U. S. Army HQ Requests Estimate of Force Required by McDowell

9 10 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 662

Headquarters, June 3, 1861.

General McDowell,
Commanding, &c., Arlington:

General Scott desires you to submit an estimate of the number and composition of a column to be xmshed towards Manassas Junction, and perhaps the gap, say in four or five days, to favor Patterson’s attack on Harper’s Ferry.

The rumor is that Arlington Heights will be attacked to-night.

E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General.





Instructions for Accounting for Property Taken or Damaged

9 10 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 659

General Orders, #4}

Hdqrs. Dep’t. of N. E. Virginia,
Arlington, June 2, 1861.

Statements of the amount, kind, and value of all private property taken and used for Government purposes, and of the damage done in any way to private property by reason of the occupation of this section of the country by the U. S. troops, will, as soon as practicable, be made out and transmitted to department headquarters by the commanders of brigades and officers in charge of the several fortifications.

These statements will exhibit—

1st. The quantity of land taken possession of for the several fieldworks, and the kind and value of the crop growing thereon, if any.
2d. The quantity of land used for the several encampments and the kind and value of the growing crop thereon, if any.
3d. The number, size and character of the buildings appropriated to public purposes.
4th. The quantity and value of trees cut down.
5th. The kind and extent of fencing, &c., destroyed.

These statements will, as far as possible, give the value of the property taken or of the damage sustained, and the name or names of the owners thereof. Citizens who have sustained any loss or damage as above will make their claims upon the commanding officers of the troops by whom it was done, or in cases where these troops have moved away, upon the commander nearest them. These claims will accompany the statements above called for.

The commanders of brigades will require the assistance of the commanders of regiments or detached companies, and will make this order known to the inhabitants in their vicinity, to the end that all loss or damage may, as nearly as possible, be ascertained, whilst the troops are now here, and by whom or on whose account it has been occasioned, that justice may be done alike to the citizen and the Government.

The name of the officer or officers (in case the brigade commanders shall institute a board) who fix the amount of loss or damage shall be given in each case.

By order of Brigadier-General McDowell:

JAMES B. FRY, A. A. G.





Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell to Mrs. R. E. Lee on the Occupation of Arlington House

8 10 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 655

Hdqrs. Department Northeastern Virginia,
Arlington, May 30, 1861.

Mrs. R. E. Lee:

Madam: Having been ordered by the Government to relieve Major-General Sandford in command of this department, I had the honor to receive this morning your letter of to-day, addressed to him at this place.

With respect to the occupation of Arlington by the United States troops, I beg to say it has been done by my predecessor with every regard to the preservation of the place. I am here temporarily in camp on the grounds, preferring this to sleeping in the house, under the circumstances which the painful state of the country places me with respect to its proprietors.

I assure you it has been and will be my earnest endeavor to have all things so ordered that on your return you will find things as little disturbed as possible. In this I have the hearty concurrence of the courteous, kind hearted gentleman in the immediate command of the troops quartered here, and who lives in the lower part of the house to insure its being respected.

Everything has been done as you desired with respect to your servants, and your wishes, as far as they are known or could be anticipated, have been complied with. When you desire to return, every facility will be given you for so doing.

I trust, madam, you will not consider it an intrusion if I say I have the most sincere sympathy for your distress, and that, as far as is compatible with my duty, I shall always be ready to do whatever may alleviate it.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, vour most obedient servant,

IRVIN MCDOWELL.

P. S.—I am informed it was the order of the General-in-Chief, if the troops on coming here found the family in the house, that no one should enter it, but that a guard should be placed for its protection.





Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell Reports Outrages

7 10 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 654-655

Hdqrs. Department Northeastern Virginia,
May 29,1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. Townsend,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Army, Washington, D. C.:

Colonel: There have been rumors of outrages committed by volunteers in Alexandria. Colonel Butterfield, of the Twelfth New York, has reported several cases of trespass, depredations, and attempts at burglary in his vicinity.

I am aware we are not, theoretically speaking, at war with the State of Virginia, and we are not, here, in an enemy’s country; but if the ordinary courts and officers of the State, against whose peace and dignity it is these acts have been committed, are not in the exercise of their functions, shall not these cases be punished, as similar ones were in Mexico, by military commission? It is a question of policy which, being so near at hand, I beg to submit to the General-in-Chief.

In connection with this subject I will mention that the battalion of Georgetown Volunteers at the head of the Chain Bridge are reported as acting harshly towards the inhabitants on this side, whom they charge with being secessionists; that, coming themselves from so near their present station, they have stronger personal feelings in this matter and are more liable to be influenced by them than troops coming from a distance. The plea that a man is a secessionist is set up in some cases by persons depredating on property as a justification of their acts.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

IRVIN MCDOWELL,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.





Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell Assumes Command of Department of Northeastern Virginia

6 10 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 653-654

Hdqrs. Department Northeastern Virginia,
Arlington, May 29, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. Townsend,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

Colonel : I arrived here too late in the afternoon of the 27th to assume on that day formally, in orders, the command of the department, but I reported to Major-General Sandford at this place, and received from him such information as to the state of affairs as he was able then to give me. I encamped the night of the 27th with the New Jersey brigade, and early on the morning of the 28th went to Alexandria, and was occupied from 5 a. m. till 9 o’clock at night in examining the position occupied by the troops and looking into the condition of the men.

Defensive works under construction. – The works at Alexandria had not been commenced nor even laid out as late as 10 o’clock a. m. yesterday, nor had the plans been definitely determined upon. A want of tools in the first place, and in the second place of means of transportation for the men from the wharf in Alexandria to the hill to be fortified, and changes made necessary by a better knowledge of the ground, were the principal causes given for the delay. Both the Michigan regiment and the New York Zouaves were bivouacked and encamped on the site, leaving but a few men in town. I trust, therefore, that the Navy Department may be requested to [retain] the Pawnee at her present station. The works at the bridge-head of the Long Bridge were progressing finely, and the report to me was that the men were working diligently. The main work covering the Aqueduct and ferry opposite Georgetown was in a fair state. The Sixty-ninth New York is the only regiment at work on it, and they seemed to me to be working admirably.

Subsistence and means of transportation. – Subsistence is furnished to the troops away from the vicinity of Alexandria by returns on the main depot in Washington. This, and the utter absence of any wagons on this side, the want of means of communication on the part of some of the regiments, and the inexperience of most of the commanders, have caused the supplies to be irregularly and insufficiently furnished. One regiment has hired on its own account, out of private means, some wagons to procure its supplies. Forage has also been wanting. A depot is to be established at Alexandria, which will afford supplies to the troops in that vicinity. The depot in Washington might answer for all the others, provided the regiments be furnished with wagons to go for them. I suppose the Quartermasters Department in Washington has not at this time enough wagons to supply the force here with its allowance for its baggage merely, which would require about 200.

For the purpose of giving greater efficiency and a better administration of affairs, I have organized the troops not now brigaded into three brigades, and placed them under the colonels ordered to report to me in their letters of appointment. If a portion of the allowance of wagons for the regimental baggage were sent on and placed under the control of the brigade commanders, I think a better state of affairs will be gained at the least cost. With a view to movements in that direction, I have directed Colonel Stone to ascertain and report the amount of rolling stock on the Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroad, and the amount of material required to place the road in working order.

I beg to request that some of the recent graduates heretofore assigned to the duty of instructing the volunteer regiments may be sent here for the same purpose and other duty. The only assistant quartermaster in the department is at Alexandria, to be in charge of the Quartermaster’s and Commissary Departments. I have to request that another officer of that department, furnished with funds, be sent for duty at headquarters. The troops are occupying houses in some cases, and fields, and cutting wood for fuel. Shall not rent and compensation be paid? If so, funds are needed for that purpose, as well as the hiring of means of transportation where the same has not been furnished.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respecfully, your most obedient servant,

Irvin McDowell,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.





Creation of Department of Northeastern Virginia

6 10 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – Union

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 653

General Orders, No. 26.}

War Dep’t, Adjt. Gen.’s Office,
Washington, May 27,1861.

All that part of Virginia east of the Alleghany Mountains and north of James River, except Fort Monroe and sixty miles around the same, will for the present constitute a new military geographical department, under the command of Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell, U. S. A., whose headquarters will be movable according to circumstances.

By order:
L. THOMAS,
Adjutant- General.





6th North Carolina Ravine

4 10 2020

From August 11 to August 27 this year I posted several letters from members of the 6th North Carolina Infantry describing the regiment’s actions, and specifically their approach to the battlefield. As I was transcribing them, I sent a note to Friend of Bull Runnings (FOBR, a truly worthless title I bestow on folks who have been helpful to the site but, hey, it’s a title nonetheless) John Hennessy:

Working my way through some 6th NC stuff, and for not the first time I’m running across references to the regiment emerging from a “rugged ravine” to come upon Sherman’s (Ricketts’s) battery.

Any idea what ravine they’re talking about?

His response:

The ravine–yes. Just S-SE of Griffin’s guns is a ravine at least some of the 6th used, though it’s only “rugged” on a relative basis. A Pittsburgher wouldn’t even notice it. But on that field, it’s fairly apparent if you walk the ground, which is today pretty well choked with trees. You can see it well on Google Earth, connecting the park and the community college. It points straight toward Griffin’s guns.

Of course, the 6th probably had a front a couple-hundred yards long. The ravine is short and narrow, and so probably most men never saw it. Of course if you look at Google Earth, you can see there is a pretty steep rise to the right of the ravine which those of the 6th not in the ravine would have encountered as they moved forward.

John obligingly provided this map (click it to enlarge):

6th-nc1024_1





Coming Up!

4 10 2020

Just a couple of housekeeping things.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, I’ll be speaking about McDowell’s Plan to the Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable in Pinehurst, NC. This will be my fourth trip to this fine group. The state has limited attendance to 25 and members get first dibs, so if you’re thinking of stopping by check with them first. We’ll be turning this into a mini vacation with my NC in-laws.

Having some time on my hands the other day, I flipped through S1, V2 of the ORs and marked all the correspondence associated with First Bull Run. I think I’ll start posting those soon (I label them “Official Correspondence” to differentiate from personal letters, which for some reason I first labeled “Private Correspondence,” even though much of it was intended for publication in newspapers – I should probably fix that, but have to figure out a simple and efficient way).

Still plenty of newspapers to look at, and I have one letter from a private in the 18th VA that was subsequently purchased by the NPS. I received a copy before they purchased it, and was in the process of transcribing, but they’ll be sending me a transcription from the much clearer original soon. Good stuff in it. Thanks to readers Tim Smith of Joliet, Il., and Patrick Schroeder of Lynchburg, Va.

Two interviews of authors of new books in the works, so be on the lookout for them.





A Southern Reporter’s Visit to the Battlefield.

1 10 2020

The Battle Field.

The writer of this, on Monday last, passed over the scene of the battle of the 21st near Bull Run. It was gratifying to fins, contrary to rumors which have gained some circulation, that the dead, not only of our own army, but also of the enemy, have all been decently buried. In the whole area of that terrible onset, no human corpse, and not even a mangled limb was to be seen. The earth had received them all, and so far as the human combatants were concerned, nothing remained to tell of those who had fallen victims of the shock of the battle, save the mounds of fresh earth which showed where they had been laid away in their last sleep.

Many of these mounds gave evidence of the pious care of surviving comrades. Enclosures were built around the graves, and branches of evergreens cover the spot. Sometimes boards marked the head and foot on which were carved or painted the name and fellowship of the deceased. Sometimes boards nailed to a neighboring tree told that the ground adjacent contained the fallen of a certain regiment or company.

Numerous dead horses, scattered over the area, show where the batteries of flying artillery were captured or disabled, or where some officer was dismounted. The prostrate fences, too, served to mark the track of the battle. Where the infantry crossed, they were broken down so that a man might step over; and wide gaps showed where the artillery carriages had thundered along.

The ground, too, tramped by the feet of rushing men and horses, evidenced where the struggles had been fiercest.

Of relics of the battle, already but few remain. The field has been searched and gleaned by daily crowds of visitors, seeking for mementoes. A few bullets that had run their errand, some fragments of exploded bombs, and a few other things, were all that an extensive ramble brought under our view. Canes cut from the battle-field are also considerably in demand.

The enemy’s column of advance, as shown by the battle-ground, presented a front of about a mile. Their onward march from the point where they encountered our advance bodies to the limit where they met our full line, and the full battle was joined and the fate of the day decided, was about a mile and a half, therefore covers the scene of the great conflict.

In this area are included five dwelling houses. All of these which were visited bore evidences of the storm which raged around them. Many were killed in the yard of a house of Mr. J. De Dogan. A bullet hole in a chamber door remains a memento of the battle. His family escaped just as the battle joined.

But it was on the hill south of the turnpike road, where the enemy’s farthest advance was checked, and where the final issue was fought, that the inwrapped dwellings showed the most plainly the fury of the fight.

A house here, late the abode of a widow lady, Mrs. Judith Henry, was riddled with cannon and musket shot. Hissing projectiles from the cannon of our enemies had passed through walls and roof, until the dwelling was a wreck. It is a sad story that we tell. This estimable lady, who had spent her long life, illustrated by the graces that adorn the meek Christian, was now bed-ridden. There she lay amid the horrid din, and no less than three of the missiles of death that scoured through her chamber inflicted their wounds upon her. It seems a strange dispensation of Providence, that one whose life had been so gentle and secluded, should have found her end amid such a storm of human passions, and that the humble abode which had witnessed her quiet pilgrimage, should have been shattered over her dying bed! Yet, even amid such terrors Heaven vindicated its laws. When the combatants had retired, the aged sufferer was still alive, and she lived long enough to say that her mind was tranquil and that she died in peace – a peace that the roar of battle and the presence of death panoplied in all his terrors had not disturbed. Noble matron! The daughters of the South will emulate your virtues, and the sons of the South will avenge your sufferings! The heaps on heaps of the enemy that were piled around your doors when you died, are but the earnest. A hundred yards to the right of the house of Mrs. Henry, lay five horses in a heap, and near by, another heap of as many more. Here a portion of Sherman’s battery made its last advance. Just as it reached the top of the hill, our riflemen approaching in the other direction reached it too. At once they poured in a fire which cut down horses and men and made the pieces unmanageable. The gallant boys followed the fire with a bayonet charge, and the guns were taken. It was here that Lieut. Ward fell. The cannon were taken and retaken several times in a furious fight; but the horses had been killed, and they could not be removed nor used.

On the left of Mrs. Henry’s, distant about a fourth oaf a mile, is a neat house belonging to a colored man named Robinson. A cannon ball drove through this also. Between these two is an orchard of small trees where Hampton’s legion fought and suffered so severely. Their graves are here. One of them which covers the remains of the Hon. J. L. Orr, is marked by a broken musket panted as a head stone.

Away on the extreme northern verge of the battle-ground, is the pine grove in which the Georgia regiment met the enemy’s advance. The gallant band there withstood the enemy’s columns, until nearly surrounded. They then retreated, not from those in front, but from those who were closing around them. In this pine grove there seemed scarce a tree that was not struck by the enemy’s balls. A number of Georgians fell here, and their graves are close by. In the grove was pointed out the spot where Lamar fell. In the rear was the dead charger of the lamented Gen. Bartow, killed under him, himself to fall soon after. But the Georgians suffered not their heroes to fall unavenged, for they piled the ground before them with the slain of the enemy.


The Battle Field.
[NOTES OF A LATE VISIT CONTINUED.]

The visit to the battle-ground of the 21st, noticed in yesterday’s issue, included a call, buy the writer, at several of the hospitals in which the wounded are now receiving attention. – Near the ford of Bull Run where the Northern army crossed in their advance against us, (it is about two miles above the Stone Bridge,) is a large brick church, known as the Sudley Southern Methodist church. It has been appriated to the wounded of the enemy, and is still overflowing – some being under sheds erected for their shelter. The pews of the church have been taken out, and the pallets of the wounded fill the floor. The altar of the church is the medicine dispensatory. The writer had often seen this sacred building filled with devout worshippers, whose meditations were disturbed by no anticipations of such a scene as not presented; but the care here taken of the wounded and the suffering, and they our enemies, who had causelessly come to do us the most grievous injuries, illustrated more forcibly, it may be, then even pulpit ministrations, the spirit which it is the object of churches to promote. Here was seen the fruit of former teachings. The invalids were well cared for, and were in various stages of convalescence. One who sat bolt upright on a char near the front door, and who told us that they were “all doing very well,” was himself, however, a proof that his testimony needed qualification. His rolling eye, his wild unnatural look, the wheezy, gurgling voice in which he said that his wound was “in the right chest,” his labored breathing, and throbbing frame, seemed to point to the mounds in the rear of the church where many of the wounded had gone, as his own speedy resting place. In this hospital, but a little before, a very young man in his last hour, had asked a visiting Southerner to engage in prayer with him. He said he had been raised to better things than he was now evidencing, expressed his gratitude, and soon after died.

In short, in the various hospitals for the wounded enemy, we saw only exhibitions of neatness and careful attention, and of a kindness that elicits a free expression of thanks from the sufferers. We must make one exception. There was one hospital where the filth was so disgusting that out tarry was very brief. It was the stone house on the roadside, where a Northern surgeon had charge of his own people. Fortunately his victims were but few.

The writer is more particular to detail these things, because of the slanders which the Northern papers are publishing. While the Northern people desert or neglect the mangled agents and victims of their diabolical designs against us, our kind ladies and citizens are actin the part of the good Samaritan towards them – binding up their wounds, and caring for their comfort. The returns for this are fervent expressions of gratitude from the sufferers, but unblushing charges of atrocious inhumanity in the Northern press! Thus do the two sections [?]itly illustrate the vast moral difference which, like a great gulf, divides Northern and Southern character.

In the hospital at Mr. Dogan’s, we found one of our wounded officers, the gallant Major Caleb Smith, of the 49th Virginia Regiment. A ball passed through his thigh, in the terrible conflict which closed the battle. He is doing well.

Just without the verge of the battle-field is the dwelling of a widow lady, also of the name of Dogan, who performed a part in the incidents of the day. The writer knows her well, and a most estimable lady she is. A squad of the enemy’s soldiers – a lieutenant and three men – came to her door, after the battle was over, claiming to be friends, and asked for food. She detected their character, and offered what they asked, on condition, and only on condition, that they would surrender to her. After some parley, they made professions of gallantry, and yielded. She locked up their arms, and then locked up themselves, and of course supplied them with food. Another, who was crossing the field about the same time, was captured by the young ladies of the house, who threatened to turn their dogs upon him unless he submitted. The prisoners were afterward sent into camp, and General Beauregard pleasantly complimented the exploit of our heroines, by promising to send a commission to the lady of the house. These are the daughters of the land which the Northern despot thinks he can subjugate!

Some words on the battle shall close these observations. Remarks are indulged by many writers, some of them of the South, to the effect that at one period of the fight our army was fairly whipped. This statement is both inaccurate and mischievous. Our army was never whipped; and this we propose to show by a simple narration.

To illustrate what we have to say, we will in part repeat a late general description of the battle ground. Draw a line a little north of east; it will represent the turnpike road which leads from Gainesville to Centreville, a total distance of eight miles. Midway between these villages, Bull Run is crossed but the turnpike on the “Stone Bridge.” A mile and a half west of the Stone Bridge a road crosses the turnpike nearly at a right angle. Towards the south this road leads to Manassas Junction. Towards the north it leads by Sudley church to the Sudley mills ford of Bull Run, about two miles distant. The course of Bull Run makes a sweep between the Stone Bridge and the Sudley ford.

The turnpike and the cross road, above describe, almost bisect the field of battle, in their respective directions. The fight was on both sides of both roads. The enemy, by a well conceived and well executed maneouvre, marched up the east side of Bull Run, crossed at Sudley ford where we had no defences, marched up the road from Sudley, and made his appearance on the heights north of the turnpike road and about three fourths of a mile distant. His line was nearly parallel to the turnpike, and instantly spread to both sides of the cross road to which it was of course at right angles. The line of our army was then facing Bull Run, with our left flank near Stone Bridge. The enemy thus came with his line against our flank. Our defences, too, were all turned and valueless, and nothing remained but for our troops to change front as rapidly as they might, and meet the enemy in the open field.

The forces which formed the let of our line, were of course the first to feel the enemy, and fronting to him they gave heroic battle. But while they held back the foes in their immediate front, the unresisted portion of the enemy’s line moving on, would speedily get upon their flank and threaten to surround them. This would compel our men to fall back; but as they fell back, by successive stages, they were brought in concert with others of our forces, and also strengthened by the arrival of the troops which were being rapidly brought up from the centre and right of out line on Bull Run. – Thus it was our line of battle constantly grew its length; but so long as it was shorter than that of the enemy, it was compelled to recede to avoid the raking flank fire of the overlapping portion of the enemy’s line. In this manner we slowly fell back from a point about three fourths of a mile North of the turnpike, to the parallel hill about the same distance South of that road. Here it was that our line got a length equal to that of the enemy. The out flanking, therefore, ceased, and our falling back ceased, and the full battle was joined. The conflict was terrible, but victory soon declared in our favor. Artillery and musketry poured in their fatal storm, and hand to hand conflict and the irresistible bayonet charge soon broke the thinned ranks of the enemy. – The flight now commenced. They were pursued over the whole ground by which they had advanced, and hills and hollows were filled with their slain.

If, then, we have conveyed the intended idea, the enemy’s line of battle retained a pretty uniform length of about a mile, while ours began with a very small front and widened at last to an equal width with his. While this widening progressed, our incomplete line receded; and when its object was consummated we stood, and the final issue was joined.

The inference drawn by Gen. McDowell from the receding of our troops in the first instance, that we were defeated and flying, seems therefore utterly unworthy of a military man. The dispatches which were sent back to Centreville and which seduced the boozy Congressmen there into fresh imbibitions, and were forwarded to cheer the chamber where Scott and Lincoln and Seward sat awaiting tidings, are a discredit to the intelligence of those who sent them. Our receding regiments did, indeed, suffer serious loss; but they inflicted greater! They left the mark of their heroism wherever they fought; and they fell back, not from the enemies in front, but upon their flank. To call this a defeat – to say that we were whipped – is to show a poor conception of the real condition of the battle. The battle was then not even made up! We were never whipped!

The attempt of the Northern presses to excuse their defeat by charging bad management on the part of the generals, is unwarranted by the facts. We think they managed well. They deprived us by their maneouvre of all aid from the entrenchments which we had prepared, and drew us into the open field. They got their whole line into battle long before it was possible for us to meet it with a line of equal length, and they fought the battle with by far the larger portion of their army, against by far the smaller portion of ours. – Their feigned attacks, an the tall forests which bound Bull Run and concealed their movements, enabled them to compass this. What more could they have desired? If the battle had continued and their heavier numbers had made a breach in our full line, our men behind would have arrived and restored it, and our full strength would have told at last. But the battle, as it stood, left the adversary nothing to wish in the way of opportunity. He was whipped with great slaughter, routed, chased from the field, not by a defect in his plan of battle, but by the irresistible prowess, the marvelous courage, the invincible resolve of Southern heroes, fighting for their homes and liberties. He was whipped by hard fighting. Nor were the Northern troops deficient in courage. As long as their attack on the troops in front of them was encouraged by the continuous flanking movement of their line which we have described, they stood well. They pressed with spirit upon our receding forces; and even when the full battle met, the slaughter which they suffered before they took to flight, showed a good degree of bravery. If the Northern people wish to know the source of their defeat, they must seek it, not in the disparagement of their officers or men, but in the military prowess and sublime courage of a virtuous people determined to be free, and who have not once thought of being conquered; and above all upon the favor of Heaven upon our good cause. That flight and panic among their retreating troops, which their papers so minutely describe, what resembles it so much as the panic by which Samaria was delivered from the beleaguering host of Assyria?

If we were to venture a single remark, by way of kindly caution to our own noble officers, it would be this: It is possible that in the late battle some were betrayed by personal courage, too much into individual exploit. – While Captains were cutting down the enemy, companies were in some cases losing their line, and becoming mixed up. It is well to avoid this. But we design not even to suggest a criticism. Officers and men, our army is composed of champions and heroes, and have won a victory whose transcendent glory and priceless advantage to our country, shall be a crown of honor to every participant until his dying day. To have been in the battle of Bull Run will be praise enough to fill the ambition of most men, and to ensure them favor wherever they may roam.

Richmond (VA) Enquirer, 8/2/1861

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