First Bull

10 05 2009

Jonathan Soffe’s First Bull Run site (a great resource for company level OOB’s) has been down for a little while, but is back with a new address:

JCCW – Report of the Committee

9 05 2009

Report of the Conduct of the War, Volume 2, pp. 3-8


The joint committee on the conduct of the war submit the following report, with accompanying testimony, in relation to the battle of Bull Run, in July, 1861:

So long a time has elapsed, and so many important events have occurred in the progress of the war, since the campaign which ended with the battle of Bull Run, in July, 1861, that your committee do not deem it necessary to go very much into detail in their report. The testimony they submit herewith is very voluminous, and fully covers all the points of interest connected with that campaign. They therefore submit a brief report, confining their attention principally to the causes which led to the defeat of our army in that battle.

That which now appears to have been the great error of that campaign was the failure to occupy Centreville and Manassas at the time Alexandria was occupied, in May. The position at Manassas controlled the railroad communication in all that section of country. The forces which were opposed to us at the battle of Bull Run were mostly collected and brought to Manassas during the months of June and July. The three months’ men could have made the place easily defensible against any force the enemy could have brought against it; and it is not at all probable that the rebel- forces would have advanced beyond the line of the Rappahannock had Manassas been occupied by our troops.

The next cause of disaster was the delay in proceeding against the enemy until the time of the three months’ men was so nearly expired. In that respect the movement was made too late rather than too soon, and the enemy were allowed time to collect their forces at Manassas and to strengthen the position by defensive works. The reason why the movement was so long delayed is shown, to some extent, by the testimony, to which your committee would direct the attention of those who desire to examine that point.

And when the movement was finally determined upon, much was needed to render the troops efficient. There had been but little time devoted to disciplining the troops and instructing them, even as regiments; hardly any instruction had been given them in reference to brigade movements, and none at all as divisions. When General McDowell reviewed eight regiments together—the only instance previous to the battle, so far as the evidence shows, that even that number of troops were manoeuvred in one body—he was charged with desiring to make a show.

General McDowell was instructed, verbally, by General Scott, to prepare and submit a plan of operations against the enemy at Manassas. This plan was considered in cabinet meeting, and agreed to; and the 9th of July was fixed upon by General Scott as the day when the army should move.

The plan of General McDowell was to move out in the direction of Centreville, and endeavor to turn the enemy’s right with a portion of his force, and destroy his communication by railroad with Richmond. He asked that a certain number of troops be given him to operate against the force which it was estimated that Beauregard had under his command. He was assured that the enemy below should be kept occupied by General Butler, who was in command at Fortress Monroe; and that the enemy under Johnston, in the Winchester valley, should be held there by General Patterson. Some days before the battle, upon expressing some fears in regard to the force under Johnston being detained by Patterson, he was assured by General Scott that “if Johnston joined Beauregard, he should have Patterson on his heels.”

The movement did not commence until the 16th of July, a week later than the time first decided upon. The transportation was deficient, and General McDowell had to depend upon others to see that supplies were forwarded to him in time. The march was slow, one reason being that, since the affair at Vienna, near Alexandria, and at Big Bethel, near Fortress Monroe, a fear of “masked batteries” caused hesitation in regard to advancing upon points concerning which there was a want of information. There was some delay, on the march, in consequence of the want of complete discipline among some of the troops. They were not sufficiently under control of officers to be prevented from leaving the ranks and straggling.

The affair at Blackburn’s Ford, on Thursday, the 18th, being more extensive than General McDowell had ordered, drew the attention of the enemy to that point; and, in consequence of the preparations they made there to meet any attempt of General McDowell to turn their position in that direction, it became necessary to adopt another line of operations. General McDowell determined to make the attempt to turn their right, and steps were taken to secure the necessary information. It was not until Saturday that the information which General McDowell desired was obtained.

He then issued orders for the troops to move the next morning, the 21st, some at two o’clock and some at half-past two. The division of General Tyler was in the advance, and was ordered to proceed directly out to Stone Bridge, and take up position there. General Hunter’s and General Heintzelman’s divisions were to follow, and when they reached a road leading to the right, about a mile in advance of General Tyler’s camp, they were to turn off and proceed in the direction of Sudley’s Church, and endeavor to turn the enemy’s left. The movement to the right was intended to be made under cover of General Tyler’s force at Stone Bridge.

But there was much delay in the movements of the troops that morning. Tyler’s division did not pass the point, where Hunter’s and Heintzelman’s divisions were to turn off, until after the time designated. Some of the troops were delayed for three hours, affording time to the enemy to discover the movement and make preparations to meet it.

Notwithstanding these disadvantages, our forces were successful during the fore part of the day, although Beauregard had been re-enforced by some of Johnston’s forces from Winchester. Our troops were very much fatigued. The day was exceedingly warm; the roads were dusty; and they had been some hours longer on the march than had been anticipated. In the afternoon additional re- enforcements arrived from Johnston’s army, and suddenly attacked our right and threw it into disorder.

About the same time two of our batteries (Ricketts’s and Griffin’s) were captured by the enemy, and our entire force began to fall back in great confusion. In regard to the capture of the batteries, it appears by the testimony that they were ordered to take an advanced and exposed position, and were not sufficiently supported. Not long after they were placed in position, a rebel regiment appeared in their immediate vicinity. Captain Griffin states that he took them to be rebels from the first, and directed one of his lieutenants to open upon them with canister. But Major Barry, chief of artillery, coming up at the time, told him that they were some of our own troops coming to the support of the batteries, and directed him not to fire upon them. The battery was accordingly turned in another direction, and, almost immediately after, this regiment of the enemy opened fire upon it, disabling the horses, and killing and wounding most of the men at the guns. That completed the discomfiture of our troops, and the day which had opened upon our success, closed upon a defeated and retreating army.

A division, under Colonel Miles, had been stationed at Centreville, partly for the purpose of a reserve, and partly to guard against any flank attack. The enemy did attempt a movement upon our left, but were promptly met and checked by our forces there.

The principal cause of the defeat on that day was the failure of General Patterson to hold the forces of Johnston in the valley of the Shenandoah. He had a force of about 23,000 men; while the force of the enemy opposed to him, according to the best evidence your committee could obtain, did not exceed from 12,000 to 15,000 men. General Patterson testifies that he was satisfied that Johnston had from 35,000 to 40,000 men, and over 60 guns. He also states that a large number of his troops were anxious to return home; that their time had about expired, and he could not persuade them to remain. There is considerable testimony to show that the troops became dissatisfied, and refused to remain, only when they learned that their movement from Bunker Hill on the 17th of July was a retreat, and not an advance upon the enemy; that while they supposed they were being led to the attack, little, if any, complaint was made, and they were in excellent spirits.

In reference to the orders given to General Patterson, and the object to be accomplished by his operations, there seems to be no question. That object was to prevent Johnston from joining Beauregard before General McDowell could have an opportunity to attack the forces under the latter. The character of the orders is indicated by the following telegram of the 13th of July (Saturday) from General Scott to General Patterson:

“I telegraphed you yesterday, if not strong enough to beat the enemy early next week, make demonstrations so as to detain him in the valley of Winchester. But if he retreats in force towards Manassas, and it be hazardous to follow him, then consider the route via Keyes’s Ferry, Leesburg, &c.”

General Scott had, the day before, conveyed to General Patterson the intimation that General McDowell would commence his movement on the 16th or July, and on the 15th General Patterson advanced from Martinsburg to Bunker Hill, remaining there the 16th.

On the 17th General Scott telegraphs to General Patterson:

“I have nothing official from you since Sunday, but am glad to learn through Philadelphia papers that you have advanced. Do not let the enemy amuse and delay you with a small force in front, whilst he re-enforces the Junction with his main body. McDowell’s first day’s work has driven the enemy beyond Fairfax Court-House. The Junction will probably be carried to-morrow.”

There is no evidence at what time that despatch was received. But it could not have been received before the movement from Bunker Hill to Charlestown was made by General Patterson, for that movement commenced very early in the-morning of the 17th, the date of the despatch.

On the 18th General Scott telegraphs :

“I have certainly been expecting you to beat the enemy. If not, that you had felt him strongly, or at least had occupied him by threats and demonstrations. You have been at least his equal, and, I suppose, superior in number. Has he not stolen a march, and sent re-enforcements towards Manassas Junction? A week is enough to win a victory.”

To this General Patterson replies on the same day:

“The enemy has stolen no march upon me. I have kept him actively ‘ employed, and, by threats and reconnoissances in force, caused him to be re- enforced.”

General Patterson testifies as follows :

“Question. During all this time you knew that General Scott expected of you that you should either engage and beat Johnston, or detain him in the valley of Winchester; or, in the event that he should come down by a route where you could not follow him, that you should follow him via Keyes’s Ferry and Leesburg ?

“Answer. Yes, sir.

“Question. And yet, when you were at Charlestown, you found yourself not in a condition to do either. Now, my question is : Why did you not communicate that fact to General Scott ?

” Answer. There was no occasion for it, in my judgment. He knew my condition, and to have added to the information he already had would have been a waste of time and paper. I had informed him of my condition, and it was his business to order me what to do. I had asked him : ‘ Shall I attack ?’ It was not my business to say anything beyond that.”

When asked if the telegram of the 18th, from General Scott, did not show that he still deemed it was of the first importance that he (Patterson) should detain Johnston there, General Patterson replies:

“I looked upon that telegraph, and so did every gentleman upon my staff, as nothing more nor less than an exhibition of bad temper.”

General Patterson also testifies:

“Question. You say you could have attacked on the 18th if ordered to do so. You knew the necessity of detaining Johnston, and you must have inferred from the telegraph of General Scott that he expected or required of you that you should do something in that direction. Why did you not do all that yon could to detain him without an order?

” Answer. Because I could not go up there without fighting, as I could not fall back again. I had no reason to believe that that telegram was not written in the morning in reply to mine of that morning, [1.30 a. m., asking ‘ Shall I attack?’] General Scott did not fight that day, and there was no more occasion for my going up and perilling my men without an order, than of doing anything entirely uncalled for—not the slightest occasion for it. ******* If General Scott did not fight, and saw the necessity for my acting, I repeat it was his business to give the order.”

In another place he testifies:

“Question. When you found you were in no condition to detain Johnston, was it not all important that that fact should have been communicated to General Scott; not the fact that you could not fight Johnston, but that you could not detain him, that your strength was insufficient for that, and that he could not rely upon his being kept back?

“Answer. I never supposed, for a moment, that General Scott believed for the fifty-fifth part of a second that I could hold him.”

General Patterson further testifies :

“Question. You were not threatening Johnston at Charlestown so as to prevent his joining Beauregard at Manassas?”

“Answer. No, sir. I remained there because I was ordered to remain in front of him until he left.

” Question. You knew at that time that you were not offering any obstacle to his going down to Manassas ?

“Answer. Perfectly: I knew I had not the means to do it.

“Question. Why did you not communicate that fact to General Scott immediately ?

” Answer. I did communicate my condition, and where I was.

“Question. When?

“Answer. On the 16th I wrote him in detail from Bunker Hill. On the 17th I wrote again. And on the 18th I gave him all the information necessary. And it was his business to order me, not my business to make any further suggestions to him.

“Question. Did you communicate to him by telegraph?

“Answer. Certainly. I sent three telegrams to him on the same day.

“Question. On what day ?

“Answer. On the 18th, at half-past one in the morning, I telegraphed him my condition, and asked him if I should attack. To have sent further information to him would have been rather impertinent, and he would have so considered it.


“Question. Why did you not inform him that you were not then in a condition to offer any obstacle to Johnston’s joining Beauregard ?

“Answer. I would have considered it rather a reflection on him to have told him so. He knew my condition.”

General Scott testifies:

“But, although General Patterson was never specifically ordered to attack the enemy, he was certainly told and expected, even if with inferior numbers, to hold the rebel army in his front on the alert, and to prevent it from re-enforcing Manassas Junction, by means of threatening manoeuvres and demonstrations— results often obtained in war with half numbers.”

Instead of doing that, however, General Patterson came down to Bunker Hill, remained there over the day when he had been given to understand the advance would be commenced by General McDowell; and early the next morning, without waiting to hear how far General McDowell had advanced, or whether he had advanced at all, left the neighborhood of Winchester, where the enemy was, and turned off to Charlestown, where, as he himself says, he had no means to offer any obstacle to Johnston’s joining Beauregard whenever he chose. Johnston at once took advantage of the opportunity thus afforded him, and re-enforced Beauregard in season to inflict a defeat upon our forces at Bull Run.

Johnston started the greater portion of his forces from Winchester on the 18th; some of the testimony shows that a portion started on the afternoon of the 17th. General Patterson, though only some twenty miles distant from Winchester, and under orders to prevent the enemy from re-enforcing Beauregard, did not discover that Johnston had left Winchester until two days afterwards, when he telegraphed, on the 20th, to General Scott that re-enforcements had left there.

In reference to deferring the attack upon Beauregard, when the arrival of Johnston’s forces had become known, General McDowell says that the information that he received was too indefinite, mere rumor, and he could not tell how much credit to give to it. The arrival of the cars during the night preceding the battle was not certain evidence of the arrival of Johnston’s forces; for it was expected that re-enforcements would be hurried up to the enemy from every direction possible. And he had been assured that “if Johnston joined Beauregard, Patterson should be on his heels.”

General Scott testifies on that point:

“As connected with this subject, I hope I may be permitted to notice the charge made against me on the floors of Congress, that I did not stop Brigadier General McDowell’s movement upon Manassas Junction after I had been informed of the re-enforcement sent thither from Winchester, though urged to do so by one or more members of the cabinet. Now, it was, at the reception of that news, too late to call off the troops from the attack. And, besides, though opposed to the movement at first, we had all become animated and sanguine of success. And it is not true that I was urged by anybody in authority to stop the attack which was commenced as early, I think, as the 18th of July.”

B. F. WADE, Chairman

America’s Civil War July 2009

8 05 2009

ACW July 2009This issue features a couple of fellow bloggers.  John Hoptak has an article (p. 54) on Colonel Andrew Jackson Grigsby of the 27th VA, who was passed over for command of the Stonewall Brigade by General Jackson, in favor of his staffer Frank Paxton, a major.  Was this the result of Grigsby’s support of Richard Garnett in the wake of the Battle of Kernstown and Garnett’s humiliation at the hands of Jackson?

Robert Moore gets some good pub, too.  Most prominently, Cenantua’s Blog is the subject of this issue’s Web Watch (p.66), which dubs Robert as “the hardest-blogging blogger in the Civil War blogosphere”, and with about six separate blogs to his credit it’s hard to argue with that.  Robert’s Southern Unionists Chronicles also gets a plug in my Smeltzer’s Six-Pack column on page 70.  This may require some explanation.

Smeltzer’s Six-Pack, as I think I’ve described before, is meant to give potential book buyers an idea of a book’s content and help them decide if it is indeed something they are interested in.  These “reviews” are not critical, beyond giving an indication – via a one to four can rating system – of whether or not it is something that appeals to me.  (By the way, the reason for a four can rating system in a column titled Six-Pack has something to do with layout space and graphics.)  I have one page to provide sketches of six books.  That doesn’t leave a whole lot of words for each book, and I think every one of the sketches so far has been cut from what I submitted.  It’s the cold, hard facts of words and defined space, unlike the web.  While I pride myself on literary economy, clearly I have a ways to go in my quest for Hemingway-esque thrift.  So, sometimes the tone of a sketch loses something in the editing process.  In the case of the sketch of Tom C. McKenney’s Jack Hinson’s One-Man War, what got lost was my reason for referencing Robert’s blog.  One of the central elements of McKenney’s book is an incident that led to Jack Hinson turning from neutral observer (think Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah) to revenge-seeking Confederate sniper.  The section of the book that covers the killing and mutilation of Hinson’s sons by Union soldiers is lightly footnoted, and relies heavily on personal interviews and local lore.  My point was that, while this is something that in general concerns me, in the case of these incidents a dearth of formal documentation is not uncommon, as evidenced by some of the examples detailed on Robert’s site.

Here are the pairs of books that made up this issue’s Six-Pack:

Fitz-John Porter, Scapegoat of Second Manassas, Donald R. Jermann, and Injustice on Trial, Curt Anders

Jack Hinson’s One-Man War, Tom C. McKenney, and Berry Benson’s Civil War Book, Susan Williams Benson (ed.)

Stealing Lincoln’s Body (paperback), Thomas J. Craughwell, and Assassination Vacation, Sarah Vowell

There’s other good stuff in this issue (topics include Dan Sickles, Stephen Douglas, Lincoln and the Sioux, and Witness Trees), so head on out to your local newsstand if you don’t already subscribe.

Pvt. Alexander Campbell, 79th NY, Describes the Battle to His Wife

5 05 2009

To Jane Campbell

Washington, DC

July 26th 1861

Dear Jane

I expect you will think it strange of me not writing you sooner.  I certanely would but they saud around here that no Letters was aloud to Leave here since the Battel of Bulls Runn whether it was true or not.  Anny how you must have heard that I was all safe.  There was a telegraph Despach came her[e] enquiring if I was all safe & the Magear said to me he answered it so I thought it would ease your mind til I would get a chance to tell you myself.  I came out of Battel without a scratch.  So Did James & Matthew & Brown.  I cant see how we all came off so safe for it was such a tremendous shoure of bullets that god onely knowes how anny of us is Left to tell the tale.  I cannot begin to tell you about how the battle begun and how it ended.  It would take me a week to write all the sights & seans I seen & came through since I wrote you Last.  I wish I could sit in my own house & tell you out of my own mouth all about it.

I was acting as right guid in McFadgan.  He & James & David Ireland was in washington.  It was fortunate that she {Ireland’s wife} came.  It was perhaps the means of saving therr Lives.  If you see Daniel Gillie or anny of them that worked in McMasters tell them that Daniel Larence is all safe & you are to tell Anney Ireland that her friend walker is safe & that william faset cannot be accounted for.  He got wounded in the arm and Left the field & has not been seen since.  The regiment suffered verry severe.  Captain Brown was killed by a cannon ball his side was almost carried away & cap shilling was killed by a cannon shot.  Manson & farask were taken prisoners & our captan cristie has cleard to new york.  He never stoped to se how his men was nor nothing.  If anny of you went to enquire after us at him I know the answer you would get.

We are all back in washington & going to encamp in the out skirts of the city & we might not Leave again till we come home.  I am shure I dont want to  go into virginia again.  We have come trough more hardships since we went over the Potomac than I would Like to go trough again.

I am writing this in John Stewarts.  Mrs. [David] Ireland was staying here.  She has gon out since I came in & she feels wuite happy and told me to tell anney that whe was in for the ware.  She says times is verry slack in new york.  I dont care how hard they were I would Like to be in it.  I think we have dun our share of the fiting & we ought to give them that wants to get out as bad as we did a chance.  There is not a man in the regiment but is quite willing to get back.

I suppose you wont have received anny money yet from the union Defence committee.  I Dont see how you are to get along.  I dont think that they intend to give us anny.  They have got us here & they can do what they Like.  It Look like it any how.

I almost forgot to tell you that in passing trough a place called germantown where there had been some of the reables but had run when they knew that we were comming I found a knapsack Lying in of the road with James Campbell wrote in side of it & I cut the pice out & took it with me.  I could almost sware it is my Brothers write & what makes me think so it was south carolina troops that was there.  It makes me feel verry bad to think that I was so near my own Brother & him on the one side & me on the other.  I might have shot him or he might have shot me & would not have knowen it.

I cannot say no more this time expecting to here from you soon & Little Jonney.  Poor Little fellow.  Little did he k[n]ow how his father is or the Danger he was in.    Its as well for him.  Many is the home that was Left fatherless on that Bloddy 21st of July.  It was sunday too – it is always sunday our army makes its grand moves.

Address to washington DC.  I am & the rest are well hopping this will find you all the same.  Good Day.

I remain your Afficonate Husband

Alexander Campbell

Tell [Brother] Peter when you se him that I will write him soon & that he will Pleas send some Paper.



Sunday July 28th 1861

Dear Jane

I take the oppartunity of writing you sume more oirticulars about Last sundays work.  We were encamped about 1 mile beyond Centrevell [Centerville, Va.] which is about 30 miles from washington.  We got orders on saturday [20 July] to march that night & we got our things packed up & 2 days rashings was served out to us and we were all formed in Line expecting to proceed but it wa[s] posponed untill nixt morning.  Sunday at two o clock [A.M.] we got ready at the time but did not get off so soon.  Some other regiments went & took there grond in the woods untill we all got up then our regiment & another one struck off to the right & scoured the woods to see if there was anny of the enimy Lurking there.  There was sum shots fired but wee saw no one until we got out of the wood.  We could see them away off the hights in front.  We were ordered to sit down but to be ready to spring up in a moment.

There was a battery of artillery on the road a Little below us the battery that accompanied our brigade and it comenced firing shells to find out the enemys position.  They knew what they were about and they did not fire a shot from there masked batterys.  Then there a company taken from the regiment on our right 13 of new york & they commenced firing with there rifels at the enemys pickets which was returned.  Then 4 cannon was brought up and comenced shelling the enemy which could be seen in great numbers running in all directings.  Sum of our men went up in trees & got a fine view of the enemy comming in in great force.  We were still Lying in the outskirts of the wood and could see dust rising out among the trees.  They when I say they I meen the enemy were coming in from manasses Junchon to reignforce there position away on the right.  Hunters Division came on the enemy first & musketry firing commenced in earnest.  It was one continual roll of which I niver heard nor can I compare anny thing I ever heard with it.

It was not Long then till we were ordered up in to action.  Then Jane I thought  I might never see you and Little Jonney again.  I thought that James or mat or myself could not all come out clear which thank god we have.  There was one of our company william Mitchel [w]ho has a Large family in N Y & when he got shot he Looked up and said my god my family my family.  I could tell a thousand Such things only its better not.  I would not cared half so much if it was not for the sake of you and Jonney.  Poor little fellow.  I am looking at him while writing.  His Likeness is Lying before me.  I expect he is changed a Little now.

I was saying we were not Long when we were ordered into action.  We had to runn on dubbel quick about a mile till we came to where the fiting was going on and the enemy was running up the [Henry] hill in great haste scattered in all directions & we thought the battle was all over but it was not right begun.  there masked batteries opened on us and such cannonnading.  We were ordered down the [Buck] hill right in front of there firing & when we got down a Little out of the way of our own artirlere commenced firing over our heads & they were firing in among us and when we got down in [t]he hollow we Lay down so as to avoid getting struck as much as possible and when Lying there I came verry near being shot from our own side.  A grapeshot struck the ground about 2 inches from my hip so you can amigon [imagine] the critical place we were in.

The amineshan of our artirally run out and we were ordered up the [Henry] hill to take it and such a shaturing I cannot begin to write about.  A man that is in the battle cannot tell much about it.  Annyhow we had them entirely Licked.  You could not se anny of them then.  We came down and the generals were forming the regiments in squares to receive calvelry.  Us and [the] 69[th New York] formed together but it was no use.  General Jonston had arrived with his whole army of fresh troops and we had non[e] so we had to retreat and such a retreat.  The most of the regiments was without officers and the generals rode off on horseback telling the men to hurry up or the enemy would be on them so they did come on us.

The calvelry came upon us on the road.  I wa[s] comming along myself the onely one I mean of our regiment to the road when bang went a volley from the enemys calvelry which had come up on us.  I runn right into the woods and came up with another of our regiment.  Then we came across a field running as fast as we could.  We tried to get into another wood.  I was not able to go anny farther so I Lay down and gave up all hops.  There was 2 more of us and we Lay in sight of the road.  We could see our army retreating and the men cutting there horses Loose from the wagons and monting there backs and galloping off as fast as they could.  We Lay a Long while then we started for the woods and kept in them till we came in sight of the ground we started from in the morning.  But there was no 79th there so we cept well up of the road till we came into centervall and the regiments that was at the fight tryed to get themselvs together but it was impossable.  Sume of our regiment was scatterered all around among the regiments.  I tryed to find out if mat or James was there.  I could not get anny word of them so I gave them up for Lost then started with a small party for alington hights.  Sometimes I would be [by] myself.  I traveled till I was sleeping wa[l]king along.  I Lay Down in some cut wheat that was near the road side and slept 2 hours or about that.  Then I started on the road again and I met in with one of our hand men.  He was as bad as myself in reguard to knowing anything about them.

So I marched on passing men on the way without shoes ot stokings and the most of them Lame.  On I went till I came to the place where we Left our tents & knapsacks and when I arrieved there the most of them wa[s] taken Down.  So I took my knapsack and started for fort corcran 4 miles more.  It was rainning verry hard too and when i arrieved at the fort the first thing I asked for matthew & James & I was told that they were all safe.  I did no[t] se them for some time after that.  Each one was stowed away the best way he could from the rain.  There was nothing for us to eat.  We were all entirely wore out.

I met with David Mcfadgan and he gave me Jonneys Likeness and I was glad to se it.  Muy space wont admit of finishing it as I would Like to.  Any how we are encamped in a verry nice place not verry far from where John stuart Lives.  Its not in the city and its not out of it.  Thats as near as I can give.  The place is verry nice but I am sick of sogren [soldiering] and I cannot feel satisfied no where but home and if I can get away at all I will come.  Mat & James is well.  J is to write soon.  So Jane this is a rough sketch of the battle & retreat of Bulls Runn.

No more this time But Remains

Your afficonate husband.

Aleander Campbell

I sent a piece I cut out of the k[n]apsack with Jamess name on it with on of our Company that has got his Discharge.

[Johnston, Terry A., Jr., editor, “Him on the One Side and Me on the Other”: The Civil War Letters of Alexander Campbell, 79th New York Infantry Regiment, and James Campbell, 1st South Carolina Battalion, pp. 26-35]

Notes on Meeting Between Brothers

4 05 2009

Thanks to Art Bergeron for sending along this article on the meeting between two brothers at Bull Run.  Art sent along the following information on the brothers:

Hubbard, Fred L., Pvt. 3rd Co. Battn. Washington Arty. La. En. May 26, 1861, at New Orleans. La. Roll for July and Aug., Present, sustained injury of right arm. July 21, 1861. Roll for Sept. and Oct., 1861, Discharged Oct. 30, 1861, order of Gen. Beauregard. Record copied from Memorial Hall, New Orleans, La., by the War Dept., Washington, D. C., May, 1903, born New York, age when enlisted 22, single, occupation clerk, Res. New Orleans, La. Right arm injured July 21, 1861. Discharged Oct. 30, 1861. Andrew B. Booth, Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands (New Orleans, 1920)

Hubbard, Henry A., Pvt., Co. H, 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment. Mustered in April 29, 1861, age 20. Wounded at Bull Run. Discharged for disability December 15, 1861.  See and search for his name in the rosters.

Meeting Between Brothers

4 05 2009

Hillsborough (NC) Recorder, August 14, 1861


Frederick Hubbard of the New Orleans Washington Artillery, and Henry Hubbard, of the 1st Minnesota Infantry, brothers, were both wounded at Manassas, fighting on opposite sides, and after the battle met for the first time in seven years in a stable, where they and nine other wounded men were laid.  The artilleryman being the less wounded, was found ministering to his brother.  And the case excited so much interest that a surgeon at once dressed the Yankee’s wounds and had him removed to his own hospital.

Richmond Daily Dispatch, August 1, 1861

Camp Near Manassas, July 27th, 1861

To the Editors of the Dispatch:

 –I, together with several other gentlemen from Montgomery, a day or two ago, witnessed one of the most singular, at the same time most affecting incidents which will probably occur during this unholy and unnatural war, if it should last for twenty years. We were straggling over the battle-field, examining the ground upon which we had such a bloody conflict and won such a glorious victory, two days before. We came unexpectedly into the Centreville road and seeing a house upon our left with the usual signs betokening a hospital, one of our party being a physician, expressed a wish to get down and examine the wounded. Upon inquiry we learned that a stable just below the house contained thirteen wounded Yankees; we forth with proceeded to the stable, and upon entering found a Washington artilleryman seated by the side of a wounded soldier evidently ministering to him with great care and tenderness. I introduced myself to him and asked if he aided in working the battery which fought with the 1st Virginia Brigade. He told me he did not — he had fought in a battery lower down, and then remarked “that it was very hard to fight as he had fought and turn and find his own brother fighting against him, ” at the same time pointing to the wounded soldier from whose side he had just risen. I asked if it was possible that was his brother. “Yes, sir, he is my brother Henry. The same mother bore us — the same mother nursed us. We meet the first time for seven years. I belong to the Washington Artillery, from New Orleans — he to the 1st Minnesota Infantry. By the merest chance I learned he was here wounded, and sought him out to nurse and attend him. “–Thus they met–one from the far North, the other from the extreme South–on a bloody field in Virginia — in a miserable stable, far away from their mother, home and friends — both wounded — the infantryman by a musket ball in the right shoulder, the artilleryman by the wheel of a caisson over his left hand. Thus they met after an absence of seven years. Their names are Frederick Hubbard, Washington Artillery, and Henry Hubbard, 1st Minnesota Infantry. We met a surgeon of one of the Alabama regiments and related the case to him, and requested, for the sake of the artilleryman, that his brother might be cared for. He immediately examined and dressed his wounds, and sent off in haste for an ambulance to take the wounded “Yankee” to his own regimental hospital.

M. F.

See notes here.

Image of newspaper page here.

Horn Tooting

2 05 2009

I need to thank a couple of folks for spreading the word.  Kevin Levin notes in this post that he is including Bull Runnings in a top ten Civil War blogs list he was asked to compile for The Best in Blogs.  And on the May 1 episode of Gerry Prokopowicz’s Civil War Talk Radio, guest Dana Shoaf, editor of Civil War Times and America’s Civil War magazines, mentioned the blog as one he reads regularly (thanks to Brett Schulte for bringing this to my attention in this post).

Thanks, Kevin and Dana.

UPDATE: Brett at TOCWOC has put up his own top ten CW blogs list, and was nice enough to include Bull Runnings on it.  Thanks Brett.  I think before my head gets too big to fit through my door I should point out that I realize that any top ten/hundred/thousand/million list is going to be the product of the person compiling it, and a reflection of personal preference.  Still, without going all Sally Field on you, it’s nice to know at least three people appreciate what I’m doing here.