Unknown Officer, Bonham’s Brigade, On the Battle and the Death of Bee

8 04 2022

Richmond, July 24. – The following is the account of the action on Sunday, at Stone Bridge, got from and officer of Gen. Bonham’s Staff:

Bonham’s Brigade was in the centre, at Mitchell’s Ford. This Brigade was composed of Kershaw’s, Williams’, Cash’s and Bacon’s Regiments of South Carolinians, Colonel Keller’s Louisiana Regiment, and Col. Kirkland’s North Carolina Regiment.

On the left of Bonham was Gen. Cocke, at Stone Bridge. This was when the fight began. After the battle had been raging for some time at Stone Bridge, General Beauregard, ordered up two regiments from Bonham’s Brigade to assist in repelling the enemy.

Gen. McGowan bore Gen. Bonham’s order for his troops to advance. Kershaw’s and Cash’s Regiments, with Kemper’s Battery, were sent forward. This was at the crisis of the battle – probably about two o’clock. As these troops passed on, they were joined by Col. Preston’s Regiment of Virginians, of Cocke’s Brigade. They made a dashing charge on the enemy over everything. In this onslaught, being comparatively fresh, these troops pursued the enemy upon the hills. They kept close upon the heels of the flying foe down the road, almost along the whole distance to Centreville, and in this pursuit, in conjunction with Radford’s Cavalry, of Virginia, they captured twenty-one pieces of field artillery.

About sunset, the other regiments of Bonham’s Brigade started, also, in pursuit of the flying for, by the Mitchell’s Ford Road, towards Centreville, and took many prisoners and some cannon.

The remains of Gen. Barnard E. Bee leave here tomorrow for Charleston. The name of this officer deserves a place in the highest niche of fame. He displayed a gallantry that scarcely has parallel in history. The brunt of the morning’s battle was sustained by his command until past 2 o’clock. Overwhelmed by superior numbers, and compelled to yield before a fire that swept everything before it, Gen. Bee rode up and down his lines, encouraging his troops, by everything that was dear to them, to stand up and repel the tide which threatened them with destruction. At last his own Brigade dwindled to a mere handful, with every field officer killed or disabled. He rode up to Gen. Jackson, and said: “General, they are beating us back.”

The reply was: “Sir, we’ll give them the bayonet.”

Gen. Bee immediately rallied the remnant of his Brigade, and his last words to them were: “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me!”

His men obeyed the call; and, at the head of his column, the very moment when the battle was turning in our favor, he fell, mortally wounded. Gen. Beauregard was heard to say he had never seen such gallantry. He never murmured at his suffering, but seemed consoled by the reflection that he was doing his duty.

Yorkville (SC) Enquirer, 8/1/1861

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Death of Pvt. Robert Sweat, Co. I, Hampton’s Legion

8 04 2022

The Late Robert E. Sweat, of the Hampton Legion.


To the Editor of the Charleston Mercury:

Of the many young and brave spirts, who, on the battle field of Manassas, gave up their lives to their State and, over whom she now weeps with a deep and silent grief, none deserves more her gratitude and affection than the subject of this communication.

Among the very first to leave his Parish – St. Peter’s – to take part in the great struggle for his country’s freedom, he is the first to return to her, in strict obedience to her injunction, “upon his shield.”

A member of the Washington Light Infantry Volunteers, of the Hampton Legion, he was wounded when the battle was raging at its height, and when in the very act of firing his musket, said he to his comrades – “One more round,” – and before he could finish the sentences, a ball struck and shattered his left arm, and passed out at his right shoulder. He lingered in intense pain, in the hospital at Culpeper Court House, until the 19th of August, when death ended his sufferings. His father arrived but a short time before his death, and saw the last of his brave boy. He was interred at the family burial place, at Robertville, on Saturday, 24th inst., with all due and appropriate honors. All ages and classes were present to do honor to the brave and gallant dead, and wreaths of cypress and laurel strewed the pathway to his tomb.

Immediately after the burial, a meeting was called, and a resolution was unanimously adopted to erect a monument to the first of St. Peter’s sons who had fallen on the field of battle.

The Charleston (SC) Mercury, 8/30/1861

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Robert Sweat at Ancestry

Robert Sweat at Fold3

Robert Sweat at FindAGrave