Capt. T. J. Goree on the Eve of the Battle

23 01 2009

To Sarah Williams Kittrell Goree

Bull Run – Near Manassas

July 20th 1861

My Dear Mother,

When I last wrote you it was from Fairfax C. H.  I then intended to have written you again before this, but have not had the opportunity to do so, as I have been in very active service since that time – Have been in one skirmish and one battle.  On the morning of the 17th inst. the enemy appeared in great force at Fairfax.  The[y] probably numbered over 40,000.  We had only 6 or 7000 there, and we thought that discretion was the better part of valor.  So we retreated in rather hot haste to a stronger position.  We left without firing a gun except 2 that a gentleman and myself who brought up the rear fired at a distance, with what effect I do not know.  We placed ourselves in very strong position on a large creek called Bull Run, and will have today about 35 or 40,000 me ready for the fray.  We got our position here on the night of the 17th.  Our lines and fortifications extend 5 or 6 miles up and down the river [with] different Genl’s in command at different points: Genl Beauregard in general command until Genl Joe Johnston reaches here, which he probably did last night.  The Brig. Genls. are Cocke, Bonham, Longstreet, Jones, Jackson, Ewell.

On the 18th a large body of the enemy made an attack, principally against Genl Longstreet’s command.  And he repulsed them most gloriously.  We had about 15 men killed and 50 or 60 wounded.  The loss of the enemy from all accounts was very large.  They have removed many of their dead.  I was sent out yesterday by Genl Longstreet with a Company of Cavalry to make a reconnaissance, and found on the battlefield 12 of the enemy’s dead, and the whole country for some distance was covered with canteens, blankets and haversacks.  I forgot first to say that Genl Longstreet has appointed me one of his aides and that I now rank as Captain.

Yesterday the enemy made some demonstrations, but no attack.  We are expecting a big battle today, probably 35 or 40,000 men on each side.  If we repulse them we will follow them, and try at once to take Washington City.  If we do fight today, it will be one of the greatest battles on record.  In the fight day before yesterday I was acting on Genl Bonham’s Staff.  We had several rifle cannon balls to fall in a few yards of us.  Times felt quite squally for a while.  Cols. Terry & Lubbock have gone back.  [One line illegible.]

Dr. Woodson is very sick and has gone to his uncle’s beyond Richmond.  I am about the only Texan here.  I have an excellent position and am well pleased.  Genl Longstreet has me in his mess and is very kind.  He is considered one of the best genls. in the army.  I have been introduced to Genl Beauregard and most of the other genls.  Beauregard is truly a great general.

I would not be surprised if David Scott is not here.  He belongs to Genl Johnston’s division of the army, the greater part of which was expected here last night.  I have met up with young Thos. Moorman a grandson of Aunt Lucy Kenner.  He is a very nice young man, about 19 or 20.  I have also seen Col. Simms, who owns old Uncle Bart.  He says Bart is well and on the plantation in Arkansas.  I would like to write more, but cannot now.  Our headquarters are in the open air in a pine thicket.  I write on my saddlebags, my seat on the ground, the Genl and balance of the Staff on the ground around.

I am very tired.  Have been on my horse almost all the time since the commencement of the retreat from Fairfax.

Have not had a chance to wash my face for more than three days.  You will probably have heard of the big fight before this reaches you.  I may not survive it, but if I am killed, it will be in a glorious cause.  I hope, though that I may survive it.  Almost feel confident of it.

Do not feel uneasy.  I will write you again soon.

Write me and direct to Manassas Junction, “Care of Brig. Genl Longstreet, 4th Brigade.”  Get Uncle Pleas to direct it.  I have not heard a word since I left, and you must know my anxiety to hear from you.  Write often.

If the fight takes place today, we will not be in the first of it, as our brigade is held in reserve.  The two armies, I think, are in about 2 miles of each other.  We think the attack will probably be made against Genl Cocke, who has command of the bridge.

I must close.  My very best love to all.

Your Son Aff’ly

Thos. J. Goree

P.S. During the fight a cannon ball passed through and knocked over Genl Beauregard’s dinner.

[Cutrer, Whomas W., editor, Longstreet’s Aide: The Civil War Letters of Major Thomas J. Goree, pp. 22-23]





Davies’ Reports

22 10 2008

A couple of interesting things in Davies’ reports (or is that Davies’s reports?  I can’t decide): as you can see at the end of the first report, Davies was led by some captured Confederates to believe that the troops he faced at Blackburn’s Ford were under the command of Robert E. Lee.  In case you didn’t know, they weren’t.  Davies squared off against Longstreet, mostly, though Bonham and D. R. Jones were also in the area.

In the second report, Davies requested a court of inquiry over the perceived slight to his command by McDowell in his report.  I wasn’t aware of this, and have to look into this more.

I have thus far refrained from posting reports pertaining to the fight at Blackburn’s Ford on July 18th.  I’ll post them once I get all the Bull Run reports up.

Photo from www.generalsandbrevets.com





Cocke’s Report

24 09 2008

Take some time to read the report of Col. Philip St. George Cocke.  This report is easy to miss because it’s not included in Volume 2 of the ORs, where the bulk of the Bull Run reports are grouped – instead it’s in a supplemental volume, #51, Part 1.  It is a very thorough report and well worth reading.  I’ve yet to get around to writing Cocke’s biographical sketch, but keep in mind a couple things.  He was the original commander of the line of Bull Run, until he was replaced with Milledge Luke Bonham, who was then replaced with P. G. T. Beauregard – lots of conflict over state militia ranks and Provisional Army of the Confederate States (PACS) ranks, with Cocke coming out on the short end.  Cocke would be dead by his own hand before the end of the year.  Also, Cocke should not be confused with Philip St. George Cooke, a fellow Virginian and West Point graduate who remained loyal to his country, headed up the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, and is probably best remembered as the father-in-law of J. E. B. Stuart. 





Order of Battle – CSA Cavalry

19 08 2008

CONFEDERATE CAVALRY AT FIRST MANASSAS +

1st Regiment Virginia Cavalry:  Col. J.E.B. Stuart

Aide-de-Camp – Lt. William Willis Blackford (PC)

  • Co. A, Newtown Light Dragoons:  Capt: J.H. Drake
  • Co. B, Berkeley Troop:  Capt. J.B. Hoge  (Attacked 11th NY)
  • Co. C, Rockbridge Dragoons:  Capt. M.H. White
    • Pvt William Z. Mead (PC)
  • Co. D, Clarke Cavalry:  Lt. William Taylor
  • Co. E, Valley Rangers:  Capt. Wm. Patrick
  • Co. F, Shepherdstown Troop:  Capt. J.Reinhart
  • Co. G, Amelia Light Dragoons:  Capt. C.R. Irving
  • Co. H, Loudoun Light Horse:  Capt. R.W. Carter  (Attacked 11th NY)
  • Co. I, Harrisonburg Cavalry:  Capt. T.L. Yancey
  • Co. K, River Rangers:  Capt. E.S. Yancey
  • Co. L, Washington Mounted Rifles:  Capt. Wm. E. Jones  (Pvt. J.S.Mosby)
  • Co. M, Howard Dragoons:  Capt. G.R. Gaither

(Note:  Only Companies A, B, C, D, H, L, & M were present at First Manassas.)

HQs Escort, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard

  • Little Fork Rangers:  Capt. R.E. Utterback
  • Powhatan Troop:  Capt. J.F. Lay

Ewell’s Brigade

  • Lt.Col. Walter H. Jenifer’s Battalion
    • Governor’s Mounted Guard:  Capt. J.G. Cabell
    • Goochland Light Dragoons:  Capt. J. Harrison
    • Rappahannock Cavalry:  Capt. J.S. Green

D.R. Jones’ Brigade

  • Appomattox Rangers*:  Capt. J.W. Flood

Longstreet’s Brigade

  • Amherst Mounted Rangers*:  Capt. Edgar Whitehead

Bonham’s Brigade

  • Col. Radford’s Squadron, 30th Va. Cavalry:
    • Radford Rangers*:  Capt. W. Radford
      • Unknown (M)
    • Botetourt Dragoons*:  Capt. A.L. Pitzer (Lt. Breckinridge)
      • Pvt. Rufus H. Peck (M, I)
    • Hanover Light Dragoons*:  Capt. Wm. C. Wickham
      • Lt. William B. Newton (PC)
    • Fairfax Cavalry*:  Capt. E.B. Powell
  • Lt. Col. Munford’s Squadron, 30th Va. Cavalry
    • Black Horse Troop*:  Capt. Wm. H. Payne
    • Chesterfield Light Dragoons*:  Capt. Wm. B. Ball
    • Franklin Rangers*:  Capt. G.W.H. Hale

Cocke’s Brigade

  • Wise Troop*:  Capt. J.S. Langhorne
    • Lt. Charles Minor Blackford (PC, M)

Evans’ Brigade

  • Clay Dragoons*:  Capt. Wm. Terry
  • Campbell Rangers*:  Capt. J.D. Alexander

Holmes’s Brigade

  • Albemarle Light Horse: Capt. Eugene Davis/Major John Scott (joined pursuit)

Unattached Independent Companies

  • Prince William Cavalry:  Capt. Wm.W. Thornton  (at Mitchell’s Ford)
  • Madison Cavalry:  Capt. Wm Thomas  (No documentation)
  • Loudoun Cavalry:  Capt. Wm. W. Mead  (joined in pursuit)

*  Attached to the 30th Va. Cavalry, Col. R.C.W. Radford cmdg.

+ This Order of Battle compiled by and provided courtesy of Ranger Jim Burgess, Manassas National Battlefield Park





#100 – Brig. Gen. James Longstreet

26 03 2008

 

Report of Brig. Gen. James Longstreet, C. S. Army, Commanding Fourth Brigade, First Corps

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 543-544

HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE, July 28, 1861

In obedience to the general’s orders of the 20th to assume the offensive, my command was moved across Bull Run at an early hour on the 21st. I found my troops much exposed to the fire of the enemy’s artillery, my front being particularly exposed to a double cross-fire as well as a direct one. Garland’s regiment, Eleventh Virginia, was placed in position to carry by assault the battery immediately in my front. McRae’s regiment, Fifth North Carolina, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, the colonel being sick, was posted in front of the battery on my right, and with same purpose in regard to this battery. Strong bodies of skirmishers were thrown out in front of each column, with orders to lead in the assault, and at the same time to keep up a sharp fire, so as to confuse as much as possible the fire of the enemy, and thereby protect the columns, which were not to fire again before the batteries were ours. The columns were to be supported, the first by the First Virginia Regiment, under Major Skinner, the second by the Seventeenth Virginia Regiment, under Colonel Corse. The Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, trader Colonel Hairston, was the reserve in column of division in mass, convenient to the support of either column. Arrangements being complete, the troops were ordered to lie down and cover themselves from the artillery fire as much as possible.

About an hour after my position was taken it was discovered by a reconnaissance made by Colonels Terry and Lubbock that the enemy was moving in heavy columns towards our left, the position that the general had always supposed he would take. This information was at once sent to headquarters, and I soon received orders to fall back upon my original position, the right bank of the run. Colonels Terry and Lubbock then volunteered to make a reconnaissance of the position of the enemy’s batteries. They made a very gallant and complete one, and a hasty sketch of his entire left. This information was forwarded to the commanding general, with the suggestion that the batteries be taken.

The general’s orders were promptly issued to that effect, and I again moved across the run, but some of the troops ordered to co-operate failed to get their orders. After awaiting the movement some time, I received a peculiar order to hold my position only. In a few minutes, however, the enemy were reported routed, and I was again ordered forward. The troops were again moved across the run and advanced towards Centreville, the Fifth North Carolina Regiment being left to hold the ford. Advancing to the attack of the routed column I had the First, Eleventh, Seventeenth, and Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiments, Garnett’s section of the Washington Artillery, and Whitehead’s troop of cavalry. The artillery and cavalry were at once put in pursuit, followed as rapidly as possible by the infantry.

General Bonham, who was pursuing on our left, finding it difficult to advance through the fields, &c., moved his command to the road, put it in advance of mine, and the march towards Centreville was continued about a mile farther. Night coming on, the general deemed it advisable to halt. After lying in this position about an hour the general directed that the troops should be marched back to Bull Run for water.

Early next day I sent Colonel Terry forward, under the protection of Captain Whitehead’s troop, to pick up stragglers, ordnance, ordnance stores, and other property that had been abandoned by the enemy. I have been too much occupied to get the names or the number of prisoners. As I had no means of taking care of them I at once sent them to headquarters.  Colonel Terry captured the Federal flag said to have been made, in anticipation of victory, to be hoisted over our position at Manassas. He also shot from the cupola of the court-house at Fairfax the Federal flag left there. These were also duly forwarded to the commanding general.

About noon of the 22d Colonel Garland was ordered with his regiment to the late battle-ground to collect and preserve the property, &c., that had been abandoned in that direction. Colonel Garland’s report and inventory of other property and stores brought in to headquarters and listed by Captain Sorrel, of my staff, and the regimental reports of killed and wounded are herewith inclosed.(*)

My command, although not actively engaged against the enemy, was under the fire of his artillery for nine hours during the day. The officers and men exhibited great coolness and patience during the time.

To our kind and efficient medical officers, Surgeons Cullen, Thornhill, and Lewis, Assistant Surgeons Maury, Chalmers, and Snowden, we owe many thanks. Lieut. F. S. Armistead, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieut. P. T. Manning were very active and zealous.

Volunteer Staff.–Colonel Riddick, assistant adjutant-general, North Carolina, was of great assistance in conveying orders, assisting in the distribution of troops, and infusing proper spirit among them. Cols. B. F. Terry and T. Lubbock were very active and energetic. When unoccupied, they repeatedly volunteered their services to make reconnaissances. They were very gallantly seconded by Capts. T. Goree and Chichester, who were also very useful in conveying orders. Capts. T. Walton and C. M. Thompson were very active and prompt in the discharge of their duties. Captain Sorrel joined me as a volunteer aide in the midst of the fight. He came into the battle as gaily as a beau, and seemed to receive orders which threw him into more exposed positions with peculiar delight.

I remain, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

JAMES LONGSTREET,

Brigadier-General

(*) Not Found, but see pp. 570, 571





“New” Bull Run Eyewitness Account

19 03 2008

 

I really don’t like to post the entire text of articles someone else has written for the web and usually just put up a link (hey, they wrote it, they deserve the hits!), but this is a news article and they have a tendency to disappear after awhile.  The letter in question was part of that lot of SC letters that was fought over in the courts for so long.  Here’s the link, but just in case I’m putting up the text, too.  I hope this letter is made available on the web.  This is from The State.com, South Carolina’s Home Page for 3/18/2008:

Vivid Civil War letter makes its way to library

By JAMES T. HAMMOND

A vivid piece of South Carolina’s Civil War history will enter the public domain this week when more than 30 descendants of Sgt. Maj. William Sidney Mullins donate to USC’s South Caroliniana Library a richly detailed letter he wrote about the Battle of First Manassas.

The letter is intriguing because it lacks the hope-and-glory style of many letter writers of the period. Mullins offers a cold, uncompromising view of the first large-scale battle of the Civil War.

Mullins’ enthusiasm over the Confederate victory was tempered when he observed in a heavy rain the cries of the wounded, some of whom implored “the passersby to kill them to relieve their agony.” Mullins declared, “If it please God, to stop this war, I will unfeignedly thank them.”

He describes a scene in which soldiers debated whether to go ahead and bury a dying soldier rather than wait for him to expire.

The letter — which will be presented to USC President Andrew Sorensen on Thursday by Mullins’ descendants — was part of a private collection of more than 450 letters and documents that South Carolina tried — and failed — to claim as state property.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ended a legal battle over the collection, allowing to stand a U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the government in 1865 did not make a timely effort to recover the papers and that the statute of limitations had expired.

Wade Mullins, a Columbia attorney and descendant of William Sidney Mullins, read a newspaper story about the collection and decided to try to obtain the letter. Lawsuits interrupted that process.

On the day last year when the letter finally came on the auction block, the initial bid was $10,000 from a competing collector.

The family had agreed they would bid as high as $10,000 if necessary to secure the letter written by their ancestor.

“I decided we just couldn’t let this piece of history slip through the family’s hands; not only out of the family’s hands, but outside the state and up North,” Mullins said.

Mullins won the bidding at $11,500.

“The South Caroliniana Library is a place I’ve always felt a close connection with, and I think the rest of the family feel it will receive the attention and care that it deserves,” Mullins said.

Allen Stokes, director of the library, said a lot of Civil War materials are available at auctions. And more and more families are donating their inherited collections to the library.

“We get a lot of collections every year because so many South Carolinians had ancestors who served in the war,” he said.

“People are recognizing that these materials are historically valuable and should be placed in a collection where they can be studied by scholars,” Stokes said.

“There are many descriptions of that battle, but it is certainly one of the most significant I have ever seen. This may be one of the most important letters in that collection.”

Most of the collection comprised correspondence of the governor’s office during the Civil War, including draft copies of letters written by S.C. Govs. Francis Wilkinson Pickens and Milledge Luke Bonham, as well as letters they received.

Patrick McCawley of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History believes Mullins’ letter ended up among those documents because Gen. William W. Harllee gave the letter to Pickens to make him aware of the conditions in the Confederate Army.

“We didn’t want the letter to go out of state and be lost forever,” said Louisa Tobias Campbell, great-great-granddaughter of Mullins and a Columbia resident.

“We wanted it preserved, and we knew the library would take care of it so that it always would be available to family members, historians, scholars and others,” Campbell said. “W.S. Mullins wrote the letter to General William W. Harllee, whom he respected and felt comfortable with to be so honest and open. That’s why the letter has such integrity.”

“We have thousands of letters of officers and enlisted personnel. This is as important as any other single letter that we have,” Stokes said. “The letter was to the lieutenant governor (Gen. William W. Harllee), and he endorsed it, so I think it is pretty obvious that he passed it along to Governor Pickens.”

State officials believe the papers were taken by Confederate Maj. Gen. Evander McIver Law as Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s Army approached the state capital in 1865. Law had been the provost marshal in Columbia but was relieved of his command, said Rodger Stroup, director of the state Department of Archives and History.

Stroup said there is no documentary evidence that points directly to Law taking the documents from the besieged capital. But he said the collection was passed down through generations of Law’s descendants.

Last year, after winning the court battle, Thomas Willcox of Seabrook Island sold the documents at auction. Willcox is the great-great-grandnephew of Evander McIver Law.

Stroup, the chief custodian of the state’s documents, joined with the state Attorney General’s office to try to reclaim the documents, which they maintained were part of the wartime governors’ papers. They contained reports from Col. Robert E. Lee, who, early in the war, was in charge of Charleston’s defenses.

 





#94 – Capt. Del. Kemper

27 02 2008

 

Report of Capt. Del. Kemper, Alexandria Light Artillery

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 535-536

ARTILLERY QUARTERS ADVANCED FORCES,

FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST CORPS, ARMY POTOMAC,

Vienna, July 25, 1861

GENERAL: In compliance with General Orders, No. –, requiring reports from commanders of regiments and detached corps of the operations of their respective commands in the actions of the 18th and  21st instants, I have the honor to submit the following details of the part performed by my battery in the last above-mentioned engagement:

At 7 o’clock precisely on the morning of the 21st the enemy commenced a cannonade from his original position in front of Mitchell’s Ford. My battery was ordered from the left of the trenches about 9 a.m., and placed in position in rear of the trenches at Mitchell’s Ford. This position we occupied without a chance to respond to the fire of the enemy, they being clearly beyond our range, until about I p.m., when I was ordered to join Colonels Kershaw and Cash, and under the command of Colonel Kershaw to move to the left of our lines near stone bridge.

We arrived near the scene of action about 3 p.m., and immediately taking position in and near the road leading from Sudley Ford to Manassas Junction, and about one-half mile south of the turnpike, we had the honor of receiving and repulsing the last attack made by the enemy. They were found in strong force (of regulars), and required to be repulsed three times before they retired finally, which they began to do about 4.15 p.m. Seeing this general retreat commenced, and my men being very much worn-out, I withdrew my battery a short distance to the rear, and returning with a few of my men, got one of the Parrott rifled guns, previously captured from the enemy, in a position to bear upon their retreating columns, and had the satisfaction of annoying them considerably.

Colonel Kershaw ordered his whole command to pursue them down the turnpike, and especially to endeavor to cut them off where the road from Sudley Church (by which their main body retreated) intersects the turnpike, about two and a half miles from Centreville. We failed to overtake any enemy in the turnpike until we arrived on the hill about one mile south of Cub Creek Bridge, in time to open (with two of my guns) on the enemy’s column which was by this time partly in the turnpike. We also threw, with good effect, some spherical case into their baggage train, &c., which had not emerged into the turnpike.

I wish to remark that the first shot fired to rake the road was fired by the venerable Edmund Ruffin, and a prisoner subsequently stated that the effect was frightful. This maneuver resulted in the capture of many cannon, caissons, artillery horses, baggage wagons, an immense number of muskets, rifles, and accouterments, and many prisoners. In obedience to orders, Colonel Kershaw’s command returned to stone bridge, where we arrived about 11 p.m. and thus, as far as we were concerned, closed this glorious day.

I desire, general, to call attention to the gallant bearing of Lieutenants Stewart, Bayliss, and Smoot, of my company. Each of them throughout the engagements of Thursday and Sunday performed his whole duty with a degree of coolness and judgment worthy of all praise. The men of my company, with two exceptions, behaved like veterans.

The casualties of my command were: One killed, Private Richard Owens, killed by a musket bullet, and two wounded slightly; also one horse killed, two wounded, and one lost.

These details are respectfully submitted, general, by your obedient servant,

DEL. KEMPER,

Captain, Comdg. Battery of Light Artillery from Alexandria, Va.

Brigadier-General BONHAM

Commanding First Brigade, &c.





#93 – Lt. Col. T. T. Munford

27 02 2008

 Report of Lieut. Col. T. T. Munford Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry, Commanding Squadron

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 534-535

CAVALRY CAMP, July 24, 1861

GENERAL: I have the honor respectfully to report that early on the morning of the 21st Colonel Radford assigned me a squadron composed of the Black Horse Troop, Captain Payne, and the Chesterfield Troop, Captain Ball. For several hours this command remained under the fire of the enemy’s guns; we were then ordered to follow Colonel Radford’s command to the battle-ground. There I placed my command under cover and was joined by a squadron of our regiment, composed of the Wise Troop, Captain Langhorne, and the Franklin Rangers, Captain Hale. Three other independent companies afterwards joined my command.

About 5 p.m. I received the following order from Col. G. W. Lay, viz:

Colonel Radford has advanced. Munford will follow, and cross the nearest ford and pursue the retreating enemy. Pass the word to Stuart.

I obeyed this order as rapidly as possible, came up with the enemy, who were in wild confusion, charged and captured some twenty prisoners and several horses. As we neared the woods a heavy volley of musketry was opened upon us, disabling four horses and slightly wounding two men. Mistaking Colonel Kershaw’s command and Kemper’s battery, who were in our rear, for the enemy, I withdrew my command and watched their movements until Kemper opened fire upon the enemy. Discovering the mistake, I again ordered up the squadron I had started with and joined Colonel Kershaw. As soon as Kemper’s battery ceased firing I advanced, and found Major Scott, commanding Captain Davis’ company, had proceeded to the bridge on Cub Creek. Assuming the command of the cavalry there I ordered them to dismount, and sent Captain Payne to Colonel Kershaw, asking him to assist me. As soon as the cannon on this side of the creek were hitched up and placed in the road, Major Scott, without consulting me, marched off his command, carrying the guns with him. I continued to work with the Black Horse and Chesterfield Troop until five more pieces of cannon were hitched up, including the heavy 32-pounder and all the caissons, forges, &c.

When I had exhausted my command both in numbers and physique, I left the creek and conducted the train to Manassas. I had but one trooper to four horses; all of the others were driving the cannon and wagons. I again joined Major Scott and took charge of the cannon he had carried to Colonel Kershaw’s command, and was compelled to leave fourteen horses and five or six caissons for want of drivers, Major Scott having lost or dismissed his command before I arrived. After being out the whole day of the battle and the entire night I arrived at Manassas, and had the honor of delivering to his excellency the President of the Confederate States ten rifled guns, their caissons, and forty-six horses.

It is proper to say that Captain Evans (infantry), of Colonel Kershaw’s command, who came to my assistance, rendered material aid in getting out the guns. It affords me no little pleasure to have an opportunity to recommend to your especial commendation the corps under my command. In the charge they behaved most gallantly. The position of the Black Horse, being nearest to the firing, gave me an opportunity of seeing them fully tested, and it would be injustice for me to omit mentioning the conduct of Lieutenant Langhorne, of the Wise Troop, and Private Taliaferro, of the Black Horse. I saw the former charge upon a man who was behind a cedar fence, and in the act of firing his rifle at him, and kill him before he could fire. Taliaferro’s horse was killed under him by one of the enemy, and in falling broke his collarbones, but he sprang to his feet, pursued and killed his man with his pistol, both running at speed.

I am not familiar with the roads or the farms, and claim nothing for myself; but I do claim that the men under my command pursued the enemy farther than any other command, and I do believe that when Colonel Radford charged and routed the enemy on my left, and when I met the retreating enemy half a mile lower down, it caused the panic and jam at the bridge which resulted in the capturing of the cannon, &c., and all of the wagons, which I left in charge of Captain Evans.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS T. MUNFORD,

Lieutenant-Colonel Cavalry

Brigadier-General BONHAM





#91 – Col. E. B. C. Cash

24 02 2008

 

Report of Col. E. B. C. Cash, Eighth South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 530-532

HDQRS. EIGHTH REGIMENT SOUTH CAROLINA VOLS.,

Camp Victory, July 31, 1861

In obedience to orders from the general commanding the First Brigade, Army of the Potomac, I beg leave to submit the following report of the operations of the Eighth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers during the 21st instant:

Early on Sunday morning, the 21st instant, heavy canonading and rapid discharges of musketry were heard about two miles to my left, and about 11 o’clock a.m. I received orders through Colonel Kershaw to move forward and engage the enemy. As soon as my regiment was put in motion the batteries of the enemy on the opposite side of the run were turned upon us, the balls striking very near my line, but doing no injury. The two regiments, proceeding rapidly to the scene of action, were formed in order of battle some two or three hundred yards from the ground which afterwards proved to be to us the main point of battle. For a detailed account of this movement I ask to refer to the official report of Colonel Kershaw, the senior colonel in command.

My orders were to form on Colonel Kershaw’s left. The greater portion of my regiment being at this time in a dense wood and not receiving the order immediately, Colonel Kershaw preceded me in the march and arrived a few minutes before upon the field of battle. Here he changed his front, placing his immediate command at right angles to my own. Advancing, I found a considerable force fronting my line and concealed by a rail fence. For a time we supposed them to be our friends. Captain Pawley, of my staff, boldly moved forward with a view to ascertain the real character of those thus concealed. He had advanced some twenty paces when he was fired upon. Escaping uninjured, he immediately returned the fire, killing one of the enemy, as they now proved to be. I at once ordered the firing from my line to commence. After several well-directed volleys had been delivered the enemy (zouaves) were driven back from their position. Falling back in great confusion, they were rallied in a valley some distance in the rear, where the enemy was posted in great numbers.  From this point they returned my fire, killing five of my men and wounding several.

Seeing that the enemy were well acquainted with my position, and being unable to return their fire, they using guns of longer range than those in the hands of my men, and it being out of my power to advance without exposing the regiment to a cross-fire from-the enemy and Colonel Kershaw’s regiment, I ordered a flank movement to the left, intending to fall upon the enemy’s right. Unfortunately my order was not heard along the whole line, owing to the noise of battle in our front. Order, however, was soon restored, and the regiment advanced, receiving an occasional shot from the enemy, the mass having retired beyond a hill in rear of the position held by them when my flank movement commenced.

After a short delay I was ordered by Colonel Kershaw to follow his command in the direction of the stone bridge. While executing this order I was met by General Beauregard, who ordered me to dislodge a body of the enemy supposed to be in a wood to my left. I at once proceeded to discharge this duty, but found that the orders of the general had been already executed by a body of cavalry. I continued in pursuit of the enemy towards the stone bridge. At this time the remnant of Hampton’s Legion was attached to my regiment, and placed under my command.

After crossing the stone bridge I found Colonel Kershaw’s command drawn up on the right of the road, and was ordered by that officer to take position on the left, Captain Kemper occupying the road. We continued to advance in this order, I deploying as skirmishers to the front Captain Hoole’s company, who drove the enemy before them. Occasionally the artillery of the enemy would fire upon us, but without effect. After continuing the pursuit for some two and a half or three miles we came in full view of the heavy columns of the retreating enemy. The regiments were halted, and Captain Kemper commenced a rapid and well-directed fire upon them, which caused them to abandon their guns, wagons, &c., and completed the defeat. The enemy now fled in the utmost confusion, throwing away everything which at all impeded his flight. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Captain Kemper for the manner in which he managed his guns on this occasion. Directing the fire, he displayed all the attributes of a brave, gallant, and accomplished officer. It was during this pursuit that my sergeant-major, W. S. Mullins, took as a prisoner Mr. Ely, a member of Congress from New York, who armed with a revolver, had come upon the field to enjoy the pleasure of witnessing our defeat.

The enemy being hopelessly routed, I was ordered by Colonel Kershaw to send forward a detachment from my regiment to take possession of the cannon deserted by the enemy and bring them within our lines, fearing that these might rally and attempt to retake them. Captain W. H. Evans and fifty men promptly volunteered for this service, and well and faithfully discharged their duty. I remained upon the ground with my command until all the pieces which could be moved were carried to the rear, and at 2.30 o clock a.m. on Monday returned to the stone bridge, taking position on Colonel Kershaw’s left. Here we remained until ordered to advance to this place.

My officers and men behaved gallantly during this trying ordeal, displaying that heroism and bravery which have ever characterized Southern troops. Where all behaved so well I would do violence to my own feelings were I to institute any comparisons by individualizing any as particularly distinguished for meritorious conduct. I would mention as a fact worthy to be recorded that every member of the regimental color guard was wounded.

Annexed to this report is a list of the killed and wounded of my regiment.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

 E. B. C. CASH,

Colonel Eighth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers

 Brig. Gen. M. L. Bonham





#89 – Col. J. H. Williams

22 02 2008

 

Report of Col. J. H. Williams, Third South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 257-258

VIENNA, VA., Camp Gregg, August 3, 1861

I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 21st I was reminded of the presence of the enemy by his iron messengers, which fell in rapid succession just in the rear of my lines. After the action of the 18th I had caused strong earthworks to be thrown up and the undergrowth in front to be cut away, which preparations, together with the fine natural advantages of the ground I occupied, made my position formidable to an attack.

Learning that the enemy were deploying in front, I kept my men constantly under arms in the trenches, fully assured that the center would be the point of attack. Heavy artillery soon afterwards heard to my left indicated that another direction had been chosen, but their fire, still kept up at intervals on my lines, encouraged the first supposition. This irregular fire continued throughout the day, each repetition renewing the assurance that an attack would follow. But in this we were doomed to suspense. Their fiery missiles wasted their fury in the air above or buried themselves in the forest in front of us, a few of them falling against the embankments.

At 5 o’clock p.m. I was ordered to move forward and attack the enemy in front. The order was promptly obeyed, and my regiment put immediately in motion. I crossed the stream at Mitchell’s Ford and moved up the ravine to the left of the road. On approaching the woods from which the enemy had been saluting us I deployed Captain Nance’s company as skirmishers, Who moved in double-quick in advance of the regiment. I moved my command in quick time up to the enemy’s camp, of which they had taken a hasty leave, and deployed to the left of the road, the skirmishers still covering my front, in discharge of which duty four prisoners were taken; two others were taken by Captain Kennedy, all of whom were sent under guard to Manassas. Early in the night I returned under orders to my position at the run.

On the morning of the 22d I was ordered to proceed in the direction of Centreville, scour the woods, collect abandoned munitions and stores, and send them back to Manassas. A considerable quantity of quartermaster’s and commissary stores were obtained, and one wagon of officers’ private baggage, all of which were sent to headquarters. Late in the evening of the 22d I returned under orders to my original position.

In all the maneuvers of my regiment it affords me pleasure to acknowledge the active co-operation of Lieut. Col. B. B. Foster, Maj. L. M. Baxter, Adjt. W. D. Rutherford, and the officers and men under my command.

Your obedient servant,

J. H. WILLIAMS,

Colonel Third Regiment S.C. Volunteers

Brig. Gen. M. L. BONHAM,

Commanding First Brigade, Army of the Potomac