16 03 2008

It’s one of the three Native American names (along with Senedo and Sherando) believed by many to be the source of the word Shenandoah.  It’s also the nom de blog of historian and author Robert H. Moore II.  Cenantua’s Blog seems to focus on Civil War memory.  He stays pretty much on that popular topic, and so I’ve added him to the blogroll to the right.

#99 – Col. M. Jenkins

14 03 2008


Report of Col. M. Jenkins Fifth South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 541-543


McLean’s Ford, July 22, 1861

SIR: I beg leave to make the following brief report of the occurrences of yesterday as they relate to my regiment:

When I had thrown my regiment in the position indicated by your orders, and found that the enemy had discovered our approach, I formed front under the brow of a hill. The enemy opening upon us a heavy fire of grape and shell, I advanced quickly over very difficult ground. While gallantly charging in fine order our friends in the rear poured in upon me heavy fires of musketry, cutting us up sadly. This compelled a halt, which I made upon gaining the brow of the hill upon which the enemy was stationed. Here, under a terrific fire of shell, I reformed and dressed my lines, and reloaded such guns as had been fired. Expecting the reserve to form to the rear to my support, I made every preparation to renew my charge upon the batteries, when I discovered that I was isolated in the presence of the enemy’s guns, cavalry, and three or four regiments of infantry.

Doubtful whether to advance unsupported against such great odds of position and men, I sent to you three times for orders, and retained my position amid the bursting of shell and threats of attack for three-quarters of an hour. Throwing to the front Captain Seabrook’s company as sharpshooters, and finding a large force threatening to charge, I withdrew them and placed Company A (Captain Goss) and Company B (Captain Jackson) in advance, in a skirt of woods upon my right, with orders to open upon the enemy, which was promptly executed and with effect, the artillerists leaving their guns and the troops retiring to the wood immediately in their rear.

Not hearing from the brigade, and the enemy being impregnable to a small body like mine, I decided unwillingly to withdraw and leaving Companies A and B to prevent a sudden attack, retired in order a short distance, when I threw into position Company C (Captain Seay) and Company H (Captain Bower), and called in the two Companies A and B, and, forming column, slowly and in order left the ground.

My observation, limited to a portion of the regiment, at times prevented my noticing all who behaved well. I notice with pleasure, as coming under immediate observation, the coolness and good conduct of Lieut. Col. G. W. H. Legg, in addition to the captains mentioned as performing special orders. I was greatly pleased with the coolness and conduct of others. Captains Giles, Carpenter, and, in fine, all under my observation, obeyed with promptness and kept good order in their ranks. Many lieutenants pleased me by self-possession and coolness, and would no doubt have given signal proof of gallantry and conduct had opportunity offered. My adjutant, Lieut. E. B. Clinton, also greatly pleased me by his conduct. I could notice a general desire to do their duty, and specially marked as encouraging the men were Privates Fernandez and Long, of Captain Glenn’s company. I also hear Private Scaife, of Captain Goss’ company, highly spoken of as aiding his company in its hour of trial.

I can only refer to the providence of a merciful God our success, as the enemy left the field under so small an attacking force; to His protection, our safety and comparatively small loss under so heavy a fire.

The enemy fired seventy-four shots at us, and my killed amounted only to three and my wounded to twenty-three.

Most respectfully,



General D. R. JONES,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Brigade

P. S. — I should have stated that Company K., Captain Walker, was deployed on my right flank as skirmishers, and the road being unknown and the thicket dense was separated from the regiment.  Some few of the members, having become separated from the company, with Sergeant Blassingame, joined us.

#98 – Col. E. R. Burt

14 03 2008


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.

Very respectfully,


Colonel Eighteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General LATHAM

#97 – Col. W. S. Featherston

14 03 2008


Report of Col. W. S. Featherston, Seventeenth Mississippi Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 539-540


SIR: In obedience to the order of General D. R. Jones, I beg leave to submit the following report of the action taken by the Seventeenth Regiment of Mississippi Volunteers in the attack made on the enemy’s camp near McLean’s Ford on the evening of the 21st instant:

General Jones’ brigade, composed of the Fifth South Carolina and the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Regiments of Mississippi Volunteers, marched to the field in the order of their position in line. Colonel Jenkins’ regiment, holding the right, was placed in the front; Colonel Burt’s in the center; and the Seventeenth, holding the left, was in the rear.

On entering the field where the enemy were encamped we found their batteries planted and pointing in the direction of our entrance upon the field. We marched up a ravine some two or three hundred yards until we reached the foot of the first hill occupied by the enemy, where we entered the field. Here we were halted, and the South Carolina regiment formed into line of battle on the right, and the Eighteenth Mississippi immediately on the left of the South Carolina regiment. These regiments were thrown into line near the foot of the hill as perfectly as the ground would permit, where they were somewhat protected against the enemy’s batteries by the hill in front. These regiments covered the whole line of battle, and the Seventeenth Regiment could not be formed in line of battle in rear of the other two, owing to obstacles presented by the ground.

Very soon after we were halted the firing commenced, and the order to charge or advance was given immediately on the right. The two regiments in front marched very promptly and gallantly up the hill, in the direction of the enemy. I immediately ordered the Seventeenth to advance, and standing at the head of the column ascended the hill, directing the right wing to the right and ordered the left to incline to the left, so as to form a line of battle in the rear of the Eighteenth Regiment. This order was promptly obeyed by every company in my command. The Eighteenth Regiment, in our front, advanced until they reached the ravine which separates the two hills occupied by the enemy. Here they were halted by the ravine in front, which at that place could not be crossed without great difficulty, if at all. Standing thus exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy’s artillery and musketry, and being unable to advance, they fell back. The Seventeenth Regiment advanced to the edge of the ravine, and the right wing was ordered by me to fire after it was unmasked by the Eighteenth. This order was promptly obeyed. The left wing did not fire at all, and was not ordered to do so. Standing thus, unable to advance, and exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy, the Seventeenth fell back with the Eighteenth Regiment. This advance was made by all three of the regiments under a very rapid fire from the enemy’s batteries, as well as from their sharpshooters, and was checked only by the obstacles in their pathway. After falling back beyond the reach of the enemy’s batteries the regiments were reformed and the order given to them to return to their camps.

The orders communicated to me by General Jones before entering upon the field were that my regiment was held rather in reserve, but required to sustain the other two, and I was to exercise my own discretion in doing so. I thought at the time, and still think, that in making the charge the other two regiments required the support of mine, and so ordered it.(*)

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Commanding Seventeenth Mississippi Volunteers


Assistant Adjutant-General

*Nominal list of casualties shows 9 killed and 10 wounded.


13 03 2008


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#96 – Brig. Gen. David R. Jones

13 03 2008


Report of Brig. Gen. David R. Jones, Commanding Third Brigade, First Corps

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 537-539


Camp near McLean’s Ford, on Bull Run, July 23, 1861

SIR: In compliance with orders from headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following statement of the operations of my brigade on the day of the 21st instant:

At 7.10 a.m. the following order was received, viz:

JULY 21, 1861

Brig. Gen. D. R. JONES,

Commanding Third Brigade:

GENERAL: General Ewell has been ordered to take the offensive upon Centreville. You will follow the movement at once by attacking him in your front.



Brigadier General, Commanding

I immediately placed my brigade in readiness to advance, and dispatched a messenger to communicate with General Ewell, whose movement I was to follow. Not receiving a prompt reply, I crossed McLean’s Ford and took position with my artillery in battery on the Union Mills road, near the farm of Mr. E. W. Kincheloe and abreast of Grigsby’s, which the enemy held with a strong force of artillery, infantry, and cavalry. I here awaited the advance of General Ewell for about two hours and a half, at the end of which time I received a somewhat discretionary order, through Captain Ferguson, aide-de-camp, and a few minutes after the following positive order, through Colonel Chisolm, aide-de-camp, to return to my former position,-viz:

10.30 A.M.

General JONES:

On account of the difficulties in our front it is thought preferable to countermand the advance of the right wing. Resume your former position.


Brigadier-General, Commanding

In the execution of these orders the two Mississippi regiments of my brigade, while advancing to recross McLean’s Ford, were exposed to a dangerous and demoralizing fire of rifle shot and shell from the enemy’s batteries, placed at or near Grigsby’s barn. Upon reaching my intrenchments General Ewell sent me an order he had received from General Beauregard, upon which was the following indorsement, viz:

The general says this is the only order he has received. It implies he is to receive another. Send this to General Beauregard if you think proper.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General

Shortly after this I was requested by General Longstreet to make a demonstration in his favor on my front, followed by an order from General Beauregard, borne by Mr. Terry, 11.30 a.m., to advance upon the enemy Up Rocky Run, co-operating with General Ewell on my right and General Longstreet on my left.

I recrossed the ford, my men much fatigued by the morning’s march, many just convalescing from the measles, and retraced my route to the position I had occupied in the morning, and thence endeavored to communicate with General Ewell. Failing in this, I notified General Longstreet that I was advancing to the assault, and proceeded westwardly through the woods to the eastern elevation of Rocky Run Valley. My regiments were pushed forward by a flank movement through a ravine in the northeastern corner of Croson’s field, with instructions to form into line after crossing the hollow in the following order, viz: Colonel Jenkins, Fifth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, on the right, his right wing resting on the woods; Colonel Burr, Eighteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, on the left, and Colonel Featherston, Seventeenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, supporting my artillery, protected by a company of infantry and Captain Flood’s small troop of cavalry, to be posted on the brow of a hill well to the left–the only point from which it could be used at all–in order to distract the enemy’s fire from my advancing lines of infantry. This arrangement of my two pieces of artillery, I regret to state, was impracticable by a vigorous converging fire from the enemy’s rifled guns and an advance of his infantry before my infantry company could be thrown forward to protect the pieces, and I was compelled to withdraw them.

Colonel Jenkins’ regiment advanced through a galling fire and over exceedingly difficult ground across the hollow. The Mississippi regiment followed, but owing to the great difficulties of the ground, which were not apparent in my reconnaissance, and to the murderous shower of the shot, shell, and canister which was poured upon the brigade from a masked battery, as well as from that in front, faltered, and, with the exception of Captain Fontaine’s company, fell back. I rallied them in the woods to the rear at a point to which I had previously withdrawn the artillery and cavalry. While the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment was endeavoring to form into line its right became lapped behind the left of the Fifth, upon which its fire told with fatal effect. The latter regiment (the Fifth), notwithstanding the heavy fire of the enemy in front and the unfortunate fire of friends in the rear, advanced to the opposite slope, and then formed into line of battle, prepared to make the charge. Being isolated by the falling back of the supporting regiments it maintained its position for nearly three-quarters of an hour, its two right companies in the mean time thrown into the woods with well-directed volleys, driving the already retreating foe precipitately from the field. After I had dispatched three separate orders to withdraw, there being no favoring demonstration from Blackburn’s Ford, it retired well formed and in good order from the field.

Although the main object of our attack–the possession of the battery–was not attained, the effect of our operations, I am glad to believe, was none the less important in working out the grand issues of the day. The enemy left in panic the strong position from which he completely commanded several fords of Bull Run and the adjacent country for miles around.

My men behaved well in making the advance, considering the great difficulties of the ground and the terrible nature of the fire, as the following statement will show: Fifth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, 3 killed, 23 wounded; Seventeenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, 2 killed, 10 wounded, Eighteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, 9 killed, 29 wounded. Total, 14 killed, 62 wounded.

It affords me much pleasure to express the confidence with which the conduct of Captain Miller and Lieutenant Norcom, of the artillery, and Capt. J. W. Flood, of the cavalry, attached to my command, inspired me. I only regret that the circumstances of my position prevented me from deriving the full benefit of the assistance they were so ready and eager to give. Too much cannot be said in praise of the gallantry displayed by Colonel Jenkins and his regiment of South Carolinians. The daring advance in line, the unwavering determination and coolness with which he held his command in position after it was completely isolated, and the ready tact with which he advanced his right flank and scattered the foe, will challenge comparison, I venture to say, with any of the many exhibitions of gallantry that graced the signal victory of the day. To Captain Fontaine, Company H, Eighteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, much praise is also due for the manner in which he kept his company in hand. Not only did he resist the backward pressure of the other companies of his regiment, but he gallantly maintained his ground in rear of the Fifth Regiment, and with it retired from the field.

For more detailed reports I beg leave to refer you to the accompanying reports of colonels commanding regiments of this brigade.

To the following-named gentlemen: Lieut. F. G. Latham, acting assistant adjutant-general, Capts. A. Coward, J. W. Ford, E. Taylor, J. R. Curell, and Lieut. O. K. McLemore, members of my staff, I am indebted for valuable assistance, and I am under especial obligations to Mr. E. W. Kincheloe, whose services as messenger, scout, and guide were truly valuable to me personally, as well as the cause in which we are engaged. I take pleasure also in acknowledging the valuable assistance of Colonel White and Mr. Davis, both independent volunteers, accompanying the Mississippi Volunteers under my command.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General

#95 – Brig. Gen. Richard S. Ewell

13 03 2008


Report of Brig. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, Commanding Second Brigade, First Corps

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 536-537


Union Mills, July 24, 1861

SIR: In conformity with Special Orders, No. 145, headquarters Army of the Potomac, I have the honor to report that upon the morning of July 21, 1861, I first received orders to hold myself in readiness to advance at a moment’s notice. I next received a copy of an order sent to General Jones and furnished me by him, in which it was stated I had been ordered at once to proceed to his support.

I immediately commenced crossing my brigade over Bull Run, but whilst so doing received an order to fall back to my former position, which I did, and a short time afterwards received another order, brought by Colonel Terry, aide-de-camp, to cross again, proceed up the run, and attack a battery of the enemy upon its flank and rear, regulating my movements upon the brigades of Generals Jones and Longstreet. I again crossed the stream, and had proceeded about a mile and a half in execution of the order when I was stopped by an order to march at once to stone bridge, following General Holmes’ brigade, which had already been ordered to proceed to that point.

I deem it proper to state that the courier said he had been accompanied by an aide-de-camp whose horse had given out before reaching me. I countermarched and marched at once to headquarters in the field, remained in reserve at that point until ordered back to Union Mills, which I reached after a long and fatiguing march the same night.

My brigade consisted of Rodes’ Fifth Alabama, Seibels’ Sixth Alabama, Seymour’s Sixth Louisiana, a battery under Captain Rosser, the Washington Artillery, and four companies of cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jenifer. The infantry would hardly have got back that night, but for the excitement of hearing that the enemy were in possession of the ford. As connected with this, I send a report of a skirmish on the 17th, of Colonel Rodes’ regiment becoming engaged and checking the enemy, owing to the non-reception of the order to fall back on their appearance.(*)

Very respectfully,




Assistant Adjutant-General

*No. 74, p. 459.