Report of Col. R. C. W. Radford, Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 532-533
Camp Vienna, August 1, 1861
CAPTAIN: In accordance with instructions from headquarters First Brigade, Army of the Potomac, I have the honor to report that the cavalry of First Brigade, under my command, was under the fire of the enemy’s heavy guns on the morning of the 21st of July for several hours, and was compelled to change its positions several times to avoid the fire. An order was received from General Beauregard about 11 o’clock a.m. to support the left wing of the Army of the Potomac at the stone bridge, which was the right wing of our forces, when we were again under heavy fire of the enemy’s guns, In advancing the cavalry was divided as follows: Under my own command I had at first but one squadron, composed of the companies of Captains Radford and Pitzer, the latter in charge of Lieutenant Breckinridge. I was joined by Captains Terry, Alexander, Wickham, and Powell, with their companies, while moving towards stone bridge. The remaining companies were placed under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Munford.
While en route to my position I received an order from the commanding general to support General Jackson’s right, and for several hours succeeding was under heavy fire from the enemy’s cannon, throwing shell and rifled-cannon balls. As soon as it was discovered that the enemy were giving way I received a verbal order through Colonel Lay to charge upon them and cut off their retreat.
It affords me much pleasure at this point to have an opportunity of commending the gallant conduct of the companies under my own command, who charged upon a battery, killing the horses attached to two pieces, taking between sixty and eighty prisoners and the standard of Colonel Corcoran’s Sixty-ninth New York Regiment, and leaving forty-two dead bodies of the enemy upon the field. I have no hesitation in saying that the charge made by my own command, in connection with that made by the command under Lieutenant-Colonel Munford, composed of Captains Payne, Ball, Langhorne, and Hale, caused the jam at Cub Creek Bridge, which resulted in the capture of fourteen pieces of cannon, their ammunition and wagons, five forges, thirty wagons and ambulances, and some forty or fifty horses. I base this opinion on the fact that we were in advance of all our forces, and by our charge the enemy were thrown into wild confusion before us, their vehicles of all sorts going off at full speed and in the greatest disorder.
Having dispersed the enemy in our front in the direction of Cub Run bridge I then charged upon them between Cub Run and Bull Run, but soon came on a column of infantry, about five thousand strong, posted on each side of the road in thick woods, supported by a battery of three pieces, blocking up the road. All three of these pieces immediately opened upon my command, throwing the cavalry into some confusion, and killing Capt. Winston Radford, charging at the head of his company, and by his side Corporal Alexander T. Irvine, of his company, also Sergeant Edward Fountaine and Privates Richard W. Saunders and Philip G. Spindle, of Captain Wickham’s company. Lieut. Boldman H. Bowles, of Captain Wickham’s company, was separated from his company during the charge and was killed, also Private Fuqua, of Captain Terry’s company. Of all the brave and gallant men who fell on the 21st instant fighting for their homes and freedom, none died covered with more glory than the braves who fell in this charge. Peace be with them!
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of Colonel Chisolm, aide to General Beauregard, who volunteered to guide my command by the nearest route to intercept the retreating enemy. He was among the foremost in making the charge, and distinguished himself by his gallantry, coolness, and bravery. He was of great assistance to me. My adjutant, B. H. Burk, was with me throughout the entire day, and acted with great coolness and bravery, taking Colonel Corcoran, of the Sixty-ninth New York Regiment, with several other prisoners. All the officers of the command distinguished themselves equally. I can make no distinction between them. The following are the names of the officers who were in the charge: Captains Terry, Wickham, Powell, Radford, and Alexander; Lieutenants Harris, Breckinridge, Johnson, Halsey, Beale, Price, Page, Tardy, Waller, Newton, Watts, Izzard, Kelso, Triplett, Bowles, and Timberlake.
The following men were wounded, viz: Private B. T. Witt, of Captain Winston Radford’s company, and Privates James H. H. Figgat and William T. Marks, of Captain Pitzer’s company; also C. Turpin, of Captain Terry’s company.
Four horses were killed and two wounded in Captain Radford’s company; one horse wounded in Captain Powell’s company; one horse killed, one wounded, and one missing in Captain Wickham’s company, and three horses wounded in Captain Terry’s company.
The non-commissioned officers and men of all the companies did their duty in every respect.
Charles, the colored servant of Adjutant Bark, unaided, captured a prisoner armed with gun and pistol, and turned him over to the commanding general of the First Brigade.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. W. RADFORD,
Colonel Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brigade, Army of the Potomac