Testimony of Lt. Horatio B. Reed
Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 220-221
WASHINGTON, January 28, 1862.
Lieutenant HORATIO B. REED sworn and examined.
By Mr. Gooch:
Question. What is your rank in the army?
Answer. I am second lieutenant in the fifth regiment of United States artillery.
Question. Where are you now stationed?
Answer. Minor’s Hill, Virginia.
Question. Were you at the battle of Bull Run?
Answer. Yes, sir; I was chief of line of caissons in Griffin’s battery.
Question. Can you tell us the movements of the battery just before it was lost, the orders given, and what led to the loss of the battery?
Answer. Our battery was in battery five times. We first came in battery I do not know by whose orders. I had charge of six caissons, a battery wagon, and forge. I left the battery wagon and forge some distance below where we came in battery the first time. Our battery was again ordered in battery—by whose orders I do not know. General Barry—then Major Barry—came to my captain, and I am under the impression my captain made some protest against going forward on account of the want of support. But we then advanced in a field upon the right. We found that was not where we had been ordered, and we then went upon a hill and came in battery for the fourth time. That was on the left of the house there. We then came in battery on the right of the house. I was chief of the line of caissons, and my position was in the rear. As we advanced upon the hill I wanted to go with the battery, and I left the caissons and went forward. I think we came in battery with two pieces; Lieutenant Hasbrouck in command. There was a body of troops coming up, and I know there was something said about those troops being our own, sent by some one to support us. I have heard since that it was said General Heintzelman sent them, but I did not hear the name mentioned then. We did not fire there until the troops advanced so near that they fired upon us and cut us down.
Question. Why did you not fire upon them?
Answer. We had orders not to fire.
Question. Who gave those orders?
Answer. I am under the impression that General Barry gave them.
Question. Did you hear the order given by General Barry?
Answer. I heard the order given by some one to Captain Griffin and Lieutenant Hasbrouck—and I am under the impression that it was General Barry— not to fire upon that body of men, for the reason that they were troops sent up to support us. Just after that they fired upon us and cut us down.
Question. Was General Barry there at that time?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Could you have broken up that body of men by your battery if you had opened on them?
Answer. We could have done so unless they were better troops than we saw that day; I think we could have swept them off with canister; we could have scattered any body of troops, I think, no matter how efficient—that is, to the best of my belief.
Question. Was Ricketts’ battery captured at the same time?
Answer. I presume it was. My horse was shot from under me at the time, and I was somewhat stunned by falling on my breast. We advanced together, but I never met Captain Ricketts except on that occasion, and he rode up in advance of his battery, and I was in rear of ours.
Question. Did the panic on the field commence immediately after the capture of those batteries?
Answer. Well, sir, the Ellsworth zouaves were ordered to support us, but they ran away before that.
Question. Did you have any support at that time?
Answer. No, sir; we were ordered there without any support but these zouaves.
Question. Did not the marines support you?
Answer. No, sir; they could not get up there. When we first went into battery, we went ahead of them.
Question. Was your battery without support during the day?
Answer. Yes, sir. I went after the 14th New York, and they went up with us for a little time, and then they left; their officers did all they could.
Question. About what time did the loss of your battery happen?
Answer. I have a very faint idea of time on that day, for I did not exactly know what time we came into battery; I was without a watch. We left our camp about 12 o’clock at night, and I suppose we went into action about 11 o’clock; and if we did, I think this was about 4 o’clock.