Report of Lieut. Col. T. T. Munford Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry, Commanding Squadron
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 534-535
CAVALRY CAMP, July 24, 1861
GENERAL: I have the honor respectfully to report that early on the morning of the 21st Colonel Radford assigned me a squadron composed of the Black Horse Troop, Captain Payne, and the Chesterfield Troop, Captain Ball. For several hours this command remained under the fire of the enemy’s guns; we were then ordered to follow Colonel Radford’s command to the battle-ground. There I placed my command under cover and was joined by a squadron of our regiment, composed of the Wise Troop, Captain Langhorne, and the Franklin Rangers, Captain Hale. Three other independent companies afterwards joined my command.
About 5 p.m. I received the following order from Col. G. W. Lay, viz:
Colonel Radford has advanced. Munford will follow, and cross the nearest ford and pursue the retreating enemy. Pass the word to Stuart.
I obeyed this order as rapidly as possible, came up with the enemy, who were in wild confusion, charged and captured some twenty prisoners and several horses. As we neared the woods a heavy volley of musketry was opened upon us, disabling four horses and slightly wounding two men. Mistaking Colonel Kershaw’s command and Kemper’s battery, who were in our rear, for the enemy, I withdrew my command and watched their movements until Kemper opened fire upon the enemy. Discovering the mistake, I again ordered up the squadron I had started with and joined Colonel Kershaw. As soon as Kemper’s battery ceased firing I advanced, and found Major Scott, commanding Captain Davis’ company, had proceeded to the bridge on Cub Creek. Assuming the command of the cavalry there I ordered them to dismount, and sent Captain Payne to Colonel Kershaw, asking him to assist me. As soon as the cannon on this side of the creek were hitched up and placed in the road, Major Scott, without consulting me, marched off his command, carrying the guns with him. I continued to work with the Black Horse and Chesterfield Troop until five more pieces of cannon were hitched up, including the heavy 32-pounder and all the caissons, forges, &c.
When I had exhausted my command both in numbers and physique, I left the creek and conducted the train to Manassas. I had but one trooper to four horses; all of the others were driving the cannon and wagons. I again joined Major Scott and took charge of the cannon he had carried to Colonel Kershaw’s command, and was compelled to leave fourteen horses and five or six caissons for want of drivers, Major Scott having lost or dismissed his command before I arrived. After being out the whole day of the battle and the entire night I arrived at Manassas, and had the honor of delivering to his excellency the President of the Confederate States ten rifled guns, their caissons, and forty-six horses.
It is proper to say that Captain Evans (infantry), of Colonel Kershaw’s command, who came to my assistance, rendered material aid in getting out the guns. It affords me no little pleasure to have an opportunity to recommend to your especial commendation the corps under my command. In the charge they behaved most gallantly. The position of the Black Horse, being nearest to the firing, gave me an opportunity of seeing them fully tested, and it would be injustice for me to omit mentioning the conduct of Lieutenant Langhorne, of the Wise Troop, and Private Taliaferro, of the Black Horse. I saw the former charge upon a man who was behind a cedar fence, and in the act of firing his rifle at him, and kill him before he could fire. Taliaferro’s horse was killed under him by one of the enemy, and in falling broke his collarbones, but he sprang to his feet, pursued and killed his man with his pistol, both running at speed.
I am not familiar with the roads or the farms, and claim nothing for myself; but I do claim that the men under my command pursued the enemy farther than any other command, and I do believe that when Colonel Radford charged and routed the enemy on my left, and when I met the retreating enemy half a mile lower down, it caused the panic and jam at the bridge which resulted in the capturing of the cannon, &c., and all of the wagons, which I left in charge of Captain Evans.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS T. MUNFORD,