Report of Col. E. R. Burt, Eighteenth Mississippi Infantry
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, p 541
McLEAN’s FORD, July 22, 1861
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that my command, Eighteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, with Colonel Jenkins’ South Carolina regiment, Colonel Featherston’s Seventeenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, under command of Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones, proceeded at about 2.30 o’clock on the evening of the 21st to take the battery of the enemy posted near Grigsby’s barn, on the north side of Bull Run.
When within about three hundred yards of the guns of the enemy I endeavored to form my command near the edge of a ravine on the left of the command of Colonel Jenkins. Before, however, the regiment could be formed, which from the nature of the ground was difficult to do, the enemy delivered a murderous fire on it. At this period the command came from the right to charge the enemy. By whom it was given I know not. The charge was made, however, without any knowledge of the ground over which the regiment was to pass, and continued in the face of a terrific fire of canister, shell, and shot from the battery of the enemy and the fire of a portion of my own command through those in advance of them until an impassable ravine was reached (where the line was originally attempted to be formed, but not effected), when the confusion under the galling fire of the enemy’s guns became very great, so much so that to form the line was utterly impracticable, and it was not done until the field of Mrs. Speak’s was reached. The fire of the enemy was returned, and kept up by the regiment for some moments without seeing where the battery of the enemy was placed. The infantry of the enemy fled after the first fire from our arms.
Although but a short time engaged, our loss was severe. Among the killed was Capt. Adam McWillie, of the Camden Rifles, a gallant soldier of the Mexican war, having fought bravely at Monterey and Buena Vista; he was killed by a canister shot while endeavoring to rally his command. First Lieutenant Scary, of Captain Brown’s command, was killed on the field whilst making the charge. Second Lieutenant York, of Captain Wellborn’s command, was badly wounded near the same time. Third Lieutenant McLaurin, of Captain Fontaine’s command, was seriously wounded by the explosion of a shell. Number of killed and wounded, thirty-eight.
E. R. BURT,
Colonel Eighteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General LATHAM