Captain William King, Camp Pickens Battery, On Blackburn’s Ford

20 04 2012

[Naval Batteries at Manassas Junction] 

7/18/1861 

[To his wife Annie K. Leftwich King]

My dear little Nannie: 

It is eight o’clock at Night and after standing at the Post Office for nearly an hour awaiting the opening of  detained mail to get a letter from you I learned that it would not be ready for delivery under two hours & determined to come home & write to you at once with nothing to communicate save the fact that about four thousand of our troops were attacked this morning at eight o’clock by a large Yankee force estimated at from 20,000 to 40,000 at Bulls Run which is quite a large fordable Creek three & a half miles from this place – Our men repulsed them three times during the day & now both forces are camped within about a mile & a half of each other – All I can gather is not satisfactorily definite to me but leads me to believe that our loss in killed & wounded does not exceed 75 & it is thought that the loss of the enemy will reach from 150 to 300 men in killed & wounded – We took some 15 or 20 prisoners who with our wounded are in this camp to night. 

Bulls Run is almost a second Saragossa in topography with our troops stationed here & there on this side of it for several miles – I suppose we will have daily engagements for several days & if at last the enemy does crop all that is necessary for their demolition will be for our forces to fall back to this place where we are ready to meet & whip (in my humble opinion) 100,000 of them – The troops were all ordered forward this morning from here except one regiment & the men connected with the Batteries – My men & I were all day in readiness at my Battery that commands the Centreville road, on which the fight occurred & we could distinctly see the flash, & smoke & hear the roar of Artillery – John Williams has volunteered to fight in my detachment & could scarcely be held at his post when the fight was progressing in our view – Our Army here is confident of ultimate complete victory & Richmond ought to be willing to trust it rather than suffer from the consternation that I hear prevails there 

I understand that Col Moon of Richmond is slightly wounded & that one Captain of the New Orleans Artillery was killed – All the Lynchburg boys were present at the fight except Lathams Battery which is stationed with Genl Cocke four or five miles above on Bulls Run – I have not heard that any of them were either killed or wounded – 

Please don’t make statements from this as coming from me for the reason that I have not taken the pains to gather full & correct details – 

Give my love to all my friends & connexions & write as often as you can to my address as of the Naval Batteries at Manassas Junction 

Your own 

Choctaw 

MSS 6682, Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library, as transcribed at 150 Years Ago Today. Used with permission.

William King in Ancestry.com

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