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

4 12 2022


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

Clipping image

Contributed by John Hennessy

John P. Victory at Ancestry.com

John P. Victory at Fold3

John P. Victory at FindAGrave (possible)



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