Report of Col. George Lyons, Eighth New York Militia
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 387-388
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH REGIMENT N. Y. S. M.,
Arlington, Va., July 23, 1861
I hereby submit the following report of my regiment’s doings in the engagement on the 21st instant:
On arriving on the ground, I was ordered to form line of battle on the right of the Fourteenth Regiment. We were then ordered to advance to a fence a short distance in front; then moved by the right along the road. We here received a destructive fire from the enemy, which caused a temporary break. We ascended the hill, and were called upon by Major Wadsworth, of General McDowell’s staff, to charge the woods on our right. Three companies on the right (Captain Burger, Captain Gregory, and Captain Johnson) dashed forward in the woods, dislodging the enemy. We then left the woods, and immediately formed line in face of the enemy on the brow of a hill. We here received a fire from the enemy, and returned it. The fire now became so hot that the men were ordered to fall back in the woods. One company of the left wing did not come into action up to this time.
I was now called upon to aid the Twenty-seventh Regiment, and rallied what force could be gathered at the time under direction of Quartermaster Cornell. I then collected the remaining portions of the regiment on the skirts of the woods, and with them I tried to form a junction with the Fourteenth Regiment, which was well on the right. The force under Major Sykes made a charge. A portion of my regiment became entangled with them, and moved forward with them. I called on Major Wentworth to rally the men, which was found impossible to do, they were so scattered. At this time the retreat was sounded, and we left the field.
I cannot close this communication without calling your attention to the valuable assistance rendered by Major Wentworth and Quartermaster Cornell, and the gallant conduct of Captain Johnson and his command and the handsome and self-sacrificing conduct of Surgeon Foster Swift, Asst. Surg. G. A. Winston, and Asst. Surg. C. S. De Graw, by declining to leave the wounded, and were consequently made prisoners.
Colonel Eighth Regiment N. Y. S. M.
Col. ANDREW PORTER,