“Justice,” 4th Alabama Infantry, On the Battle

13 07 2020

The Fourth Alabama Regiment.

Culpeper C. H., July 28, 1861.

To the Editors of the Dispatch: – Knowing that you would not intentionally allow injustice done through your columns to any of the brave soldiers engaged in achieving the glorious victory of the 21st at Manassas, I ask sufficient space for a brief statement of facts. In a late number of your paper appears a voluminous letter from an “eye-witness,” of the scenes enacted on the field, with somewhat minute detail of incidents and evolutions, and yet a regiment occupying the extreme left, in front of our entire line of battle nearly two hundred yards, exposed to a most murderous fire of musketry on both flanks, and of artillery in front, which held its position for nearly two hours, and by its obstinate courage contributed in no little degree toward the brilliant results achieved, is not even mentioned. I do not supposed and disparagement was designed, but it is difficult to imagine how a body of men so conspicuously exposed and so terribly decimated, (losing in killed and wounded just half of their whole number,) could have so entirely escaped the attention of your correspondent.

But once during nine long hours of incessant struggle and conflict did this little band even stagger, and then they rallied promptly at the command of their officers. Twice, under orders from their superiors, they retreated a short distance, but re-formed and renewed the fight without confusion or disorder. Some of the privates, in the fierceness of one of the charges, were separated from their company, but they never left the field. They formed with the first advancing column, and fought until the shout of victory arrested their forward footsteps. Their Colonel , Lieutenant Colonel and Major were shot down, and yet the Fourth Regiment of Alabama Volunteers maintained both its position and organism on the field throughout the fight. Colonel E. J. Long*, wounded in both hips by separate shots from opposite directions, now lies at Orange C. H., it is hoped, out of immediate danger. – Lieutenant Colonel Law is here, suffering from a shattered arm, which the surgeons think can be cured without amputation. – Major Scott, (C. S. A., formerly M. C. of the U. S. Congress from California,) is, I believe, in Richmond or its vicinity, with a Minnie ball through his leg.

Thus much I have felt impelled by a sense of justice to say.


Richmond (VA) Dispatch, 8/1/1861

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Col. E. J. JONES was mortally wounded in the battle and died at Orange Court House on 9/1/1861.