Pvt. Albert Pendrell, Co. C, 14th New York State Militia, On the Battle

4 12 2022

LETTER TO A FATHER FROM HIS SON AFTER THE BATTLE.

Camp Porter, Arlington Heights,
14th Regt., July 23, 1861.

Dear Father, – We are once more at our old camp, where I can sit down quietly and write to you, and let you know some few of the particulars of the great fight we have been in, and through which by the blessing of God I have been spared without a scratch. When we left our camp we marched to Fairfax and took possession of the place without any opposition. We then advanced to within three miles of Centreville and encamped there for three days. We then took up our march for Bull’s Run, and we had scarcely reached there when our artillery commenced firing upon the enemy’s battery. We were then ordered upon the field in double quick time; the enemy’s batteries were almost silenced, when our artillery ran out of ball and retreated. Then we were ordered to charge upon the entrenchments, and nobly did our brave fellows do it. We had scarcely reached the top of the hill, when we received a murderous fire of shell and musketry; one shell came into our company, taking off the head of Brown[*] (one of the new recruits) and killing three of the old members. Our Colonel was also wounded and taken prisoner, and our flag bearer was wounded badly; he called out to the 14th, “Risk your flag!” and rushing in front of the enemy and within twenty feet of them, planted the flag; but no sooner had he done this, than he was shot in the leg and fell over, but still he held on to the colors. After awhile the enemy got our colors, when we made one more charge and regained them; we then retreated, bearing our flag with us. It is supposed the enemy had eight thousand men in the entrenchments we stormed, and the cars arrived, giving them a reinforcement of 1500. Being thoroughly fatigued, we could no longer stand against such overwhelming odds, and retreated in pretty good order to Arlington. We are expecting an attack every night. Let them come; we are ready, and will give them a warm reception. * * * * * *

Your affectionate son,
Albert Pendrell.

Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, 7/25/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy

*Pvt. Augustus T. Brown, Co. C

Albert Pendrell at Ancestry.com

Albert Pendrell at Fold3





Pvt. John P. Victory, Co. L, 14th New York State Militia, On the Battle and Retreat

4 12 2022

THE 14TH REGIMENT AT BULL’S RUN – THE WOUNDING OF COL. WOOD – THE RETREAT CAUSED BY THE INEFFICIENCY OF THE OFFICERS

The following letter from one of our assistant corporation counsellors was received this morning. It explains the disgraceful retreat, in part, at Bull’s Run as having been caused by the inefficiency of the leaders.

Camp Porter, Arlington Heights,
July 23, 1861.

My Dear Sir, – I have no doubt that you have heard of the great battle which took place at Bull’s Run, and the disastrous result to the Union forces. Our column under the command of Gen. Porter, left Centreville about 4 A.M. on Sunday, and marched 13 miles to get a position on the right of the enemy. We arrived at our destination about 11 o’clock, A.M. – the last mile being done with double quick time and under a broiling sun. The 14th, under Col. Wood, gallantly took their position near the first battery of the rebels which completely disconcerted them for the moment. I regret to inform you that our Col. (Wood) received a wound in the right leg (the ball passed through the thigh.) I helped to carry him off the field. A great number of our troops were taken as prisoners; I understand, and I think the Col. is among them. The rebels had a regiment of niggers fighting us. The fighting by our column continued for four hours, when our troops retreated panic stricken as they had no leaders. Somebody deserves a great deal of censure as there were no ambulances to carry off the wounded. Russell, of the London Times, who was present at the battle, informed Mr. Odell that he never witnessed a battle so fiercely contested. The rebel troops were estimated at 70,000 or 80,000, and their batteries extend for five mils. I heard this morning that Gen. McDowell was under arrest because he was not authorized to commence a fight until McClellan’s forces were heard from. We have no over 400 men in camp this morning. I must now close as the mail leaves in a few moments. With thanks for paper and envelopes, I remain,

Your obt. servt.,
John P. Victory

Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, 7/25/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy

John P. Victory at Ancestry.com

John P. Victory at Fold3

John P. Victory at FindAGrave (possible)