Corp. Henry Ruffner Paine, Rockbridge Artillery, On Casualties

10 08 2021

Sunday night, July 21st
By Camp Fire

Dear Father:

A tremendous battle took place to the West or North West of this point to-day. We have kept the field, and the enemy are reported in retreat; yet it is said that we are threatened with an attack from the East. It will hardly take place to night; and no one knows what tomorrow might bring. Reinforcements are hurrying up to the lines. My recruits and Campbell’s are encamped in part of the vacant quarters of the 17th Va., Infantry. Bowyer Brockenbrough is here, and remains with us to night. He is slightly wounded on the nose and arm. Kable is here and safe. Rollins is slightly wounded on the head. Charley Bell, of the College Boys, was mortally wounded by a cannon ball. Jim Edmondson reported wounded in the hand. Neff is here with two slight wounds. Preston, (Tom,) is with us. He saw part of the fight. Wallace Ruff slightly wounded in the arm. David unhurt. Algernon Wade unhurt and is here. He reports Ben also safe. Hileman scratched in the face. Bill Gordon lost his company in the forced march from Winchester and could not get up to the fight. Jack Jordon is slightly wounded in the leg by the bursting of one of the Southern Ammunition Boxes. Willoughby Brockenbrough is reported safe by Bowyer. Bowyer was knocked from his horse. He says no man flinched from his post. Sherman’s Battery was taken and re-taken twice. ‘Tis said it remains on our possession. The 4th Alabama was cut to pieces. We have numbers of wounded here, and I see part of the horrors of Battle. Gen. Jackson is safe – reported by Bow. Brockenbrough. Jim Suddarth, Parks and Charlton are here all safe, but the latter slightly wounded. Bradley, of the Col. Boys, is killed, so is Asbury McCluer and William Paxton. Ricket is here and safe. Rollins saw Will. Lewis coming from the field after the fight. Sed Davidson is wounded. Calvin Utz is wounded, but getting well. Richard Jordan is wounded. G. Strickler is wounded in the side by a shell, which wounded also the above mentioned College Boys. Horace Wallace is safe. Capt. Jas. J. White safe – was here awhile ago – did not see him. Bill Kahle says a grape shot slightly wounded him in the back – he is running all about. Alexander Wallace wounded in the shoulder. Reed Hanger is wounded. Can’t hear of M.X. White’s company having been in the fight. John Moore unwounded. Bumpus safe. So is Sam Smith and Lewis Paxton. Don’t know the force on either side – both very large and the loss heavy. Copeland Page is safe. Two Arnolds safe. Henry Myers safe, and Tedford Barclay, and Woods. I write on a rough board by the light of a camp fire. We heard the firing all day. Col. Ruff could get no permission for us to go to the camp, and we can’t tell when we can join our companies. Henry Campbell caught up with his men to-day and is here. Seven of my recruits (Artillery,) have volunteered to support a battery of heavy guns close to us if we are attacked to-night. Wm. Lewis and my cousin Bob are reported safe. McCown safe at last reports, was carrying Sed Davidson’s gun. Byeton safe, C. Strickler slightly wounded. Sherrard safe. James McCorkle of the Grays is killed. M.N. White’s company was hardly engaged. Our companies are much scattered. The Rifles tried the Bayonet once and the enemy ran. Capt. Pendleton safe. His company did great damage, helped to capture Sherman’s Battery. I can hear of no more of our boys, though I have taken much trouble. Capt. Pendleton’s Battery did not suffer much – Lieut. McLaughlin and Lieut. Davis are safe. Good bye.

H.

[Note: Per records, Henry Ruffner Paine did not enlist until 7/23/1861. The tone of this letter indicates his reporting on the battle is second-hand.]

Lexington (VA) Gazette, 7/25/1861

Contributed and transcribed by Eric Mink

Henry Ruffner Paine at Ancestry

Henry Ruffner Paine at Fold3

Henry Ruffner Paine at FindAGrave

Paine Family Papers at Virginia Museum of History