#84 (Part 1) – Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard

26 01 2008

 Reports of Gen. G. T. Beauregard, C. S. Army, and Resulting Correspondence (Part 1)

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 484 – 504

HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Fairfax Court-House, October 14, 1861

SIR: I have the honor to transmit by my aide, Lieut. S. W. Ferguson, the report of the battle of Manassas, with the accompanying papers and drawings(*), as well as the flags and colors captured from the enemy on that occasion. Occupations of the gravest character have prevented their earlier transmission. I send as a guard of said colors two of the soldiers who participated in their capture.

I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, Commanding

Gen. SAMUEL COOPER,

Adjutant General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

*Drawings not found

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HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Manassas, August 26 [October 14], 1861

GENERAL: Before entering upon a narration of the general military operations in the presence of the enemy on the 21st of July, I propose, I hope not unseasonably, first to recite certain events which belong to the strategy of the campaign, and consequently form an essential part of the history of the battle.

Having become satisfied that the advance of the enemy, with a decidedly superior force, both as to numbers and war equipage, to attack or turn my position in this quarter, was immediately impending, I dispatched on the 13th of July one of my staff, Col. James Chesnut, of South Carolina, to submit for the consideration of the President a plan of operations substantially as follows:

I proposed that General Johnston should unite as soon as possible the bulk of the Army of the Shenandoah with that of the Potomac, then under my command, leaving only sufficient forces to garrison his strong works at Winchester, and to guard the fine defensive passes of the Blue Ridge, and thus hold General Patterson in check. At the same time Brigadier-General Holmes was to march hither with all of his command not essential for the defense of the position of Aquia Creek. These junctions having been effected at Manassas, an immediate impetuous attack of our combined armies upon General McDowell was to follow as soon as he approached my advanced positions at and around Fairfax Court-House, with the inevitable result, as I submitted, of his complete defeat and the destruction or capture of his army. This accomplished, the Army of the Shenandoah, under General Johnston, increased with a part of my forces, and rejoined as he returned by the detachments left to hold the mountain passes, was to march back rapidly into the valley, fall upon and crush Patterson with a superior force wheresoever he might be found. This I confidently estimated could be achieved within fifteen days after General Johnston should march from Winchester for Manassas. Meanwhile I was to occupy the enemy’s works on this side of the Potomac if, as I anticipated, he had been so routed as to enable me to enter them with him; or if not, to retire again for a time within the lines of Bull Run with my main force. Patterson having been virtually destroyed, then General Johnston would re-enforce General Garnett sufficiently to make him superior to his opponent, General McClellan, and able to defeat that officer. This done, General Garnett was to form an immediate junction with General Johnston, who was forthwith to cross the Potomac into Maryland with his whole force, arouse the people as he advanced to the recovery of their political rights and the defense of their homes and families from an offensive invader, and then march to the investment of Washington in the rear, whilst I resumed the offensive in front. This plan of operations, you are aware, was not accepted at the time, from considerations which appeared so weighty as to more than counterbalance its proposed advantages.

Informed of these views, and of the decision of the War Department, I then made my preparations for the stoutest practicable defense of the line of Bull Run, the enemy having now developed his purposes by the advance on and occupation of Fairfax Court-House, from which my advanced brigade had been withdrawn.

The War Department having been informed by me by telegraph on the 17th July of the movement of General McDowell, General Johnston was immediately ordered to form a junction of his army corps with mine, should the movement in his judgment be deemed advisable. General Holmes was also directed to push forward with two regiments, a battery, and one company of cavalry.

In view of these propositions, approaching re-enforcements modifying my plan of operations so far as to determine on attacking the enemy at Centreville as soon as I should hear of the near approach of the two re-enforcing columns, I sent one of my aides, Colonel Chisolm, of South Carolina, to meet and communicate my plans to General Johnston, and my wish that one portion of his forces should march by the way of Aldie, and take the enemy on his right flank and in reverse at Centreville. Difficulties, however, of an insuperable character, in connection with means of transportation and the marching condition of his troops, made this impracticable, and it was determined our forces should be united within the lines of Bull Run, and thence advance to the attack of the enemy.

General Johnston arrived here about noon on the 20th July, and being my senior in rank he necessarily assumed command of all the forces of the Confederate States then concentrating at this point. Made acquainted with my plan of operations and dispositions to meet the enemy, he gave them his entire approval, and generously directed their execution under my command.

In consequence of the untoward detention, however, of some five thousand of General Johnston’s army corps, resulting from the inadequate and imperfect means of transportation for so many troops at the disposition of the Manassas Gap Railroad, it became necessary, on the morning of the 21st, before daylight, to modify the plan accepted to suit the contingency of an immediate attack on our lines by the main force of the enemy, then plainly at hand.

The enemy’s forces, reported by their best-informed journals to be fifty-five thousand strong, I had learned from reliable sources on the night of the 20th were being concentrated in and around Centreville and along the Warrenton turnpike road to Bull Run, near which our respective pickets were in immediate proximity. This fact, with the conviction that after his signal discomfiture on the 18th of July before Blackburn’s Fords–the center of my lines–he would not renew the attack in that quarter, induced me at once to look for an attempt on my left flank, resting on the stone bridge, which was but weakly guarded by men, as well as but slightly provided with artificial defensive appliances and artillery.

In view of these palpable military conditions, by 4.30 a.m. on the 21st of July I had prepared and dispatched orders directing the whole of the Confederate forces within the lines of Bull Run, including the brigades and regiments of General Johnston, which had arrived at that time, to be held in readiness to march at a moment’s notice. At that hour the following was the disposition of our forces: Ewell’s brigade, constituted as on the 18th of July, remained in position at Union Mills Ford, its left extending along Bull Run in the direction of McLean’s Ford, and supported by Holmes’ brigade, Second Tennessee and First Arkansas Regiments, a short distance to the rear–that is, at and near Camp Wigfall. D. R. Jones’ brigade, from Ewell’s left, in front of McLean’s Ford and along the stream to Longstreet’s position. It was unchanged in organization, and was supported by Early’s brigade, also unchanged, placed behind a thicket of young pines a short distance in the rear of McLean’s Ford. Longstreet’s brigade held its former ground at Blackburn’s Ford, from Jones’ left to Bonham’s right, at Mitchell’s Ford, and was supported by Jackson’s brigade, consisting of Cols. James F. Preston’s Fourth, Harper’s Fifth, Allen’s Second, the Twenty-seventh, Lieutenant-Colonel Echols, and the Thirty-third, Cummings’ Virginia Regiments, two thousand six hundred and eleven strong, which were posted behind the skirting of pines to the rear of Blackburn’s and Mitchell’s Fords, and in rear of this support was also Barksdale’s Thirteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, which had lately arrived from Lynchburg. Along the edge of a pine thicket, in rear of and equidistant from McLean’s and Blackburn’s Fords, ready to support either position, I had also placed all of Bee’s and Bartow’s brigades that had arrived, namely: Two companies of the Eleventh Mississippi, Lieutenant-Colonel Liddell; the Second Mississippi, Colonel Falkner, and Fourth Alabama, with Seventh and Eighth Georgia Regiments, Colonel Gartrell and Lieutenant-Colonel Gardner–in all two thousand seven hundred and thirty-two bayonets. Bonham’s brigade, as before, held Mitchell’s Ford, its right near Longstreet’s left, its left extending in the direction of Cocke’s right. It was organized as at the end of the 18th of July, with Jackson’s brigade, as before said, as a support.

Cocke’s brigade, increased by seven companies of the Eighth, Hunton’s, three companies of the Forty-ninth, Smith’s, Virginia Regiments, two companies of cavalry, and a battery, under Rogers, of four 6-pounders, occupied the line in front and rear of Bull Run, extending from the direction of Bonham’s left, and guarding Island, Ball’s, and Lewis’ Fords, to the right of Evans’ demi-brigade, near the stone bridge, also under General Cooke’s command. The latter held the stone bridge, and its left covered a farm ford about one mile above the bridge.

Stuart’s Cavalry, some three hundred men of the Army of the Shenandoah, guarded the level ground extending in rear from Bonham’s left to Cocke’s right.

Two companies of Radford’s cavalry were held in reserve a short distance in rear of Mitchell’s Ford, his left extending in the direction of Stuart’s right.

Colonel Pendleton’s reserve battery of eight pieces was temporarily placed in rear of Bonham’s extreme left.

Major Walton’s reserve battery of five guns was in position on McLean’s farm in a piece of woods in rear of Bee’s right.

Hampton’s Legion, of six companies of infantry, 600 strong, having arrived that morning by the cars from Richmond, was subsequently, as soon as it arrived, ordered forward to a position in the immediate vicinity of the Lewis house as a support for any troops engaged in that quarter.

The effective force of all arms of the Army of the Potomac on that eventful morning, including the garrison at Camp Pickens, did not exceed 21,833 and 29 guns. The Army of the Shenandoah, ready for action on the field, may be set at 6,000 men and 20 guns. (That is, when the battle began. Smith’s brigade and Fisher’s North Carolina came up later, and made total of Army of the Shenandoah engaged, of all arms, 8,334. Hill’s Virginia Regiment, 550, also arrived, but was posted as reserve to right flank.) The brigade of General Holmes mustered about 1,265 bayonets, 6 guns, and a company of cavalry about 90 strong.

Informed at 5.30 a.m. by Colonel Evans that the enemy had deployed some twelve hundred men (these were what Colonel Evans saw of General Schenck’s brigade of General Tyler’s division and two other heavy brigades—in all over nine thousand men and thirteen pieces of artillery, Carlisle’s and Ayres’ batteries; that is, nine hundred men and two 6-pounders, confronted by nine thousand men and thirteen pieces of artillery, mostly rifled) with several pieces of artillery in his immediate front, I at once ordered him, as also General Cooke, if attacked, to maintain their position to the last extremity.

In my opinion the most effective method of relieving that flank was by a rapid, determined attack with my right wing and center on the enemy’s flank and rear at Centreville, with due precautions against the advance of his reserves from the direction of Washington. By such a movement I confidently expected to achieve a complete victory for my country by 12 m.

These new dispositions were submitted to General Johnston, who fully approved them, and the orders for their immediate execution were at once issued.

Brigadier-General Ewell was directed to begin the movement, to be followed and supported successively by Generals D. R. Jones, Longstreet, and Bonham, respectively, supported by their several appointed reserves. The cavalry, under Stuart and Radford, were to be held in hand, subject to future orders and ready for employment, as might be required by the exigencies of the battle.

About 8.30 a.m. General Johnston and myself transferred our headquarters to a central position, about half a mile in rear of Mitchell’s Ford, whence we might watch the course of events. Previously, as early as 5.30, the Federalists in front of Evans’ position (stone bridge) had opened with a large 30-pounder Parrott rifled gun, and thirty minutes later with a moderate, apparently tentative, fire from a battery of rifled pieces, directed first in front of Evans’, and then in the direction of Cocke’s position, but without drawing a return fire and discovery of our positions, chiefly because in that quarter we had nothing but eight 6 pounder pieces, which could not reach the distant enemy.

As the Federalists had advanced with an extended line of skirmishers in front of Evans, that officer promptly threw forward the two flank companies of the Fourth South Carolina Regiment and one company of Wheat’s Louisiana Battalion, deployed as skirmishers to cover his small front. An occasional scattering fire resulted, and thus the two armies in that quarter remained for more than an hour, while the main body of the enemy was marching his devious way through the Big Forest to take our forces in flank and rear.

By 8.30 a.m. Colonel Evans, having become satisfied of the counterfeit character of the movement on his front, and persuaded of an attempt to turn his left flank, decided to change his position to meet the enemy, and for this purpose immediately put in motion to his left and rear six companies of Sloan’s Fourth South Carolina Regiment, Wheat’s Louisiana Battalion’s five companies, and two 6-pounders of Latham’s battery, leaving four companies of Sloan’s regiment under cover as the sole immediate defense of the stone bridge, but giving information to General Cocke of his change of position and the red, sons that impelled it.

Following a road leading by the old Pittsylvania (Carter) mansion, Colonel Evans formed in line of battle some four hundred yards in rear, as he advanced, of that house, his guns to the front and in position, properly supported, to its immediate right. Finding, however, that the enemy did not appear on that road, which was a branch of one leading by Sudley Springs Ford to Brentsville and Dumfries, he turned abruptly to the left, and marching across the fields for three-quarters of a mile, about 9.30 a.m. took a position in line of battle, his left, Sloan’s companies, resting on the main Brentsville road in a shallow ravine, the Louisiana Battalion to the right, in advance some two hundred yards, a rectangular copse of wood separating them, one piece of his artillery planted on an eminence some seven hundred yards to the rear of Wheat’s battalion, and the other on a ridge near and in rear of Sloan’s position, commanding a reach of the road just in front of the line of battle. In this order he awaited the coming of the masses of the enemy, now drawing near.

In the mean time, about 7 o’clock a.m., Jackson’s brigade, with Imboden’s and five pieces of Walton’s battery, had been sent to take up a position along Bull Run, to guard the interval between Cooke’s right and Bonham’s left, with orders to support either in case of need, the character and topographical features of the ground having been shown to General Jackson by Capt. D. B. Harris, of the engineers, of this army corps. So much of Bee’s and Bartow’s brigades, now united, as had arrived, some 2,800 muskets, had also been sent forward to the support of the position of the stone bridge.

The enemy, beginning his detour from the turnpike at a point nearly half-way between stone bridge and Centreville, had pursued a tortuous, narrow trace of a rarely-used road through a dense wood the greater part of his way until near the Sudley road. A division under Colonel Hunter, of the Federal Regular Army, of two strong brigades, was in the advance, followed immediately by another division, under Colonel Heintzelman, of three brigades and seven companies of Regular Cavalry, and twenty-four pieces of artillery, eighteen of which were rifled guns. This column, as it crossed Bull Run, numbered over sixteen thousand men of all arms by their own accounts.

Burnside’s brigade–which here, as at Fairfax Court-House, led the advance–at about 9.45 a.m. debouched from a wood in sight of Evans’ position, some five hundred yards distant from Wheat’s battalion. He immediately threw forward his skirmishers in force, and they became engaged with Wheat’s command, and the 6-pounder gun under Lieutenant Leftwitch. The Federalists at once advanced–as they report officially–the Second Rhode Island Regiment Volunteers, with its vaunted battery of six 13-pounder rifled guns. Sloan’s companies were then brought into action, having been pushed forward through the woods. The enemy, soon galled and staggered by the fire and pressed by the determined valor with which Wheat handled his battalion until he was desperately wounded, hastened up three other regiments of the brigade and two Dahlgren howitzers, making in all quite three thousand five hundred bayonets and eight pieces of artillery, opposed to less than eight hundred men and two 6-pounder guns. Despite this odds, this intrepid command, of but eleven weak companies, maintained its front to the enemy for quite an hour, and until General Bee came to their aid with his command. The heroic Bee, with a soldier’s eye and recognition of the situation, had previously disposed his command with skill, Imboden’s battery having been admirably placed between the two brigades, under shelter, behind the undulations of a hill about one hundred and fifty yards north of the now famous Henry house, and very near where he subsequently fell mortally wounded, to the great misfortune of his country, but after deeds of deliberate and ever-memorable courage. Meanwhile the enemy had pushed forward a battalion of eight companies of regular infantry, and one of their best batteries of six pieces (four rifled), supported by four companies of marines, to increase the desperate odds against which Evans and his men had maintained their stand with an almost matchless tenacity. General Bee, now finding Evans sorely pressed under the crushing weight of the masses of the enemy, at the call of Colonel Evans threw forward his whole force to his aid across a small stream (Young’s Branch and Valley), and engaged the Federalists with impetuosity, Imboden’s battery at the time playing from his well-chosen position with brilliant effect with spherical case, the enemy having first opened on him from a rifle battery (probably Griffin’s) with elongated cylindrical shells, which flew a few feet over the heads of our men and exploded in the crest of the hill immediately in rear.

As Bee advanced under a severe fire he placed the Seventh and Eighth Georgia Regiments under the chivalrous Bartow, at about 11 a.m. in a wood of second-growth pines, to the right and front of and nearly perpendicular to Evans  line of battle; the Fourth Alabama to the left of them, along a fence, connecting the position of the Georgia regiments with the rectangular copse in which Sloan’s South Carolina companies were engaged? and into which he also threw the Second Mississippi. A fierce and destructive conflict now ensued. The fire was withering on both sides, while the enemy swept our short thin lines with their numerous artillery, which, according to their official reports, at this time consisted of at least ten rifled guns and four howitzers. For an hour did these stout-hearted men of the blended commands of Bee, Evans, and Barrow breast an unintermitting battle-storm, animated surely by something more than the ordinary courage of even the bravest men under fire. It must have been indeed the inspiration of the cause and consciousness of the great stake at issue which thus nerved and animated one and all to stand unawed and unshrinking in such extremity.

Two Federal brigades of Heintzelman’s division were now brought into action, led by Ricketts” superb light battery of six 10-pounder rifled guns, which, posted on an eminence to the right of the Sudley road, opened fire on Imboden’s battery–about this time increased by two rifled pieces of the Washington Artillery under Lieutenant Richardson, and already the mark of two batteries, which divided their fire with Imboden and two guns under Lieutenants Davidson and Leftwitch, of Latham’s battery, posted as before mentioned. At this time confronting the enemy we had still but Evans’ eleven companies and two guns, Bee’s and Bartow’s four regiments, the two companies Eleventh Mississippi under Lieutenant-Colonel Liddell, and the six pieces under Imboden and Richardson. The enemy had two divisions of four strong brigades, including seventeen companies of regular infantry, cavalry, and artillery, four companies of marines, and twenty pieces of artillery. (See official reports of Colonels Heintzelman, Porter, &c.) Against this odds, scarcely credible, our advance position was still for a while maintained, and the enemy’s ranks constantly broken and shattered under the scorching fire of our men; but fresh regiments of the Federalists came upon the field. Sherman’s and Keyes’ brigades of Tyler’s division, as is stated in their reports, numbering over six thousand bayonets, which had found a passage across the run about eight hundred yards above the stone bridge, threatened our right.

Heavy losses bad now been sustained on our side both in numbers and in the personal worth of the slain. The Eighth Georgia Regiment had suffered heavily, being exposed, as it took and maintained its position, to a fire from the enemy, already posted within a hundred yards of their front and right, sheltered by fences and other cover. It was at this time that Lieutenant-Colonel Gardner was severely wounded, as also several other valuable officers. The adjutant of the regiment, Lieutenant Branch, was killed, and the horse of the regretted Barrow was shot under him. The Fourth Alabama also suffered severely from the deadly fire of the thousands of muskets which they so dauntlessly confronted under the immediate leadership of Bee himself. Its brave colonel (E. J. Jones) was dangerously wounded, and many gallant officers fell, slain or hors de combat.

Now, however, with the surging mass of over fourteen thousand Federal infantry pressing on their front and under the incessant fire of at least twenty pieces of artillery, with the fresh brigades of Sherman and Keyes approaching, the latter already in musket range, our lines gave back, but under orders from General Bee. The enemy, maintaining their fire, pressed their swelling masses onward as our shattered battalions retired. The slaughter for the moment was deplorable, and has filled many a Southern home with life-long sorrow. Under this inexorable stress the retreat continued, until arrested by the energy and resolution of General Bee, supported by Barrow and Evans, just in rear of the Robinson house, and Hampton’s Legion, which had been already advanced and was in position near it. Imboden’s battery, which had been handled with marked skill, but whose men were almost exhausted, and the two pieces of Walton’s battery, under Lieutenant Richardson, being threatened by the enemy’s infantry on the left and front, were also obliged to fall back. Imboden, leaving a disabled piece on the ground, retired until he met Jackson’s brigade, while Richardson joined the main body of his battery near the Lewis house.

As our infantry retired from the extreme front the two 6-pounders of Latham’s battery before mentioned fell back with excellent judgment to suitable positions in the rear, where an effective fire was maintained upon the still advancing lines of the Federalists with damaging effect until their ammunition was nearly exhausted, when they too were withdrawn in the near presence of the enemy and rejoined their captain.

From the point, previously indicated, where General Johnston and myself had established our headquarters, we heard the continuous roll of musketry and the sustained din of the artillery, which announced the serious outburst of the battle on our left flank, and we anxiously but confidently awaited similar sounds of conflict from our front at Centreville, resulting from the prescribed attack in that quarter by our right wing.

At 10:30 a.m., however, this expectation was dissipated, from Brigadier-General Ewell informing me, to my profound disappointment, that my orders for his advance had miscarried, but that in consequence of a communication from Gen. D. R. Jones he had just thrown his brigade across the stream at Union Mills. But in my judgment it was now too late for the effective execution of the contemplated movement, which must have required quite three hours for the troops to get into position for the attack. Therefore it became immediately necessary to depend on new combinations and other dispositions suited to the now pressing exigency. The movement of the right and center, already begun by Jones and Longstreet, was at once countermanded with the sanction of General Johnston, and we arranged to meet the enemy on the field upon which he had chosen to give us battle.

Under these circumstances our reserves not already in movement were immediately ordered up to support our left flank, namely, Holmes’ two regiments and battery of artillery, under Capt. Lindsey Walker, of six guns, and Early’s brigade. Two regiments from Bonham’s brigade, with Kemper’s four 6-pounders, were also called for and, with the sanction of General Johnston, Generals Ewell, Jones (D. R.), Longstreet, and Bonham were directed to make a demonstration to their several fronts, to retain and engross the enemy’s reserves and any forces on their flank and at and around Centreville. Previously our respective chiefs of staff, Major Rhett and Colonel Jordan, had been left at my headquarters to hasten up and give directions to any troops that might arrive at Manassas.

These orders having been duly dispatched by staff officers, at 11.30 a.m. General Johnston and myself set out for the immediate field of action, which we reached in the rear of the Robinson and Widow Henry’s houses at about 12 m., and just as the commands of Bee, Bar-tow, and Evans had taken shelter in a wooded ravine behind the former, stoutly held at the time by Hampton with his Legion, which had made stand there after having previously been as far forward as the turnpike, where Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, an officer of brilliant promise, was killed, and other severe losses were sustained.

Before our arrival upon the scene General Jackson had moved forward with his brigade of five Virginia regiments from his position in reserve, and had judiciously taken post below the brim of the plateau, nearly east of the Henry house, and to the left of the ravine and woods occupied by the mingled remnants of Bee’s, Bartow’s, and Evans’ commands, with Imboden’s battery and two of Stanard’s pieces placed so as to play upon the on-coming enemy, supported in the immediate rear by Col. J. F. Preston’s and Lieutenant-Colonel Echols’ regiments, on the right by Harper’s, and on the left by Allen’s and Cummings’ regiments.

As soon as General Johnston and myself reached the field we were occupied with the reorganization of the heroic troops, whose previous stand, with scarce a parallel, has nothing more valiant in all the pages of history, and whose losses fitly tell why at length their ranks had lost their cohesion.

It was now that General Johnston impressively and gallantly charged to the front, with the colors of the Fourth Alabama Regiment by his side, all the field officers of the regiment having been previously disabled. Shortly afterwards I placed S. R. Gist, adjutant and inspector general of South Carolina, a volunteer aide of General Bee, in command of this regiment, and who led it again to the front as became its previous behavior, and remained with it for the rest of the day.

As soon as we had thus rallied and disposed our forces, I urged General Johnston to leave the immediate conduct of the field to me, while he, repairing to Portici, the Lewis house, should urge re-enforcement–forward. At first he was unwilling, but reminded that one of us must do so, and that properly it was his place, he reluctantly, but fortunately, complied; fortunately, because from that position, by his energy and sagacity, his keen perception and anticipation of my needs, he so directed the reserves as to insure the success of the day.

As General Johnston departed for Portici, Colonel Bartow reported to me with the remains of the Seventh Georgia Volunteers, Gartrell’s, which I ordered him to post on the left of Jackson’s line in the edge of the belt of pines bordering the southeastern rim of the plateau, on which the battle was now to rage so long and so fiercely.

Col. William Smith’s battalion of the Forty-ninth Virginia Volunteers, having also come up by my orders, I placed it on the left of Gartrell’s, as my extreme left at the time. Repairing then to the right, I placed Hampton’s Legion, which have suffered greatly, on that flank somewhat to the rear of Harper’s regiment, and also the seven companies of the Eighth (Hunton’s) Virginia Regiment, which, detached from Cocke’s brigade by my orders and those of General Johnston, had opportunely reached the ground. These, with Harper’s regiment, constituted a reserve to protect our right flank from an advance of the enemy from the quarter of the stone bridge, and served as a support for the line of battle, which was formed on the right by Bee’s and Evans’ commands, in the center by four regiments of Jackson’s brigade, with Imboden’s four 6-pounders, Walton’s five guns (two rifled), two guns (one piece rifled) of Stanard’s, and two 6-pounders of Rogers’ batteries, the latter under Lieutenant Heaton, and on the left by Gartrell’s reduced ranks and Colonel Smith’s battalion, subsequently re-enforced, Falkner’s Second Mississippi Regiment, and by another regiment of the Army of the Shenandoah, just arrived upon the field–the Sixth (Fisher’s) North Carolina. Confronting the enemy at this time my forces numbered at most not more than sixty-five hundred infantry and artillerists, with but thirteen pieces of artillery and two companies (Carter’s and Hoge’s) of Stuart’s Cavalry.

The enemy’s force now bearing hotly and confidently down on our position, regiment after regiment of the best-equipped men that ever took the field according to their own official history of the day, was formed of Colonels Hunter’s and Heintzelman’s divisions, Colonels Sherman’s and Keyes’ brigades of Tyler’s division, and of the formidable batteries of Ricketts, Griffin, and Arnold (regulars), and Second Rhode Island and two Dahlgren howitzers–a force of over twenty thousand infantry, seven companies of regular cavalry, and twenty-four pieces of improved artillery. At the same time perilous heavy reserves of infantry and artillery hung in the distance around the stone bridge, Mitchell’s, Blackburn’s, and Union Mills Fords, visibly ready to fall upon us at any moment, and I was also assured of the existence of other heavy corps at and around Centreville and elsewhere within convenient supporting distances.

Fully conscious of this portentous disparity of force, as I posted the lines for the encounter I sought to infuse into the hearts of my officers and men the confidence and determined spirit of resistance to this wicked invasion of the homes of a free people which I felt. I informed them that re-enforcements would rapidly come to their support, and that we must at all hazards hold our posts until re-enforced. I reminded them that we fought for our homes, our firesides, and for the independence of our country. I urged them to the resolution of victory or death on that field. These sentiments were loudly, eagerly cheered wheresoever proclaimed, and I then felt reassured of the unconquerable spirit of that army, which would enable us to wrench victory from the host then threatening us with destruction.

Oh, my country! I would readily have sacrificed my life and those of all the brave men around me to save your honor and to maintain your independence from the degrading yoke which those ruthless invaders had come to impose and render perpetual, and the day’s issue has assured me that such emotions must also have animated all under my command.

In the mean time the enemy had seized upon the plateau on which Robinson’s and the Henry houses are situated–the position first occupied in the morning by General Bee before advancing to the support of Evans. Ricketts’ battery of six rifled guns, the pride of the Federalists, the object of their unstinted expenditure in outfit, and the equally powerful regular light battery of Griffin, were brought forward and placed in immediate action, after having, conjointly with the batteries already mentioned, played from former positions with destructive effect upon our forward battalions.

The topographical features of the plateau, now become the stage of the contending armies, must be described in outline. A glance at the map will show that it is inclosed on three sides by small water-courses, which empty into Bull Run within a few yards of each other a half a mile to the south of the stone bridge. Rising to an elevation of quite one hundred feet above the level of Bull Run at the bridge, it falls off on three sides to the level of the inclosing streams in gentle slopes, but which are furrowed by ravines of irregular direction and length, and studded with clumps and patches of young pines and oaks. The general direction of the crest of the plateau is oblique to the course of Bull Run in that quarter and to the Brentsville and turnpike roads, which intersect each other at right angles. Immediately surrounding the two houses before mentioned are small open fields of irregular outline, not exceeding one hundred and fifty acres in extent. The houses, occupied at the time, the one by the Widow Henry and the other by the free negro Robinson, are small wooden buildings, the latter densely embowered in trees and environed by a double row of fences on two sides. Around the eastern and southern brow of the plateau an almost unbroken fringe of second-growth pines gave excellent shelter for our marksmen, who availed themselves of it with the most satisfactory skill. To the west, adjoining the fields, a broad belt of oaks extends directly across the crest on both sides of the Sudley road, in which during the battle regiments of both armies met and contended for the mastery. From the open ground of this plateau the view embraces a wide expanse of woods and gently undulating open country of broad grass and grain fields in all directions, including the scene of Evans’ and Bee’s recent encounter with the enemy, some twelve hundred yards to the northward.

In reply to the play of the enemy’s batteries our own artillery had not been either idle or unskillful. The ground occupied by our guns, on a level with that held by the batteries of the enemy, was an open space of limited extent, behind a low undulation just at the eastern verge of the plateau, some live or six hundred yards from the Henry house. Here, as before said, thirteen pieces, mostly 6-pounders, were, maintained in action; the several batteries of Imboden, Stanard, Pendleton (Rockbridge Artillery), and Alburtis, of the Army of the Shenandoah, and five guns of Walton’s and Heaton’s section of Rogers’ battery of the Army of the Potomac, alternating to some extent with each other, and taking part as needed, all from the outset displaying that marvelous capacity of our people as artillerists which has made them, it would appear, at once the terror and the admiration of the enemy. As was soon apparent, the Federalists had suffered severely from our artillery and from the fire of our musketry on the right, and especially from the left flank, placed under cover, within whose galling range they had been advanced; and we are told in their official reports how regiment after regiment thrown forward to dislodge us was broken, never to recover its entire organization on that field.

In the mean time, also, two companies of Stuart’s Cavalry ((Carter’s and Hoge’s) made a dashing charge down the Brentsville and Sudley road upon the Fire Zouaves, then the enemy’s right; on the plateau, which added to their disorder wrought by our musketry on that flank. But still the press of the enemy was heavy in that quarter of the field as fresh troops were thrown forward there to outflank us, and some three guns of a battery in an attempt to obtain a position, apparently to enfilade our batteries, were thrown so close to the Thirty-third Regiment, Jackson’s brigade, that that regiment, springing forward, seized them, but with severe loss, and was subsequently driven back by an overpowering force of Federal musketry.

Now, full 2 o’clock p.m., I gave the order for the right of my line, except my reserves, to advance to recover the plateau. It was done with uncommon resolution and vigor, and at the same time Jackson’s brigade pierced the enemy’s center with the determination of veterans and the spirit of men who fight for a sacred cause, but it suffered seriously. With equal spirit the other parts of the line made the onset, and the Federal lines were broken and swept back at all points from the open ground of the plateau. Rallying soon, however, as they were strongly re-enforced by fresh regiments, the Federalists returned, and by weight of numbers pressed our lines back, recovered their ground and guns, and renewed the offensive.

By this time, between half past two and 3 o’clock p.m., our re-enforcements pushed forward, and, directed by General Johnston to the required quarter, were at hand just as I had ordered forward to a second effort for the recovery of the disputed plateau the whole line, including my reserve, which at this crisis of the battle I felt called upon to lead in person. This attack was general, and was shared in by every regiment then in the field, including the Sixth (Fisher’s) Worth Carolina Regiment, which had just come up and taken position on the immediate left of the Forty-ninth Virginia Regiment. The whole open ground was again swept clear of the enemy, and the plateau around the Henry and Robinson houses remained finally in our possession with the greater part of the Ricketts and Griffin batteries, and a flag of the First Michigan Regiment, captured by the Twenty-seventh Virginia Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Echols, of Jackson’s brigade.

This part of the day was rich with deeds of individual coolness and dauntless conduct, as well as well-directed embodied resolution and bravery, but fraught with the loss to the service of the country of lives of inestimable preciousness at this juncture. The brave Bee was mortally wounded at the head of the Fourth Alabama and some Mississippians. In the open field near the Henry house, and a few yards distant, the promising life of Bartow, while leading the Seventh Georgia Regiment, was quenched in blood. Col. F. J. Thomas, acting chief of ordnance, of General Johnston’s staff, after gallant conduct and most efficient service, was also slain. Colonel Fisher, Sixth North Carolina, likewise fell, after soldierly behavior at the head of his regiment with ranks greatly thinned.

Withers’ Eighteenth Regiment, of Cocke’s brigade, had come up in time to follow this charge, and, in conjunction with Hampton’s Legion, captured several rifled pieces, which may have fallen previously in possession of some of our troops, but if so, had been recovered by the enemy. These pieces were immediately turned and effectively served on distant masses of the enemy by the hands of some of our officers.

While the enemy had thus been driven back on our right entirely across the turnpike and beyond Young’s Branch on our left, the woods yet swarmed with them when our re-enforcements opportunely arrived in quick succession and took position in that portion of the field. Kershaw’s Second and Cash’s Eighth South Carolina Regiments, which had arrived soon after Withers, were led through the oaks just east of the Sudley-Brentsville road, brushing some of the enemy before them, and taking an advantageous position along and west of that road, opened with much skill and effect on bodies of the enemy that had been rallied under cover of a strong Federal brigade posted on a plateau in the southwest angle formed by intersection of the turnpike with the Sudley-Brentsville road. Among the troops thus engaged were the Federal regular infantry.

At the same time Kemper’s battery, passing northward by the Sudley-Brentsville road, took position on the open space, under orders of Colonel Kershaw, near where an enemy’s battery had been captured, and was opened with effective results upon the Federal right, then the mark also of Kershaw’s and Cash’s regiments. Preston’s Twenty-eighth Regiment, of Cocke’s brigade, had by that time entered the same body of oaks, and encountered some Michigan troops, capturing their brigade commander, Colonel Willcox.

Another important accession to our forces had also occurred about the same time, 3 o’clock p.m. Brig. Gen. E. K. Smith, with some seventeen hundred infantry, of Elzey’s brigade, of the Army of the Shenandoah, and Beckham’s battery came upon the field from Camp Pickens, Manassas, where they had arrived by railroad at noon. Directed in person by General Johnston to the left, then so much endangered, on reaching a position in rear of the oak woods, south of the Henry house, and immediately east of the Sudley road, General Smith was disabled by a severe wound, and his valuable services were lost at that critical juncture; but the command devolved upon a meritorious officer of experience, Colonel Elzey, who led his infantry at once somewhat farther to the left, in the direction of the Chinn house, across the road, through the oaks skirting the west side of the road, and around which he sent the battery, under Lieutenant Beckham. This officer took up a most favorable position near that house, whence, with a clear view of the Federal right and center, filling the open fields to the west of the Brentsville-Sudley road and gently sloping southward, he opened fire with his battery upon them with deadly and damaging effect.

Colonel Early, who by some mischance did not receive orders until 2 o’clock which had been sent him at noon, came on the ground immediately after Elzey, with Kemper’s Seventh Virginia, Hays’ Seventh Louisiana, and Barksdale’s Thirteenth Mississippi Regiments. This brigade, by the personal direction of General Johnston, was marched by the Holkham house across the fields to the left, entirely around the woods through which Elzey had passed, and under a severe fire, into a position in line of battle near Chinn’s house, outflanking the enemy’s right.

At this time, about 3.30 p, m., the enemy, driven back on their left and center and brushed from the woods bordering the Sudley road, south and west of the Henry house, had formed a line of battle of truly formidable proportions, of crescent outline, reaching on their left from vicinity of Pittsylvania (the old Carter mansion), by Mathews’ and in rear of Dogan’s, across the turnpike near to Chinn’s house. The woods and fields were filled with their masses of infantry a and their carefully-preserved cavalry. It was a truly magnificent, though redoubtable, spectacle as they threw forward in flue style on the broad, gentle slopes of the ridge occupied by their main lines a cloud of skirmishers, preparatory for another attack.

But as Early formed his line, and Beckham’s pieces played upon the right of the enemy, Elzey’s brigade, Gibbons’ Tenth Virginia, Lieutenant-Colonel Steuart’s First Maryland, and Vaughn’s Third Tennessee Regiments, Cash’s Eighth and Kershaw’s Second South Carolina, Withers, Eighteenth and Preston’s Twenty-eighth Virginia advanced in an irregular line, almost simultaneously, with great spirit from their several positions upon the front and flanks of the enemy in their quarter of the field. At the same time, too, Early resolutely assailed their right flank and rear. Under this combined attack the enemy was soon forced first over the narrow plateau in the southern angle made by the two roads so often mentioned into a patch of woods on its western slope, thence back over Young’s Branch and the turnpike into the fields of the Dogan farm and rearward, in extreme disorder in all available directions towards Bull Run. The rout had now become general and complete.

About the time that Elzey and Early were entering into action a column of the enemy (Keyes’ brigade, of Tyler’s division) made its way across the turnpike between Bull Run and the Robinson house, under cover of a wood and brow of the ridges, apparently to turn my right, but was easily repulsed by a few shots from Latham’s battery, now united and placed in position by Capt. D. B. Harris, of the Virginia engineers, whose services during the day became his character as an able, cool, an(. skillful officer, and from Alburtis’ battery, opportunely ordered by General Jackson to a position to the right of Latham, on a hill commanding the line of approach of the enemy, and supported by portions of regiments collected together by the staff officers of General Johnston and myself.

Early’s brigade, meanwhile, joined by the Nineteenth Virginia Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Strange, of Cockers brigade, pursued the now panic-stricken fugitive enemy. Stuart, with his cavalry and Beckham had also taken up the pursuit along the road by which the enemy had come upon the field that morning, but soon, cumbered by prisoners who thronged his way, the former was unable to attack the mass of the fast-fleeing, frantic Federalists. Withers’, R. T. Preston’s, Cash’s, and Kershaw’s regiments, Hampton’s Legion, and Kemper’s battery also pursued along the Warrenton road by the stone bridge, the enemy having opportunely opened a way for them through the heavy abatis which my troops had made on the west side of the bridge several days before; but this pursuit was soon recalled in consequence of a false report which unfortunately reached us that the enemy’s reserves, known to be fresh and of considerable strength, were threatening the position of Union Mills Ford.

Colonel Radford, with six companies Virginia Cavalry, was also ordered by General Johnston to cross Bull Run and attack the enemy from the direction of Lewis’ house. Conducted by one of my aides, Colonel Chisolm, by the Lewis Ford to the immediate vicinity of the suspension bridge, he charged a battery with great gallantry, took Colonel Corcoran, of the Sixty-ninth Regiment New York Volunteers, a prisoner, and captured the Federal colors of that regiment, as well as a number of the enemy. He lost, however, a promising officer of his regiment, Capt. Winston Radford.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mumford also led some companies of cavalry in hot pursuit, and rendered material service in the capture of prisoners and of cannon, horses, ammunition, &c., abandoned by the enemy in their flight. Captain Lay’s company of the Powhatan Troops and Utterback’s Rangers, Virginia Volunteers, attached to my person, did material service under Captain Lay in rallying troops broken for the time by the onset of the enemy’s masses.

During the period of the momentous events, fraught with the weal of our country, which were passing on the blood-stained plateau along the Sudley and Warrenton roads, other portions of the line of Bull Run had not been void of action of moment and of influence on the general result.

While Colonel Evans and his sturdy band were holding at bay the Federal advance beyond the turnpike the enemy made repeated demonstrations with artillery and infantry upon the line of Cooke’s brigade, with the serious intention of forcing the position, as General Schenck admits in his report. They were driven back with severe loss by Latham’s (a section) and Rogers’ four 6-pounders, and were so impressed with the strength of that line as to be held in check and inactive even after it had been stripped of all its troops but one company of the Nineteenth Virginia Regiment, under Captain Duke, a meritorious officer; and it is worthy of notice that in this encounter of our 6-pounder guns, handled by our volunteer artillerists, they had worsted such a notorious adversary as the Ayres (formerly Sherman’s) battery, which quit the contest under the illusion that it had weightier metal than its own to contend with.

The center brigades, Bonham’s and Longstreet’s, of the line of Bull Run, if not closely engaged, were, nevertheless, exposed for much of the day to an annoying, almost incessant fire of artillery of long range; but, by a steady, veteran-like maintenance of their positions, they held virtually paralyzed all day two strong brigades of the enemy with their batteries (four) of rifled guns.

As before said, two regiments of Bonham’s brigade–Second and Eighth South Carolina Volunteers-and Kemper’s battery took a distinguished part in the battle. The remainder–Third (Williams’), Seventh (Bacon’s) South Carolina Volunteers, Eleventh (Kirkland’s) North Carolina Regiment, six companies of the Eighth Louisiana Volunteers, Shields’ battery, and one Section of Walton’s battery, under Lieutenant Garnett–whether in holding their post or taking up the pursuit, officers and men discharged their duty with credit and promise.

Longstreet’s brigade, pursuant to orders prescribing his part of the operations of the center and right wing, was thrown across Bull Run early in the morning, and under a severe fire of artillery was skillfully disposed for the assault of the enemy’s batteries in that quarter, but was withdrawn subsequently, in consequence of the change of plan already mentioned and explained. The troops of this brigade were–First (Major Skinner), Eleventh (Garland’s), Twenty-fourth (Lieutenant-Colonel Hairston), Seventeenth (Corse’s) Virginia Regiments; Fifth North Carolina (Lieutenant-Colonel Jones), and Whitehead’s company Virginia Cavalry. Throughout the day these troops evinced the most soldierly spirit.

After the rout, having been ordered by General Johnston in the direction of Centreville in pursuit, these brigades advanced nearly to that place, when, night and darkness intervening, General Bonham thought it proper to direct his own brigade and that of General Longstreet back to Bull Run.

General D. R. Jones early in the day crossing Bull Run with his brigade, pursuant to orders indicating his part in the projected attack by our right wing and center on the enemy at Centreville, took up a position on the Union Hills and Centreville road more than a mile in advance of the run. Ordered back, in consequence of the miscarriage of the orders to General Ewell, the retrograde movement was necessarily made under a sharp fire of artillery.

At noon this brigade, in obedience to new instructions, was again thrown across Bull Run to make demonstration. Unsupported by other troops, the advance was gallantly made until within musket range of the enemy’s force–Colonel Davies’ brigade, in position near Rocky Run–and under the concentrated fire of their artillery. In this affair the Fifth, (Jenkins’) South Carolina and Captain Fontaine’s company of the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment are mentioned by General Jones as having shown conspicuous gallantry, coolness, and discipline under a combined fire of infantry and artillery. Not only did the return fire of the brigade drive to cover the enemy’s infantry, but the movement unquestionably spread through the enemy’s ranks a sense of insecurity and danger from an attack by that route on their rear at Centreville, which served to augment the extraordinary panic which we know disbanded the entire Federal Army for the time. This is evident from the fact that Colonel Davies, the immediate adversary’s commander, in his official report, was induced to magnify one small company of our cavalry which accompanied the brigade into a force of 2,000 men, and Colonel Miles, the commander of the Federal reserves at Centreville, says the movement caused painful apprehensions for the left flank of their army.

General Ewell, occupying for the time the right of the lines of Bull Run, at Union Mills Ford, after the miscarriage of my orders for his advance upon Centreville, in the afternoon was ordered by General Johnston to bring up his brigade into battle, then raging on the left flank. Promptly executed as this movement was, the brigade, after a severe march, reached the field too late to share the glories as they had the labors of the day.  As the important position at the Union Mills had been left with but a slender guard, General Ewell was at once ordered to retrace his steps and resume his position,. to prevent the possibility of its seizure by any force of the enemy in that quarter. Brigadier-General Holmes, left with his brigade as a support to the same position in the original plan of battle, had also been called to the left, whither he marched with the utmost speed, but not in time to join actively in the battle. Walker’s rifled guns of the brigade, however, came up in time to be fired with precision and decided execution at the retreating enemy, and Scott’s cavalry, joining in the pursuit, assisted in the capture of prisoners and war munitions.

This victory, the details of which I have thus sought to chronicle as fully as were fitting an official report, it remains to record was dearly won by the death of many officers and men of inestimable value, belonging to all grades of our society. In the death of General Barnard E. Bee the Confederacy has sustained an irreparable loss, for, with great personal bravery and coolness, he possessed the qualities of an accomplished soldier and an able, reliable commander. Colonels Bartow and Fisher and Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, of Hampton’s Legion, in the fearless command of their men, gave earnest of great usefulness to the service had they been spared to complete a career so brilliantly begun. Besides the field officers already mentioned as having been wounded while in the gallant discharge of their duties, many others also received severe wounds, after equally honorable and distinguished conduct, whether in leading their men forward or in rallying them when overpowered or temporarily shattered by the largely superior force to which we were generally opposed.

The subordinate grades were likewise abundantly conspicuous for zeal and capacity for the leadership of men in arms. To mention all who, fighting well, paid the lavish forfeit of their lives, or at least crippled, mutilated bodies, on the field of Manassas, cannot well be done within the compass of this paper; but a grateful country and mourning friends will not suffer their names and services to be forgotten and pass away unhonored.

Nor are those officers and men who were so fortunate as to escape the thick-flying deadly missiles of the enemy less worthy of praise for their endurance, firmness, and valor, than their brothers in arms whose lives were closed or bodies maimed on that memorable day. To mention all who exhibited ability and brilliant courage were impossible in this report; nor do the reports of brigade and other subordinate commanders supply full lists of all actually deserving of distinction. I can only mention those whose conduct came immediately under my notice or the consequence of whose actions happened to be signally important. It is fit that I should in this way commend to notice the dauntless conduct and imperturbable coolness of Colonel Evans, and well indeed was he supported by Colonel Sloan and the officers of the Fourth South Carolina Regiment, as also Major Wheat, than whom no one displayed more brilliant courage until carried from the field shot through the lungs, though happily not mortally stricken. But in the desperate, unequal conflict to which these brave gentlemen were for a time necessarily exposed, the behavior of officers and men generally was worthy of the highest admiration, and assuredly hereafter all there present may proudly say, We were of that band who fought the first hour of the battle of Manassas. Equal honors and credit must also be awarded in the pages of history to the gallant officers and men who, under Bee and Bartow, subsequently marching to their side, saved them from destruction, and relieved them from the brunt of the enemy’s attack.

The conduct of General Jackson also requires mention as eminently that of an able, fearless soldier and sagacious commander, one fit to lead his efficient brigade. His prompt, timely arrival before the plateau of the Henry house, and his judicious disposition of his troops, contributed much to the success of the day. Although painfully wounded in the hand, he remained on the field to the end of the battle, rendering invaluable assistance.

Col. William Smith was as efficient as self-possessed and brave. The influence of his example and his words of encouragement were not confined to his immediate command, the good conduct of which is especially noticeable, inasmuch as it had been embodied but a day or two before the battle.

Colonels Harper, Hunton, and Hampton, commanding regiments of the reserve, attracted my notice by their soldierly ability, as with their gallant commands they restored the fortunes of the day at a time when the enemy by a last desperate onset with heavy odds had driven our forces from the fiercely-contested ground around the Henry and Robinson houses. Veterans could not have behaved better than these well-led regiments.

High praise must also be given to Colonels Cocke, Early, and Elzey, brigade commanders; also to Colonel Kershaw, commanding for the time the Second and Eighth South Carolina Regiments. Under the instructions of General Johnston these officers reached the field at an opportune, critical moment, and disposed, handled, and fought their respective commands with sagacity, decision, and successful results, which have been described in detail.

Col. J. E. B. Stuart likewise deserves mention for his enterprise and ability as a cavalry commander. Through his judicious reconnaissance of the country on our left flank he acquired information, both of topographical features and the positions of the enemy, of the utmost importance in the subsequent and closing movements of the day on that flank, and his services in the pursuit were highly effective.

Capt. E. P. Alexander, C. S. Engineers, gave me seasonable and material assistance early in the day with his system of signals. Almost the first shot fired by the enemy passed through the tent of his party at the stone bridge, where they subsequently firmly maintained their position in the discharge of their duty–the transmission of messages of the enemy’s movements–for several hours under fire. Later, Captain Alexander acted as my aide-de-camp in the transmission of orders and in observation of the enemy.

I was most efficiently served throughout the day by my volunteer aides, Colonels Preston, Manning, Chesnut, Miles, Rice, Hayward, and Chisolm, to whom I tender my thanks for their unflagging, intelligent, and fearless discharge of the laborious, responsible duties Intrusted to them. To Lieut. S. W. Ferguson, aide-de-camp, and Colonel Hayward, who were habitually at my side from 12 noon until the close of the battle, my special acknowledgments are due. The horse of the former was killed under him by the same shell that wounded that of the latter. Both were eminently useful to me, and were distinguished for coolness and courage until the enemy gave way and fled in wild disorder in every direction–a scene the President of the Confederacy had the high satisfaction of witnessing, as he arrived upon the field at that exultant moment.

I also received from the time I reached the front such signal service from H. E. Peyton, at the time a private in the Loudoun Cavalry, that I have called him to my personal staff. Similar services were also rendered me repeatedly during the battle by T. J. Randolph, a volunteer acting aide-de-camp to Colonel Cocke. Capt. Clifton H. Smith, of the general staff, was also present on the field, and rendered efficient service in the transmission of orders.

It must be permitted me here to record my profound sense of my obligations to General Johnston for his generous permission to carry out my plans with such modifications as circumstances had required. From his services on the field as we entered it together, already mentioned, and his subsequent watchful management of the re-enforcements as they reached the vicinity of the field, our countrymen may draw the most auspicious auguries.

To Col. Thomas Jordan, my efficient and zealous assistant adjutant-general, much credit is due for his able assistance in the organization of the forces under my command and for the intelligence and promptness with which he has discharged all the laborious and important duties of his office.

Valuable assistance was given to me by Major Cabell, chief officer of the quartermaster’s department, in the sphere of his duties-duties environed by far more than the ordinary difficulties and embarrassments attending the operations of a long organized regular establishment.

Col. R. B. Lee, chief of subsistence department, had but just entered upon his duties, but his experience and long and varied services in his department made him as efficient as possible.

Capt. W. H. Fowle, whom Colonel Lee had relieved, had previously exerted himself to the utmost to carry out orders from these headquarters to render his department equal to the demands of the service. That it was not entirely so it is due to justice to say was certainly not his fault.

Deprived by the sudden severe illness of the medical director, Surg. Thomas H. Williams, his duties were discharged by Surg. R. L. Brodie to my entire satisfaction; and it is proper to say that the entire medical corps of the Army at present, embracing gentlemen of distinction in the profession, who had quit lucrative private practice, by their services in the field and subsequently did high honor to their profession.

The vital duties of the ordnance department were effectively discharged under the administration of my chief of artillery and ordnance, Col. S. Jones.

At one time, when reports of evil omen and disaster reached Camp Pickens with such circumstantiality as to give reasonable grounds of anxiety, its commander, Colonel Terrett, the commander of the intrenched batteries, Captain Sterrett, of the C. S. Navy, and their officers, made the most efficient possible preparations for the desperate defense of that position in extremity; and in this connection I regret my inability to mention the names of those patriotic gentlemen of Virginia by the gratuitous labor of whose slaves the intrenched camp at Manassas had been mainly constructed, relieving the troops from that laborious service, and giving opportunity for their military instruction.

Lieut. Col. Thomas H. Williamson, the engineer of these works, assisted by Capt. D. B. Harris, discharged his duties with untiring energy and devotion as well as satisfactory skill.

Capt. W. H. Stevens, engineer C. S. Army, served with the advanced forces at Fairfax Court-House for some time before the battle. He laid out the works there in admirable accordance with the purposes for which they were designed, and yet so as to admit of ultimate extension and adaptation to more serious uses as means and part of a system of real defense when determined upon. He has shown himself to be an officer of energy and ability.

Maj. Thomas G. Rhett, after having discharged for several months the laborious duties of adjutant-general to the commanding officer of Camp Pickens, was detached to join the Army of the Shenandoah just on the eve of the advance of the enemy, but volunteering his services, was ordered to assist on the staff of General Bonham, joining that officer at Centreville on the night of the 17th, before the battle of Bull Run, where he rendered valuable services, until the arrival of General Johnston, on the 20th of July, when he was called to the place of chief of staff of that officer. It is also proper to acknowledge the signal services rendered by Cols. B. F. Terry and T. Lubbock, of Texas, who had attached themselves to the staff of General Longstreet. These gentlemen made daring and valuable reconnaissances of the enemy’s positions, assisted by Captains Goree and Chichester; they also carried orders to the field, and on the following day accompanied Captain White-, head’s troop to take possession of Fairfax Court-House. Colonel Terry, with his unerring rifle, severed the halliard, and thus lowered the Federal flag found still floating from the cupola of the court-house there. He also secured a large Federal garrison flag, designed, it is said, to be unfurled over our intrenchments at Manassas.

In connection with the unfortunate casualty of the day, that is the miscarriage of the orders sent by courier to Generals Holmes and Ewell to attack the enemy in flank and reverse at Centreville, through which the triumph of our arms was prevented from being still more decisive, I regard it in place to say a divisional organization, with officers in command of divisions, with appropriate rank, as in European services, would greatly reduce the risk of such mishaps, and would advantageously simplify the communications of a general in command of a field with his troops.

While glorious for our people, and of crushing effect upon the morale of our hitherto confident and overweening adversary, as were the events of the battle of Manassas, the field was only won by stout fighting, and, as before reported, with much loss, as is precisely exhibited in the papers herewith, marked F, G, and H,(@) and being lists of the killed and wounded. The killed outright numbered 369, the wounded 1,483, making an aggregate of 1,852.

The actual loss of the enemy will never be known; it may now only be conjectured. Their abandoned dead, as they were buried by our people where they fell, unfortunately were not enumerated, but many parts of the field were thick with their corpses as but few battle-fields have ever been. The official reports of the enemy are studiously silent on this point, but still afford us data for an approximate estimate. Left almost in the dark in respect to the losses of Hunter’s and Heintzelman’s divisions, first, longest, and most hotly engaged, we are informed that Sherman’s brigade, Tyler’s division, suffered in killed, wounded, and missing 609; that is, about eighteen per cent. of the brigade. A regiment of Franklin’s brigade (Gorman’s) lost twenty-one per cent., Griffin’s (battery) loss was thirty per cent., and that of Keyes’ brigade, which was so handled by its commander as to be exposed to only occasional volleys from our troops, was at least ten per cent. To these facts add the repeated references in the reports of the more reticent commanders to the “murderous” fire to which they were habitually exposed, the “pistol-range” volleys, and galling musketry of which they speak as scourging their ranks, and we are warranted in placing the entire loss of the Federalists at over forty-five hundred in killed, wounded, and prisoners. To this may be legitimately added as a casualty of the battle the thousands of fugitives from the field, who have never rejoined their regiments, and who are as much lost the enemy’s service as if slain or disabled by wounds. These may not be included under the head of missing, because in every instance of such report we took as many prisoners of those brigades or regiments as are reported missing.

A list appended exhibits some 1,460 of their wounded and others who fell into our hands and were sent to Richmond.(*) Some were sent to other points, so that the number of prisoners, including wounded who did not die, may be set down as not less than 1,600. Besides these a considerable number who could not be removed from the field died at several farm-houses and field hospitals within ten days following the battle.

To serve the future historian of this war I will note the fact that among the captured Federalists are officers and men of forty-seven regiments of volunteers, besides from some nine different regiments of regular troops, detachments of which were engaged. From their official reports we learn of a regiment of volunteers engaged, six regiments of Miles’ division, and the five regiments of Runyon’s brigade, from which we have neither sound nor wounded prisoners. Making all allowances for mistakes, we are warranted in saying that the Federal army consisted of at least fifty-five regiments of volunteers, eight companies of regular infantry, four of marines, nine of regular cavalry, and twelve batteries of forty-nine guns. These regiments at one time, as will appear from a published list appended, marked K, numbered in the aggregate 54,140, and average 964 each. From an order of the enemy’s commander, however, date, July 13, we learn that one hundred men front each regiment were directed to remain in charge of their respective camps. Some allowance must further be made for the sick and details, which would reduce the average to eight hundred men. Adding the regular cavalry, infantry, and artillery present, an estimate of their force may be made.(+)

A paper appended, marked L, exhibits in part the ordnance and supplies captured, including some twenty-eight field pieces of the best character of arm, with over one hundred rounds of ammunition for each gun, thirty-seven caissons, six forges, four battery wagons, sixty-four artillery horses completely equipped, 500,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition, 4,500 sets of accouterments, over 500 muskets, some nine regimental and garrison flags, with a large number of pistols, knapsacks, swords, canteens, blankets, a large store of axes and intrenching tools, wagons, ambulances, horses, camp and garrison equipage, hospital stores, and some subsistence.

Added to these results may rightly be noticed here that by this battle an invading army, superbly equipped, within twenty miles of their base of operations, has been converted into one virtually besieged and exclusively occupied for months in the construction of a stupendous series of fortifications for the protection of its own capital.

I beg to call attention to the reports of the several subordinate commanders for reference to the signal parts played by individuals of their respective commands. Contradictory statements found in these reports should not excite surprise, when we remember how difficult if not impossible it is to reconcile the narrations of bystanders or participants in even the most inconsiderable affair, much less the shifting, thrilling scenes of a battlefield.

Accompanying are maps showing the positions of the armies on the morning of the 21st July and of three several stages of the battle; also of the line of Bull Run north of Blackburn’s Ford. These maps, from actual surveys made by Capt. D. B. Harris, assisted by Mr. John Grant, were drawn by the latter with a rare accuracy worthy of high commendation.(#)

In conclusion, it is proper and doubtless expected that through this report my countrymen should be made acquainted with some of the sufficient causes that prevented the advance of our forces and prolonged vigorous pursuit of the enemy to and beyond the Potomac. The War Department has been fully advised long since of all of those causes, some of which only are proper to be here communicated. An army which had fought as ours on that day, against uncommon odds, under a July sun, most of the time without water and without food except a hastily-snatched scanty meal at dawn, was not in condition for the toil of an eager, effective pursuit of an enemy immediately after the battle.

On the following day an unusually heavy and unintermitting fall of rain intervened to obstruct our advance with reasonable prospect of fruitful results. Added to this, the want of a cavalry force of sufficient numbers made an efficient pursuit a military impossibility.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, Commanding

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va

*Summarized in No.121, post.

@Namely: 3 colonels, 1 major, 13 captains, 36 lieutenants, 2 quartermasters, 5 surgeons, 7 assistant surgeons, 2 chaplains, 15 citizens, and 1,376 enlisted men.

+Report No. 120, post.

#Not found





#81 – Gen. Joseph E. Johnston

18 01 2008

 

Reports of General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding Confederate Armies of the Shenandoah and of the Potomac, of operations from May 23 to July 22, with order of battle

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 470-480 

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Fairfax Court. House, October 14, 1861

SIR: I have the honor to submit to the honorable Secretary of War a report of the operations of the troops under my command, which terminated in the battle of Manassas.

I assumed command at Harper’s Ferry on the 23d of May. The force at that point then consisted of nine regiments and two battalions of infantry, four companies of artillery, with sixteen pieces without caissons, harness, or horses, and about three hundred cavalry. They were, of course, undisciplined, several regiments without accouterments, and with an entirely inadequate supply of ammunition.

I lost no time in making a complete reconnaissance of the place and its environs, in which the chief engineer, Major (now Brigadier-General) Whiting, ably assisted. The result confirmed my preconceived ideas. The position is untenable by any force not strong enough to take the field against an invading army and to hold both sides of the Potomac. It is a triangle, two sides being formed by the Potomac and the Shenandoah, and the third by Furnace Ridge. The plateau thus inclosed, and the end of Furnace Ridge itself, the only defensible position, which, however, required for its adequate occupation double our numbers, was exposed to enfilade and reverse fires of artillery from heights on the Maryland side of the river. Within that line the ground-was more favorable to an attacking than to a defending force. The Potomac can be easily crossed at many points above and below, so that it is easily turned. It is twenty miles from the great route into the valley of Virginia from Pennsylvania and Maryland, by which General Patterson’s approach was expected. Its garrison was thus out of position to defend that valley or to prevent General McClellan’s junction with General Patterson. These were the obvious and important objects to be kept in view. Besides being in position for them, it was necessary to be able on emergency to join General Beauregard.

The occupation of Harper’s Ferry by our Army perfectly suited the enemy’s views. We were bound to a fixed point; his movements were unrestricted. These views were submitted to the military authorities. The continued occupation of the place was, however, deemed by them indispensable. I determined to hold it until the great objects of the Government required its abandonment. The practicable roads from the West and Northwest, as well as from Manassas, meet the route from Pennsylvania and Maryland at Winchester. That point was, therefore, in my opinion, our best position. The distinguished commander of the Army of the Potomac was convinced, like myself, of our dependence upon each other, and promised to co-operate with me in case of need. To guard against surprise and to impose upon the enemy, Major Whiting was directed to mount a few heavy guns upon Furnace Ridge and otherwise strengthen the position.

I was employed until the 13th of June in continuing what had been begun by my predecessor, Colonel (now Major-General) Jackson–the organization, instruction, and equipment of the troops, and providing means of transportation and artillery horses. The river was observed from the Point of Rocks to the western part of the county of Berkeley, the most distant portions by the indefatigable Stuart with his cavalry. General Patterson’s troops were within a few hours of Williamsport, and General McClellan’s in Western Virginia were supposed to be approaching to effect a junction with Patterson, whose force was reported by well-informed persons to be eighteen thousand men.

On the morning of the 13th of June information was received from Winchester that Romney was occupied by two thousand Federal troops, supposed to be the vanguard of McClellan’s army. Col. A. P. Hill, with his own (Thirteenth) and Colonel Gibbons’ (Tenth) Virginia Regiments, was dispatched by railway to Winchester. He was directed to move thence towards Romney, to take the best position and best measures to check the advance of the enemy. He was to add to his command the Third Tennessee Regiment, which had just arrived at Winchester. During that day and the next the heavy baggage and remaining public property were sent to Winchester by the railway, and the bridges on the Potomac destroyed.

On the morning of the 15th the Army left Harper’s Ferry for Winchester–the force had been increased by three regiments since the 1st of June—and bivouacked four miles beyond Charlestown.

On the morning of the 16th intelligence was received that General Patterson’s army had crossed the Potomac at Williamsport; also, that the United States force at Romney had fallen back. A courier from Richmond brought a dispatch authorizing me to evacuate Harper’s Ferry at my discretion. The Army was ordered to gain the Martinsburg turnpike by a flank movement to Bunker Hill, in order to place itself between Winchester and the expected advance of Patterson. On hearing of this, the enemy recrossed the river precipitately.

Resuming my first direction and plan, I proceeded to Winchester. There the Army was in position to oppose either McClellan from the west or Patterson from the northeast, and to form a junction with General Beauregard when necessary. Lieut. Col. George H. Steuart, with his Maryland battalion, was sent to Harper’s Ferry to bring off some public property said to have been left. As McClellan was moving southwest-ward from Grafton Colonel Hill’s command was withdrawn from Romney. The defense of that region of country was intrusted to Colonel McDonald’s regiment of cavalry.

Intelligence from Maryland indicating another movement by Patterson, Colonel Jackson, with his brigade, was sent to the neighborhood of Martinsburg to support Colonel Stuart. The latter officer had been placed in observation on the line of the Potomac with his cavalry, his increasing vigilance and activity relied on to repress small incursions of the enemy, to give intelligence of invasion by them, and to watch, harass, and circumscribe their every movement. Colonel Jackson was instructed to destroy such of the rolling stock of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as could not be brought off, and to have so much of it as could be made available to our service brought to Winchester.

Major Whiting was ordered to plan defensive works, and to have some heavy guns and navy carriages mounted. About twenty-five hundred militia, under Brigadier-General Carson, were called out from Frederick and the neighboring counties to man them.

On the 2d of July General Patterson again crossed the Potomac. Colonel Jackson, pursuant to instructions, fell back before him. In retiring he gave him a severe lesson in the affair at Falling Waters. With a battalion of the Fifth Virginia Regiment (Harper’s) and Pendleton’s battery of field artillery he engaged the enemy’s advance. Skillfully taking a position where the smallness of his force was concealed, he engaged them for a considerable time, inflicted a heavy loss, and retired when about to be outflanked, scarcely losing a man, but bringing off forty-five prisoners.

Upon this intelligence the Army, strengthened by the arrival of General Bee and Colonel Elzey and the Ninth Georgia Regiment, was ordered forward to the support of Jackson. It met him at Darkesville, six miles from Martinsburg, where it took up a position for action, as General Patterson, it was supposed, was closely following Colonel Jackson. We waited for him in this position four days, hoping to be attacked by an adversary at least double our numbers, but unwilling to attack him in a town so defensible as Martinsburg, with its solid buildings and inclosures of masonry. Convinced at length that he would not approach us I returned to Winchester, much to the disappointment of our troops, who were eager for battle with the invaders. Colonel Stuart, with his cavalry as usual, remained near the enemy.

Before the 15th of July the enemy’s force, according to the best intelligence to be obtained, amounted to about thirty-two thousand. Ours had been increased by eight Southern regiments. On the 15th of July Colonel Stuart reported the advance of General Patterson from Martinsburg. He halted, however, at Bunker Hill, nine miles from Winchester, where he remained on the 16th. On the 17th he moved to his left to Smithfield. This created the impression that he intended to attack us on the south, or was merely holding us in check while General Beauregard should be attacked at Manassas by General Scott. About I o’clock on the morning of July 18 I received from the Government a telegraphic dispatch informing me that the Northern Army was advancing upon Manassas, then held by General Beauregard, and directing me, if practicable, to go to that officer’s assistance, after(*) sending my sick to Culpeper Court-House. In the exercise of the discretion conferred by the terms of the order, I at once determined to march to join General Beauregard. The best service which the Army of the Shenandoah could render was to prevent the defeat of that of the Potomac. To be able to do this it was necessary, in the first instance, to defeat General Patterson or to elude him. The latter course was the most speedy and certain, and was therefore adopted. Our sick, nearly seventeen hundred in number, were provided for in Winchester. For the defense of that place the militia of Generals Carson and Meem seemed ample, for I thought it certain that General Patterson would follow my movement as soon as he discovered it. Evading him by the dispositions made of the advance-guard, under Colonel Stuart, the Army moved through Ashby’s Gap to Piedmont, a station of the Manassas Gap Railroad. Hence the infantry were to be transported by the railway, while the cavalry and artillery were ordered to continue their march.

I reached Manassas about noon on the 20th, preceded by the Seventh and Eighth Georgia Regiments and by Jackson’s brigade, consisting of the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-seventh, and Thirty-third Virginia Regiments. I was accompanied by General Bee, with the Fourth Alabama, the Second, and two companies of the Eleventh Mississippi. The president of the railroad company had assured me that the remaining troops should arrive during the day. I found General Beauregard’s position too extensive, and the ground too densely wooded and intricate, to be learned in the brief time at my disposal, and therefore determined to rely upon his knowledge of it and of the enemy’s positions. This I did readily from full confidence in his capacity.

His troops were divided into eight brigades, occupying the defensive line of Bull Run. Brigadier-General Ewell’s was posted at the Union Mills Ford; Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones’ at McLean’s Ford; Brigadier-General Longstreet’s at Blackburn’s Ford; Brigadier-General Bonham’s at Mitchell’s Ford; Colonel Cocke’s at Ball’s Ford, some three miles above; and Colonel Evans, with a regiment and battalion, formed the extreme left at the stone bridge. The brigades of Brigadier-General Holmes and Colonel Early were in reserve in rear of the right. I regarded the arrival of the remainder of the Army of the Shenandoah during the night as certain, and Patterson’s junction with the Grand Army on the 22d as probable.

During the evening it was determined, instead of remaining in the defensive positions then occupied, to assume the offensive and attack the enemy before such a junction. General Beauregard proposed a plan of battle, which I approved without hesitation. He drew up the necessary order during the night, which was approved formally by me at 4.30 o’clock on the morning of the 21st. The early movements of the enemy on that morning and the non-arrival of the expected troops prevented its execution. General Beauregard afterwards proposed a modification of the abandoned plan, to attack with our right while the left stood on the defensive. This, too, became impracticable, and a battle ensued different in place and circumstances from any previous plan on our side.

Soon after sunrise on the morning of the 21st a light cannonade was opened upon Colonel Evans’ position. A similar demonstration was made against the center soon after, and strong forces were observed in front of it and of the right. About 8 o’clock General Beauregard and I placed ourselves on a commanding hill in rear of General Bonham’s left. Near 9 o’clock the signal officer, Captain Alexander, reported that a large body of troops was crossing the valley of Bull Run some two miles above the bridge. General Bee, who had been placed near Colonel Cocke’s position, Colonel Hampton, with his Legion, and Colonel Jackson, from a point near General Bonham’s left, were ordered to hasten to the left flank. The signal officer soon called our attention to a heavy cloud of dust to the northwest and about ten miles off, such as the march of an army would raise. This excited apprehensions of General Patterson’s approach.

The enemy, under cover of a strong demonstration on our right, made a long detour through the woods on his right, crossed Bull Run two miles above our left, and threw himself upon the flank and rear of our position. This movement was fortunately discovered by us in time to check its progress, and ultimately to form a new line of battle nearly at right angles with the defensive line of Bull Run.

On discovering that the enemy had crossed the stream above him, Colonel Evans moved to his left with eleven companies and two field-pieces to oppose his advance, and disposed his little force under cover of the wood near the intersection of the Warrenton turnpike and the Sudley road. Here he was attacked by the enemy in immensely superior numbers, against which he maintained himself with skill and unshrinking courage. General Bee moving towards the enemy, guided by the firing, had with a soldier’s eye selected the position near the Henry house, and formed his troops upon it. They were the Seventh and Eighth Georgia, Fourth Alabama, Second Mississippi, and two companies of the Eleventh Mississippi, with Imboden’s battery. Being compelled, however, to sustain Colonel Evans, he crossed the valley and formed on the right and somewhat in advance of his position. Here the joint force, little exceeding five regiments, with six field pieces, held the ground against about fifteen thousand United States troops for an hour, until, finding themselves outflanked by the continually arriving troops of the enemy, they fell back to General Bee’s first position, upon the line of which Jackson, just arriving, formed his brigade and Stanard’s battery. Colonel Hampton, who had by this time advanced with his Legion as far as the turnpike, rendered efficient service in maintaining the orderly character of the retreat from that point; and here fell the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, his second in command.

In the mean time I waited with General Beauregard near the center the full development of the enemy’s designs. About 11 o’clock the violence of the firing on the left indicated a battle, and the march of a large body of troops from the enemy’s center towards the conflict was shown by clouds of dust. I was thus convinced that his great effort was to be made with his right. I stated that conviction to General Beauregard, and the absolute necessity of immediately strengthening our left as much as possible. Orders were accordingly at once sent to General Holmes and Colonel Early to move with all speed to the sound of the firing, and to General Bonham to send up two of his regiments and a battery. General Beauregard and I then hurried at a rapid gallop to the scene of action, about four miles off. On the way I directed my chief of artillery, Colonel Pendleton, to follow with his own and Alburtis’ batteries.

We came not a moment too soon. The long contest against fivefold odds and heavy losses, especially of field officers, had greatly discouraged the troops of General Bee and Colonel Evans. Our presence with them under fire and some example had the happiest effect on  the spirit of the troops. Order was soon restored and the battle re-established, to which the firmness of Jackson’s brigade greatly contributed. Then, in a brief and rapid conference, General Beauregard was assigned to the command of the left, which, as the younger officer, he claimed, while I returned to that of the whole field. The aspect of affairs was critical, but I had full confidence in the skill and indomitable courage of General Beauregard, the high soldierly qualities of Generals Bee and Jackson and Colonel Evans, and the devoted patriotism of their troops.

Orders were first dispatched to hasten the march of General Holmes’, Colonel Early’s, and General Bonham’s regiments. General Ewell was also directed to follow with all speed. Many of the broken troops, fragments of companies, and individual stragglers were reformed and brought into action with the aid of my staff and a portion of General Beauregard’s. Colonel (late Governor) Smith with his battalion and Colonel Hunton with his regiment were ordered up to re-enforce the right. I have since learned that General Beauregard had previously ordered them into the battle. They belonged to his corps. Colonel Smith’s cheerful courage had a fine influence, not only upon the spirit of his own men, but upon the stragglers of the troops engaged. The largest body of these, equal about four companies, having no competent field officer, I placed under the command of one of my staff, Col. F. J. Thomas, who fell while gallantly leading it against the enemy. These re-enforcements were all sent to the right to re-establish more perfectly that part of our line. Having attended to these pressing duties at the immediate scene of conflict, my eye was next directed to Colonel Cocke’s brigade, the nearest at hand. Hastening to his position, I desired him to lead his troops into action. He informed me, however, that a large body of the enemy’s troops beyond the stream and below the bridge threatened us from that quarter. He was therefore left in his position.

My headquarters were now established near the Lewis house. From this commanding elevation my view embraced the position of the enemy beyond the stream and the approaches to the stone bridge, a point of especial importance. I could also see the advances of our troops far down the valley in the direction of Manassas, and observe the progress of the action and the maneuvers of the enemy.

We had now sixteen guns and two hundred and sixty cavalry and a little above nine regiments of the Army of the Shenandoah and six guns, and less than the strength of three regiments of that of the Potomac, engaged with about thirty-five thousand United States troops, among whom were full three thousand of the old Regular Army. Yet this admirable artillery and brave infantry and cavalry lost no foot of ground. For nearly three hours they maintained their position, repelling five successive assaults by the heavy masses of the enemy, whose numbers enabled him continually to bring up fresh troops as their preceding columns were driven back. Colonel Stuart contributed to one of these repulses by a well-timed and vigorous charge on the enemy’s right flank with two companies of his cavalry.

The efficiency of our infantry and cavalry might have been expected from a patriotic people accustomed like ours to the management of arms and horses, but that of the artillery was little less than wonderful. They were opposed to batteries far superior in the number, range, and equipment of their guns, with educated officers and thoroughly instructed soldiers: We had but one educated artillerist, Colonel Pendleton, that model of a Christian soldier, yet they exhibited as much superiority to the enemy in skill as in courage. Their fire was superior both in rapidity and precision.

About 2 o’clock an officer of General Beauregard’s adjutant-general’s office galloped from Manassas to report to me that a United States army had reached the line of Manassas Gap Railroad, was marching towards us, and then but three or four miles from our left flank. The expected re-enforcements appeared soon after. Colonel Cocke was then desired to lead his brigade into action to support the right of the troops engaged, which he did with alacrity and effect. Within a half hour the two regiments of General Bonham’s brigade (Cash’s and Kershaw’s) came up, and were directed against the enemy’s right, which he seemed to be strengthening. Fisher’s North Carolina regiment was soon after sent in the same direction. About 3 o’clock, while the enemy seemed to be striving to outflank and drive back our left, and thus separate us from Manassas, General E. K. Smith arrived with three regiments of Elzey’s brigade. He was instructed to attack the right flank of the enemy, now exposed to us. Before the movement was completed he fell, severely wounded. Colonel Elzey, at once taking command, executed it with great promptitude and vigor. General Beauregard rapidly seized the opportunity thus afforded him, and threw forward his whole line. The enemy was driven back from the long-contested hill, and victory was no longer doubtful.

He made yet another attempt to retrieve the day. He again extended his right with a still wider sweep to turn our left. Just as he reformed to renew the battle Colonel Early’s three regiments came upon the field. The enemy’s new formation exposed his right flank more even than the previous one. Colonel Early was therefore ordered to throw himself directly upon it, supported by Colonel Stuart’s Cavalry and Beckham’s battery. He executed this attack bravely and well, while a simultaneous charge was made by General Beauregard in front. The enemy was broken by this combined attack. He lost all the artillery which he had advanced to the scene of the conflict. He had no more fresh troops to rally on, and a general rout ensued.

Instructions were instantly sent to General Bonham to march by the quickest route to the turnpike to intercept the fugitives, and to General Longstreet to follow as closely as possible upon the right. Their progress was checked by the enemy’s reserve and by night at Centreville. Schenck’s brigade made a slight demonstration towards Lewis’ Ford, which was quickly checked by Holmes’ brigade, which had just arrived from the right. His artillery, under Captain Walker, was used with great skill. Colonel Stuart pressed the pursuit on the enemy’s principal line of retreat, the Sudley road. Four companies of cavalry, under Colonel Radford and Lieutenant-Colonel Munford, which I had held in reserve, were ordered to cross the stream at Ball’s Ford to reach the turnpike, the line of retreat of the enemy’s left. Our cavalry found the roads encumbered with dead and wounded (many of whom seemed to have been thrown from wagons), arms, accouterments, and clothing.  A report came to me from the right that a strong body of U.S. troops was advancing upon Manassas. General Holmes, who had just reached the field, and General Ewell, on his way to it, were ordered to meet this unexpected attack. They found no foe, however.

Our victory was as complete as one gained by infantry and artillery can be. An adequate force of cavalry would have made it decisive. It is due, under Almighty God, to the skill and resolution of General Beauregard, the admirable conduct of Generals Bee, E. K. Smith, and Jackson, and of Colonels (commanding brigades) Evans, Cocke, Early, and Elzey, and the courage and unyielding firmness of our patriotic volunteers. The admirable character of our troops is incontestably proved by the result of this battle, especially when it is remembered that little more than six thousand men of the Army of the Shenandoah with sixteen guns, and less than two thousand of that of the Potomac with six guns, for full five hours successfully resisted thirty-five thousand U.S. troops with a powerful artillery and a superior force of regular cavalry. Our forces engaged, gradually increasing during the remainder of the contest, amounted to but — men at the close of the battle. The brunt of this hard-fought engagement fell upon the troops who held their ground so long with such heroic resolution. The unfading honor which they won was dearly bought with the blood of many of our best and bravest. Their loss was far heavier in proportion than that of the troops coming later into action.

Every regiment and battery engaged performed its part well. The commanders of brigades have been already mentioned. I refer you to General Beauregard’s report for the names of the officers of the Army of the Potomac who distinguished themselves most. I cannot enumerate all of the Army of the Shenandoah who deserve distinction, and will confine myself to those of high rank: Colonels Bartow and Fisher (killed); Jones (mortally wounded); Harper, J. F. Preston, Cummings, Falkner, Gartrell, and Vaughn; J. E. B. Stuart, of the cavalry, and Pendleton, of the artillery; Lieutenant-Colonels Echols, Lightfoot, Lackland, G. H. Steuart, and Gardner. The last-named gallant officer was severely wounded.

The loss of the Army of the Potomac was 108 killed, 510 wounded, and 12 missing. That of the Army of the Shenandoah was 270 killed, 979 wounded, and 18 missing. Total killed, 378; wounded, 1,489; missing, 30. That of the enemy could not be ascertained. It must have been four or five thousand. Twenty-eight pieces of artillery, about five thousand muskets, and nearly five hundred thousand cartridges, a garrison flag, and ten colors were captured on the field or in the pursuit. Besides these we captured sixty-four artillery horses, with their harness, twenty-six wagons, and much camp equipage, clothing, and other property abandoned in their flight.

The officers of my staff deserve high commendation for their efficient and gallant services during the day and the campaign, and I beg leave to call the attention of the Government to their merits. Maj. W. H. C. Whiting, chief engineer, was invaluable to me for his signal ability in his profession and for his indefatigable activity before and in the battle. Major McLean, chief quartermaster, and Major Kearsley, chief commissary, conducted their respective departments with skill and energy. Major Rhett, assistant adjutant-general, who joined me only the day before, was of great service. I left him at Manassas, and to his experience and energy I intrusted the care of ordering my troops to the field of battle as they should arrive, and forwarding ammunition for the artillery during the action. Capts. C. M. Fauntleroy, C. S. Navy, T. L. Preston, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieut. J. B. Washington, aide-de-camp, conveyed my orders bravely and well on this their first field, as did several gallant gentlemen who volunteered their services–Colonel Cole, of Florida; Major Dens, of Alabama; Colonel Duncan, of Kentucky. Lieut. Beverly Randolph, C. S. Army, aided Col. F. J. Thomas in the command of the body of troops he led into action and fought with gallantry. With these was my gallant friend Capt. Barlow Mason, who was mortally wounded. I have already mentioned the brave death of my ordnance officer, Col. F. J. Thomas. I was much indebted also to Cols. J. S. Preston, Manning, Miles, and Chisolm, and Captain Stevens, of the Engineer Corps, members of General Beauregard’s staff, who kindly proffered their services and rendered efficient and valuable aid at different times during the day. Col. G. W. Lay, of General Bonham’s staff, delivered the instructions to the troops sent in pursuit and to intercept the enemy, with much intelligence and courage.

It will be remarked that the three brigadier-generals of the Army of the Shenandoah were all wounded. I have already mentioned the wound of General Smith. General Jackson, though painfully wounded early in the day, commanded his brigade until the close of the action. General Bee, after great exposure at the commencement of the engagement, was mortally wounded just as our re-enforcements were coming up.

The apparent firmness of the U.S. troops at Centreville, who had not been engaged, which checked our pursuit; the strong forces occupying the works near Georgetown, Arlington, and Alexandria; the certainty, too, that General Patterson, if needed, would reach Washington with his army of thirty thousand men sooner than we could, and the condition and inadequate means of the Army in ammunition, provisions, and transportation prevented any serious thoughts of advancing against the capital. It is certain that the fresh troops within the works were in number quite sufficient for their defense. If not, General Patterson’s army would certainly re-enforce them soon enough.

This report will be presented to you by my aide-de-camp, Lieut. J. B. Washington, by whom, and by General Beauregard’s aide, Lieutenant Ferguson, the captured colors are transmitted to the War Department.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General

*This word erased from some official copies of the report.  See Mr. Davis’ indorsement p. 478

The ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL, C.S.. Army

[Indorsement]

The telegram referred to by General Johnston in this report as received by him “about 1 o’clock on the morning of the 18th July” is inaccurately reported. The following is a copy:

RICHMOND, July 17, 1861

General J. E. JOHNSTON, Winchester, Va.:

General Beauregard is attacked. To strike the enemy a decisive blow a junction of all your effective force will be needed. If practicable, make the movement, sending your sick and baggage to Culpeper Court-House either by railroad or by Warrenton. In all the arrangements exercise your discretion.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General

The word “after” is not found in the dispatch before the words “sending your sick,” as is stated in the report; so that the argument based on it requires no comment. The order to move “if practicable” had reference to General Johnston’s letters of 12th and 15th July, representing the relative strength and positions of the enemy under Patterson and of his own forces to be such as to make it doubtful whether General Johnston had the power to effect the movement.

JEFFERSON DAVIS

—–

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

Centreville, February 3, 1862

SIR: My attention has been called to the fact that in the enumeration of the officers who distinguished themselves in the battle of Manassas the name of Col. S. B. Gibbons, commanding the Tenth Virginia Regiment, was omitted. This omission was due to unaccountable carelessness, and is a matter of regret and mortification to me. I beg that it may be corrected in my report on file in your office, and the correction published. Colonel Gibbons and his gallant regiment played an important part at a critical time, and injustice to them, even accidentally, is unpardonable. Colonel Elzey, to whose brigade Colonel Gibbons belongs, made honorable mention of him in his report.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON,

General

General S. COOPER ADJUTANT

Inspector General

—–

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. –

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 20, 1861

The following order is published for the information of division and brigade commanders:

I. Brigadier-General Ewell’s brigade, supported by General Holmes’ brigade, will march via Union Mills Ford and place itself in position of attack upon the enemy. It will be held in readiness either to support the attack upon Centreville or to move in the direction of Sangster’s Cross-Roads, according to circumstances.

The order to advance will be given by the commander-in-chief.

II. Brigadier-General Jones’ brigade, supported by Colonel Early’s brigade, will march via McLean’s Ford to place itself in position of attack upon the enemy on or about the Union Mills and Centreville road. It will be held in readiness either to support the attack upon Centreville or to move in the direction of Fairfax Station, according to circumstances, with its right flank towards the left of Ewell’s command, more or less distant, according to the nature of the country and attack.

The order to advance will be given by the commander-in-chief.

III. Brigadier-General Longstreet’s brigade, supported by Brigadier-General Jackson’s brigade, will march via McLean’s Ford to place itself in position of attack upon the enemy on or about the Union Mills and Centreville road. It will be held in readiness either to support the attack on Centreville or to move in the direction of Fairfax Court-House, according to circumstances, with its right flank towards the left of Jones’ command, more or less distant, according to the nature of the country.

The order to advance will be given by the commander-in-chief.

IV. Brigadier-General Bonham’s brigade, supported by Colonel Bartow’s brigade, will march via Mitchell’s Ford to the attack of Centreville, the right wing to the left of the Third Division, more or less distant, according to the nature of the country and of the attack.

The order to advance will be given by the commander-in-chief.

V. Colonel Cocke’s brigade, supported by Colonel Elzey’s brigade, will march via stone bridge and the fords on the right thereof to the attack of Centreville, the right wing to the left of the Fourth Division, more or less distant, according to the nature of the country and of the attack.

The order to advance will be given by the commander-in-chief.

VI. Brigadier-General Bee’s brigade, supported by Colonel Wilcox’s brigade, Colonel Stuart’s regiment of cavalry, and the whole of Walton’s battery, will form the reserve, and will march via Mitchell’s Ford, to be used according to circumstances.

VII. The light batteries will be distributed as follows:

1. To Brigadier-General Ewell’s command, Captain Walker’s six pieces.

2. To Brigadier-General Jones’, Captains Alburtis’ and Standard’s batteries, eight pieces.

3. To Brigadier-General Longstreet’s, Colonel Pendleton’s and Captain Imboden’s batteries, eight pieces.

4. To Brigadier-General Bonham’s, Captains Kemper’s and Shields’ batteries, eight pieces.

5. To Colonel Cocke’s, Colonel Hunton’s and Captains Latham’s and Beckham’s batteries, twelve pieces.

VIII. Colonel Radford, commanding cavalry, will detail, to report immediately, as follows:

To Brigadier-General Ewell, two companies of cavalry.

To Brigadier-General Jones, two companies of cavalry.

To Brigadier-General Longstreet, two companies of cavalry.

To Brigadier-General Bonham, three companies of cavalry.

To Colonel Cocke, the remaining companies of cavalry, except those in special service.

IX. The Fourth and Fifth Divisions, after the fall of Centreville, will advance to the attack of Fairfax Court-House via the Braddock and turnpike roads, to the north of the latter.

The First, Second, and Third Divisions will, if necessary, support the Fourth and Fifth Divisions.

X. In this movement the First, Second, and Third Divisions will form the command of Brigadier-General Holmes; the Fourth and Fifth Divisions that of the second in command. The reserve will move upon the plains between Mitchell’s Ford and stone bridge, and, together with the Fourth and Fifth Divisions, will be under the immediate direction of General Beauregard.

By command of General Beauregard:

THOMAS JORDAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General

—–

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. —

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 21, 1861–4.30 a.m.

The plan of attack given by Brigadier-General Beauregard in the above order is approved, and will be executed accordingly.

J. E. JOHNSTON,

General, C. S. Army





Sherman’s Battery Had Some Kinda Juice!

27 09 2007

 

While at UNC’s Wilson library last week I copied Charles Frederick Fisher: A Contribution to the History of the First Battle of Manassas and How it Was Won, an address delivered at the Presbyterian College for Women in Charlotte, NC in 1901 by Hon. John Steele Henderson upon the presentation of a portrait of the 6th NC’s Bull Run martyr to Richmond’s Confederate Museum’s North Carolina Room.

twsherman2.jpgAs discussed here and here (be sure to read the comments), the renown of Battery E, 3rd US, commonly known as Sherman’s Battery for its service in Mexico under Thomas W. “Tim” Sherman (at left), was such that soldiers on both sides claimed to have supported, assaulted, or even captured it at various points at First Bull Run, despite the fact that it never crossed from the east side of Bull Run and in fact only lost some of its horses and a forge during the retreat on July 21st, 1861.  Letters quoted in Henderson’s address further illustrate the notoriety of the battery that day.

As described in what Henderson simply identified as “another” letter by Captain James A. Craige, Co. G, 6th NC (he would later become Lt. Col of the regiment), the men of the 6th charged upon and took the guns belonging to the celebrated Sherman Battery (i.e. Ricketts’) and considering the fearful odds against them, and the dangers of the exploit, the wonder is not that they suffered so much but so little.  Here, Battery I, 1st US has taken on the identity of Sherman’s Battery.  The irony of Ricketts’ Battery’s position on the field (at the point described by Craige, Henry House Hill) is that this battery is the one in which young Lieutenant Thomas Jackson served in Mexico, and in whose service he won his brevet.  Jackson and his line faced off against Ricketts’ guns.  Hat tip to friend Tom Clemens, who wonders if Jackson was aware of the battery’s identity during the fight (I think probably) and if he felt any twinge of guilt at its casualties or recognized any of the men (I think probably not).  Ol’ Blue Light was a black flagger.  Remember, he didn’t want the enemy brave – he wanted them dead.

Captain John M. Ramsay was quoted from a letter written within a week of the battle: onward, onward they [6th NC] went and arrived at the crisis of the afternoon, and poured a destructive volley into the batteries of Sherman and Ricketts, killing many of the men and most of the horses.  In this case, it is Griffin’s West Point Battery, D of the 5th, that is misidentified as Sherman’s Battery.

Eyewitness accounts.  You gotta love ‘em.





Rufus Barringer Civil War Round Table

23 09 2007

 

I spent the last few days in the great state of North Carolina, and was treated to a wonderful time by my hosts.  On Thursday I flew into Raleigh-Durham airport where I was met by friend Teej Smith, Civil War author and researcher and the program director for the Rufus Barringer Civil War Round Table in Pinehurst.  Awhile back Teej invited me to speak to the group, and that invitation led to starting this blog, so for that alone I’m indebted to her.

Our first stop was Chapel Hill, home of Teej’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina.  On the mall I caught a glimpse of (James Johnston) Pettigrew Hall and the ubiquitous “Reb of Freedom”.  I got my souvenir shopping done in the student bookstore and we bought some coffee and sat in the infamous “Pit”, home to young, healthy, attractive, smart and/or well-to-do 18-22 year olds with a seemingly unlimited supply of things to be pissed-off about.  A great place to sit and watch.

 

Next up was the Wilson Library (below), where the special North Carolina collections are housed.  We were graciously led into the curator’s office to take a look at former valedictorian Pettigrew’s portrait (below – this photo is driving me to purchase a digital SLR), and with Teej’s help I was able to get a copy of an address given at the presentation of a portrait of Colonel Fisher of the 6th NC, killed at First Bull Run.  Lots of good stuff in it, but it will require separation of wheat from chaff.

 

After that we got a bite to eat at The Four Corners restaurant; then we drove to Pinehurst to get ready for the program, which kicked off at 7:00.  A nice group of about 30 were in attendance at the Southern Pines Civic Center, and I did my thing from 7:30 until about 8:45.  Everyone seemed interested, and I didn’t hear any crickets.  Only one question was asked at the end, though several folks came up afterwards to speak with me, one of them a cousin of the voice of my Pittsburgh Steelers, play-by-play man Bill Hillgrove.  Thanks to Teej and president Al Potts for a very nice time.

Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I was off my game.  I didn’t think my transitions between stories were particularly smooth, and I had to pause for a few seconds once or twice to find information in my notes (my presentaiton is not a prepared speech, but there are quite a few quotes I use).  Maybe I was tired from the flight and all, I don’t know.  But I did get further along than last time, and am considering eliminating the battle recap completely from the presentation.  Teej suggested I provide handouts such as the campaign maps: people love to have something they can hold in their hands and look at.  I think she’s right about that.

On Friday we paid a visit to the Malcolm Blue farm (below), where BG Judson Kilpatrick spent the night before the little fight at Monroe’s Crossroads.  We spent some time organizing Teej’s library, which is very impressive in quantity and quality.  We went to lunch in Pinehurst (in the village, near Pinehurst #2), then Teej drove me to Cary where I met up with my in-laws, with whom I stayed Friday night.  I got back home on Saturday in time to see my Nittany Lions fall to the hated maize and blue.  A bad end to an otherwise great trip.

I don’t have another speaking gig set up until March in Columbus, OH. I’ll continue to fine-tune the program, and as always if you’re interested in booking me you can do so via this site.  I have no qualms about speaking to round tables: I don’t anticipate making a living or even a profit from it, and do it only because I enjoy it and because someone asks.  I’ll stop whenever either of those things changes.





I Think I Did Better Than This Guy

18 08 2007

benstein.jpg

 

 

(Click on Ben’s picture to see the video of his Voodoo Economics presentation in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

 

This past Wednesday (Aug. 15th) I presented my “Threads” program to the Western Pennsylvania Civil War Roundtable.  This was a good choice for my first presentation – I’ve been a member of the group for eight or nine years now.  I regularly teach recertification continuing education to professionals, but I admit to having been more than a little nervous about the prospect of addressing this group that includes a good number of very knowledgeable ACW enthusiasts.

About 60 members and guests braved the heat in a church hall hard by historic Old Economy Village in Ambridge, PA.  Old Economy is the remnant of the third and last Harmony Society settlement, founded in 1824 (click here for more on the Society and the settlement).  While the hall is newer than the church, it does not have air conditioning, so it was cookin’ in there.

The night before, I did a run through of my program.  I had it set up with 12 maps of the campaign, and with each map I had one or two stories (threads) with slides – mostly photos.  In the practice round, I covered about half the slides in about 70 minutes, and I was only going to get 60 at the meeting.  So I changed things up during the day on Thursday, and wrote a summary of the battle (one page).  By starting off with that I figured at least I could give the whole story of the battle with some of the points I wanted to make, and wouldn’t have to worry about getting to the end of my program since the threads stand alone.  After the intro, I went into thread pulling mode.  Out of about 90 slides, I got to go over 14.  All of the work I did produced about 2.5 to 3 hours worth of material.  So, I got that going for me, which is nice.

I think the program went well, and the folks seemed to like it – at least they laughed in the right places.  Afterwards they asked about 8 or 10 questions, for each of which I think I had a pretty good response.  Thanks to President Russ Broman, program director Dave Fisher, and founder Gary Augustine for the A-1 treatment.





Willie Hardee

13 03 2007

A couple of years ago, I took a tour of Civil War battlefields in North Carolina put together by my friend Teej Smith.  We visited Monroe’s Crossroads with Eric Wittenberg, Averasboro with Mark Smith and Wade Sokolosky, and Forts Fisher (Bull Run thread #1) and Anderson with Chris Fonvielle.  We also spent a long, hot day at Bentonville with Mark Bradely, author of the definitive study of the battle, Last Stand in the Carolinas.  It was there I was able to put a “face” to one of the most poignant stories of the war, that of General William J. Hardee and his young son, Willie.

Born in Georgia in 1815, “Old Reliable” William Hardee was an 1838 graduate of West Point, winner of two brevets in Mexico, one time commandant of cadets at his alma mater, and the author of the standard U. S. Army manual Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics for the Exercise and Manoeuvres of Troops When Acting as Light Infantry or Riflemen (Bull Run thread #2).  A Lieutenant Colonel before the war, he resigned his commission when Georgia seceded.  He served at high levels in the Confederate armies in Kentucky and Tennessee, but when offered command of the Army of Tennessee after Chattanooga, Hardee demurred.  He served under Joe Johnston (Bull Run thread #3) and John Hood through the Atlanta Campaign; after the battle of Jonesboro he requested a transfer out from under Hood’s command.  He was in command of the forces that surrendered Savannah and Charleston to William T. Sherman (Bull Run thread #4).  As the war wound to a close, Hardee found himself once again under Johnston’s command, in an army group that boasted an officer corps reminiscent of a Confederate Old Home week.  General officers present at the climactic Battle of Bentonville included blasts from the past Braxton Bragg, D. H. Hill, LaFayette McLaws, William Loring, and William Taliaferro. 

 I won’t get into the details of the Battle of Bentonville.  It was a hard fought affair that lasted three days, March 19, 20, & 21, 1865, and is perhaps most famous for what didn’t happen at its close.  On the 22nd Sherman, in command of two armies, turned away from Johnston knowing his old foe was significantly outnumbered and backed up to a stream (Mill Creek) with only one crossing, to march east toward his original objective, Goldsboro.  There Sherman intended to add the forces of generals John Schofield and Alfred Terry (Bull Run thread #5) and commence the final march to join Grant at Petersburg.  But earlier, on the 21st, Maj. Gen. Joseph Mower led his division of Frank Blair’s 17th Corps of Oliver Howard’s (Bull Run thread #6) Army of the Tennessee against the Confederate left in an effort to cut the rebels off from their escape route over the Mill Creek Bridge.

Mower’s advance slammed into the Confederate left, overrunning Johnston’s headquarters, forcing the General to flee on foot.  Johnston had charged Hardee, in command on the right, with gathering troops to mount a defense of the bridge.  “Old Reliable” scraped together a force consisting of infantry and cavalry.  One of these units was the 8th Texas Cavalry, aka Terry’s Texas Rangers (Bull Run thread #7).

In the ranks of the 8th Texas that day was the General’s 16 year old son, Willie.  Young Hardee had first joined the Rangers in the first half of 1864, but the regiment sent the boy, who had run away from a Georgia school to sign up, to his father.  In order to keep better watch over him, the General  gave his son a position on his staff.  Except for a brief stint with a battery, Willie served on his father’s staff up until the march toward Bentonville.  Reunited with the Rangers on the march, the boy pleaded with his father for permission to serve with them.  After an enticement of an officer’s rank and a position on Johnston’s staff was resisted by the son, the father relented.  He told Capt. Kyle of the regiment, “Swear him into service in your company, as nothing else will satisfy.”

As Mower’s attack reached a climax, Hardee assembled the Rangers and the 4th TN cavalry of Col. Baxter Smith’s command.  One eyewitness reported that the General and his son tipped hats in salute to each other as the line formed.  “Old Reliable” personally led the assault with drawn sword.  The cavalry attack pushed the Union skirmishers back on their main line, and the rebel infantry followed.  Mower’s assault came to a halt.  Sherman, who was not happy that Mower’s action was started in the first place, ordered Blair’s corps to disengage, much to the chagrin of army commander Howard (who as a professor of mathematics at West Point before the war had been entrusted with tutoring the son of the commandant of cadets, William J. Hardee).

Hardee was pleased with the performance of the troops in dealing with the threat to the Mill Creek bridge.  As he headed to the rear he joked with Wade Hampton (Bull Run Thread #8), but his high spirits were dashed by the sight of of young Willie’s limp body being supported in his saddle by another Ranger riding behind.  He had received a mortal chest wound in the field (pictured below) in front of the Federal line. 

 

            

 
 

232-field-where-willie-hardee-fell.jpg

 

The General directed his son be taken to Hillsboro to the home of his niece, Susannah Hardee Kirkland, wife of Brig. Gen. William W. Kirkland, one of Bragg’s brigade commanders (Bull Run thread #9).  It was there that Willie Hardee died three days later on March 24.  In a small military ceremony which his father attended, he was buried in St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church cemetery.

As my friend Mike and I travelled back to Pittsburgh from Wilmington after the last of our tours, we decided to make a little detour to Bennett Place (the site of Johnston’s surrender to Sherman is one stop all enthusiasts should make).  Checking with the staff at the site we learned that Hillsboro is not far away and decided to go a little out of our way to find Willie’s grave.  It took quite a bit of searching.  Once we found the cemetery we still had no idea what the marker looked like.  But we found it; actually, I think Mike found it, and it required the brushing away of quite a few leaves.  My camera batteries were out of juice, and Mike’s were dying, but with the last photo on his camera we recorded the image below (I’m not sure why the marker says he was 17 – everything I’ve read says he was 16). 

 

361-willie-hardee-grave-in-hillsborough-nc.jpg

 

I can’t imagine what the General must have felt while standing on that same spot so long ago.  Surely he second guessed his decision to allow Willie to join the Rangers.  But did he question the cause that had led him, his family, and his countrymen to this state of affairs? Hardee survived the war to become president of the Selma and Meridian Railroad and coauthor of The Irish in America.  He passed away on Nov. 6, 1873 in Wytheville, VA and is buried in Live Oak Cemetery in Selma, AL.  But I have to believe a big part of him died that day in that churchyard outside Raleigh.

Bull Run Threads

1 – This fort was named for the commander of the 6th NC, Col. C. F. Fisher, killed at First Bull Run.

2 – This manual describes tactics that would have been employed during First Bull Run.

3 – Johnston commanded the Confederate forces at First Bull Run.

4 – Sherman commanded a brigade in Daniel Tyler’s federal division at First Bull Run.

5 – Terry commanded the 2nd CT Infantry in Keyes’s brigade of Tyler’s division at First Bull Run.

6 – Howard commanded a brigade in Heintzelman’s Federal division at First Bull Run.

7 – The 8th TX Cavalry was recruited by Benjamin Franklin Terry and Thomas Lubbock, who both served on the staff of James Longstreet, a brigade commander in Beauregard’s Army of the Potomac at First Bull Run.

8 – Hampton commanded the Hampton Legion at First Bull Run, and was wounded in the battle.

9 – Kirkland commanded the 11th NC Volunteers (later the 21st NC Infantry) of Milledge L. Bonham’s brigade of the Army of the Potomac at First Bull Run.

Sources:

Bradley, M. L., Last Stand in the Carolinas: The Battle of Bentonville

Eicher & Eicher, Civil War High Commands

Hughes, Jr., N. C., Bentonville: The Final Battle of Sherman & Johnston

Hughes, Jr., N. C., General William J. Hardee, Old Reliable

Moore, M. A., Moore’s Historical Guide to the Battle of Bentonville

Warner, E. J., Generals in Gray





Order of Battle – CSA

8 02 2007

FIRST BULL RUN CAMPAIGN

ORDER OF BATTLE

Confederate

B = Biographical Sketch D = Diaries M = Memoirs N = Newspaper Accounts OC = Official Correspondence OR = Official Report PC = Private Correspondence

Army of the Potomac

Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard (M, OC1OR1, OR2 Pt 1OR2 Pt 2, OR3,)

Acting Assistant Adjutant General (AAAG)

  • Col. T. Jordan (OR)
  • Capt. C. H. Smith

Acting Assistant Quartermaster (AAQ)

  • Maj. Cabell

Commissary

  • Col. R. B. Lee

Signal Officer

Engineer

  • Col. Williamson

Medical

  • Chief Surg R. L. Brodie

Artillery

  • Col. S. Jones

Aides-de-camp (ADC)

  • Col. Chesnut
  • Col. Chisolm
  • Col. Hayward
  • Col. Manning 
  • Col. Miles
  • Col. Preston
  • Col. Rice
  • Capt. D. B. Harris
  • Capt. W. H. Stevens
  • Lt. W. Ferguson
  • Lt. H. E. Peyton

Headquarters Escort

  • Capt. John F. Lay, Powhatan Troop (OR)
    • Capt. K. E. Utterback, Little Fork Rangers

First Brigade

Brig. Gen. Milledge L. Bonham (OR1, OR2)

  • Col. Lay, AAG
  • Col. Kemper, AAQ
  • Lt. Washington, AAQ
  • Maj. Kennedy, Chief Commissary
  • Maj. Walton, Military Secretary
  • Gen. Hagood, ADC
  • Gen. McGowan, ADC
  • Col. Aldrich, ADC
  • Col. Lipscomb, ADC
  • Col. Simpson, ADC
  • Maj. Butler, ADC
  • Maj. Davies, ADC
  • Maj. M. B. Lipsocmb, ADC
  • Maj. Tompkins, ADC
  • Capt. A. Moss, ADC
  • Capt. Nyles, ADC
  • Capt. Stevens, ADC
  • Capt. Venable, ADC

11th NCV (later 21st NCI)

2nd SC

  • Col J. B. Kershaw (OR1, OR2)
  • Unknown (1) (PC)
  • Unknown (2) (PC)
    • Co. I
      • Unknown (1) (PC)
      • Unknown (2) (PC)

3rd SC

  • Col. J. H. Williams (OR1, OR2)
    • Co. A
      • Cpl. Taliaferro N. Simpson (PC)
      • Pvt. Richard W. Simpson (PC1, PC2)

7th SC

  • Col. T. G. Bacon (OR1, OR2)
    • Co. F – Calloway K. Henderson (M)

8th SC

  • Col. E. B. C. Cash (OR1, OR2)
    • Lt. Col. J. W. Henagan (OR)

8th LA (N)

  • Col. H. B. Kelly (Not in Johnston’s OOB)
    • Co. B – Capt. A. Larose (N)

30th VA Cav

  • Col. R. C. W. Radford (OR1, OR2)
    • Lt. Col. T. T.Munford (OR) (M)

Alexandria Light Artillery (4 Guns)

1st Company Richmond Howitzers (4 Guns)

  • Capt. J. C. Shields

Second Brigade

Brig. Gen. Richard S. Ewell (OR, PC1, PC2)

  • Lt. Col. Charles Humphrey Tyler, AAAG
  • Capt. Fitzhugh Lee, AAAG
  • Capt. Charles H. Rhodes, AQM
  • Lt. George Campbell Brown, ADC (M)
  • Cadet John Taliaferro, ADC
  • Robert F. Mason, ADC
  • Edgar A. Hudnut, Clerk

5th AL (D)

6th AL

  • Col. J. J. Seibels
    • BHB (PC)

6th LA

  • Col. J. G. Seymour
    • Co. E – 1st Sgt. John Tobin (PC)

Cavalry Battalion

  • Col. J. G. Jenifer

Washington Artillery (4 Guns)

  • T. L. Rosser

Third Brigade

Brig. Gen. David R. Jones (OR1, OR2)

  • Lt. Latham, AAAG
  • Capt. Coward, AAQ
  • Capt. Curfell, AAQ
  • Capt. Ford, AAQ
  • Capt. Taylor, AAQ
  • Lt. McLemore, AAQ

17th MS

  • Col. W. S. Featherstone (OR)

18th MS

  • Col. E. R. Burt (OR)

5th SC

  • Col. Micah Jenkins (OR)

Flood’s Company, 30th VA Cav

  • Capt. J. W. Flood

Washington Artillery (2 Guns)

  • Capt. M. B. Miller

Fourth Brigade

Brig. Gen. James Longstreet (OR1, OR2)

5th NCI

  • Col. McRae
  • Lt. Col. Joseph P. Jones (OR)

1st VA

  • Col. Moore
  • Maj. F. G. Skinner

11th VA

  • Col. S. Garland

17th VA

24th VA

  • Col. P. Hairston

Company E, 30th VA Cav

  • Capt. E. Whitehead (OR)

Washington Artillery (2 Guns) (N)

  • Capt. Garnett

5th Brigade

Col. Philip St. George Cocke (OR)

  • Capt. Harris, Chief Engineer

8th VA

  • Col. E. Hunton (M, OR)

18th VA

  • Col. R. E. Withers (OR)

19th VA

  • Col. P. St. George Cocke
  • Lt. Co. J. B. Strange

28th VA

  • Col. R. T. Preston (OR)
    • Co. H – Pvt. William C. Kean (PC1, PC2, PC3)

49th VA (Battalion)

  • Col. W. Smith (M, OR)

Schaeffer’s Independent Battalion (N1, N2)

  • Cpt. F. B. Schaeffer (N1, N2)
    • Beauregard Rifles (N)
    • Crescent Blues (N1, N2, N3)
    • New Market Volunteers (N)

Loudon Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Capt. Arthur L. Rogers (OR)
    • Lieut. Henry Heaton

Lynchburg Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Capt. H. Grey Latham (OR)

Wise Troop (Cavalry Company)

  • Capt. John S. Langhorne (OR)
    • Lt. Charles Minor Blackford (PC, M)

6th Brigade

Col. Jubal A. Early (OR1, OR2)

  • Capt. Gardner, AAAG
  • Lt. Willis, ADC

7th LA

  • Col. H. T. Hays
    • Co. B – L. D. (PC)
    • Co. H. – Pvt. John Stacker Brooks (N)

13th MS

  • Col. W. Barksdale

7th VA

  • Col. J. L. Kemper

Washington Artillery (5 Guns) (N)

  • Lt. C. W. Squires (OR)
  • Lt. J. B. Richardson
  • Lt. J. B. Whittington

7th Brigade

Col. Nathan G. Evans (B, OR)

  • Capt. A. L. Evans, AAAG
  • Capt. McCausland, ADC
  • Capt. Rogers, ADC

1st Special LA Battalion (N1, N2, N3)

4th SC

  • Col. J. B. E. Sloan (OR)

Alexander’s Troop, 30th VA Cav

  • Capt. J. D. Alexander (OR)

Terry’s Troop, 30th VA Cav

  • Capt. W. R. Terry (OR)

1 Section Lathams Artillery (2 Guns)

  • Lt. George S. Davidson (OR)
  • Lt. Clark Leftwich (PC)

Reserve Brigade

Brig. Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes (OR)

  • Lt. Walker, AAAG

1st AR

  • Col. J. F. Fagan

2nd TN

  • Col. W. Bate

Purcell Artillery (6 Guns)

  • Capt. L. Walker

Albemarle Light Horse

  • Capt. Eugene Davis
  • Major John Scott

Hampton’s SC Legion (6 Companies)

Col. Wade Hampton (W) (OR); Capt. J. Conner (PC1, PC2)

  • Unknown 1 (PC)
  • Unknown 2 (PC)
  • Unknown 3 (PC)
    • Co. A
      • Chaplain W[ashington]. L[ight]. I[nfantry]. (PC)
      • William C. Heriot (PC)
      • Charles W. Hutson (PC)
      • John E. Poyas (PC1, PC2)
      • Unknown 1 (PC)
      • Unknown 2 (PC)
      • Unknown 3 (PC)

Harrison’s Battalion of Cavalry (4 Companies)

  • Maj. Julian Harrison

Camp Pickens Battery

  • Capt. I. S. Sterrett
    • Capt. William King (PC1, PC2)

Army of the Shenandoah

Gen. Joseph E. Johnston (M, OR1, OR2)

Acting Adjutant General (AAG)

Acting Assistant Adjutant General (AAAG)

  • Capt. Thomas L. Preston

Acting Assistant Quartermaster (AAQ)

  • Maj. McLean

Commissary

  • Maj. Kearsley

Engineer

  • Maj. William Henry Chase Whiting

Artillery

  • Col. W. N. Pendleton (OR)

Ordnance

  • Col. Thomas

Aides-de-camp (ADC)

  • Col. Cole
  • Col. Duncan
  • Maj. Dees
  • Capt. Fauntleroy
  • Capt. Mason
  • Lt. James B. Washington

1st Brigade

Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson (OR, PC)

  • Col. F. B. Jones, AAAG
  • Lt. A. S. Pendleton, Ordnance
  • Capt. Marshall, ADC
  • Lt. T. G. Lee, ADC
  • Cadet N. W. Lee, ADC
  • Cadet Thompson, ADC

2nd VA (M)

  • Col. J. W. Allen (OR)

4th VA (M)

  • Col. J. F. Preston
    • Co. I – Pvt. John H. B. Jones (M)

5th VA

  • Col. K. Harper
    • Co. L – Capt. J. H. Waters (OR)

27th VA

  • Lt. Col. J. Echols

33rd VA (8 Companies) (M)

  • Col. A. C. Cummings (M1, M2, PC1, PC2)
    • L. Jacquelin Smith, AAG
    • Sgt. Major Randolph Barton (M, PC)
      • Co. A – Pvt. John O. Casler (MPC)
      • Co. H
        • 4th Sgt Harrison B. Jones (D)
        • Pvt. Martin Van Buren Kite (PC)

Rockbridge VA Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Col.W. N. Pendleton (OR)
    • Capt. J. B. Brockenborough
      • Artilleryman Clement Fishburne (PC)

2nd Brigade

Col. Francis Bartow (K)

  • Brig. Gen. S. R. Gist, ADC
  • Col. Shingler, ADC
  • Maj. Stevens, ADC

7th GA

  • Lt. Col. L. J. Gartell
    • Co. D
      • Pvt. Robert R. Murray (M)
      • Unknown (M)
    • Co. K – Capt. Charles K. Maddox (PC)

8th GA

  • Lt. Col. W. M. Gardner
    • Co. A – Virgil Stewart (M)
    • Co. B – P. W. A. (PC)

Wise Artillery (Alburtis’ Battery) (4 Guns)

  • Capt. E. G. Alburtis
    • Lt. John Pelham (PC)

3rd Brigade

Brig. Gen. Barnard E. Bee (K)

Maj. William H. C. Whiting placed in command after the battle (OR)

  • Capt. T. L. Preston, AAAG
    • Brig. Gen. S. R. Gist
    • Maj. R. A. Howard
    • Capt. A. Vander Horst (Gist, Howard, & Vander Horst filed this OR for Bee’s Brigade, but are not listed on any OOB as part of Bee’s staff)

4th AL (M)

  • Col. Egbert J. Jones (MW)
  • Lt. Col. Evander M. Law (W)
  • Maj. Charles L.Scott (W)
  • Capt. Thomas J. Goldsby (OR)
  • Unknown (PC)

2nd MS

  • Col. W. C. Falkner

11th MS (Companies A & F)

  • Lt. Col. P. F. Liddell

6th NC (Not Brigaded) (N)

Staunton Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Capt. J. Imboden (M, OR)

4th Brigade

Brig. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith (W); Col. Arnold Elzey (OR)

  • Lt. Chentney, AAAG
  • Lt. McDonald, AAQ
  • Col. Buist, ADC
  • Capt. Cunningham, ADC
  • Capt. Hill, ADC
  • Capt. Tupper, ADC
  • Lt. Contee, ADC

1st MD Battalion (M)

  • Lt. Col. G. H. Steuart
  • Unknown Officer (PC)

3rd TN

  • Col. J. C. Vaughn

10th VA

  • Col. S. B. Gibbons
    • Co. H – M. V. B. Kite (PC)
    • Co. K (M)

13th VA (Left at Manassas)

  • Col. A. P. Hill

Newtown Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Capt. George. A. Groves
    • Lt. R. F. Beckham

Not Brigaded

1st VA Cav

  • Col. J.E.B. Stuart (OR)
    • Co. C – Pvt. William Z. Mead (PC)

Thomas Artillery (Stanard’s Battery) (4 Guns)

  • Capt. P.B. Stanard







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