#106 – Capt. John S. Langhorne

31 05 2008

Report of Capt. John S. Langhorne, Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 552-553

CAMP NEAR CENTREVILLE, July 25, 1861

SIR: I have to report at the battle of the 21st July my company was detailed as a support to the first section of the Loudoun Artillery, when they were exposed to the heavy fire (cross-fire) from the enemy’s batteries. We were not relieved from that duty until a late hour of the day, when, with several squadrons of cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Munford, of Radford’s regiment, we were ordered to intercept and charge the retreating column of the enemy. This was done with spirit and alacrity by my command, and resulted in the capture of thirty-two prisoners, ten horses, three wagons, one wagon of ammunition, a large and valuable assortment of surgical instruments, thirty-six muskets, a number of pistols, all of which, with the exception of the pistols, one wagon, and two horses have been delivered to the proper authorities at Manassas.

My command lost two horses, and two men wounded from the accidental discharge of their own guns; also six shot-guns in the charge.

I hope some effort will be made to remount my men and supply those with arms who have lost them through an order given by the commander of the squadron when the charge was made.

Respectfully,

JOHN S. LANGHORNE,

Captain Company B, Radford’s Regiment

MEM.–As to the number killed by my command I decline speaking. I know it was very considerable.

J. S. L., Captain, &c.

Col. P. ST. GEORGE COCKE,

Commanding Fifth Brigade, Virginia Volunteers





#94 – Capt. Del. Kemper

27 02 2008

 

Report of Capt. Del. Kemper, Alexandria Light Artillery

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 535-536

ARTILLERY QUARTERS ADVANCED FORCES,

FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST CORPS, ARMY POTOMAC,

Vienna, July 25, 1861

GENERAL: In compliance with General Orders, No. –, requiring reports from commanders of regiments and detached corps of the operations of their respective commands in the actions of the 18th and  21st instants, I have the honor to submit the following details of the part performed by my battery in the last above-mentioned engagement:

At 7 o’clock precisely on the morning of the 21st the enemy commenced a cannonade from his original position in front of Mitchell’s Ford. My battery was ordered from the left of the trenches about 9 a.m., and placed in position in rear of the trenches at Mitchell’s Ford. This position we occupied without a chance to respond to the fire of the enemy, they being clearly beyond our range, until about I p.m., when I was ordered to join Colonels Kershaw and Cash, and under the command of Colonel Kershaw to move to the left of our lines near stone bridge.

We arrived near the scene of action about 3 p.m., and immediately taking position in and near the road leading from Sudley Ford to Manassas Junction, and about one-half mile south of the turnpike, we had the honor of receiving and repulsing the last attack made by the enemy. They were found in strong force (of regulars), and required to be repulsed three times before they retired finally, which they began to do about 4.15 p.m. Seeing this general retreat commenced, and my men being very much worn-out, I withdrew my battery a short distance to the rear, and returning with a few of my men, got one of the Parrott rifled guns, previously captured from the enemy, in a position to bear upon their retreating columns, and had the satisfaction of annoying them considerably.

Colonel Kershaw ordered his whole command to pursue them down the turnpike, and especially to endeavor to cut them off where the road from Sudley Church (by which their main body retreated) intersects the turnpike, about two and a half miles from Centreville. We failed to overtake any enemy in the turnpike until we arrived on the hill about one mile south of Cub Creek Bridge, in time to open (with two of my guns) on the enemy’s column which was by this time partly in the turnpike. We also threw, with good effect, some spherical case into their baggage train, &c., which had not emerged into the turnpike.

I wish to remark that the first shot fired to rake the road was fired by the venerable Edmund Ruffin, and a prisoner subsequently stated that the effect was frightful. This maneuver resulted in the capture of many cannon, caissons, artillery horses, baggage wagons, an immense number of muskets, rifles, and accouterments, and many prisoners. In obedience to orders, Colonel Kershaw’s command returned to stone bridge, where we arrived about 11 p.m. and thus, as far as we were concerned, closed this glorious day.

I desire, general, to call attention to the gallant bearing of Lieutenants Stewart, Bayliss, and Smoot, of my company. Each of them throughout the engagements of Thursday and Sunday performed his whole duty with a degree of coolness and judgment worthy of all praise. The men of my company, with two exceptions, behaved like veterans.

The casualties of my command were: One killed, Private Richard Owens, killed by a musket bullet, and two wounded slightly; also one horse killed, two wounded, and one lost.

These details are respectfully submitted, general, by your obedient servant,

DEL. KEMPER,

Captain, Comdg. Battery of Light Artillery from Alexandria, Va.

Brigadier-General BONHAM

Commanding First Brigade, &c.





Walton’s Report

30 01 2008

 

wapolka.jpg The official report of Major J. B. Walton of the Washington Artillery of New Orleans presents a slight problem.  It seems Walton has no official status in the Confederate order of battle.  As the four companies of the battalion were distributed throughout Beauregard’s army, I’m thinking of adding Walton under Bory’s artillery chief, Col. Jones.  I have to think on that.

Image from Duke University





#85 – Maj. J. B. Walton

30 01 2008

Report of Maj. J. B. Walton, Battalion Washington Artillery

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 515-518

HEADQUARTERS BATTALION WASHINGTON ARTILLERY,

Near Stone Bridge, on Bull Run, Va., July 22, 1861

GENERAL: I have the honor to report on the morning of the 21st instant (Sunday) the battalion of Washington Artillery, consisting of  four companies, numbering two hundred and eighty-four officers and men and thirteen guns -six 6-pounders, smooth bore, four 12-pounder howitzers, and three rifled 6-pounders, all bronze—under my command, was assigned to duty as follows:

Four 12-pounder howitzers, under command of Lieut. T. L. Rosser, commanding, Lieut. C. C. Lewis, Lieut. C. H. Slocomb, and Lieut. H. A. Battles, with General Ewell’s Second Brigade, at Union Mills Ford.  Two 6-pounders, smooth bore, under command of Capt. M. B. Miller, Lieut. Joseph Norcom, with General Jones’ Third Brigade, at McLean’s Ford. One rifled 6-pounder and one smooth 6-pounder, under command of Lieut. J. J. Garnett, Lieut. L. A. Adam (reported sick after being engaged in the battle of the 18th instant, with General Longstreet’s Fourth Brigade, at Blackburn’s Ford. Five guns, three smooth 6-pounders, two rifled 6-pounders, under command of Lieut. C. W. Squires, Lieut. J. B. Richardson, and Lieut. J. B. Whittington, with Colonel Early’s Fifth Brigade, then bivouacked near McLean’s farm house.

At about 7 o’clock on the morning of the 21st an order was communicated to me to follow with the battery under Lieutenant Squires the brigade of General Jackson, then on the march towards Stone Bridge. Every preparation having been previously made, the order to mount was immediately given and the battery moved forward, arriving at Lewis’ farm house just in time to receive the first fire from the enemy’s guns, then in position near stone bridge. Here I was ordered to halt and await orders from General Bee.

Shortly after 8.30 o’clock a.m. I detached two rifled guns, under Lieutenant Richardson, and took position about one-half mile to the left of the Lewis farm house, where the enemy was found in large numbers. Fire was at once opened by the section under Lieutenant Richardson, and continued with good effect until his situation became so perilous that he was obliged to withdraw, firing retiring until his guns were out of range, when he limbered up and reported to me. In this engagement one of the enemy’s pieces was dismounted by a shot from the rifled gun directed by First Sergeant Edward Owen, First Company, and other serious work was accomplished.

Now, under direction of General Cocke, I took position in battery on the hill in front of Lewis’ farm house, my guns directed toward stone bridge, where it was reported the enemy was about to attack. Shortly before 10 o’clock orders were communicated to me to advance with my battery to a point, which was indicated, near the position lately occupied by the section under Lieutenant Richardson. Here we at once opened fire, soon obtaining the range with the rifled guns against artillery and the 6-pounders, with round-shot, spherical case, and canister against infantry, scattering by our well-directed fire death, destruction, and confusion in the ranks of both. As the enemy’s artillery would frequently get our range, we advanced by hand to the front until finally the battery was upon the crown of the hill, entirely exposed to the view of their artillery and infantry. At this moment their fire fell like hail around us, the artillery in front of our position evidently suffering greatly from the concentration of fire from my guns and those of the battery on my right, and notwithstanding we were at this time also subjected to a terrific fire of infantry on our left, my guns were as rapidly and beautifully served by the cannoneers, with as much composure and silence as they are when upon the ordinary daily drill.

The batteries of the enemy on our front having become silenced, and the fire of the infantry upon our left increasing, I considered it prudent to remove my battery from the then exposed position, being nearly out of ammunition (some of the guns having only a few rounds left in the boxes). The order to limber to the rear was consequently given, and my battery, followed by the battery on my right, was removed to its first position upon the elevated ground near Lewis’ farm house.

At about 1 o’clock, as nearly as I can now calculate, Lieutenant Squires was detailed with three 6-pounders, and took position near the road leading to the stone bridge from Lewis’ farm house and directed against the enemy’s artillery, which had now opened fire upon our position from the vicinity of stone bridge. This fire having been silenced by some guns of Colonel Pendleton and the guns of my battery under Lieutenant Squires, we discovered from the position on the hill the enemy in full retreat across the fields in range of my rifled guns. I opened fire upon their retreating columns, which was continued with admirable effect, scattering and causing them to spread over the fields in the greatest confusion, until I was ordered to discontinue by General Jackson, and save my ammunition for whatever occasion might now arise.  Subsequently I was permitted by General Johnston to open fire again, which was now, after having obtained the range, like target practice, so exactly did each shot do its work: the enemy, by thousands, in the greatest disorder, at a double-quick, received our fire and the fire from the Parrott guns of the battery alongside, dealing terrible destruction at every discharge.

This ended the battle of the 21st, the last gun having been fired from one of the rifles of my battery. The guns of this battery, under command of Captain Miller, with General Jones’ brigade, and Lieutenant Garnett, with General Longstreet’s brigade, were not engaged at their respective points, although under fire a portion of the day. The howitzer battery, under Lieutenant Commanding Rosser, with General Ewell’s brigade, was on the march from 2 o’clock p.m. in the direction of Fairfax Court. House, and, returning by way of Union Mills Ford, arrived with the reserve at my position unfortunately too late to take part in the engagement, notwithstanding the battery was moved at trot and the canonneers at a double-quick the entire distance from Union Mills Ford.

In this battle my loss has been one killed, Sergeant J. D. Reynolds, Fourth Company ; two wounded slightly, Corporal E. C. Payne, First Company, and Private George L. Crutcher, Fourth Company. There were three horses wounded, two belonging to the battery and one officer’s horse.

I cannot conclude this official report without the expression of my grateful thanks to the officers and men under my command for their gallant behavior during the entire day. They fought like veterans, and no man hesitated in the performance of any duty, or in taking any position to which it was indicated they were required. In a word, I desire to say these men are entirely worthy of the noble State that has sent them forth to battle for the independence of the Confederate States.

To Lieutenant Squires, commanding, I desire especially to direct your attention. A young officer, the second time under fire (having been in the engagement of the 18th), he acted his part in a manner worthy of a true soldier and a brave man. He is an example rarely to be met. Lieutenants Richardson and Whittington, each with his battery in the engagement of the 18th, were in this battle, and bravely did their duty. Lieut. Will Owen, adjutant, and Lieut. James Dearing, Virginia forces, attached to this battalion, accompanied me. To them I am indebted for valuable services upon the field. Frequently were they ordered to positions of great danger, and promptly and bravely did they each acquit themselves of any duty they were called upon to perform.

I could mention individual instances of bravery and daring on the part of non-commissioned officers and privates would not be invidious where all behaved so well.

In conclusion, general, I can only say I am gratified to know we have done our duty as we were pledged to do.

With great respect, I am, general, your obedient servant,

J. B. WALTON,

Major, Commanding

Brig. Gen. G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Commanding Division, C. S. Army








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