J. C. N., 4th Maine Infantry, On the Retreat

23 11 2022


Editor of Washington Star: I have seen no mention in the papers of the Fourth Regiment, Maine V. M. I suppose it happened from the fact that when this regiment was ordered forward the reporters had left, as in fact up to this time almost all the other forces were in retreat, excepting Col. Howard’s brigade. It has also been a noticeable fact that none of this regiment have yet been seen in Washington city, they having come in to Alexandria from the old camp, at Centreville, in good order, under command of their officers. This regiment was the last to leave the field, and made, with the 2d Vermont, a desperate charge upon the battery of the enemy, and stood receiving the fire of shot and shell for more than half an hour, until the ordered retreat. The battle had been lost before this; but notwithstanding they were aware of it from the fact that their lines were more than once broken by our own cavalry retreating, it was remarked by those who witnessed it that their lines were more steady than any regiment which had gone before them up the hill. Perhaps this fact might have been earlier known had this regiment chosen Washington for a stand rather than some point nearer the enemy’s lines.

Respectfully, &c.,
J. C. N.

(Washington, DC) Evening Star, 7/25/1861

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