2nd Lt. George Armstrong Custer, Co. G, 2nd U. S. Cavalry, On Travelling to the Field and the Battle (Part 3)

18 11 2017

I was standing with a friend and classmate at the moment on a high ridge near our advancing line. We were congratulating ourselves upon the glorious victory which already seemed to have been ours, as the Confederates were everywhere giving way, when our attention was attracted by a long line of troops suddenly appearing behind us upon the edge of the timber already mentioned. It never occurred to either of us that the troops we then saw could be any but some of our reinforcements making their way to the front.

Before doubts could arise we saw the Confederate flag floating over a portion of the line just emerging from the timber; the next moment the entire line leveled their muskets and poured a volley into the back s of our advancing regiments on the right. At the same time a battery which had also arrived unseen opened fire, and with the cry of “We’re flanked! We’re flanked!” passed from rank to rank, the Union lines, but a moment before so successful and triumphant, threw down their arms, were seized by a panic, and begun a most disordered panic.

All this occurred almost in an instant of time. No pen or description can give anything like a correct idea of the rout and demoralization that followed. Officers and men joined in one vast crowd, abandoning, except in isolated instances, all attempts to preserve their organizations. A moderate force of good cavalry at that moment could have secured to the Confederates nearly every man and gun that crossed Bull Run in the early morning. Fortunately the Confederate army was so badly demoralized by their earlier reverses, that it was in no mood or condition to make pursuit, and reap the fill fruits of victory. The troops that had arrived on the battlefield so unexpectedly for the Federals, and which had wrought such a disaster on the Union arms, were Elzey’s brigade of infantry and Beckham’s battery of artillery, the whole under command of Brigadier General Kirby Smith, being a detachment belonging to Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah, just arrived from the valley. Had this command reached the battlefield a few minutes later, the rout of Beauregard’s army would have been assured, as his forces seemed powerless to check the advance of the Union troops.

General McDowell and his staff, as did many of the higher officers, exerted themselves to the utmost to stay the retreating Federals, but all appeals to the courage and patriotism of the latter fell as upon dumb animals. One who has never witnessed the conduct of large numbers of men when seized by a panic such as that was cannot realize how utterly senseless and without apparent reason men will act. And yet the same men may have exhibited great gallantry and intelligence but a moment before.

The value of discipline was clearly shown in the crisis by observing the manner of the few regular troops, as contrasted with the raw and undisciplined three months’ men. The regular soldiers never for a moment ceased to look to their officers for orders and instructions, and in retiring from the field, even amid the greatest disorder and confusion of the organizations near them, they preserved their formation, and marched only as they were directed to do.

The long lines of Union soldiery, which a few minutes before had been bravely confronting and driving the enemy, suddenly lost their cohesion and became one immense mass of fleeing, frightened creatures. Artillery horses were cut from their traces, and it was no unusual sight so see three men, perhaps belonging to different regiments, riding the same horse, and making their way to the rear as fast as the dense mass of men moving with them would permit.

The direction of the retreat was toward Centreville, by way of the Stone Bridge crossing, and other fords above that point. An occasional shot from the enemy’s artillery, or the cry that the Black Horse cavalry, so dreaded in the first months of the war in Virginia, were coming, kept the fleeing crowd of soldiers at their best speed.

Arms were thrown away as being no longer of service in warding off the enemy. Here and there the state colors of a regiment, or perhaps the national standard, would be seen lying on the ground along the line of retreat, no one venturing to reclaim or preserve them, while more than on full set of band instruments could be observed, dropped under the shade of some tree in rear of the line of battle, and where their late owners had probably been resting from the fatigues of the fight when the panic seized them and forced them to join their comrades in flight. One good regiment composed of such sterling material as made up the regiments of either side at the termination of the war could have checked the pursuit before reaching Bull Run, and could have saved much of the artillery and many of the prisoners that as it was fell into the enemy’s hands simply for want of owners.

The rout continued until Centreville was reached; then the reserves posted under Miles gave some little confidence to the retreating masses, and after the latter had passed the reserves, comparative order began in a slight degree to be restored. General McDowell at first decided to halt and make a stand on the heights near Centreville, but this was soon to be discovered to be inadvisable, if not impracticable, so large a portion of the army having continued in their flight toward Washington. Orders were then given the various commanders to conduct their forces back to their former camps near Arlington opposite Washington, where they arrived the following day.

The cavalry, on the Federal side consisting of only seven companies of regulars under Major Palmer, were not employed to any considerable extent during the battle except as supports to batteries of artillery. One charge was made in the early part of the battle near the Warrenton Turnpike by Colburn’s squadron. In advancing in the attack in the morning, Palmer’s companies accompanied Hunter’s division in the long and tedious movement through an immense forest by which Bull Run was crossed at one of the upper fords, and the left flank of the Confederates successfully turned.

After arriving at Sudley Springs, the cavalry halted for half an hour or more. We could hear the battle raging a short distance in our front. Soon a staff officer of General McDowell’s came galloping down to where the cavalry was waiting, saying that the general desired us to move across the stream and up the ridge beyond, where we were to support a battery.

The order was promptly obeyed, and as we ascended the crest I saw Griffin with his battery galloping into position. The enemy had discovered him, and their artillery had opened fire upon him, but the shots were aimed so high that the balls passed overhead. Following the battery, we also marched within plain hearing of each shot as it passed over Griffin’s men. I remember well the strange hissing and exceedingly vicious sound of the first cannon shot I heard as it whirled through the air. Of course I had often heard the sound made by cannon balls while passing through the air during my artillery practice at West Point, but a man listens with changed interest when the direction of the balls is toward instead of away from him. They seemed to utter a different language when fired in angry battle from that put forth in the tamer practice of drill.

The battery whose support we were having reached its position on an advanced crest near the right of the line, the cavalry massed near the foot of the crest and sheltered by it from the enemy’s fire. Once the report came that the enemy was moving to the attack of the battery which we were specially sent to guard, the order was at once given for the cavalry to advance from the base to the crest of the hill and repel the enemy’s assault.

We were formed in column of companies, and were given to understand that upon reaching the crest of the hill we would probably be ordered to charge the enemy. When it is remembered that but three days before I had quitted West Point as a schoolboy, and as yet had never ridden at anything more dangerous or terrible than a three-foot hurdle, or tried my sabre upon anything more combative than a leather head stuffed with tan bark, it may be imagined that my mind was more or less given to anxious thoughts as we ascended the slope of the hill in front of us. At the same time I realized that I was in front of a company of old and experienced soldiers, all of whom would have an eye upon their new lieutenant to see how he comported himself when under fire.

My pride received an additional incentive from the fact that while I was on duty with troops for the first time in my life, and was the junior officer of all present with the cavalry, there was temporarily assigned to duty with the company another officer of the same rank, who was senior to me by a few days, and having been appointed from civil life, was totally without military experience except such as he had acquired during the past few days. My brief acquaintance with him showed me that he was disposed to attach no little importance to the fact that I was fresh from West Point and supposed to know all that was valuable or worth knowing in regard to the art of war. In this common delusion I was not disposed to disturb him. I soon found that he was inclined to defer to me in opinion, and I recall now, as I have often done when in his company during later years in the war, the difficulty we had in deciding what weapon we would use in the charge to which we believed ourselves advancing.

As we rode forward from the foot of the hill, he in front of his platoon and I abreast of him, in front of mine, Walker (afterward captain) inquired in the most solemn tones, “Custer, what weapon are you going to use in the charge?” From my earliest notions of the true cavalryman I had always pictured him in the charge bearing aloft his curved sabre, and cleaving the skulls of all with whom he came in contact. We had but two weapons to choose from: each of us carried a sabre and one revolver in our belt. I promptly replied, “The Sabre”, and suiting the action to the word, I flashed my bright new blade from its scabbard, and rode forward as if totally unconcerned. Walker, yielding no doubt to what he believed was “the way we do it at West Point,” imitated my motion, and forth came his sabre. I may have seemed to him unconcerned, because I aimed at this, but I was far from enjoying that feeling.

As we rode at a deliberate walk up the hill, I began arguing in my own mind as to the comparative merits of the sabre and revolver as a weapon of attack. If I remember correctly, I reasoned pro and con about as follows: “Now, the sabre is a beautiful weapon; it produces an ugly wound; the term ‘sabre charge’ sounds well; and above all the sabre is sure; it never misses fire. It has this drawback, however: in order to be made effective it is indispensable that you approach very close to your adversary – so close that if you do not unhorse or disable him, he will most likely render that service to you. So much for the sabre.

“Now as to the revolver, it has this advantage over the sabre: one is not compelled to range himself alongside his adversary before beginning his attack, but may select his own time and distance. To be sure, one may miss his aim, but there are six chambers to empty, and if one, two, or three miss, there are still three shots left to fire at close quarters. As this is my first battle, had I not better defer the use of the sabre until I have acquired a little more experience?”

The result was that I returned my sabre to its scabbard, and without uttering a word drew my revolver and poised it opposite my shoulder. Walker, as if following me in my mental discussion, no sooner observed my change of weapon than he did likewise. With my revolver in my hand I put it upon trial mentally. First, I realized that in the rush and excitement of the charge it would be difficult to take anything like accurate aim. Then, might not every shot be fired, and without result…? In all probability we would be in the midst of our enemies, and slashing right and left at each other, in which case a sabre would be of much greater value and service than an empty revolver. This seemed convincing; so much so that my revolver found its way again to its holster, and the sabre was again at my shoulder. Again did Walker, as if in pantomime, follow my example.

How often these changes of purpose and weapons might have been made I know not – had the cavalry not reached the crest meanwhile and, after being exposed to a hot artillery fire and finding that no direct attack upon our battery was meditated by the enemy, returned to a sheltered piece of ground.

A little incident occurred as we were about to move forward to the expected charge, which is perhaps worth recording. Next to the company with which I was serving was one which I noticed as being in most excellent order and equipment. The officer in charge of it was of striking appearance, tall, well-formed, and handsome, and possessing withal a most soldierly air. I did not then know his name, but being so near to him and to his command, I could not but observe him.

When the order came for us to move forward up the hill, and to be prepared to charge the moment the crest was reached. I saw the officer referred to ride gallantly in front of his command, and just as the signal forward was given, I heard him say, “Now men, do your duty.” I was attracted by his soldierly words and bearing, and yet within a few days after the battle he tendered his resignation, and in a short time was serving under the Confederate flag as a general officer.

When the retreat began, my company and one other of cavalry, and a section of artillery, command by Captain Arnold, came under the personal direction and control of Colonel Heintzelman, with whome we moved toward Centreville. Colonel Heintzelman, although suffering from a painful wound, continued to exercise command, and maintained his seat in the saddle. The two companies of cavalry and the section of Arnold’s battery moved off the field in good order, and were the last organized Union troops to retire across Bull Run.

Within about two miles of Centreville, at the bridge across Cub Run, the crossing was found to be completely blocked up by broken wagons and ambulances. There being no other crossing available, and the enemy having opened with artillery from a position a short distance below the bridge, and commanding the latter, Captain Arnold was forced to abandon his guns. The cavalry found a passable ford for their purpose, and from this point no further molestation was encountered from the enemy After halting a few hours in some old camps near Centreville, it now being dark, the march was resumed, and kept up until Arlington was reached, during the forenoon of the 22d.

I little imagined when making my night ride from Washington to Centreville the night of the 20th, that the following night should find me returning with a defeated and demoralized army. It was with the greatest difficulty that many of the regiments could be halted on the Arlington side of Long Bridge, do determined were they to seek safety and rest under the very walls of the capital. Some of the regiments lost more men after the battle and retreat had ended than had been killed, wounded, and captured by the enemy. Three-fourths of one regiment, known as the Zouaves, disappeared in this way. Many of the soldiers continued their flight until they reached New York…

The press and people of the South accepted the result of the battle as forecasting if not already assuring the ultimate success of their cause, and marking, as they expressed it, the birth of a nation, and while this temporary advantage may have excited and increased their faith as well as their numbers, by drawing or driving into their ranks the lukewarm and those inclined to remain loyal, yet it was a source of weakness as well, from the fact that the people of the South were in a measure confirmed in the very prevalent belief which had long existed in the Southern states regarding the great superiority in battle of the Southron over his fellow countryman in colder climes. This impression maintained its hold upon the minds of the people of the South and upon the Southern soldiery until eradicated by months and years of determined battle.

The loyal North accepted its defeat in the most commendable manner, and this remark is true whether applied to the officials of the states and general government or to the people at large. There was no indulging in vain or idle regrets; there was no flinching from the support and defense of the Union; there was least of all hesitation as to the proper course to pursue. If the idea of compromise had been vainly cherished by any portion of the people, it had vanished, and but one sentiment, one purpose actuated the men of the North, as if acting under a single will.

Men were hurried forward from all the loyal states; more offered their services than the government was prepared to accept. The defeat of the Union arms forced the North to coolly calculate the immense task before it in attempting to overthrow the military strength of the insurgent states. Had Bull Run resulted otherwise than it did, had the North instead of the South been the victor, there would have been danger of a feeling of false security pervading the minds of the people of the North. Their patriotism would not have been awakened by success as it was by disaster; they would not have felt called upon to abandon the farm, the workshop, the counting room, and the pulpit in order to save a government tottering almost upon the brink of destruction.

Before passing from the consideration of the Battle of Bull Run, the plan of the battle is entitled to a few words. No subsequent battle of the war, no matter how successful or important in result, was more carefully or prudently planned; and so far as left to the accomplishment of what he had proposed to da and what he had expressly stipulated he would do – the overthrow of Beauregard’s army – McDowell did all and more than had been expected of him. He had asked that the Confederate forces in the Valley under Johnston should be prevented from reinforcing Beauregard, but this was not done. Johnston united most of his force with that of Beauregard before the battle began; and even over these combined armies McDowell’s plan of battle, after hours of severe struggle, was carried to successful execution and only failed in attaining final triumph by the arrival at a critical moment of fresh troops from the Valley.

From Civil War Times Illustrated (submitted there by Peter Cozzens), The Necessary Defeat, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 8, March 1999. Thanks to reader Jon-Erik Gilot

Part 1
Part 2

 





“G.”, 2nd Connecticut Volunteers, On the Battle

10 11 2012

From 2d Regiment.

Camp Keyes, Washington City,

July 28, 1861

Messrs. Editors – It is Sabbath morning – just one week since the memorable conflict at Bull’s Run, and oh! how different this moment are the feelings, the anxieties, the doubts and fears of the future. Then all was excitement, what is now quietude; and our worst fears, instead of our most sanguinary hopes, have been realized. We entered the field with hurried step, and [?] panting, and eager for the fray. We considered our cause sure to win, for its justice was undoubted. We doubted not for a moment the capabilities of our leaders or the stamina of their followers. And though the death-shots fell thick and fast around us, yet for a time they were as harmless as ashes of fire in the bosom of the great deep. Our troops pressed forward, shouting and cheering each other on in their holy mission, until we flanked and finally gained the rear of the enemy. Here we halted for a moment to rest and refresh ourselves, when our position was discovered, and once more we moved forward. We again halted, and delivered a few random shots at the enemy, as they retreated under the double fire of our brigade and the gallant 69th. While at a halt, it was my lot to witness a very painful scene. I captured a prisoner, (a German) belonging to the 8th South Carolina Regiment, and took him to Major Colburn for instructions as how to dispose of him. The prisoner requested one privilege as his last, which the Major very humanely granted. He said his brother lay a short distance off, in a dying condition, and he wished to see him. I bade him lead the way, and I followed.

He took me to an old log hut a few [?] from where our regiment was halted. On the north side, in the shade, we found the wounded man. The prisoner spoke to him – he opened his eyes – and the film of death had already overspread them, and the tide of life was fast ebbing. He was covered with blood, and the swarms and flies and mosquitoes which were fattening upon his life’s blood, indicated that he had lain there for some time. They clasped hands together, muttered a few words in the German language, supplicated the Throne of Grace for their families at home, kissed, and bade each a final adieu; the prisoner remarking as I took him by the arm to lead him away, for the column was moving, “Brother, you are dying, and I am a prisoner.” The man was shot with a musket ball, in the back, just over the hip, from which fact I inferred that he was on the retreat when the deadly ball overtook him.

The country round about seemed to be peculiarly adapted for a defensive position. It was very hilly, and on each elevation a battery was planted, strongly guarded by infantry, whose bayonets we could distinctly see gleaming in the sunlight. So well did they understand the position of matters inside their lines, that if they retreated, it was done for a decoy, and our brave fellows in pursuing them found themselves surrounded, or cut down like blades of grass before the scythe, by the rapid and terrible discharges of grape and canister from concealed batteries. At about 2 o’clock, Lieut. Upton, aid de camp, rode up, and took position in the center of our regiment. He addressed us in essence as follows: “Boys of old Connecticut, there is a battery on the brow of yonder hill. I want you to follow me, and you shall have the right of capturing it. Will you follow?” In a moment we were wild with delight and determination, cheering and placing our caps on our bayonets, waving them in the air, and exhibiting in gratifying tones the patriotism that [?] our arms for the ordeal. Just at that moment the considerate Col. Keyes rode up and on learning the cause of the enthusiasm, remarked that  it must not be attempted with a less number of troops than the entire Brigade. As the rest of the command were otherwise engaged the project was abandoned, and a subsequent reconnoiter showed us the madness of the idea, for, on emerging from the woods, we encountered another battery, which the rebels immediately brought to bear upon us. Gen. Tyler, however, payed no attention to the firing, until Col. Keyes ordered the men to take refuge in the woods, where we lay concealed for a quarter of an hour. And it is a fact, that not a soldier in the ranks had any idea that the order to “retreat” was to abandon the field. When we left our concealment we came away side by side with the Fire Zouaves, the 79th, and others, who were bearing off their killed and wounded. Of course, the great disaster of the day was the manic which spread itself with such velocity through our ranks. Our troops were in good order, and, as far as I observed, in cheerful spirits. The first indication that I noticed was the rapid retreat and disorganized condition of a battery, which I supposed to be Sherman’s. This was communicated to the baggage wagons, ambulances, &c., and such a scene of confusion and terror as followed, is utterly indescribable. Yet I trust our people will not construe this act as one of cowardice. Panics like that are by no means unparalleled. The memorable retreat of the French and Sardinians from Castiglione to Brescia, furnishes another instance of how complete a powerful army may be routed sometimes by the most trivial circumstance. The allies then were not as we were at the Run, just leaving the field of carnage, tired, weary, and jaded with long marching, our stomachs empty, and our lips parched with raging thirst. On the contrary, they had rested, and refreshed themselves with wine and cordials, which every French soldier is provided with, previous to an engagement. The occurrence must be fresh in the minds of all your readers.

The only real act of cowardice, unpardonable, unfortunately falls upon the New Haven Grays. — joined the company as a private. After we encamped at Glenwood, he was assigned a position as clerk for the Colonel. He remained in that position for about six weeks, when he was appointed by Col. Terry to fill a vacant post in the non-commissioned Staff. Here he remained until his disgraceful flight from the vicinity of Bull’s Run into Washington – where, after many acts of kindness by our Congressman, Hon. James F. English, he was enabled to reach home. Col. Terry, on hearing of the circumstance, immediately reduced him to the ranks, the order being publicly read at dress parade on Saturday evening, which threw him back into the ranks of the “Grays” – which company, before dismissing ranks unanimously voted him out of their ranks, and also instructed their Secretary to notify the young gentleman and all the Press of the City of Elms. A feeling of just indignation was aroused when we read his description given of our retirement from Centerville. The facts of the case are: Col. Terry’s horse becoming unmanageable, he gave it to — who had once within my hearing solicited the privilege of riding, to retain until he called for it, whereupon he started for the former bivouac, and from thence he continued his fight until he delivered “news” to the New Haven Palladium. But I will not follow the theme further. If we are fortunate enough to return home, we can tell the story with our own lips. I cannot close this epistle without thanking you for the free gift of the Journal and Courier, which has come to hand so promptly since our departure from home. Hon. John Woodruff has been very kind to us in supplying reading matter, but of course his gifts could not be as fresh as those that came direct from the office. The coarse fare incident to camp life, affected materially the health of some of our men, but now they are where they can buy fresh food, and are fast recovering their former health. Hoping anon to see you face to face,

I remain yours, truly,

G.

New Haven Daily Journal, 7/31/1861

Clipping Image

Contributed by John Hennessy





JCCW – Maj. William F. Barry

10 07 2009

Testimony of Maj. William F. Barry

Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 142-149

WASHINGTON, January 7, 1862.

General WILLIAM F. BARRY sworn and examined.

By Mr. Gooch:

Question. Were you at the battle of Bull Run, as it is called?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. In what capacity?

Answer. As chief of artillery.

Question. Can you state to us what led to the rout of our army on the field that day?

Answer. There were a great many causes.

Question. We want to get at the causes, the most obvious causes?

Answer. I think the principal cause was the uninstructed state of our troops. The troops were raw; many of the officers were indolent, and they did not all behave themselves as they should have done on that day. I think that was one cause. All troops are liable to panics. But the great fault I found with our men was that after they had fallen back some distance, and were out of the enemy’s fire, they could not be rallied. I look upon that as a difficulty inseparable from green troops. And in rallying men we need the assistance of the regimental and company officers very much, and that assistance was not rendered in many cases.

Question. Can you tell us at what time of the day and at what point the panic first showed itself?

Answer. On the right of our line was the place that I thought the panic first took place.

Question. In whose division?

Answer. The troops were very much scattered. They had been moved from point to point. They had been successful on the left of us, and the enemy had been driven back pretty nearly a mile, and having nothing to do, several of the regiments had been brought up towards the right. I had been with the army but three days. I had just arrived from Fort Pickens with my battery of artillery, and found that I was promoted to be a major. I gave up my battery to my successor, and General McDowell appointed me chief of artillery. I joined them the second day of the march, and was not very familiar with the organization of the troops.

Question. Were you present near the place where Ricketts’s and Griffin’s batteries were when they were captured?

Answer. Yes, sir; I was there at that very spot.

Question. What led to the capture of those batteries by the enemy?

Answer. The infantry support abandoned them, and that enabled the enemy to advance and capture the guns, or a portion of them; they did not capture them all. Nearly all the horses were shot down, and it was nearly impossible for the moment to remove the guns.

Question. Were those batteries ordered forward immediately preceding their capture?

Answer. Yes, sir; I suppose a half an hour before.

Question. Did you convey the order?

Answer. I gave the order in person to Captain Perkins and Captain Griffin; and not only that, I superintended the movement.

Question. Were those batteries supported?

Answer. Yes, sir; two entire regiments were procured at my request; the 11th New York, commonly called the Fire Zouaves, and the 14th New York militia.

Question. This was about three o’clock, was it?

Answer. I did not look at my watch during the entire day. I should suppose it was about half past two o’clock, for I think we left the field about four o’clock.

Question. In what condition were the Fire Zouaves at that time?

Answer. In what order, do you mean?

Question. Were they then an efficient regiment?

Answer. I thought so. I knew very little of them, except by newspaper reports. I knew what New York firemen were, and I supposed there was fight and pluck in them. I was struck with the manner they marched forward, very handsomely in line of battle. I rode with the major of the regiment—now colonel of the regiment. They marched up very handsomely in line of battle, passed the various obstacles they met in the usual tactical manner. I thought they did very well, and was very much disappointed and surprised when they broke.

Question. How many men should you think there were in the regiment at that time?

Answer. It looked to me as though there were about seven hundred.

Question. They supported which battery?

Answer. Both. The two regiments went up together, one just after the other. They had to go down a declivity, cross a little stream, and then go up a sharp acclivity. The ground was a little heavy in one or two places, and the artillery moved up in column of pieces, and formed the battery after they got on the ground.

Question. Did they take position on the hill indicated for them?

Answer. Yes, sir; and commenced firing, and fired some time.

Question. Was there any objection made by the officers of those batteries to advancing when the order was given to them?

Answer. Not the slightest that I heard.

Question. Was there any complaint that they were not properly supported?

Answer. I never heard of such a thing.

Question. How many guns were there in Griffin’s battery?

Answer. Six guns in Griffin’s battery, and six in Ricketts’s battery.

Question. Twelve guns in all?

Answer. Yes, sir. However, I am under an impression that just at that moment one, if not two, of Griffin’s guns had been left behind. I think one of his guns had become choked by careless loading; the cartridge bag had become twisted, and it could not be got in or out. That gun, I think, was not brought forward; but I am not certain about that. I did not count the guns.

Question. How many infantry would be a proper support for the guns of those two batteries?

Answer. Two regiments, I suppose, would be amply sufficient. I think if those two regiments had stood firm and done their duty those guns would never have been captured.

Question. Is there not a rule, or an understanding. as to the number of infantry that should support a battery?

Answer. No, sir; that depends upon circumstances very much; upon the amount of force opposed. If they are opposed by a large force you must have a corresponding force. And in addition to these two regiments of infantry there was a squadron of cavalry sent up by General McDowell afterwards, but moving faster than the infantry they arrived almost at the same time.

Question. Were the enemy in position in front of those batteries?

Answer. We could not see them.

Question. When were they first seen?

Answer. After the firing commenced.

Question. How soon after the order to advance was given?

Answer. I should suppose twenty minutes or half an hour. It must have taken nearly fifteen minutes to get to the place, because after I had designated the place that had been designated to me by General McDowell, and had started the batteries there, I then went to this infantry support and moved up with it. While I was doing that both of the batteries mistook the place, came a little short of it. I went forward and corrected that mistake, which produced some little delay. So I suppose the batteries were fully fifteen minutes in getting in position where they finally opened fire, which was the position I first designated.

Question. When did you see the enemy first in front of these batteries?

Answer. I suppose it was fifteen or twenty minutes after the firing commenced. It is hard to mark the lapse of time under such circumstances. I had very much to do then, passing from one battery to another, and looking to the infantry regiments coming up.

Question. Was there any mistake as to the character of a regiment that appeared in front of these batteries?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. What was that mistake?

Answer. It was a mistake in reference to a regiment that came out of a piece of woods into which one of the infantry regiments that supported the batteries had gone a few minutes before—this fourteenth regiment from Brooklyn.

Question. What was that mistake?

Answer. This regiment came out in line of battle, and a few minutes after they came out they delivered their fire upon us.

Question. Was it supposed by any one that that was one of our regiments?

Answer. I supposed it was. They had no colors. I supposed it was this same regiment that had gone into the woods, as they disappeared in that direction. Whether they went into the woods or not I do not know. The ground was somewhat rolling, and they would disappear from sight for a few moments.

Question: Did Captain Griffin suppose it was one of the regiments supporting him?

Answer. I do not know what he supposed. He directed my attention to it.

Question. Did he propose to open fire on that regiment?

Answer. Not that I remember. If he had chosen to do it, he was competent to do it.

Question. Did you give him orders?

Answer. No, sir; I gave no orders to either captain. They were both competent men.

Question. You say you have no knowledge that he did not receive orders not to fire upon that regiment?

Answer. No, sir; I gave no orders not to fire.

Question. That regiment opened fire directly upon these batteries?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. They captured these batteries?

Answer. No, sir; after they had produced a great deal of havoc, the troops immediately in front advanced—not that regiment which was on one side. There was nothing left for it then, for the infantry support broke in confusion and scattered in all directions.

Question. Was not this the first indication of a panic manifested?

Answer. No, sir; because I had seen regiments in the first part of the day break and fall back, and we were afterwards very handsomely successful.

Question. Do you not consider that the capture of these two batteries had a very decided influence on the fate of the battle on that day?

Answer. I think it had an influence, but I do not know whether it was a very decided influence. I think the circumstance that had the most decided influence was the arrival of those fresh troops on our right flank, after the men had become wearied. Our men had had a long march; been moving back and forth, and became very tired.

Question. Were not those fresh troops those that appeared in front of these batteries?

Answer. No, sir; I think not, because after that there were troops that came up on our right flank, almost at right angles, and those were the troops that I always took to be the fresh ones. Those that advanced on the guns when they were no longer supported, I have always supposed were the enemy’s left that we had driven back.

Question. You do not suppose those troops that took the batteries were Johnston’s men that had just come?

Answer. No, sir; I do not think they were. I am sure they were not. I think they were the enemy’s right, which we had driven back two or three times. I saw very plainly their batteries limber up and go off to the rear and take up a new position. I saw that twice. Finally they went back so far that Captain Ricketts and Captain Griffin could see nothing of the men to fire at. You could not see the horses even; only a puff of smoke.

Question. When was this?

Answer. Before the two batteries moved forward.

Question. I mean after the two batteries moved forward. Did not some regiments appear in front of and capture these batteries within ten or fifteen minutes after they opened fire at this last position?

Answer. No, sir. The infantry support broke and abandoned the batteries. Then they of course felt emboldened to advance, because there was no opposition to them. There were a great many men killed and wounded, and a large number of horses knocked over by that single discharge of that one regiment, which was to our front and right—not really in front. It came out of this piece of woods. There was a very tall Virginia fence, eight or nine rails high, and I could just see the tops of their bayonets—not the clothes of the men, at all, but perhaps ten inches of their bayonets. They had no colors.

Question. What did you suppose that regiment to be?

Answer. I supposed it to be one of our regiments. But if I had known it to be one of their regiments, it would have been no time to do anything before they delivered their fire; that is, after I saw them. It was almost instantaneous after I saw them. I did not see them until my attention was directed to them by Captain Griffin, who said, “See there!” or “Look there!” I was then looking at the direction the guns were firing, and I could see nothing in front, even then. I had been with Captain Ricketts’s battery, and just as I came to Captain Griffin’s battery he called my attention to this regiment. It was all the work of a moment. There was a high, tall fence, and looking at it obliquely, as we did, it made a very close fence to us where we were. If we had been looking at it in front, we could have seen more plainly. But I could see nothing except this line of bayonets, and they delivered their fire almost instantaneously after I first saw them.

Question. Was their fire delivered from behind the fence?

Answer. Yes, sir; right through the fence. It made but a small obstacle to them, because they were close to the fence and the rails were of the usual width apart in that kind of fence, so that they could very readily see through it and fire through it. But even if we had known they were the enemy there would have been no time to have turned the guns upon them before their fire was delivered. If the infantry support had stood, the force in front of us would not have advanced.

Question. Did you consider the batteries were properly supported at that time?

Answer. I did. I think two entire regiments were ample support, and this squadron of cavalry was with them.

Question. How many cavalry?

Answer. Two troops of cavalry. They were commanded by Captain Colburn, who is now a lieutenant colonel upon General McClellan’s staff. There were two troops of cavalry, commonly called a squadron, perhaps 100 men.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Did the cavalry stand?

Answer. Yes, sir; until General McDowell ordered them to fall back, for after the enemy advanced they were only too much exposed, as there was no opportunity for them to charge there. The enemy made a sort of charge down the road—30 or 40 men of them. The troops were very much exhausted, the fire zouaves called it the “black horse cavalry,” and spoke of the wonders they performed. But there were no black horses there or black uniformed men. They were ordinary bay and sorrel horses with single-rein snaffle-bits. I examined them very closely, because I had lost my pistol and wanted to get one of theirs, and I examined three or four very closely for that purpose. The fire zouaves fired upon them as they passed, for the cavalry could not be held, but ran by almost pell-mell.

Question. We never recovered the possession of Griffins’s battery, as I understand?

Answer. Yes, sir; the guns were retaken twice. The official report states that fully. They were taken the first time and the men tried to drag them off. But they were encumbered with dead horses, and there were no other horses to hitch to them. After dragging them some distance the enemy advanced in large force and drove us back. Then some other troops with those of the infantry support which could be rallied again came back once more, but there was a large force advancing, and they had nothing left but to fall back. The infantry fire had pretty much ceased towards the left. There were several regiments in the road and resting upon their arms, and they were ordered up. If those two regiments had held on a little while we would have had a strong force. It was impossible to rally the 11th regiment—the fire zouaves. I rode in among them and implored them to stand. I told them that the guns would never be captured if they would only stand. But they seemed to be paralyzed, standing with their eyes and mouths wide open, and did not seem to hear me. I then reminded them of all the oaths they had sworn at Alexandria, after the death of Ellsworth, and that that was the best chance they would ever have for vengeance. But they paid no attention to what I said at all.

Question. I suppose the mere fact that a panic had spread among the troops once should not create a distrust of those troops again?

Answer. O no, sir. General McDowell and myself took regimental flags which we saw and begged the troops to rally around them; and a few did, but not a sufficient number to warrant the hopes that we would have had with good troops.

Question. How many did you estimate the force in front, and this regiment on the right, together?

Answer. I could not tell. They covered themselves very well. That was a remarkable feature in that battle: they kept themselves remarkably well covered.

Question. The ground permitted them to do that?

Answer. Yes, sir; the ground they advanced over was not so level as that our troops went over. Our troops marched very handsomely in line of battle. One instance, I saw a whole brigade advance as handsomely as ever any troops did.

Question. So far as the whole fight was concerned, the enemy had infinitely the advantage of our troops in position?

Answer. Yes, sir; the ground was their own selection. I think if the battle had been fought at the hour it was expected to be fought at, 8 1/4 or 8 1/2 o’clock in the morning, we would have won it. There was a loss of three hours there, which I think had a very important effect upon the success of the day. It enabled those fresh troops to get up: it prevented our turning their flank so completely as we would have done by surprise; for when our columns halted, the enemy discovered the direction we were going to take, and prepared for it. And worse than that, the halting, the standing still, fatigued the men as much if not more than by marching that time.

Question. So that our men were really very much exhausted when they went into the field?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. But if the battle had been fought three or four hours earlier, then Johnston’s reserve would not have been up in time?

Answer. I think the fate of that day would have been decided before they got upon the ground. I look upon that delay as the most unfortunate thing that happened. The troops that ought to have been out of the way were in the way before we could get to the turning-off point of the road.

Question. You were to have marched at 6 o’clock on Saturday night under the first order?

Answer. No, sir; the only order I heard was to move at half-past 2 o’clock in the morning.

Question. Was not the first order to advance our troops on Saturday night at 6 o’clock, or a portion of them?

Answer. Not that I ever heard of.

Question. Was it not proposed—I do not know that the order was issued— that the troops should march at 6 o’clock on Saturday night?

Answer. Never that I heard of.

Question. Was not there some delay on account of rations—of provisions?

Answer. I never heard of any.

Question. I will ask you, as you were in General McDowell’s staff, whether the battle was not fought a day or two later than was first proposed?

Answer. I think not. The intervening time, from our arrival at Centreville and the time of advancing, was occupied by the engineers in observation. The affair of the 18th showed that the enemy was in great force at that position. I presume General McDowell’s next idea was to discover some place to cross Bull Run without this opposition and turn their flank. I know the time was taken up by reconnoitring by a party of engineers, and a great deal of it was occupied at night to escape the observation of the enemy.

Question. I think it has been stated that there was a delay of one or two days for want of provisions?

Answer. I do not know about that. I joined General McDowell only a day or two before. I arrived here at 8 o’clock in the evening, and had to take my battery down to the arsenal, fill up with ammunition, get fresh horses, &c. General McDowell had marched the day before, and I made two marches in one and overtook him at Fairfax Court-House, and the next day he had me relieved because I was promoted, and assigned me to a position on his staff. So that what his views and intentions were previously to that I do not know. Half past two in the morning was the hour appointed. When he had the assembly of all his division commanders, and explained to them the movements and everything, he was very particular in giving directions about General Tyler’s division being out of the way, as his division was the first to take the road, so as not to stop up the road for the others.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. You spoke of the delay of two or three hours being in your judgment a very serious one upon the success of the day?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. What was the occasion of that delay?

Answer. I always heard that it was occasioned by General Tyler not getting his division out of the way of the troops that were to follow. He was to lead, and was to march down the road past the point where they were to turn off to go up to the place with the other divisions, and his division did not get past in time to prevent that delay.

Question. Were not the other divisions waiting for him to pass?

Answer. I always heard so; always supposed so. We had to take one common road at first, and after crossing the little stream called Cub Run, where so much baggage and guns were lost on the retreat by the bridge being broken down, after crossing the little run a short distance we came to this turning off point.

Question. Have you any knowledge of the occasion of his delay?

Answer. I have not. There was some little firing ahead; was firing slowly at long intervals. I went down to where he had a large Parrott gun in the middle of the road in position. I asked the officer what he was firing at. He said they saw some small parties of men. I told him not to waste the ammunition of a heavy gun like that in firing at little parties of men.

By Mr. Odell:

Question. Was there the same difficulty in rallying the 14th New York regiment as in rallying the 11th regiment?

Answer. No, sir. But they were under the disadvantage of having lost their colonel. But they were rallied to some extent afterwards by General Heintzelman.





JCCW – Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman

17 05 2009

Testimony of Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman

Report on the Conduct of the War, Vol. 2, pp. 28-32

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 24, 1861

General SAMUEL P. HEINTZELMAN sworn and examined.

By the chairman:

Question. One item of the inquiry which we are commissioned to make is in regard to the occasion of the disaster at Bull Run, as near as we can ferret it out, by questioning military gentlemen who know. You will therefore please state in your own way, without much questioning, what you know about it; the time of starting, where you went, what you did, and what observations you made. State it in general, for we do not wish to descend to particulars at all. Just state your opinion of the causes of the disasters at Bull Run.

Answer. I cannot recollect when the other divisions started. My division marched on the morning of the 16th of July, which was Tuesday.

Question. You can give us a very rapid and general narrative, if you please, of what happened from the marching of your division. You need not be minute or particular in your statements.

Answer. The first brigade of my division started at 10 o’clock in the morning, and in the course of the day the whole division marched. We went as far as the Pohick the first night.

Question. How many men were in your division?

Answer. About 9,500. The last of the division did not get into camp until about one hour before daylight. We started the next morning soon after daylight, and found the road somewhat obstructed. When we got to Elzey’s, I sent Wilcox’s brigade on to Fairfax Station, and Franklin’s brigade towards Sangster’s, while I remained with ours at Elzey’s. Just before we got to Elzey’s we met some of the enemy’s pickets, and received information that they had batteries at Fairfax Station, as well as between us and Sangster’s. In about a half an hour I got word from Wilcox that the enemy were retreating from Fairfax Station. I immediately sent that information to General Franklin and followed on with the other brigade. I got to Sangster’s with my two brigades late in the afternoon, and sent out reconnoitring parties, but could hear nothing of the enemy, further than they had retreated, some two hours before we got to Sangster’s, along the railroad, and had burned the bridges. We saw the smoke of the burning bridges when we got there. We stayed there all the next day. General McDowell came there about 12 o’clock, and we had a conversation there. The intention was, when we started, to go by the left flank to Wolf Run Shoals, or to Brentsville, and endeavor to cut the railroad in rear of Manassas. But from information received at Sangster’s it was not considered feasible to follow up that plan. So he gave me orders to be at Centreville with my division between that time and daylight, and to get some provisions. Our three days’ rations were out that day.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. That was on Thursday.

Answer. Yes, sir. We started on Tuesday and got to Pohick. On Wednesday we got to Sangster’s, and we stayed there until late in the afternoon of Thursday. About 5 o’clock, I think it must have been, I started. I had sent out to get beef, but could get nothing but an old cow; and we then went on without any provisions. We got to Centreville about dark, and found the rest of the army encamped about the place.

Question. That was Thursday night.

Answer. Yes, sir. We remained there until Sunday morning, when I advanced with the rest of the army.

By the chairman:

Question. What induced you to fight that battle on Sunday, and at that time, without knowing more particularly what Johnston and Patterson were about?

Answer. On Saturday we saw re-enforcements to the enemy arriving by the railroad, which we supposed were Johnston’s. And every day’s delay we knew was fatal to our success.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. Can you tell us why you laid over at Centreville from Thursday until Sunday?

Answer. The day after we left Alexandria the provision train was to start. The wagons had not yet been collected, as I understood, and the consequence was that they did not start the next day, but the day after. On Thursday the provisions I had gave out. In fact, some of the men had got rid of their provisions the very first day; like volunteers, they did not take care of them, and as they got heavy they threw them away. I sent two or three times in the course of the morning, and finally I sent an officer to follow up until he found them. He went clear into Alexandria, and there he learned that the train had started the second day after we left, instead of the first, and had taken the road to Occoquan. As soon as I learned that, I pushed on towards Centreville, to try to get there before dark. At Centreville we the next day got some provisions. There was a reconnoissance made on Friday, or one attempted; but they met some of the enemy’s pickets, and had to come back. There was another attempt made the next day, but I do not think they learned much then. But the supposition was that the enemy was in force at the Stone Bridge; that they had a battery there, and an abatis, and that the bridge was ruined; and that they had a force further up Bull Run at another ford, probably about halfway between Centreville and Sudley’s Church. You asked me about the delay. The delay at Centreville, I suppose, was principally waiting for provisions, and for information of the position of the enemy.

Question. And during that delay Johnston’s army came down?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. And likewise re-enforcements from Richmond?

Answer. Yes, sir; I suppose from every quarter whence they could send them.

By the chairman:

Question. Your first idea was the best one to cut off that railroad, was it not?

Answer. Yes, sir; we supposed the creek was not fordable but at few places ; but at Sangster’s we got information that satisfied us that there were very slight obstructions, and it would make that operation a very dangerous one, and it was given up.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. Will you give us, as succinctly as possible, the operations of your division on Sunday?

Answer. I perhaps had better state what occurred Saturday night.

Question. Very well.

Answer. Saturday night all the division commanders were directed to appear at General McDowell’s headquarters to receive instructions what to do the next day. The order had been given to march, first, at 6 o’clock the afternoon of Saturday; but afterwards it was put off till 2 o’clock the next morning. We went there and got our instructions. General Tyler’s division was to start first; then Hunter’s, and then mine. I asked a few questions about what I was to do, and had some little change made about the hour of starting, and went back to my tent. The next morning, precisely at the hour fixed, I left. The head of the column got to Centreville, and found the road obstructed with troops. General Tyler’s division had not passed yet. I waited there three hours for Tyler’s and Hunter’s division to pass. After crossing Cub Run a little ways we took the right-hand road. Major Wright, of the engineers, went with Hunter’s column. He was to stop with the guide, where the road turned off to this second ford I spoke of. He could not find the road, and of course we kept on and reached Sudley’s Church, or Bull Run, near the church, about 11 o’clock on the morning of Sunday. In the meantime we heard the firing on our left, across Bull Run, and could see the smoke, and could see two heavy clouds of dust, evidently caused by troops approaching from Manassas. A few minutes before we got to Bull Run General McDowell and his staff passed us, going on ahead. When we got to the run the last brigade of Hunter’s division had not yet crossed. I ordered the first brigade of my division to fill their canteens, while I went on to see with my glass what was going on. About this time the firing in front of Hunter’s division commenced. And in about a half an hour two of General McDowell’s staff rode up and asked me to send forward two regiments, that the enemy were outflanking him. I ordered forward two regiments. The Minnesota regiment was one, but I have forgotten the other. I followed on and left orders for the rest of the division to follow as soon as the road was clear. Major Wright led the Minnesota off to the left, and I followed the upper road on the right until we came on the field. I stopped and made inquiries as to what was going on. I saw General McDowell, and the batteries which were on this ground. Two of them were ordered forward; one of them flanking my division. I followed them for a little while, sending orders for the zouaves and first regiment to follow and support them. I went up, after the zouaves arrived, on the right of the batteries with them. As I rose to cross the ridge, I saw beyond a line of the enemy drawn up at a shoulder-arms, dressed in citizen’s clothes. It did not strike me at first who they were. But I just checked my horse and looked at them. I saw in an instant that they were a party of the enemy’s troops, and I turned to the zouaves and ordered them to charge them. They moved forward some 20 paces and they fired, and both parties broke and run. Just at this moment some 30 or 40 of the enemy’s cavalry came out through an old field and charged the rear of the zouaves. The zouaves turned upon them and emptied some five or six saddles, and the cavalry broke and run. Captain Colburn’s company of cavalry, belonging to the regular army, was close by and got a shot at them with their carbines, and emptied some more saddles. That was the last I saw of them. And that was the famous black horse cavalry who made the charge.

Question. Only thirty or forty of them?

Answer. That was all. I did not see that many, but I was told there were thirty or forty of them. There was not a black horse among them that I saw. And there was one solitary man killed of that regiment by that fire. There was also a man fell out of the leading company. One of them disappeared, and I supposed he crawled off.

By the chairman:

Question. How far apart were they when that firing took place?

Answer. Thirty or forty yards. ,

Question. And they all fired over each other’s heads?

Answer. The enemy were in the woods. As I was on horseback of course I saw them first. I stopped and ordered the zouaves to charge. By coming forward a few paces they could see over the ridge, and as soon as they saw each other they fired and then they both broke and run.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. Did the zouaves rally after that during the day?

Answer. Not as a regiment. Many of the officers and men joined other regiments, or fought on their own hook.

By the chairman:

Question. What, in your opinion, really led to the disasters of that day?

Answer. It is hard to tell. There, were a number of causes. In the first place, the delay of Friday and Saturday at Centreville was one efficient cause. Another cause was the three hours lost at Centreville on Sunday morning.

Question. Did their troops outnumber ours, do you suppose?

Answer. O! yes, sir, largely. I have no definite information as to the number of men they had. General Tyler’s division went first, then General Hunter’s, then mine. Hunter had furthest to go; the distance I had to go was the next furthest, and the distance Tyler had to go was the least. I think if we had reversed it—let Hunter start first, then let me follow him, and then Tyler follow me—that delay at Centreville would not have occurred.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. Suppose the battery at Blackburn’s Ford had been captured on Thursday night by Tyler’s division, and an advance had been ordered on Friday morning, do you think there would have been much of a battle any way?

Answer. That is a difficult question to answer; I do not know what force the enemy had there. I doubt whether Tyler could have captured that battery. From what I have learned, I do not think he had sufficient force to do it. And he had no authority to make such a strong demonstration as he did.

By the chairman:

Question. Why was not the reserve brought up to that field?

Answer. The reserve at Centreville?

Question. Yes, sir.

Answer. I suppose the only reason was that Centreville was such an important point. If the enemy should get possession of it we should be cut-off entirely. I think that when we found on Saturday that re-enforcements were coming in so strongly, the reserve at Alexandria, here on the Potomac, should have been brought forward. That would have left the reserve that remained at Centreville in a position to be used.

Question. There were a great many troops at Fortress Monroe that might have been brought up, I should think. What prevented that?

Answer. I do not think there were many at Fortress Monroe. I do not recollect. I think there were troops enough around Washington, if they had been pushed forward on Saturday.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. And, probably, if the battle had been made on Thursday or Friday, before their re-enforcements came up, you had force enough?

Answer. Yes, sir. I believe we should have been successful, at least, in getting possession of and holding Bull Run, if we could have advanced Friday morning. I was perfectly confident, when I went there on Thursday night, that we should advance on Friday morning, and the consequence was that I camped my division in very close order.

By the chairman:

Question. It always seemed singular to me that you went into battle on Sunday morning, when you found Johnston had re-enforced them. I should have supposed that you would have remained at Centreville until you had got your re-enforcements up to meet the new state of things.

Answer. I did not think, when we started on Sunday morning, that there would be a general engagement. I supposed, from what we were informed at headquarters, that the enemy had a strong force at the Stone Bridge, as the rebels called it, and a small force at the ford I was to go to. I had orders not to cross until Hunter had crossed at Sudley’s Church and come down opposite to me on the other side of Bull Run. Then I was to cross, and we were to follow on down opposite the Stone Bridge, and turn that. Tyler had orders, I believe, not to attack with his infantry at all, but merely to make a demonstration with his artillery at the Stone Bridge, and to wait until we came down. But when we crossed over there, we soon got engaged with a heavy force of the enemy.

Question. There was really no necessity for fighting on Sunday rather than on any other day. You chose your own time, I suppose?

Answer. It is reported that they had given their orders to attack us on Sunday morning at eight o’clock.

Question. Then I would have remained on the heights at Centreville and let them attack us there, and then they would have lost the benefit of their batteries.

Answer. The principal difficulty was the want of provisions in kind. I think that was one grand cause of the disaster. And the troops were not brigaded in time. And then we had a great many three months men.

By Mr. Chandler:

Question. You have been in command of the extreme left wing of this army for some time, I believe?

Answer. Yes, sir; between two and three months. I was on the left all last summer; but the day, or two days, before the battle my position was changed. I was to follow out on the Little River turnpike; and then they changed me further to the left, to go up the Fairfax road.





#43 – Col. Samuel P. Heintzelman

20 09 2008

Report of Col. Samuel P. Heintzelman, Seventeenth U.S. Infantry, Commanding Third Division

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp. 402-404

HDQRS. 3D DIV. DEP’T NORTHEASTERN VIRGINIA,

Washington, July 31, 1861

SIR: In obedience to instructions received on the 20th instant, the division under my command was under arms in light marching order, with two days’ cooked rations in their haversacks, and commenced the march at 2.30 a.m. on the 21st, the brigade of Colonel Franklin leading, followed by those of Colonels Willcox and Howard. At Centreville we found the road filled with troops, and were detained three hours to allow the divisions of General Tyler and Colonel Hunter to pass. I followed with my division immediately in rear of the latter. Between two and three miles beyond Centreville we left the Warrenton turnpike, turning into a country road on the right. Captain Wright, of the Engineers, accompanied the head of Colonel Hunter’s column, with directions to stop at a road which turned in to the left to a ford across Ball Run, about half way between the point where we turned off from the turnpike and Sudley Springs, at which latter point Colonel Hunter’s division was to cross. No such road was found to exist, and about 11 a.m. we found ourselves at Sudley Springs, about ten miles from Centreville, with one brigade of Colonel Hunter’s division still on our side of the run.

Before reaching this point the battle had commenced. We could see the smoke rising on our left from two points, a mile or more apart. Two clouds of dust were seen, showing the advance of troops from the direction of Manassas. At Sudley Springs, whilst waiting the passage of the troops of the division in our front, I ordered forward the First Brigade to fill their canteens. Before this was accomplished the leading regiments of Colonel Hunter’s division became engaged. General McDowell, who, accompanied by his staff, had passed us a short time before, sent back Captain Wright, of the Engineers, and Major McDowell, one of his aides, with orders to send forward two regiments to prevent the enemy from outflanking them. Captain Wright led forward the Minnesota regiment to the left of the road which crossed the run at this place. Major McDowell led the Eleventh Massachusetts Regiment up the road. I accompanied this regiment, leaving orders for the remainder of the division to follow, with the exception of Arnold’s battery, which, supported by the First Michigan, was posted a little below the crossing of the run as a reserve.

At a little more than a mile from the ford we came upon the battlefield. Ricketts’ battery was posted on a hill to the right of Hunter’s division and to the right of the road. After firing some twenty minutes at a battery of the enemy placed just beyond the crest of a hill on their extreme left, the distance being considered too great, it was moved forward to within about one thousand feet of the enemy’s battery. Here it was exposed to a heavy fire of musketry, which soon disabled the battery. Franklin’s brigade was posted on the right of a woods near the center of our line, and on ground rising towards the enemy’s position. In the mean time I sent orders for the zouaves to move forward, to support Ricketts’ battery on its right. As soon as they came up I led them forward against an Alabama regiment, partly concealed in a clump of small pines in an old field, At the first fire they broke, and the greater portion fled to the rear, keeping up a desultory firing over the heads of their comrades in front. At the same moment they were charged by a company of secession cavalry on their rear, who came by a road through two strips of woods on our extreme right. The fire of the zouaves killed four and wounded one, dispersing them. The discomfiture of this cavalry was completed by a fire from Captain Colburn’s company of U. S. cavalry, which killed and wounded several more. Colonel Farnham, with some of his officers and men, behaved gallantly, but the regiment, as a regiment, did not appear again on the field. Many of the men joined other regiments, and did good service as skirmishers.

I then led up the Minnesota regiment, which was also repulsed, but retired in tolerably good order. It did good service in the woods on our right flank, and was among the last to retire, coming off the field with the Third U.S. Infantry. Next was led forward the First Michigan, which was also repulsed, and retired in considerable confusion. They were rallied, and helped to hold the woods on our right. The Brooklyn Fourteenth then appeared on the ground, coming forward in gallant style. I led them forward to the left, where the Alabama regiment had been posted in the early part of the action, now disappeared. We soon came in sight of the line of the enemy, drawn up beyond the clump of trees. Soon after the firing commenced the regiment broke and ran. I considered it useless to attempt to rally them. The want of discipline in these regiments was so great, that the most of the men would run from fifty to several hundred yards to the rear and continue to fire – fortunately for the braver ones, very high in the air – compelling those in front to retreat. During this time Ricketts’ battery had been taken and retaken three times by us, but was finally lost, most of the horses having been killed; Captain Ricketts being wounded, and First Lieut. D. Ramsay killed. Lieutenant Kirby behaved with great gallantry, and succeeded in carrying off one caisson.

Before this time heavy re-enforcements were distinctly seen approaching by two roads, extending and outflanking us on the right. Colonel Howard’s brigade came on the field at this time, having been detained by the general as a reserve at the point where we left the turnpike. It took post on a hill on our right and rear, and for some time gallantly held the enemy in check. I had one company of cavalry attached to my division, which was joined during the engagement by the cavalry of Colonel Hunter’s division. Major Palmer, who commanded them, was anxious to engage the enemy. The ground being unfavorable, I ordered them back out of range of fire.

Finding it impossible to rally any of the regiments, we commenced our retreat about 4.30 p.m. There was a fine position a short distance in rear, where I hoped to make a stand with a section of Arnold’s battery and the U.S. cavalry, if I could rally a few regiments of infantry. In this I utterly failed, and we continued our retreat on the road we had before advanced in the morning. I sent forward my staff officers to rally some troops beyond the run, but not a company would form. I stopped back a few moments at the hospital, to see what arrangements could be made to save the wounded.  The few ambulances that were there were filled, and started to the rear. The church which was used as a hospital, with the wounded and some of the surgeons, soon after fell into the hands of the secession cavalry, who followed us closely. A company of cavalry crossed the run, and seized an ambulance full of wounded. Captain Arnold gave them a couple of rounds of canister from his section of artillery, which sent them scampering away, and kept them at a respectful distance during the remainder of our retreat. At this point most of the stragglers were in advance of us. Having every reason to fear a vigorous pursuit from the enemy’s fresh troops, I was desirous of forming a strong rear guard, but neither the efforts of the officers of the Regular Army nor the coolness of the regular troops with me could induce them to form a single company. We relied entirely for our protection on one section of artillery and a few companies of cavalry. Most of the road was favorable for infantry, but unfavorable for cavalry and artillery.

About dusk, as we approached the Warrenton turnpike, we heard a firing of rifled cannon on our right, and learned that the enemy had established a battery enfilading the road. Captain Arnold, with his section of artillery, attempted to run the gauntlet, and reached the bridge over Cub Run about two miles from Centreville, but found it obstructed with broken vehicles, and was compelled to abandon his pieces, as they were under the fire of those rifled cannon. The cavalry turned to the left, and, after passing through a strip of woods and some fields, struck a road which led them to some camps occupied by our troops in the morning, through which we regained the turnpike. About 8 p.m. we reached the camps we had occupied in the morning. Had a brigade from the reserve advanced a short distance beyond Cub Run near one-third of the artillery lost might have been saved, as it was abandoned at or near this crossing.

Such a rout I never witnessed before. No efforts could induce a single regiment to form after the retreat was commenced. Our artillery was served admirably, and did much execution. Some of the volunteer regiments behaved very well, and much excuse can be made for those who fled, as few of the enemy could at any time be seen. Raw troops cannot be expected to stand long against an unseen enemy. I have been unable to obtain any report from the zouaves, as Colonel Farnham was wounded, and is sick in the hospital. I have only the list of the killed and wounded. Since the retreat more than three-fourths of the zouaves have disappeared. The brigade and regimental reports, with the lists of the killed and wounded, are inclosed herewith.

I beg leave to express my obligations to the officers of my staff, viz: Capt. Horatio G. Wright, Lieut. G. W. Snyder, and Lieut. Francis U. Farquhar, of the Engineers; Capt. Chauncey McKeever, assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. John J. Sweet, Second Cavalry, and Lieut. John D. Fairbanks, First Michigan Regiment, for the able and fearless manner in which they performed their duties, and to recommend them to your favorable consideration.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. P. HEINTZELMAN,

Colonel Seventeenth Infantry, Commanding Division

Capt. JAS. B. FRY,

Assistant Adjutant-General, U.S. Army, Arlington, VA

Table – Return of casualties in the Third Division (Union) of Northeastern Virginia, at the Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861





#37 – Maj. Innis N. Palmer

23 07 2008

Report of Maj. Innis N. Palmer, Second U. S. Cavalry, Commanding Battalion

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, p. 393

CAVALRY CAMP, NEAR ARLINGTON, July 23, 1861

SIR: In obedience to circular from brigade headquarters of this date, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command during the battle before Manassas on the 21st instant. My command consisted of one company of the Second Dragoons, Capt. F. C. Armstrong commanding, two companies of the First Cavalry, under Capt. A. V. Colburn, and four companies of Second Cavalry, under Capts. A. G. Brackett, W. W. Lowe, J. E. Harrison, and First Lieutenant Drummond.

At the commencement of the action the whole cavalry force was ordered to the front, and it took a position on the extreme right of the line. From this point portions were detached from time to time, to support the different batteries and to examine the ground on the left of the enemy’s line. While they were thus engaged, a small body of the enemy’s cavalry, which had charged through the New York Zouave Regiment, came within short distance of my command, and I directed a small party, under Sergeant Sachs, of the Second Dragoons, to pursue them. He succeeded in capturing several prisoners, among them General George Steuart, of Maryland.

During the entire action the cavalry, sometimes together and sometimes in detachments, moved by the direction of the commanding general to various points in the field, where there was a prospect of their being able to act to advantage. When the force on the right of our attacking line first gave way, all of my officers, assisted by Governor Sprague, of Rhode Island, endeavored to rally them, and I found it necessary to deploy the cavalry to oppose the retreat of these men. They were, however, totally demoralized, and a galling fire, opened suddenly from the woods in front of us, made all our efforts unavailing.

When the retreat from the field became general, the whole of the cavalry, excepting those killed, wounded, or dismounted by loss of horses, was together, and in good condition. I was directed to cover the retreat, assisted by a section of Arnold’s battery. The enemy rapidly advanced upon the rear, and at the crossing of Bull Run it was necessary to form my command to receive their cavalry. Two shots from the guns of Arnold caused them to retire, and soon after I received orders to push on as rapidly as possible in order to save my command. I reached Centreville about 8.30 p.m., and this place at 5.30 a.m. the next morning.

The conduct of officers and men throughout the day was in the highest degree praiseworthy.(*)

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I. N. PALMER,

Major, Second Cavalry, Commanding Cavalry

Capt. W. W. AVERELL,

A. A. A. G. Colonel Porter’s Brigade

(*) List of casualties here omitted embraced in division return p. 387





#17 – Col. Erasmus D. Keyes

27 02 2008

 

Report of Col. Erasmus D. Keyes, Eleventh U. S. Infantry, Commanding First Brigade, First Division

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 353-356

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,

Camp on Meridian Hill, Washington, July 25, 1861

SIR: In compliance with the orders of Brigadier-General Tyler, I have the honor to report the operations of the First Brigade, First Division, in the action of the 21st instant, at Bull Run, and during the two succeeding days.

Leaving my camp near Centreville at 2 o’clock a.m. I took my place in the First Division as a reserve. At 9.15 o’clock a.m. at the distance of half a mile from Bull Run, I was ordered by General Tyler to incline the head of my column to the right, and direct it through an open field to a ford about 800 yards above the stone bridge. Before the whole brigade had entered upon the new direction the enemy opened fire from a battery across the run, and threw upon the First and Second Regiments Connecticut Volunteers some twenty-five or thirty rounds of shot and shell, which caused a temporary confusion and wounded several men. Order was shortly restored, and the brigade closed up on Sherman’s column before passing the ford.

After crossing, I marched at once to the high ground, and, by order of General Tyler, came into line on Sherman’s left. The order to advance in line of battle was given at about 10 o’clock a.m., and from that hour until 4 p.m. my brigade was in constant activity on the field of battle. The First Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was met by a body of cavalry and infantry, which it repelled, and at several other encounters of different parts of the line the enemy constantly retired before us. At about 2 o’clock p.m. General Tyler ordered me to take a battery on a height in front. The battery was strongly posted, and supported by infantry and riflemen, sheltered by a building, a fence, and a hedge. My order to charge was obeyed with the utmost promptness. Colonel Jameson, of the Second Maine, and Colonel Chatfield, Third Connecticut Volunteers, pressed forward their regiments up the bare slope about one hundred yards, when I ordered them to lie down at a point offering a slight protection and load. I then ordered them to advance again, which they did, in the face of a movable battery of eight pieces and a large body of infantry, towards the top of a hill. As we moved forward we came under the fire of other large bodies of the enemy, posted behind breastworks, and on reaching the summit of the hill the fire became so hot that an exposure to it of five minutes would have annihilated my whole line. As the enemy had withdrawn to a height beyond, and to the support of additional troops, I ordered the Maine regiment to face by the left flank and move to a wooded slope across an open field, to which point I followed them. The balance of the brigade soon rejoined me, and after a few moments’ rest I again put it in motion and moved forward to find another opportunity to charge.

The enemy had a light battery, which he maneuvered with extraordinary skill, and his shot fell often among and near us. I advanced generally just under the brow of the hills, by a flank movement, until I found myself about half a mile below the stone bridge. Our advance caused the Confederates to retire from the abatis, and enabled Captain Alexander, of the Engineers, to clear it away. In a short time the enemy moved his battery to a point which enabled him to enfilade my whole line; but as he pointed his guns too far to the right, and only improved his aim gradually, I had time to withdraw my brigade by a flank movement around the base of a hill in time to avoid a raking fire.

At this time a lull in the discharges of our artillery, and an apparent change of position of the enemy’s left flank, made me apprehensive that all was not right. I continued my march, and sent my aide, Lieutenant Walter, to the rear to inquire of General McDowell how the day was going. The discontinuance of the firing in our lines becoming more and more apparent, I inclined to the right, and after marching six hundred or seven hundred yards farther, I was met by Lieutenant Upton, aide to General Tyler, and ordered to file to the right, as our troops were retreating. I moved on at an ordinary pace, and fell into the retiring current about one hundred and fifty yards in the rear of General McDowell and staff. Before crossing Bull Run, and until my brigade mingled with the retreating mass, it maintained perfect freedom from panic, and at the moment I received the order to retreat, and for some time afterwards, it was in as good order as in the morning on the road. Half an hour earlier I supposed the victory to be ours.

The gallantry with which the Second Regiment of Maine Volunteers and the Third Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers charged up the hill upon the enemy’s artillery and infantry was never, in my opinion, surpassed. I was with the advancing line, and closely observed the conduct of Colonels Jameson and Chatfield, which merits in this instance, and throughout the day, the highest commendation.

I also observed throughout the day the gallantry and excellent conduct of Colonel Terry, Second Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, from whom I received most zealous assistance. At one time a portion of his regiment did great execution with their rifles from a point of our line which was thin, and where a few of our men were a little tardy in moving forward.

Colonel Terry, in his report, calls attention to the coolness, activity, and discretion of Lieutenant-Colonel Young and Major Colburn. The latter, with the adjutant of the regiment, Lieut. Charles L. Russell, showed conspicuous gallantry in defending their regimental colors during the retreat, this side of Bull Run, against a charge of cavalry. Colonel Terry also commends the devotion of Drs. Douglas and Bacon to the wounded while under the hottest fire of artillery. Private Arnold Leech is also highly praised for having spiked three abandoned guns with a ramrod and then bringing away two abandoned muskets.

Colonel Jameson, of the Second Maine Regiment, gives great credit in his report to Lieut. Col. C. W. Roberts, Maj. George Varney, and Adjutant Reynolds for their coolness and courage on the field. Sergeant G. W. Brown, of Company F; A. J. Knowles and Leonard Carver, of Company D; A. P. Jones and Henry W. Wheeler, Company A, and Peter Welch, Company I, he mentions for their noble conduct in accompanying him to remove the dead and wounded from the field under a very heavy fire of artillery and musketry. He mentions, also, Captain Foss, Sergeant Samuel Hinckley, of Company A, and Corporal Smart, Company H, for important extra services during the day. He also speaks in high praise of Sergeant W. J. Dean, who was mortally wounded while in the advance of the line, bearing the beautiful stand of colors which was presented the day before on the part of ladies from Maine residing in San Francisco, Cal. Capt. E. N. Jones, of the same regiment, fell mortally wounded while exhibiting great courage in rallying his men to the charge.

Lieutenant-Colonel Speidel, of the First Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, was set upon by three of the enemy, who undertook to make him a prisoner. The lieutenant-colonel killed one and drove off the other two of his assailants and escaped. I observed the activity of Captains Hawley and Chapman, Adjutant Bacon, and Lieutenant Drake on the field.

Colonel Chatfield, of the Third Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, gives special credit to Major Warner and Adjutant Duryee for their coolness and energy in assisting to keep the men in line and in urging them forward into action. The men of the Third Regiment brought off in the retreat two of our abandoned guns, one caisson, and several baggage wagons, and behaved with great coolness in the retreat, and the bulk of the regiment was present to repel the charge of cavalry this side of Bull Run.

I received during the day and on the retreat the most gallant and efficient assistance from Lieutenant Hascall, Fifth U.S. Artillery, A. A. adjutant-general; Lieutenant Walter, First Connecticut Volunteers; Lieutenant Gordon, Second U.S. Cavalry, aides, obeyed my orders on the field with alacrity; and Lieutenant Ely, First Connecticut Volunteers, brigade commissary, assisted me zealously. Lieutenants Walter and Gordon are both missing. The former I sent to the rear at about 4 p.m. to ascertain from General McDowell how the day was going, since which time I have not seen him nor do I know his fate. Lieutenant Gordon was with me two miles this side of Bull Run on the retreat, where I saw him the last time. I trust he will yet be found. My two mounted orderlies, Cooper and Ballou, were both with me until near the end of the conflict, and are both missing. My brigade being far in advance, and the ground very hilly and interspersed with patches of woods, rendered it difficult to avoid being enveloped by the enemy. The last individuals probably missed their way and were killed or captured.

I have delayed this report of the action until all the wanderers could be gathered in, and the following may therefore be taken as a very close approximation to the actual casualties in my brigade. Those reported missing are supposed to be killed or taken prisoners.

In addition to the reported loss of the Second Maine Regiment, Lieutenant Skinner, Surgeon Allen and his son, while assisting the wounded, were taken prisoners. The aggregate loss of this gallant regiment was therefore 174 out of 640, which was the complete strength on going into action.

It was impossible to obtain exact returns of my brigade on the morning of the 21st, but I am certain its aggregate strength was about 2,500 men. We captured fifteen of the enemy and brought six prisoners to Washington.

In concluding the account of the battle, I am happy to be able to add that the conduct of the First Brigade, First Division, was generally excellent. The troops composing it need only instruction to make them as good as any in the world.

I take the liberty to add, in continuation of this report, that the Third Connecticut Regiment and a part of the Second Maine Volunteers, of my brigade, left their camps near Centreville at about 10 o’clock a.m. by order of General Tyler, and arrived at Camp McDowell, six and a half miles from the Potomac, at dawn of day the morning after the battle. The camps of my four regiments and that of one company of cavalry were standing, and during the day I learned that the Ohio camp, a mile and a quarter this way, was vacant of troops, and the camp of the New York Second had only a guard of fifty or sixty men left in it. Not wishing the enemy to get possession of so many standing tents and such an abundance of camp equipage, I ordered my brigade to retreat no farther until all the public property should be removed.

The rain fell in torrents all day the 22d. The men were excessively fatigued, and we had only eleven wagons. Brigade Quartermaster Hodge made two journeys to the city to obtain transportation, but with four or five exceptions the drivers refused to come out. Our eleven wagons were kept in motion, and at nightfall the troops were drenched to the skin and without shelter. So, leaving guards at the regimental camps of my brigade, I moved forward with the bulk of the Third Connecticut Regiment, and by 11 o’clock at night the majority were housed in the Ohio and New York camps.

We kept good watch through the night, and early in the morning of the 23d instant Quartermaster-General Meigs sent out long trains of wagons, and Brigade Quartermaster Hodge walked six miles to Alexandria and brought up a train of cars, and the work of removal proceeded with vigor. As early as 5.30 o’clock p.m. the last thing of value had been removed and sent forward, to the amount of 175 four-horse wagon loads. The order to fall in was then given, and the brigade marched in perfect order, every man with his firelock, and at sunset bivouacked near Fort Corcoran.

I acknowledge great indebtedness to Brigade Quartermaster Hodge. But for his untiring exertions in procuring the means of transportation nearly all the public property must have been abandoned. The men of the different regiments labored with extraordinary zeal, considering their great fatigue, and they merit the highest praise. I had given permission to about one hundred sick and lame to limp forward in advance, and about an equal number of cowards and recreants had fled without permission. The balance of my brigade, faithful and laborious, stood by, and they may claim the right to teach that it is unmanly to destroy the public property, and base to abandon it to the enemy, except in cases of the extremest necessity.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

E. D. KEYES,

Colonel Eleventh Infantry,

Commanding First Brigade, First Division

Capt. A. BAIRD, Asst. Adjt. Gen.,

Headquarters First Brigade, First Division





#15 – Maj. William F. Barry

14 02 2008

Report of Maj. William F. Barry, Fifth U.S. Artillery, Chief of Artillery

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 345-348

ARLINGTON, VA., July 23, 1861

CAPTAIN: Having been appointed, by Special Orders, No. 21, Headquarters Department Northeastern Virginia, Centreville, July 19, 1861, chief of artillery of the corps d’armée commanded by Brigadier-General McDowell, and having served in that capacity during the battle of 21st instant, I have the honor to submit the following report:

The artillery of the corps d’armée consisted of the following-named batteries: Ricketts’ light company, I, First Artillery, six 10-pounder Parrott rifle guns; Hunt’s light company, M, Second Artillery, four light 12-pounders; Carlisle’s company, E, Second Artillery, two James 13-pounder rifle guns, two 6 pounder guns; Tidball’s light company, A, Second Artillery, two 6-pounder guns, two 12-pounder howitzers; Greene’s company, G, Second Artillery, four 10-pounder Parrott rifle guns; Arnold’s company, D, Second Artillery, two 13-pounder James rifle guns, two 6-pounder guns; Ayres’ light company, E, Third Artillery, two 10-pounder Parrott rifle guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, two 6-pounder guns; Griffin’s battery, D, Fifth Artillery, four 10-pounder Parrott rifle guns, two 12-pounder howitzers; Edwards’ company, G, First Artillery, two 20-pounder and one 30-pounder Parrott rifle guns. The Second Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers had with it a battery of six 13-pounder James rifle guns; the Seventy-first Regiment New York Militia two of Dahlgren’s boat howitzers, and the Eighth Regiment New York Militia a battery of six 6-pounder guns. The men of this last-named battery having claimed their discharge on the day before the battle because their term of service had expired, the battery was thrown out of service.

The whole force of artillery of all calibers was, therefore, forty-nine pieces, of which twenty-eight were rifle guns. All of these batteries were fully horsed and equipped, with the exception of the two howitzers of the Seventy-first Regiment New York Militia, which were without horses, and were drawn by drag-ropes, manned by detachments from the regiment.

General McDowell’s disposition for the march from Centreville on the morning of the 21st instant placed Tidball’s and Greene’s batteries (eight pieces) in reserve, with the division of Colonel Miles, to remain at Centreville; Hunt’s and Edwards’ (six pieces), with the brigade of Colonel Richardson, at Blackburn’s Ford; and Carlisle s, Ayres’, and the 30-pounder (eleven pieces), with the division of General Tyler, at the stone bridge; Ricketts’, Griffin’s, Arnold’s, the Rhode Island, and Seventy-first Regiment batteries (twenty-four pieces) accompanied the main column, which crossed Bull Run at Sudley Springs. As soon as this column came in presence of the enemy, after crossing Bull Run, I received from General McDowell, in person, directions to superintend the posting of the batteries as they severally debouched from the road and arrived upon the field.

The Rhode Island Battery came first upon the ground, and took up, at a gallop, the position assigned it. It was immediately exposed to a sharp fire from the enemy’s skirmishers and infantry posted on the declivity of the hill and in the valley in its immediate front, and to a well-sustained fire of shot and shell from the enemy’s batteries posted behind the crest of the range of hills about one thousand yards distant. This battery sustained in a very gallant manner the whole force of this fire for nearly half an hour, when the howitzers of the Seventy-first New York Militia came up, and went into battery on its left. A few minutes afterwards Griffin brought up his pieces at a gallop, and came into battery about five hundred yards to the left of the Rhode Island and New York batteries.

Ricketts’ battery came up in less than half an hour afterwards, and was posted to the left of and immediately adjoining Griffin’s.

The enemy’s right, which had been wavering from the moment Griffin opened his fire upon it, now began to give way throughout its whole extent and retire steadily, his batteries limbering up rapidly, and at a gallop taking up successively two new positions farther to his rear. The foot troops on our left, following up the enemy’s retiring right, soon left our batteries so far in our rear that their fire was over the heads of our own men. I therefore directed the Rhode Island Battery to advance about five hundred yards in front of its first position, accompanied it myself, and saw it open fire with increased effect upon the enemy’s still retiring right.

Returning to the position occupied by Ricketts’ and Griffin’s batteries, I received an order from General McDowell to advance two batteries to an eminence specially designated by him, about eight hundred yards in front of the line previously occupied by our artillery, and very near the position first occupied by the enemy’s batteries. I therefore ordered these two batteries to move forward at once, and, as soon as they were in motion, went for and procured as supports the Eleventh (Fire Zouaves) and the Fourteenth (Brooklyn) New York Regiments. I accompanied the former regiment, to guide it to its proper position, and Colonel Heintzelman, Seventeenth U.S. Infantry, performed the same service for the Fourteenth, on the right of the Eleventh. A squadron of U.S. cavalry, under Captain Colburn, First Cavalry, was subsequently ordered as additional support. We were soon upon the ground designated, and the two batteries at once opened a very effective fire upon the enemy’s left.

The new position had scarcely been occupied when a troop of the enemy’s cavalry, debouching from a piece of woods close upon our right flank, charged down upon the New York Eleventh. The zouaves, catching sight of the cavalry a few moments before they were upon them, broke ranks to such a degree that the cavalry dashed through without doing them much harm. The zouaves gave them a scattering fire as they passed, which emptied five saddles and killed three horses. A few minutes afterwards a regiment of the enemy’s infantry, covered by a high fence, presented itself in line on the left and front of the two batteries at not more than sixty or seventy yards’ distance, and delivered a volley full upon the batteries and their supports. Lieutenant Ramsay, First Artillery, was killed, and Captain Ricketts, First Artillery, was wounded, and a number of men and horses were killed or disabled by this close and well-directed volley. The Eleventh and Fourteenth Regiments instantly broke and fled in confusion to the rear, and in spite of the repeated and earnest efforts of Colonel Heintzelman with the latter, and myself with the former, refused to rally and return to the support of the batteries. The enemy, seeing the guns thus abandoned by their supports, rushed upon them, and driving off the cannoneers, who, with their officers, stood bravely at their posts until the last moment, captured them, ten in number. These were the only guns taken by the enemy on the field.

Arnold’s battery came upon the field after Ricketts’, and was posted on our left center, where it performed good service throughout the day, and by its continued and well-directed fire assisted materially in breaking and driving back the enemy’s right and center.

The batteries of Hunt, Carlisle, Ayres, Tidball, Edwards, and Greene (twenty-one pieces), being detached from the main body, and not being under my immediate notice during the greater portion of the day, I respectfully refer you to the reports of their brigade and division commanders for the record of their services.

The Army having retired upon Centreville, I was ordered by General McDowell in person to post the artillery in position to cover the retreat. The batteries of Hunt, Ayres, Tidball, Edwards, Greene, and the New York Eighth Regiment (the latter served by volunteers from Willcox’s brigade), twenty pieces in all, were at once placed in position, and thus remained until 12 o’clock p.m., when, orders having been received to retire upon the Potomac, the batteries were put in march, and, covered by Richardson’s brigade, retired in good order and without haste, and early next morning reoccupied their former camps on the Potomac.

In conclusion, it gives me great satisfaction to state that the conduct of the officers and enlisted men of the several batteries was most exemplary. Exposed throughout the day to a galling fire of artillery and small-arms: several times charged by cavalry, and more than once abandoned by their infantry supports, both officers and enlisted men manfully stood by their guns with a courage and devotion worthy of the highest commendation. Where all did so well it would be invidious to make distinctions, and I therefore simply give the names of all the officers engaged: viz: Major Hunt, Captains Carlisle, Ayres, Griffin, Tidball, and Arnold; Lieutenants Platt, Thompson, Ransom, Webb, Barriger, Greene, Edwards, Dresser, Wilson, Throckmorton, Cushing, Harris, Butler, Fuller, Lyford, Hill, Benjamin, Babbitt, Hains, Ames, Hasbrouck, Kensel, Harrison, Reed, Barlow, Noyes, Kirby, and Elderkin.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM F. BARRY,

Major, Fifth Artillery

Capt. J. B. FRY,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Dep’t N. E. Virginia





Order of Battle – USA

5 01 2007

FIRST BULL RUN CAMPAIGN

ORDER OF BATTLE

Union

B = Biographical Sketch, D = Diary, I = Image, M = Memoir, MH = Medical History, MOH = Medal of Honor, News = Newspaper Account, OC = Official Correspondence, OR = Official Report, PC = Private Correspondence, T = JCCW Testimony

Bvt. Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, General-in-Chief (News, T, OC)

McDowell’s Army

(Sometimes now called Army of Northeastern Virginia)

Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell (B, OC, OR1, OR2, OR3, T1, T2)

Acting Assistant Adjutant General (AAAG)

  • Capt. James B. Fry (M,OC)

Acting Assistant Quartermaster (AAQ)

  • Capt. O. H. Tillinghast (MW)

Commissary

  • Capt. H. F. Clarke, Chief of Subsistence Department (OR)
  • Lieut. George Bell, Acting Commissary Subsistence (OR)
  • Lieut. James Curtis(s), Acting Commissary Subsistence (OR)
  • Lieut. John P. Hawkins, Acting Commissary of Subsistence (OR)

Signal Officers

  • Maj. Albert Myer
  • Maj. Malcolm McDowell (Ass’t)

Engineers

  • Maj. J. G. Barnard, Chief (B, OR, T)
  • Capt. A. W. Whipple, Topographical Engineer
  • 2nd Lt. H. S. Putnam, Topographical Engineer

Medical

  • Surgeon W. S. King (OR)
  • Assist Surgeon Magruder

Artillery

  • Maj. W. F. Barry, 5th Artillery (OR, T)

Ordnance

  • Lt. Geo. C. Strong

Acting Inspector General (AIG)

  • Maj. W. H. Wood, (17th US Inf)

Aides-de-camp (ADC)

  • 1st Lt. H. W. Kingsbury, Fifth Artillery (B)
  • 2nd Lt. Guy V. Henry (I)
  • Maj. Clarence S. Brown, New York Militia
  • Maj. James S. Wadsworth, New York Militia (T)

First Division

Brig. Gen. Daniel Tyler (B, OR1, OR2, T1, T2, OC)

  • Capt. A. Baird, AAAG
  • Capt. Merrill, AAQ
  • Capt. B. S. Alexander, Chief Engineer (OC, I)
  • 1st Lt. H. L. Abbot, Topographical Engineer/ADC
  • Lt. J. C. Audenried, ADC
  • Lt. D. C. Houston, ADC
  • Lt. P. H. O’Rorke, ADC (PC1, PC2)
  • Lt. E. Upton, ADC

First Brigade

Col. Erasmus D. Keyes (OR, T)

  • Lt. H. A. Hascall, AAAG
  • Lt. (H. C.?) Hodge(s?), AAQ
  • Lt. Ely, Commissary
  • Lt. Gordon, ADC
  • Lt. Walter, ADC
  • Dr. P. W. Ellsworth, Surgeon of CT Brigade (PC)

2nd MEVI

  • Col. Charles D. Jameson (OR)
    • Lt. Col. C. W. Roberts
    • Maj. G. Varney
      • “Stephen” (PC)
        • Co. A – Capt. H. Bartlett
          • Lt. Rinaldo B. Wiggin (PC)
        • Co. B – Capt. C. W. Tilden
        • Co. C – Capt. N. E. Jones
        • Co. D – Capt. J. S. Sampson
          • Cpl. Benjamin F. Smart (PC, I)
        • Co. E – Capt. L. Emerson
        • Co. F – Capt. D. Chaplin
        • Co. G – D. F. Sargent
          • Pvt. James Kelley (PC)
        • Co. H – Capt. F. Meinecke
          • Sgt. William P. Holden (PC)
            • Pvt. George Field (PC)
        • Co. I – Capt. J. Carroll
        • Co K – Capt. F. C. Foss

1st CTVI

  • Col. G. S. Burnham (OR)
    • Lt. Col. Speidel
    • Maj. T. Byxbee
      • Co. A. – Capt. J. S. Comstock
        • Pvt. Charles H. Hayes (I)
      • Co. B – Capt. J. H. Chapman
      • Co. C – Capt. L. N. Hillman
      • Co. D – Capt. M. Coon
      • Co. E – Capt. E. E. Wildman
        • Pvt. David Sloane (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. G. W. Wilson
      • Co. G – Capt. F. W. Hart
      • Co. H – Capt. Richard Fitzgibbon (PC)
      • Rifle Co. A – Capt. J. R. Hawley
      • Rifle Co. B – Capt. J. Holzer

2nd CTVI

  • Col. A. H. Terry
    • Lt. Col. D. Young
    • Maj. L. Colburn
      • “G.” (PC)
      • Rifle Co. A – Capt. F. S. Chester
        • Pvt. John T. Phillips. (PC1PC2)
        • Pvt. James F. Wilkinson
      • Rifle Co. B – Capt. H. Peale
      • Rifle Co. C – Capt. E. C. Chapman
      • Rifle Co. D – Capt. J. W. Gore
      • Rifle Co. E – Capt. S. T. Cooke
      • Rifle Co. F – Capt. J. E. Durivage
        • 2nd Lt. Charles E. Palmer (PC1, PC2)
      • Infantry Co. A – Capt. D. Dickinson
      • Infantry Co. B – Capt. A. G. Kellogg
      • Infantry Co. C – Capt. E. W. Osborn
      • Infantry Co. D – Capt. G. D. Russell

3rd CTVI

  • Col. J. L. Chatfield (B, OR)
    • Lt. Col. A. G. Brady
    • Major Alexander Warner  (PC)
      • Surgeon John McGregor (I)
      • Chaplain Junius M. Willey (PC)
          • Unknown Pvt. (PC)
        • Infantry Co. A – Capt. D. Fowler
          • Lt. Lucius L. Bolles (PC)
            • Pvt. George Coles Brown (PC)
        • Infantry Co. B – Capt. D. Klein
        • Infantry Co. C – Capt. J. E. Moore
          • G. W. B. (PC)
        • Infantry Co. D – Capt. Frederick Frye (PC)
        • Rifle Co. A – Capt. G. N. Lewis
        • Rifle Co. B – Capt. J. R. Cook
        • Rifle Co. C – Capt. S. J. Root
        • Rifle Co. D – Capt. E. Harland
        • Rife Co. E (Co. I) – Capt. J. A. Nelson
          • Pvt. Augusts E. Bronson (C) (PC, I)
        • Rifle Co. F – Capt. C. A. Stevens

Second Brigade

Brig. Gen. Robert C. Schenck (OR1, OR2)

2nd NYSM (Later 82nd NYVI)

  • Col. G. W. B. Tompkins
    • Lt. Col. J. H. Wilcox
    • Maj. J. J. Dimock
      • Unknown Captain (PC)
        • Pequot (PC)
        • Unknown (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. C. Graham
      • Co. B – Capt. T. M. Reid
      • Co. C – Capt. E. B. Stead
      • Co. D 1st -Capt. J. Kennedy
      • Co. E – Capt. J. Huston
      • Co. F – Capt. J. Brady
      • Co. G 1st – Capt. L. Jaehrling
      • Co. G 2nd – Capt. R. Barry
      • Co. H – Capt. D. De Courcey
      • Co. I – Capt. J. J. Delaney
      • Co. K – Capt. J. Darrow
      • Howitzer Corps – Capt. Thaddeus Phelps Motts
      • Engineer Corps – Capt. E. H. Sage

1st OHVI (3 Month)

  • Col. Alexander McD. McCook
    • Lt. Col. E. A. Parrott
    • Maj. J. G. Hughes
      • Co. A – Capt. J. A. Stafford
        • Pvt. Henry Harrison Comer (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. P. Dister
      • Co. C – Capt. G. D. McKinney
      • Co. D – Capt. J. Crowe
      • Co. E – Capt. J. Ensworth
      • Co. F – Capt. J. Kell
      • Co. G – Capt. G. B. Bailey
      • Co. H – Capt. J. C. Hazlett
      • Co. I – Capt. W. McGlaughlin
      • Co. K – Capt. J Bruck

2nd OHVI (3 Month) – Lt. Col. R. Mason (Col. Lewis Wilson)

  • Col. Lewis Wilson
    • Lt. Col. R. Mason
    • Maj.  A. C. Perry
      • Co. A – Capt. G. M. Finch
        • Pvt. Oliver S. Glenn (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. H. Thrall
      • Co. C – Capt. A. O. Mitchell
      • Co. D – Capt. J. G. Baldwin
      • Co. E – Capt. C. Haltenhof
      • Co. F – Capt. D. King
      • Co. G – Capt. J. Q. Black
        • Corp. William Pittenger (PC, I)
      • Co. H – Capt. A. G. McCook
      • Co. I – Capt. L. A. Harris
      • Co. K – Capt. W. Baldwin

Battery E, 2nd US Artillery (6 Guns)

  • Capt. J. H. Carlisle (OR)
    • Lt. John M. Wilson (OR)
    • Lt. Stephen C. Lyford (OR)
    • Lt. Edward B. Hill (OR)
    • Lt. William B. D. Fuller (OR)

Battery G, 1st US Artillery (1 Gun)

  • Lt. Peter C. Hains

Third Brigade

Col. W. T. Sherman (B, News, OR, OC, PC1, PC2PC3, PC4PC5, PC6)

  • Lt. A. Piper, AAAG
  • Lt. J. F. McQuesten, AAQ
  • Col. Coon, (WI), ADC
  • Lt. Bagley, ADC

13th NYVI (N)

  • Col. Isaac F. Quinby
    • Lt. Col. C. Stephan
    • Maj. O. L. Terry
      • Byron (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. C. G. Putnam
        • A. [?.] C., (PC)
        • Pvt. Daniel A. Sharpe (PC)
        • Fifer Sherman Greig (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. G. Hyland, Jr.
        • Sgt. Mark J. Bunnell (PC1, PC2)
        • Corp. George M. Morris (PC)
        • Pvt. Clarence D. Hess (Band) (PC)
        • Pvt Miles O. Wright (PC)
      • Co. C – Capt. Adolph Nolte (PC1, PC2)
      • Co. D – Capt. L. Brown
        • Lt. Edwin S. Gilbert (PC, I)
      • Co. E – Capt. F. A. Schoeffel
        • Unknown (PC)
        • W (PC)
          • Pvt. Wilbur D. Cook (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. H. Smith
        • Pvt. George Trimble (PC)
        • Pvt. Thomas Westcott (PC)
      • Co. G (1st) – Capt. G. W. Lewis
        • Lt. Israel H. Putnam (PC)
        • Lt. Walter M. Fleming (PC1, I)
          • Sgt. William L. Fleming (PC)
          • W (PC)
          • Pvt. Anson Hobart (PC)
          • Pvt. Robert S. Parker (PC)
      • Co. H (1st) – Capt. Henry B. Williams (PC)
      • Co. I  (1st) – Capt. W. F. Tully
      • Co. K (1st) – Capt. H. J. Thomas
        • Lt. Eugene P. Fuller (PC)

69th NYSM

  • Col. Michael Corcoran (W&C) (PC1, PC2, I)
    • Lt. Col. – Capt. J. Haggerty, Acting (K) (Lt. Col R. Nugent Injured)
    • Maj. – Capt. Francis T. Meagher, Acting (Maj. A. J. Bagley in New York)
      • J. F. F (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. – Lt. T. Kelly, Acting (Capt. J. Haggerty acting Lt. Col.)
        • Pvt. Alexander Carolin (PC)
        • Thomas D. Norris (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. T. Lynch
      • Co. C –  Capt. J. C(K)avanagh
      • Co. D – Capt. T. Clarke
        • P. J. R. (PC)
      • Co. E – Capt. P. Kelly
        • M. Crosbie (PC)
        • John Stacom (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. J. Breslin
        • Pvt. Thomas McQuade (PC)
      • Co. G – Capt. F. Duffy
        • Pvt. James Rorty (PC, I)
      • Co. H – Capt. J. Kelly (OR)
      • Co. I – Capt. J. P. McIvor (C)
        • Pvt. Peter Kelly (I)
      • Co. K – Capt. – Lt. E. K. Butler (C), Acting (Capt. T. F. Meagher acting Maj.)
        • Sgt. William O’Donohue (I)
        • “R” (PC)
      • Engineer Corps. – Capt. J. Quinlan or Capt. J. B. Kirker
79th NYVI
  • Col. J. Cameron (K)
    • Lt. Col.  S. Mck. Elliot
    • Maj. D. McClellan
      • Unknown (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. W. Manson
      • Co. B – Capt. J. A. Farrish
      • Co. C – Capt. T. Barclay
      • Co. D – Capt. D. Brown
      • Co. E – Capt. D. Morrison
      • Co. F – Capt. J. Christie
        • Pvt. Alexander Campbell (PC)
      • Co. G – Capt. J. Laing
      • Co. H – Capt. J. E. Coulter
      • Co. I – Capt. R. T. Shillinglaw
        • Pvt. John Glennon (Glennan) (PC)
      • Co. K – Capt. H. A. Ellis
        • Sgt. John Kane (T)
        • Sgt. Charles McFadden (PC)

2nd WIVI

  • Col. Park S. Coon
    • Lt. Col. H. W.Peck
    • Maj. D. McDonald
      • “C.” (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. G. H. Stevens
      • Co. B – Capt. W. Colwell
        • Pvt John E. Donovan (PC, MH)
      • Co. C – Capt. D. McKee
      • Co. D – Capt. G. B. Ely
        • W. H. Foote (PC)
        • Sgt. George F. Saunders (PC)
          • Pvt. Leonard Powell (PC)
      • Co. E – Capt. G. Bouck
        • Lt. Herman B. Jackson (M)
          • Sgt. Lyman H. Smith (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. W. E. Strong
      • Co. G – Capt. J. Mansfield
      • Co. H – Capt. J. F. Mansfield
      • Co. I – Capt. Thomas S. Allen (M)
        • “A” (PC)
      • Co. K – Capt. J. Stahel

Battery E, 3rd US Artillery (Sherman’s Battery) (6 Guns) (News)

  • Capt. R. B. Ayres (B, OR)
    • Lt. R. D. Ransom
    • Lt. G. W. Dresser
    • Lt. H. E. Noyes

Fourth Brigade

Col. Israel B. Richardson (OR1, OR2, T)

  • Lt. R. L. Eastman, AAAG
  • Lt. C. H. Brightly, AAQ
  • 1st Lt. Frederick E. Prime, Engineer
  • Cadet J. T. Meigs, ADC

1st MAVI

  • Col. R. Cowdin
    • Lt. Col. G. D. Wells
    • Maj. C. P. Chandler
      • Co. A – Capt. E. A. Wild(e)
      • Co. B – Capt. E. Pearl
      • Co. C (1st) – Capt. J. H. Barnes
      • Co. C (2nd) – Capt. G. Walker
      • Co. D – Capt. E. W. Stone, Jr.
      • Co. E – Capt. C. B. Baldwin
      • Co. F – Capt. A. W. Adams
      • Co. G – Capt. H. A. Snow
      • Co. H – Capt. S. Carruth
        • Pvt. J. W. Day (PC)
      • Co. I – Capt. C. E. Rand
      • Co. K – Capt. A. G. Chamberlain

12th NYVI

  • Col. Ezra L. Walrath (PC1, PC2)
    • Lt. Col. R. M. Richardson
    • Maj. J. Louis
      • Ed – (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. M. H. Church
        • W. B. C (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. J. Brand
      • Co. C – Capt. D. Driscoll, Jr.
      • Co. D – Capt. G. W. Stone
        • Pvt. Robert Porter Bush (PC, I)
      • Co. E – Capt. J. M. Brower
        • Sgt. Robert E. Ellerbeck (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. Milo W. Locke (PC)
      • Co. G – Capt. J. C. Irish
        • Pvt. Franklin E. Gates (PC)
      • Co. H – Capt.G. W. Cole
      • Co. I – Capt. Henry A. Barnum (PC1, PC2, PC3, I)
        • Pvt. William Ray Wells (PC1, PC2)
      • Co. K – Capt. A. J. Root

2nd MIVI

  • Col I. B. Richardson
    • Col. S. Larned
    • Maj. Adolphus W. Williams
    • Ass’t. Surgeon Henry F. Lyster (M)
    • Laundress/Nurse Jane Hinsdale (N)
      • Co. A – Capt. L. Dillman
        • 1st Lt. John Valentine Ruehle (PC)
        • 2nd Lt. Gustav Kast (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. R. A. Beach
      • Co. C – Capt. C. Byington
      • Co. D – Capt. W. Humphrey
      • Co. E – Capt. R. M. Brethschneider (in command of battalion of light infantry composed of detached companies from regiments of the brigade)
        • Lt. B. Bromnell
      • Co. F – Capt. W. R. Morse
      • Co. G – Capt. J. A. Lawson
      • Co. H – Capt. W. L. Whipple
      • Co. I – Capt. D. May
      • Co. K – Capt. C. S. May

3rd MIVI

  • Col. D. McConnell (I)
    • Lt. Col. Stevens
    • Maj. Stephen G. Champlin (T)
      • Co. A – Capt. S. A. Judd
      • Co. B – Capt. B. Borden
      • Co. C – Capt. A. E. Birkenstock
      • Co. D – Capt. M. B. Houghton
      • Co. E – Capt. E. S. Pierce
        • Pvt. Michael P. Long (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. J. J. Dennis
      • Co. G – Capt. J. R. Price
      • Co. H – Capt. E. D. Bryant
      • Co. I – Capt. G. Weatherwax
      • Co. K – Capt. B. R. Pierce

Battery M, 2nd US Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Capt. H. J. Hunt (OR)
    • Lt. E. R. Platt
    • Lt. J. Thompson

Battery G., 1st US Artillery (2 Guns)

  • Lt. J. Edwards (OR)
    • Lt. S. N. Benjamin

Second Division

Col. David Hunter (W) (OR); Col. Andrew Porter (OR)

  • Lt. S. W. Stockton, ADC
  • Capt. W.D. Whipple, AAAG
  • Capt. D. P. Woodbury, Engineer
  • Hon. J. W. Arnold, ADC
  • Lt. Cross, ADC
  • Lt. D. W. Flagler, ADC

First Brigade

Col. Andrew Porter (OR, T)

  • Lt. W. W. Averell, AAAG (T)
  • Lt. J. B. Howard, AAQ
  • Lt. Bache, ADC
  • Lt. Trowbridge, ADC

8th NYSM

  • Col. G. Lyons (OR)
    • Lt. Col. C. G. Waterbury
    • Maj. O. F. Wentworth
    • Richard (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. J. O. Johnston
      • Co. B – Capt. T. Swan(e)y
      • Co. C – Capt. E. Burger
      • Co. D – Capt. E. D. Lawrence
      • Co. E – Capt. M. Griffin
      • Co. F – Capt. L. Buck
      • Co. G – Capt. W. S. Carr
      • Co. H – Capt. S. N. Gregory
      • Co. I – Capt. W. M. Walton

14th NYSM (News)

  • Col. Alfred M. Wood (W)
    • Lt. Col. Edward B. Fowler (OR)
    • Surgeon J. M. Homiston (T)
    • Maj. J. Jourdan
    • Asst. Surgeon William F. Swalm (T)
    • E. T. W. (PC)
    • G. H. Price (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. Robert B. Jordan (PC, I)
        • Lieut. John H. Styles (PC)
          • Pvt. Joseph Sands (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. G. Mallory
      • Co. C – Capt. D. Myers
        • Lieut. William H. Burnett (PC)
      • Co. D – Capt. C. F. Baldwin
        • Sgt. John Vliet (PC)
        • Pvt. John C. Brown (B, PC)
      • Co. E – Capt. William L. B. Stears (PC)
        • Pvt. Louis L. Hingle (PC)
        • Pvt. Joseph Marfing (POW) (Parole)
        • Pvt. George Plaskett (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. A. G. A. Harneckel
      • Co. G – Capt. G. Plass
      • Co. H – Capt. W. H. DeBeovise
        • Pvt Caleb H. Beal (PC)
        • Pvt. Richard F. Cole (PC)
        • Pvt. J. S. (PC)
      • Co. I – Capt. A. W. H. Gill
        • Pvt. Lewis Francis (MH, T)
      • Co. K – Capt. C. H. Morris
      • Co. L (Engineers) – Cpl. John Fulton (PC)
        • Pvt. Peter W. Ostrander (PC)

27th NYVI

  • Col. H. W. Slocum (W) (T)
    • Lt. Col. J. J. Chambers (Absent)
    • Maj. J. J. Bartlett (OR)
      • Surgeon Norman S. Barnes (PC)
        • Co. A – Capt. W. M. Bleakely
        • Co. B – Capt. A. D. Adams
        • Co. C – Capt. E. L. Lewis
          • Pvt. Worcester Burrows (PC)
        • Co. D – Capt. H. C. Ro(d)gers
          • Sgt Albert G. Northrup (PC)
          • Pvt. Albert Armstrong (I)
          • Pvt. John W. Burrows (PC)
          • Pvt. Charles N. Elliott (PC)
          • Pvt. Frederick Fowler (PC)
          • Pvt. Delos Payne (PC)
          • Pvt. Benjamin Franklin Spencer (PC)
          • Pvt. Charles Winters (PC)
        • Co. E – Capt. G. G. Wanzer
          • Corp. William Howard Merrell (M)
            • Hospital Steward Daniel W. Bosley (PC)
            • Pvt. Duncan L. Brown (PC)
            • Pvt. John B. Edson (PC)
        • Co. F – Capt. P. Jay
        • Co. G – Capt. J. Perkins
          • Lt. Horatio Seymour Hall (M)
          • Cpl. Guilford Wiley Wells (PC, I)
          • Pvt. John Alden Copeland (PC)
          • Pvt. William H. McMahon (PC)
        • Co. H – Capt. C. E. Martin
        • Co. I – Capt. C. C. Gardner
          • Lt. Samuel M. Harmon (IPC)
        • Co. K – Capt. H. L. Achilles, Jr.
          • “C” (PC)

US Infantry Battalion (8 Cos: C, G, 2nd US; B, D, G, H, K, 3rd US; G, 8th US)

  • Maj. G. Sykes (14th U. S. Infantry) (OR)
      • Aide-de-Camp – Lt. James P. Drouillard (PC, I)
    • Acting Maj. Capt. N. H. Davis (2nd U. S. Infantry)
      • 2nd U. S. Inf. Co. C – Lt. A. E. Latimer
      • 2nd U. S. Inf. Co. K – Capt. A. Beal
      • 3rd U. S. Infantry Co. B – Lt. J. F. Kent
      • 3rd U. S. Infantry Co. D, Lt W. H. Bell
      • 3rd U. S. Infantry Co. G – Lt. J. B. Williams
      • 3rd U. S. Infantry Co. H – Lt. Dangerfield Parker (M)
      • 3rd U. S. Infantry Co. K – Lt. W. H. Penrose
      • 8th U. S. Infantry Co. H – Cpt. R. I. Dodge

US Marine Corps Battalion

  • Maj. J. G. Reynolds (OR)
    • William Barrett (PC)
    • Observer (PC)
    • Co. A – Capt. J. Zeilen
    • Co. B – Capt. J. H. Jones
    • Co. C – Lt. A. Ramsey
      • 2nd Lt. Robert Hitchcock (B, PC)
    • Co. D – Lt. W. H. Carter
      • Charles H. Pierce (PC)

US Cavalry Battalion (7 Cos: A, E, 1st US; B, E, G, I, 2nd US; K, 2nd US Dragoons)

  • Maj. I. N. Palmer (OR)
    • Surgeon Charles Carroll Gray (D)
    • Co. A, 1st U. S. Cav. – Lt. T. H. McCormick
    • Co. E, 1st U. S. Cav. – Lt. T. L’Hommedieu
    • Co. B, 2nd U. S. Cav. – Capt. J. E. Harrison
    • Co. E, 2nd U. S. Cav – Capt. W. W. Lowe
    • Co. G, 2nd U. S. Cav. – Lt. T. Drummond
      • 2nd Lt. George A. Custer (M1, M2, M3, I)
    • Co. I, 2nd U. S. Cav. – Capt. A. G. Brackett
    • Co. K, 2nd U. S. Dragoons – Capt. F. C. Armstrong

Company D, 5th US Artillery (6 Guns)

  • Capt. C. Griffin (OR, T)
    • Lt. Adelbert Ames (2nd U. S. Art.) (MOH)
    • Lt. Charles E. Hazlett (2nd U. S. Cav.) (T)
    • Lt. H. C. Hasbrouck (4th U. S. Art.)
    • Lt. Horatio B. Reed (T)

Second Brigade

Col. Ambrose E. Burnside (OR, OC)

  • Lt. Merriman, AAAG
  • Capt. Anson, AAQ
  • Capt. Goohue, Commissary
  • Lt. Beaumont, ADC
  • Capt. Woodbury, ADC
  • Gov. Sprague, ADC

2nd NHVI

  • Col. Gilman Marston (W, I)
    • Lt. Col. Francis S. Fiske (OR, I)
    • Maj. Josiah Stevens, Jr (PC, I)
    • Surgeon George H. Hubbard (PC, I)
    • Chaplain Henry E. Parker
    •  “Corporal Trim” (PC)
      • Co. A – Capt. T. A. Barker
        • Pvt. Mattison C. Sanborn (PC)
      • Co. B – Capt. Simon Goodell Griffin (M, PC, I)
        • Pvt. John W. Odlin (PC)
        • C. A. M. (PC)
      • Co. C – Capt. J. W. Carr
        • Corp. Alfred W. Burnham (PC)
      • Co. D – Capt.
        • Lt. Warren H. Parmenter (PC)
        • Pvt. Ezra C. Goodwin (PC, I)
      • Co. E – Capt. H. Rollins
        • Cpl. Joseph S. Sweatt (PC1, PC2, I)
      • Co. F – Capt. Thomas Snow (PC, I)
        • 2nd Lt. Harrison D. F. Young (PC, I)
        • Unknown Officer (PC)
          • Sgt. Hugh R. Richardson (PC, I)
          • Sgt. Charles W. Fletcher (PC)
      • Co. G – Capt. Ephraim Weston (I)
      • Co. H – Capt. I. Pearl
        • Lt. Joab N. Patterson (PC, I)
          • Pvt. Frank M. Boutelle (PC)
      • Co. I – Capt. E. L. Bailey
      • Co. K – Capt. W. O. Sides

1st RIVI

  • Maj. J. P. Balch (OR)
    • “DeW” (PC1, PC2, PC3)
    • Unknown (PC)
      • Co. A
        • Pvt. Amos Bowen (I)
      • Co. C
        • Lt. Luther C. Warner (PC)
        • Unknown Officer (PC1, PC2)
        • “H” (PC)
        • Unknown (PC1)
        • Pvt. Moses Brown Jenkins (I)
      • Co. D – Pvt Albert Penno (PC)
      • Co. F – Pvt. Theodore W. King (PC)

2nd RIVI

  • Col. John S. Slocum (K)
    • Lt. Col. F. Wheaton (OR)
      • Maj. Sullivan Ballou (K) (PC)
      • Unknown Officer (PC)
      • “Canonicus” (PC1)
      • “Tockwotton” (PC1, PC2, PC3, PC4, PC5)
      • Co. C – Pvt. William J. Crossley (D)
      • Co. D – Capt. William H. P. Steere (I)
        • Corp. Samuel J. English (PC, I)
      • Co. E – Capt. Isaac Peace Rodman
        • Sgt. James A. Ward (PC)
        • Corp. Patrick Lyons (D)
        • Corp. William E. Smith (PC)
        • Pvt. Jeremiah Rathbun (PC)
      • Co. F – Capt. Levi Tower (K) (I)
        • Lt. John P. Shaw (PC)
          • Sgt. George Kidder (I)
            • Corp. David Douglass (I)
            • Corp. Theodore Jenks (I)
            • Corp. George Wood (I)
            • Corp. Francis Ronien (I)
              • Pvt. (Joseph or Lewis) Barnes (I)
              • Pvt. Jonathan Davidson (I)
              • Pvt. William Frazier (I)
              • Pvt. Charles Godfrey (I)
              • Pvt. Benjamin Hughes (I)
              • Pvt, Robert Johnstone (I)
              • Pvt. John Manning (I)
              • Pvt. James Newell (I)
              • Pvt. John Newell (I)
              • Pvt. Samuel Newman (I)
              • Pvt. Francis Osgood (I)
              • Pvt. Thomas Potter (I)
              • Pvt. Robert Robertson (I)
              • Pvt. Smith Salisbury (I)
              • Pvt. Albert L. Smith (I)
              • Pvt. Peter Taylor (I)
              • Pvt. William Worger (I)
      • Co. H – Pvt. Ezra Greene (PC)
      • Co. K – Leonard Belding (PC)
      • Battery A, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery (Reynolds’ Battery) of 6 13 lb. James Rifles
        • “Juvenis” (PC)
          • Pvt. Theodore Reichardt (D)
          • “Sergeant” (PC)
          • Unknown (1) (PC)

71st NYSM (D, PC, N)

  • Col. H. P. Martin (OR)
    • John Ellis (PC)
    • Unknown (PC)
    • Pvt. Josiah Favill (D)
    • Co. A – Pvt. Edward P. Doherty (PC, I)
    • Co. H – J. H. G. (PC1, PC2)
    • Co. I – Capt. Augustus van Horne Ellis (2 Boat Howitzers)
      • Sgt. William H. Garrison (PC)
      • Pvt. Samuel Bond (PC)
      • “Georgie” (PC)

Third Division

Col. Samuel P. Heintzelman (W) (OR, T)

  • Capt. Chauncey McKeever, AAAG
  • Capt. Horatio Wright, Chief Engineer
  • Lt. Fairbanks, ADC
  • Lt. F. U. Farquhar, ADC
  • Lt. George W. Snyder, ADC
  • Lt. Sweet, ADC

First Brigade

Col. William B. Franklin (OR, T)

  • Capt. Walworth Jenkins, AAG
  • Lt. Charles H. Gibson, AAG
  • Lt. Baker, ADC
  • Lt. Hartranft, ADC

5th MAVI

  • Col. S. C. Lawrence (W)
    • “R” (PC)
    • Unknown (PC)
    • Co. F – Capt. David Kilburn Wardwell
    • Co. G – Capt. George L. Prescott
      • Pvt. Edward F. Phelps (PC)
    • Co. I
      • Unknown (PC)
      • “W” (PC)

11th MAVI

  • Col. George Clark, Jr.
    • Surgeon Luther V. Bell (PC)
    • Co. B – Pvt. Thomas Green (PC, I, B)

1st MNVI

  • Col. W. A. Gorman (OR)
    • Lieut. Col. Stephen A. Miller (PC, PC2, I)
      • Chaplain Rev. Edward D. Neill (I, PC1, PC2)
      • Asst. Surgeon Charles W. Le Boutillier (PC)
      • Unknown Officer (PC)
        • Co. A – Capt. Alexander Wilkin (PC)
          • Private (PC)
          • Private (2) (PC)
          • Pvt. William Nixon (PC)
        • Co. B – Cpl. Gustaf E. Granstrand (I)
          • Pvt. John E. Goundry (PC)
        • Co. C – Pvt. George L. Smith (PC)
        • Co. F – Cpl. James A. Wright (M1, M2, M3, M4)
        • Co. G
          • Pvt Edward H. Bassett (PC1, PC2)
          • Pvt. Mortimer Stimpson (PC)
4th PAVI
  • Col. John Frederick Hartranft (MOH) (This regiment refused to advance on July 21, claiming its enlistments had expired.  Col. Hartranft joined the brigade staff.)

Company I, 1st US Artillery (6 Guns)

  • Capt. J. B. Ricketts (W&C) (PC, T1, T2)
    • Lieut. Edmund Kirby (OR)

Second Brigade

Col. Orlando B. Willcox (W&C) (OR1, OR2PC); Col. John Henry Hobart Ward (OR)

  • Lt. Woodruff, AAAG
  • Lt. J. R. Edie, ADC
  • Lt. Francis H. Parker, ADC

11th NYVI (Fire Zouaves)

  • Col. Noah Lane Farnham (MW)
    • J. A. S. (PC)
    • Co. A – Lt. Edward Burgin Knox (PC)
    • Co. E
      • Pvt. Henry W. Link (PC)
      • Pvt. Lewis H. Metcalfe (M)
    • Co. G – Pvt. Harry Lazarus (PC)

38th NYVI

  • Col. John Henry Hobart Ward
    • Lt. Col. A. Farnsworth (OR)
    • Asst. Quartermaster/Ensign Jacob Leonard (PC)
    • Officers’ Clerk George L. Russell (PC)
      • Co. A – Pvt. John C. Hallock (PC)
      • Co. F – 2nd Lt. Fred W. Shipman (PC)
      • Co. H – Capt. William H. Baird (PC)
        • Pvt. John H. Morrison (PC)
      • Co. I – Capt. Calvin S. DeWitt (PC)
      • Co. K – Unknown Sgt. (PC)
        • Pvt. James A. Coburn (PC)
        • Unknown (PC)

1st MIVI

  • Maj. Alonzo F. Bidwell (OR)
    • Co. F – Pvt. Charles W. Farrand (PC)

4th MIVI (not engaged – at Fairfax CH)

  • Col. Dwight A. Woodbury (OC, I)

Company D, 2nd US Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Capt. Richard Arnold (OR)
    • Lt. Barriger
    • Lt. Throckmorton

Third Brigade

Col. Oliver O. Howard (OR)

  • Capt. Burt, AAAG
  • Lt. Burt, AAQ
  • Lt. D. H. Buel, ADC
  • Lt. A. Mordecai, Jr., ADC
  • Pvt. Charles H. Howard (IPC)

3rd MEVI

  • Maj. Henry G. Staples (OR)
    • Co. A – Sgt. Lincoln Litchfield (PC)
    • Co. C – G. S. A. (PC)
    • Co. G – Albert (PC)

4th MEVI

  • Col. Hiram G. Berry (OR, PC)
    • “4th” (PC)
      • Co. K – Capt. Silas M. Fuller (PC)
        • Pvt. Samuel S. Hersey, Jr. (PC)

5th MEVI

  • Col. Mark H. Dunnell (OR)
    • H. J. E. (PC)
    • Q (PC)
    • Unknown (1) (PC)
    • Unknown (2) (PC)
      • Co. B
        • Typo (PC)
        • Unknown (PC)
      • Co. D – Unknown (PC)
      • Co. E – Sgt. Frank L. Lemont (PC)
      • Co. G – Pvt. Joseph Leavitt (PC1, PC2)

2nd VTVI

  • Col. Henry Whiting (OR)
    • Lt. Col. George J. Stannard
      • Maj. Charles. H. Joyce (PC)
        •  Unknown Captain (PC)
        • W (PC1, PC2)
          • Co. B – Capt. J. Hope
            • Unknown Irishman (PC)
          • Co. D – Sgt. Eldon A. Tilden (PC)
          • Co. E – Capt. R. Smith
            • Sgt. Harrison Dewey (PC)
          • Co. F
            • Pvt George W. Doty (PC)
            • J. B. L. (PC)
          • Co. H – Sgt. Abraham Ford (PC)
          • Co. K – Unknown (PC)

Fourth Division (Not Engaged)

Brig. Gen. Theodore Runyon (OC)

  • Capt. J. B. Mulligan, ADC (OC)

1st NJSM

  • Col. A. J. Johnson

2nd NJSM

  • Col. H. M. Baker

3rd NJSM

  • Col. W. Napton

4th NJSM

  • Col. M. Miller

1st NJVI

  • Col. W. R. Montgomery (OR)

2nd NJVI

  • Col. G. W. McLean

3rd NJVI

  • Col. G. W. Taylor

41st NYVI

  • Col. L. von Gilsa

Fifth Division

Col. Dixon S. Miles (OR, PC, OC)

  • Capt. T. M. Vincent, AAAG
  • Lt. John P. Hawkins, AAQ
  • 1st Lt. Frederick E. Prime, Engineer
  • Maj. Ritchie, ADC
  • Lt. A. H. Cushing, ADC
  • Lt. George H. Mendell, ADC
  • Lt. McMillan, ADC

First Brigade (Held in reserve at Centreville – covered retreat)

Col. Louis Blenker (OR, T)

8th NYVI

  • Lt. Col. J. Stahel

29th NYVI

  • Col. A. von Steinwehr

39th NYVI

  • Col. F. G. D’Utassy

27th PAVI

  • Col. M. Einstein

Company A, 2nd US Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Capt. J. C. Tidball (M)

Brookwood’s (Varian’s) New York Battery (6 Guns of the 8th NYSM, manned by men from the 8th & 29th NYVI)

  • Capt. C. Brookwood

2nd Brigade

Col. Thomas A. Davies (OR1, OR2, T)

  • Lt. Cowdrey, AAAG
  • Lt. Hopkins, AAQ
  • Lt. Thomas C. Bradford, Commissary
  • Lt. Howland, ADC

16th NYVI

  • Lt. Col. S. Marsh (OR)
  •  Maj. Buel Palmer (PC)
    • J. A. V. (PC)
    • “Soldier” (PC)
    • Co. G – 1st Sgt. John Henry Austin (I)
      • 2nd Sgt. Edwin O. Betts (I)
      • 3rd Sgt. Luther Lee Partridge (I)
      • 4th Sgt. Andrew Christie Bayne (I)

18th NYVI

  • Col. W. A. Jackson
    • Co. D – Sgt. John S. King (PC)

31st NYVI

  • Col. C. E. Pratt (OR)
    • Lt. Col. William H. Browne (PC)
    • Surgeon Frank Hamilton (PC)

32nd NYVI

  • Col. R. Matheson
    • Unknown (PC)
    • Co. A – Capt. Jerome Rowe (PC)
    • Co. I – Lieut. Prentice B. Wager (PC)

Company G., 2nd US Artillery (4 Guns)

  • Lt. O. D. Greene (OR)

THANKS to friend Jonathan Soffe for providing company level information. For even more information on the commands, see his fine website.