to lie down whilst Colonel Strange and myself sought a view of the enemy. Entering the Sudley road on the left, I ordered the regiment to be marched by flank in that direction, and proceeded diagonally forward and ]left through the wood skirting our left of the road following a firing heard in that direction. Emerging from the wood into the open field, the regiment was led by a path toward Chinn’s house, near to which a battery was firing upon the enemy. By the time it got up the enemy was retreating, and on the hill beyond Chinn’s house (overlooking the turnpike), falling in with some of the regiments of Colonel Early, the Nineteenth Regiment continued the pursuit of the enemy. Crossing the meadow toward the turnpike and proceeding by Dogan’s house, followed the track of the retreating column toward Bull Run below Sudley’s Mill and crossed the run below and in sight of the mill. The enemy now being out of sight and pursued by the cavalry in advance of us, and night coming on I determined to recross Bull Run at Sudley’s Mill, and ordered the regiment to march back to Lewis’ farm. Finding numbers of prisoners and wounded at the church near the mill, one company was left in charge of the prisoners and wounded, the balance of the regiment continuing its march to Lewis’ farm. It would thus appear, general, that in consequence of the disposition made of the troops, the firm and gallant manner in which they acted along my whole front line of three miles in extent (which front, although threatened throughout the day, was nevertheless held in the face of greatly superior numbers, several assaults repelled, and the enemy effectually prevented from passing that line at any point, which if he had done would have been disastrous to our cause), this command forced the enemy to rely for victory solely upon his great column which turned the left of our entire position by the way of Sudley’s Mill; that the skillful and heroic struggle of Evans on my left, after he had been turned and taken in flank by overwhelming numbers, with his Spartan band led by himself, and by that true and tried soldier Major Wheat, and the brave Colonel Sloan, and backed by men who showed themselves not only insensible to fear, but actually inspired with superhuman daring and power, carried death and dismay into the ranks of the enemy, the fight thus continuing for more than an hour unsupported, and until the re-enforcements of Generals Bee and Bartow and others came to the relief; and finally, when the critical moment had arrived and the imminent result seemed trembling in the balance, it was promptly determined to abandon my entire front line along Bull Run and to throw forward the troops which had so gallantly defended it, to add their entire numbers and their valorous deeds to those of other corps struggling in the hottest fight, all of which contributed to turning the scale of victory in our favor, and in not only defeating the enemy, but in ultimately routing, disorganizing, and demoralizing him to a degree unprecedented in the history of modern warfare.

Of the greater part of these events and scenes you yourself, general, were an eyewitness. Many of the troops of my command fought by your side and in several instances received orders directly from you whilst acting as they necessarily did in detached bodies and in various parts of the wide field of conflict. Highly appreciating, general, the marked confidence reposed in me ever since I joined your army, as manifested by the extensive command and the responsible strategic positions assigned to me, I feel conscious of having acted with a mind and purpose single and a devotion absolute and unreserved in the righteous and patriotic cause in which we are all engaged; and in this spirit I trust my command have so far shown that they, too, have acted. Where so many have acted well their parts it would appear almost invidious to mention the names of any. Nevertheless, I deem it proper to state that the conduct of Majors Evans and Wheat is above all praise. That Capt. David B. Harris, of the Corps of Engineers, has rendered the most valuable services during the whole time he has served with my command. His science and skill, his cool and calm presence of mind in the midst of danger, his untiring efforts under the most trying circumstances, all prove him to be an officer worthy of filling a higher rank in that highest corps of the army to which he belongs.

Colonel Withers has the honor of having captured with his regiment (the Eighteenth Virginia Volunteers) a battery of eight guns, and of holding the same, a battery which had been twice previously during the day captured and recovered by the enemy. Col. Robert T. Preston and his Twenty-eighth Regiment of Virginia Volunteers rendered distinguished services. Col. William Smith with his command was in the hottest of the fight and had several officers and men wounded and killed and his own horse wounded. The Nineteenth Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Strange, having been longest held to its intrenched position at Lewis’ Ford, which it bravely defended in presence of the enemy’s batteries and infantry in great strength, was thus brought last into the more active field of battle. But it came up in time to produce by its presence an effect upon the then wavering enemy and to take part in the pursuit of his retreating columns which soon ensued. Captains Latham and Rogers, of the artillery, and Lieutenants Davidson and Heaton acted with distinguished bravery and skill. Surgeon Chancellor and Assistant Surgeons Braxton and Powell, of the Nineteenth Regiment, rendered very prompt and valuable relief to the wounded men, both to our own men and those of the enemy. To Lieut. John B. Cocke, acting assistant adjutant-general of the Fifth Brigade, and to T. J. Randolph, both acting as my aides-decamp during the battle, and who were both with me or bearing orders, often through the hottest fire, I owe my acknowledgments for the prompt and efficient manner in which they both discharged their duties. I would take this occasion to express my thanks to the whole command, to the brave and patriotic men and officers composing it, for the soldier-like manner in which they have submitted to necessary discipline, undergone hardships, and otherwise to operated in fulfilling the responsibility of the command.

And finally, trusting that this command has fulfilled its duties and that impartial history will do justice to the important part taken by it in achieving the late glorious victory,

I remain, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

PHILIP ST. GEO. COCKE,

Colonel, Commanding Fifth Brigade, Army of Potomac

General BEAUREGARD,

Commanding Army of the Potomac

NOTE.–The Fifth Brigade proper consisted of the Nineteenth, Eighteenth, and Twenty-eighth Regiments of Virginia Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Strange, Colonels Withers and R. T. Preston commanding; Latham’s battery of artillery, four brass 6-pounder guns, and Captains Terry’s and Langhorne’s troops of cavalry. Whilst at Centerville, prior to the battle of the 21st of July, Major Wheat’s Louisiana First Special Battalion was added to my command and stationed at or near Frying Pan Church, and Captain Alexander’s troop of cavalry also added to Terry’s at the same place. Subsequently Major Evans was ordered from Leesburg with Sloan’s Fourth Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers to Frying Pan Church, with orders to report to me and act as a part of my command stationed at that place. With this force I marched under general orders on the 17th of July to take position at or near the Stone Bridge. Between the 17th and 19th Col. Eppa Hunton with his command arrived at Lewis’ farm (Portici), with orders to report for duty with my command, bringing with him his regiment of Virginia volunteers, Captain Rogers’ battery of 4-pounder brass cannon, and three troops of cavalry. To this command was also added three companies under Captain Schaeffer, which had previously been stationed at the Stone Bridge, and three companies of Fauquier volunteers, part of Col. William Smith’s Forty-ninth Regiment Virginia Volunteers.

PHILIP ST. GEO. COCKE,

Colonel, Commanding Fifth Brigade

(1) See Vol. II, p. 551

(2) But see Vol. II, p. 545

(3) See Vol. II, p. 546

(4) See Vol. II, p. 553

(5) See Vol. II, p. 549





Roulette Farm

22 09 2008

Mannie has done it again.  Check it out.





Private Lewis Francis, 14th Brooklyn

21 09 2008

Medical/Surgical History – Part III, Volume II, p.154

Chapter X – Wounds And Injuries Of The Lower Extremities

Section II – Wounds And Injuries Of The Hip Joint

Amputations At The Hip Joint

The next case is exceptional inasmuch as the amputation and reamputation followed a bayonet stab in the knee instead of shot injury.

 

Photo – Photographic Atlas of Civil War Injuries

FIG 113 – Cicatrix sixteen months after a reamputation at the right hip, succeeding amputation for a bayonet stab through the knee.

CASE 331.–Private Lewis Francis, Co. I, 14th New York Militia, aged 42 years, was wounded July 21, 1861, at the first battle of Bull Run, by a bayonet thrust, which opened the right knee joint. He received not less than fourteen other stabs in different parts of the body, none of them implicating the great cavities. He was taken prisoner, and conveyed to Richmond and placed in hospital. One of his wounds involved the left testis, which was removed on July 24th. On October 28, 1861, his right thigh was amputated at the middle, on account of disease of the knee with abscesses in the thigh. The double-flap method was employed. The stump became inflamed and the femur protruded. An inch of the bone was resected and the flaps were again brought together. In the spring of 1862 the patient was exchanged and sent to Fort Monroe. Thence he was transferred to a Washington hospital, and thence, in March, 1862, to his home in Brooklyn. There was necrosis of the femur, and in May, 1862, its extremity was again resected by a civil surgeon. On October 28, 1863, Francis was admitted to the Ladies’ Home Hospital, New York. Necrosis had apparently involved the remaining portion of the femur. On May 21, 1864, Surgeon A. B. Mott, U. S. V., laid open the flaps and exarticulated the bone. The patient recovered rapidly and had a sound stump. He was discharged August 12, 1864. On October 1, 1865, a photograph, from which the accompanying wood-cut (FIG. 113) was taken, was forwarded by Surgeon A. B. Mott to the Army Medical Museum. Dr. Mott reported that the pathological specimen of the exarticulated femur was stolen from his hospital. For some months after his discharge Francis enjoyed good health; but then the cicatrix became unhealthy, pus was discharged through several sinuses, and there was bleeding from the slightest irritation. In March, 1867, a messenger was sent to his residence, 54 Hamilton Street, Brooklyn, and found him in very poor health. He had been unable to leave the house since November, 1866. On April 12, 1867, he was visited by Dr. E. D. Hudson, who reported him as then confined to his bed. There was a large ulcer at the upper outer angle of the cicatrix, which communicated with extensive sinuses; there was a fistula-in-ano also. The pus from the different fistulous orifices was thin, oily, and ichorous. There could be little doubt that there was disease of some portion of the innomi-natum. The patient was much emaciated, and had a cough with muco-purulent expectoration. His pulse, however, was not frequent, and he had a good appetite. In May, 1867, it was reported that his general condition had somewhat improved. In March, 1868, Pension Examiner J. C. Burdick, of Brooklyn, reported that this pensioner was “permanently helpless and required the constant aid of a nurse.” On May 30, 1874 (Decoration Day), and the day prior, at a preparatory parade of the veterans of his regiment, he was particularly active. The day after this unusual exercise, May 31, 1874, he died suddenly while at table.(2) This statement from the Brooklyn Union, June 1, 1874, is corroborated by the records of the Pension Bureau.

(2) Circular No. 6, S. G. O., 1865, p. 49. Circular No. 7, S. G. O., 1867, pp. 52, 65. HAMILTON (F. H.), Treatise on Military Surgery, 1865, p. 629.





Official Reports

21 09 2008

I just noicted that there are about a half dozen reports by Bull Run officers in Volume 51, Part I of the Official Records.  I’ll get those posted once I finish with the reports from Volume 2.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a hard copy of Volume 51, Part I to check for errors.  I’m all done with the Confederate reports from Volume 2, but haven’t posted anything pertaining exclusively to Blackburn’s Ford.

By the way, I have about 90 of the ORs that I’m looking to unload, and will do so at a reasonable price per volume plus shipping. 





#44 – Col. William B. Franklin

21 09 2008

Report of Col. William. B. Franklin, Twelfth U. S. Infantry, Commanding First Brigade, Third Division

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp.405-407

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION,

Department Northeastern Virginia, July 28, 1861

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report on the operations of the brigade under my command in the action at Bull Run on the 21st instant:

The brigade consisted of Light Battery I, First Artillery, Capt. J. B. Ricketts; the Fifth Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Lawrence; the Eleventh Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Clark, and the First Minnesota Regiment, Colonel Gorman. The Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment had been attached to the brigade until the morning of the 21st instant, but as its term of service expired on that day it refused to go forward, and when the remainder of the brigade marched forward it marched to the rear. The brigade left camp near Centreville at 2.30 a.m., in the following order: 1st, Minnesota regiment; 2d, Ricketts battery; 3d, Fifth Massachusetts Regiment; and, 4th, Eleventh Massachusetts Regiment. The Minnesota regiment was arranged with the two front companies ready to act as skirmishers; the next three companies as the advanced guard, and the remainder of the regiment formed the head of the column. The men were furnished with three days’ provisions in their haversacks.

At Centreville a delay of more than two hours took place, to enable General Tyler’s and Colonel Hunter’s columns to pass Colonel Heintzelman’s. The march then recommenced, and continued without interruption until the brigade reached Bull Run, about 11 o’clock a.m., after a march of about twelve miles.

Colonel Hunter’s column had by this time become engaged with the enemy, and Ricketts’ battery was immediately ordered to cross the run and hold itself in readiness for action. The Minnesota regiment was ordered to cross to support the battery, and was, by a subsequent change in the order, placed in position on the left of the field. The Fifth and Eleventh Massachusetts Regiments were, for a very short time, held in reserve on the left bank of the run. Ricketts’ battery was directed to take position in a field towards the extreme right of our line, and commenced firing at a battery of the enemy placed just beyond the crest of a hill on our left. After firing for about twenty minutes at this point, the battery was moved to a point about one thousand feet from the enemy’s battery, where it was immediately subjected to an incessant fire of musketry, at short range, disabling it almost immediately. Here Captain Ricketts was severely wounded, and First Lieut. D. Ramsay was killed. The battery also lost, in the course of a few minutes, eleven non-commissioned officers and men killed, and fourteen wounded. Many horses were also killed, so that the battery was entirely crippled, and its remains were drawn off the field, all of the guns being left on the field.

While the battery was in its first position, the Fifth and Eleventh Massachusetts Regiments were brought to the field, and took position just behind the crest of a hill about the center of the position. Here they were slightly exposed to the fire of the enemy’s battery on the left, and were consequently thrown into some confusion. This was shown by the difficulty of forming the Eleventh Regiment, and by wild firing made by both regiments. They fired without command, and in one or two instances, while formed in column, closed in mass.

From this point both regiments were ordered to proceed to the vicinity of the point where Ricketts’ battery was disabled, to try to get back the guns. They went there, and, with the help of some other regiments on their right, the enemy was driven from the guns three times. It was impossible, however, to get the men to draw off the guns, and when one or two attempts were made, we were driven off by the appearance of the enemy in large force with heavy and well-aimed volleys of musketry.

The First Minnesota Regiment moved from its position on the left of the field to the support of Ricketts’ battery, and gallantly engaged the enemy at that point. It was so near the enemy’s lines that friends and foes were for a time confounded. The regiment behaved exceedingly well, and finally retired from the field in good order. The other two regiments of the brigade retired in confusion, and no efforts of myself or staff were successful in rallying them. I respectfully refer you to Colonel Gorman’s report(*) for the account of his regiment’s behavior and of the good conduct of his officers and men.

Colonel Hartranft, of the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, whose regiment refused to march forward that morning, accompanied me to the field as aide-de-camp. His services were exceedingly valuable to me, and he distinguished himself in his attempts to rally the regiments which had been thrown into confusion.

I respectfully recommend to your favorable consideration the officers of my staff – Capt. Walworth Jenkins, First Artillery, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. J. P. Baker, First Dragoons, aide-de-camp, and Lieut., C. H. Gibson, Second Dragoons, acting quartermaster and commissary of the brigade. Their efforts were unremitting in carrying orders and in attempting to rally the dispersed troops.

I cannot refrain from paying a tribute to the gallantry of Captain Ricketts and Lieutenant Ramsay. The service has sustained a serious loss in the temporary removal of Captain Ricketts from duty, and the cool and determined bravery of Lieutenant Ramsay was admired by all who witnessed it. It may be a consolation to his friends to know that he unflinchingly died a soldier’s death, regretted by all.

I transmit with this a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of the brigades.(+)

It is my firm belief that a great deal of the misfortune of the day at Bull Run is due to the fact that the troops knew very little of the principles and practice of firing. In every case I believe that the firing of the rebels was better than ours. At any rate I am sure that ours was very bad, the rear files sometimes firing into and killing the front ones. It is to be hoped that practice and instruction will have corrected this evil by the time that we have another battle.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Colonel Twelfth Infantry, Comdg. First Brig., Third Div.

Capt. C. McKEEVER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

* See Series I, Vol. 51, Part I, pp. 22-23

+ Embodied in division return, p. 405





Decking My Walls

20 09 2008

I’m hoping to get some stuff done this week, as work is very slow right now.  For one, I want to get that last eight foot shelf put up in my office, so I can get around to reorganizing my library.  I also need to make arrangements to frame a recently purchased print.  I may have mentioned this before, but I bought a copy of Don Troiani’s New York’s Bravest, which depicts the 69th New York State Militia and the 11th New York Infantry re-capturing the colors of the former regiment at Bull Run.  I’m not particularly fond of Troiani’s stuff: of the folks working in the ACW art arena these days I only really like Keith Rocco, and overall I find works from the late 19th & early 20th centuries far more appealing.  But the subject matter is what sold me.  Take a look (click on the picture for a larger image):





#43 – Col. Samuel P. Heintzelman

20 09 2008

Report of Col. Samuel P. Heintzelman, Seventeenth U.S. Infantry, Commanding Third Division

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 402-404

HDQRS. 3D DIV. DEP’T NORTHEASTERN VIRGINIA,

Washington, July 31, 1861

SIR: In obedience to instructions received on the 20th instant, the division under my command was under arms in light marching order, with two days’ cooked rations in their haversacks, and commenced the march at 2.30 a.m. on the 21st, the brigade of Colonel Franklin leading, followed by those of Colonels Willcox and Howard. At Centreville we found the road filled with troops, and were detained three hours to allow the divisions of General Tyler and Colonel Hunter to pass. I followed with my division immediately in rear of the latter. Between two and three miles beyond Centreville we left the Warrenton turnpike, turning into a country road on the right. Captain Wright, of the Engineers, accompanied the head of Colonel Hunter’s column, with directions to stop at a road which turned in to the left to a ford across Ball Run, about half way between the point where we turned off from the turnpike and Sudley Springs, at which latter point Colonel Hunter’s division was to cross. No such road was found to exist, and about 11 a.m. we found ourselves at Sudley Springs, about ten miles from Centreville, with one brigade of Colonel Hunter’s division still on our side of the run.

Before reaching this point the battle had commenced. We could see the smoke rising on our left from two points, a mile or more apart. Two clouds of dust were seen, showing the advance of troops from the direction of Manassas. At Sudley Springs, whilst waiting the passage of the troops of the division in our front, I ordered forward the First Brigade to fill their canteens. Before this was accomplished the leading regiments of Colonel Hunter’s division became engaged. General McDowell, who, accompanied by his staff, had passed us a short time before, sent back Captain Wright, of the Engineers, and Major McDowell, one of his aides, with orders to send forward two regiments to prevent the enemy from outflanking them. Captain Wright led forward the Minnesota regiment to the left of the road which crossed the run at this place. Major McDowell led the Eleventh Massachusetts Regiment up the road. I accompanied this regiment, leaving orders for the remainder of the division to follow, with the exception of Arnold’s battery, which, supported by the First Michigan, was posted a little below the crossing of the run as a reserve.

At a little more than a mile from the ford we came upon the battlefield. Ricketts’ battery was posted on a hill to the right of Hunter’s division and to the right of the road. After firing some twenty minutes at a battery of the enemy placed just beyond the crest of a hill on their extreme left, the distance being considered too great, it was moved forward to within about one thousand feet of the enemy’s battery. Here it was exposed to a heavy fire of musketry, which soon disabled the battery. Franklin’s brigade was posted on the right of a woods near the center of our line, and on ground rising towards the enemy’s position. In the mean time I sent orders for the zouaves to move forward, to support Ricketts’ battery on its right. As soon as they came up I led them forward against an Alabama regiment, partly concealed in a clump of small pines in an old field, At the first fire they broke, and the greater portion fled to the rear, keeping up a desultory firing over the heads of their comrades in front. At the same moment they were charged by a company of secession cavalry on their rear, who came by a road through two strips of woods on our extreme right. The fire of the zouaves killed four and wounded one, dispersing them. The discomfiture of this cavalry was completed by a fire from Captain Colburn’s company of U. S. cavalry, which killed and wounded several more. Colonel Farnham, with some of his officers and men, behaved gallantly, but the regiment, as a regiment, did not appear again on the field. Many of the men joined other regiments, and did good service as skirmishers.

I then led up the Minnesota regiment, which was also repulsed, but retired in tolerably good order. It did good service in the woods on our right flank, and was among the last to retire, coming off the field with the Third U.S. Infantry. Next was led forward the First Michigan, which was also repulsed, and retired in considerable confusion. They were rallied, and helped to hold the woods on our right. The Brooklyn Fourteenth then appeared on the ground, coming forward in gallant style. I led them forward to the left, where the Alabama regiment had been posted in the early part of the action, now disappeared. We soon came in sight of the line of the enemy, drawn up beyond the clump of trees. Soon after the firing commenced the regiment broke and ran. I considered it useless to attempt to rally them. The want of discipline in these regiments was so great, that the most of the men would run from fifty to several hundred yards to the rear and continue to fire – fortunately for the braver ones, very high in the air – compelling those in front to retreat. During this time Ricketts’ battery had been taken and retaken three times by us, but was finally lost, most of the horses having been killed; Captain Ricketts being wounded, and First Lieut. D. Ramsay killed. Lieutenant Kirby behaved with great gallantry, and succeeded in carrying off one caisson.

Before this time heavy re-enforcements were distinctly seen approaching by two roads, extending and outflanking us on the right. Colonel Howard’s brigade came on the field at this time, having been detained by the general as a reserve at the point where we left the turnpike. It took post on a hill on our right and rear, and for some time gallantly held the enemy in check. I had one company of cavalry attached to my division, which was joined during the engagement by the cavalry of Colonel Hunter’s division. Major Palmer, who commanded them, was anxious to engage the enemy. The ground being unfavorable, I ordered them back out of range of fire.

Finding it impossible to rally any of the regiments, we commenced our retreat about 4.30 p.m. There was a fine position a short distance in rear, where I hoped to make a stand with a section of Arnold’s battery and the U.S. cavalry, if I could rally a few regiments of infantry. In this I utterly failed, and we continued our retreat on the road we had before advanced in the morning. I sent forward my staff officers to rally some troops beyond the run, but not a company would form. I stopped back a few moments at the hospital, to see what arrangements could be made to save the wounded.  The few ambulances that were there were filled, and started to the rear. The church which was used as a hospital, with the wounded and some of the surgeons, soon after fell into the hands of the secession cavalry, who followed us closely. A company of cavalry crossed the run, and seized an ambulance full of wounded. Captain Arnold gave them a couple of rounds of canister from his section of artillery, which sent them scampering away, and kept them at a respectful distance during the remainder of our retreat. At this point most of the stragglers were in advance of us. Having every reason to fear a vigorous pursuit from the enemy’s fresh troops, I was desirous of forming a strong rear guard, but neither the efforts of the officers of the Regular Army nor the coolness of the regular troops with me could induce them to form a single company. We relied entirely for our protection on one section of artillery and a few companies of cavalry. Most of the road was favorable for infantry, but unfavorable for cavalry and artillery.

About dusk, as we approached the Warrenton turnpike, we heard a firing of rifled cannon on our right, and learned that the enemy had established a battery enfilading the road. Captain Arnold, with his section of artillery, attempted to run the gauntlet, and reached the bridge over Cub Run about two miles from Centreville, but found it obstructed with broken vehicles, and was compelled to abandon his pieces, as they were under the fire of those rifled cannon. The cavalry turned to the left, and, after passing through a strip of woods and some fields, struck a road which led them to some camps occupied by our troops in the morning, through which we regained the turnpike. About 8 p.m. we reached the camps we had occupied in the morning. Had a brigade from the reserve advanced a short distance beyond Cub Run near one-third of the artillery lost might have been saved, as it was abandoned at or near this crossing.

Such a rout I never witnessed before. No efforts could induce a single regiment to form after the retreat was commenced. Our artillery was served admirably, and did much execution. Some of the volunteer regiments behaved very well, and much excuse can be made for those who fled, as few of the enemy could at any time be seen. Raw troops cannot be expected to stand long against an unseen enemy. I have been unable to obtain any report from the zouaves, as Colonel Farnham was wounded, and is sick in the hospital. I have only the list of the killed and wounded. Since the retreat more than three-fourths of the zouaves have disappeared. The brigade and regimental reports, with the lists of the killed and wounded, are inclosed herewith.

I beg leave to express my obligations to the officers of my staff, viz: Capt. Horatio G. Wright, Lieut. G. W. Snyder, and Lieut. Francis U. Farquhar, of the Engineers; Capt. Chauncey McKeever, assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. John J. Sweet, Second Cavalry, and Lieut. John D. Fairbanks, First Michigan Regiment, for the able and fearless manner in which they performed their duties, and to recommend them to your favorable consideration.

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

S. P. HEINTZELMAN,

Colonel Seventeenth Infantry, Commanding Division

Capt. JAS. B. FRY,

Assistant Adjutant-General, U.S. Army, Arlington, VA

Table – Return of casualties in the Third Division (Union) of Northeastern Virginia, at the Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861





John Clay Brown

20 09 2008

John Clay Brown of the 14th Brooklyn (NYSM) is the author of this letter describing the condition of corpses discovered on the battlefield of First Bull Run on his return there in March, 1862.  At the time of the battle he was a private in Company D.  Biographical information, the letter, and the photo below are courtesy of Dr. Thomas Clemens of Keedysville, MD.  When he enlisted in the 14th Brooklyn, he was 5′ 6″ tall, with blue eyes, auburn hair and light complexion.  Brown’s pension file includes various depositions, indicating he was a color bearer at the Battle of Groveton on August 18, 1862, where he suffered sunstroke which eventually forced him from the ranks and sent him to hospital in Washington.  He returned to his regiment, with the flag he had kept in his possession, in time to participate in the Battle of Antietam.  He remained with the regiment throughout the winter and spring, and was wounded and captured at Gettysburg.  After imprisonment at Libby Prison and Belle Isle in Richmond, he was exchanged in September 1863, after which he rejoined the 14th Brooklyn.  At the end of his three year enlistment, he signed on for another three year hitch, doing so in part for a $900 bonus.  In May 1864, the 14th Brooklyn was consolidated into the 5th New York Veteran Infantry.  On June 2, Brown was again captured, at Bethesda Church.  In South Carolina, he fell from a railroad car injuring his back.  He was released from the prison at Andersonville, GA on December 13, 1864, weighing just 85 pounds.  While recovering and awaiting exchange in Annapolis, MD, Brown learned he had been promoted to lieutenant in command of Company I of the 5th NY Veteran Infantry.  He rejoined the regiment and was present at the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox.

After the war, Brown suffered from the physical effects of his service and was unable to do heavy labor.  He suffered dizziness from his sunstroke and wore a truss for a hernia.  He had a light mercantile business for a time, and applied for a pension in 1884.  When the pension was granted in 1886, Brown was living in Newburgh, NY.  He moved west, with the last residence in the pension records being Talent, OR.  His date of death and place of burial are not known.

John Clay Brown: Born 10/4/1842; raised Brooklyn, NY; enlisted in 14th Booklyn (NY) State Militia (later desingated 84th NY Infantry) on 4/18/1861; mustered into Company D 5/23/1861; wounded and captured, 7/1/1863, Gettysburg, PA; POW Libby Prison and Belle Isle, Richmond, VA; returned to company, date unknown; re-enlisted 2/12/1864; transferred to Company A, 5th NY Veteran Infantry when 14th Brooklyn consolidated into that regiment in 5/1864; captured 6/2/1864 at Bethesda Church, VA; POW Andersonville, GA, 6/8/1864; paroled Charleston, SC 12/13/1864; mustered as 1st Lieutenant, 5th NY Veteran Infantry 5/17/1865; mustered out of service 8/21/1865 Hart’s Island, NY.  Date and place of death and interment unknown.

Sources: http://www.14thbrooklyn.info/DBROWN.HTM (9/20/2008); letter and biographical information provided by Dr. Thomas Clemens, copies in site owner’s collection.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 836 other followers