Richard, 8th New York State Militia, On the Battle

7 06 2020

Account by an Officer of the Eight Regiment, New York State Militia.

The following letter is descriptive of the great battle at Bull’s run on the 21st inst., in which the Eighth regiment signalized itself: –

Arlington Heights, July 23, 1861.

Dear Father and Mother – We have had a pretty hard fight. The enemy were almost entirely hid in masked batteries and in the wood. The Eighth was called on to charge on the wood, which we did with a will, driving out the Third South Carolina regiment and a Georgia regiment. Our boys got so scattered that they could not form again. I was with a party composed of members of every company in the regiment. Others jumped in with the regulars, some with the Sixty-ninth and other regiments. We did not leave the field until our battery ran out of ammunition. We had them beaten. As they waved a flag of truce we ceased firing and advanced. Just then they received a reinforcement, and the fight commenced again. Taking into consideration that we were on the march from two o’clock in the morning – a march of at least fifteen miles, and on the last half mile going in on a double quick – we did well. The enemy were fresh and in covered positions, and their reinforcements came in on the cars, and came in by thousands. We supposed that the communications were cut off on our side. I escaped without any injury, as did most all our up town boys, two or three receiving very slight wounds. I am in a great hurry, and close.

Your affectionate son,

New York Herald, 7/25/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy