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

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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





#88 – Col. J. B. Kershaw

20 02 2008

 

Reports of Col. J. B. Kershaw, Second South Carolina Infantry

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 522-527

HDQRS. SECOND PALMETTO REG’T S.C. VOLS.,

Vienna, Va. July 26, 1861

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a report of the operations of the troops under my command in the engagement near stone bridge on the 21st instant:

About noon on that day I received an order to move to Lewis’ house, some three miles distant, to the support of Colonel Jackson’s brigade, then engaged with the enemy, with my own regiment, that of Colonel Cash, and Captain Kemper’s battery. These troops, with the exception of Captain Perryman’s company, of my regiment, were at once put on the march. As we neared the road it was perceived that the passage of troops, indicated to the enemy on the north side of Bull Run by the clouds of dust, had attracted a dangerous fire of rifled cannon, and I directed the march across the fields. Captain Kemper was directed to precede the column to Lewis’ and await my arrival.

Arrived in the vicinity of Lewis’, a large number of our troops were met returning in a disorganized condition, and giving the most unfavorable accounts of the aspect of affairs on the field. Colonel Miles, of General Beauregard’s staff, met me to hasten our march, and informed me that Hampton’s Legion had just engaged, and that the enemy had acquired a decided advantage.

Soon after orders were received from General Johnston to enter the field on the left of Lewis’. Turning to the left, we passed over a hill through a thicket of woods under a fire of shot and shell from a battery directly in the line of our march, which wounded several, and killed one of our men. Emerging from the wood into an old field, near a ravine, with rising ground in front, I formed line of battle preparatory to entering the field at a point which seemed to indicate the left of the line of fire, which was very heavy in front and constantly increasing, and which I supposed to be directed upon Hampton’s Legion.

Before Colonel Cash had got into position upon my left it was perceived that the firing had passed still farther to our left and covered the whole front of my regiment, rendering it necessary to move the whole command in that direction by a flank. This movement had just been made when the line of fire made a corresponding change; rendering a still further movement necessary to avoid what I supposed to be the line of our troops in front of us. I therefore broke to the right into column, marched to the left, and formed on right into line. When my regiment had formed, the men were made to lie down, to avoid the shower of balls which was passing over us while Colonel Cash was conforming to the movement.

At this moment the head of a regiment marching by a flank passed to the right of my regiment and partly over my right wing, led by an officer who was said to be General Smith. I immediately rode up to the officer, and desired him to form on the left of Colonel Cash. Before he could respond he received a ball in his left breast or shoulder, and his men commenced firing to their front and right into the wood from which the shot came, and formed hurriedly in front of my right wing.

Colonel Cash, having to form in a thick wood, had not yet got into line, when a staff officer gave me the valuable information that a road on my left, leading perpendicularly to the front from my line, would bring me into a flanking position upon the enemy. Desiring to avail myself of the position, I immediately ordered my regiment to the front in line, obliquing to the left, to avoid the regiment which had formed partly in front of my right, and directed Colonel Cash to follow as soon as possible. The left of my regiment rested on the road to which I have referred. Reaching a fence which skirted the wood in front of us, which I then found to be in full possession of the zouaves of the enemy, I ordered a charge, which was responded to by a shout from the whole regiment. They swept through the wood, broke and dispersed the zouaves, and opened a deadly fire upon them as they fled across the field, leaving behind them a battery of six steel rifled cannon, which was immediately in front of my right wing in the open ground. The fugitives rallied in a field on our left across the road by which we had directed our march, where a formidable force appeared strongly posted on a commanding eminence. I immediately changed front forward on my left company, occupying the road as my line of battle, which being washed out formed a ravine, giving cover to the men. Captain Rhett’s company, on the left wing, was thrown at an obtuse angle in the skirt of a wood which ran parallel to the line of the enemy. Colonel Cash arriving formed promptly on the left of Captain Rhett, gaining a direct fire from the wood upon the enemy in front, while my regiment had an enfilade fire upon their left flank. In this position a continuous fire was kept up by our whole line until the enemy were driven back and reformed upon the crest of the hill.

Affairs were in this condition when Captain Kemper reported his battery, and was ordered up and directed to take position on the hill by the captured battery, and to fire upon the flank of the enemy over the heads of my regiment in the road. Returning to execute the order he was taken prisoner by some of the fugitive zouaves in our rear and detained some minutes, but released by the timely arrival of some of our troops and his own address. He soon brought up his pieces and placed them in the position indicated, whence he poured a most destructive fire through the ranks of the enemy, who filled up their files with a regularity, steadiness, and precision worthy the ancient fame of the U.S. Regulars, of which it is believed that force was composed. Twice were they broken and twice they reformed, but, again driven from the hill, they fell back out of our fire. Captain Kemper then withdrew his battery to rest his men, having lost one killed, two wounded, and some of his horses.

During the heat of the engagement a single company of Marylanders, under Lieutenant Cummings, I am told, reported to me and asked for a position, which I gave them on my left, where they conducted themselves gallantly during the fight. Meantime the enemy occupied in great force an elevated ridge in front and to the right of us, about a half mile distant. No troops of ours being visible except the forces immediately under my command, and having received no order since I entered the field, I deemed it prudent to retain my position and rest the command for the present. Within a few minutes, however, I perceived a regiment emerging from the wood on the left of Colonel Cash, and advancing in admirable order up the slope to the hill recently occupied by the forces of the enemy whom we had driven off. I immediately advanced my whole command, moving my regiment by the right flank along the road, Colonel Cash in the field in line.  Arriving on the face of the hill towards the enemy, I formed line of battle to the left of the road.  Here I found Colonel Withers’ Virginia regiment on the hill to the right of road, to whom I communicated my purpose to form line and advance to the attack, and I asked his co-operation, to which he immediately acceded. With Colonel Withers’ command I found also the remnant of Hampton’s Legion, under Captain Conner, assisted by Captain Gary. Captain Conner reported to me and was assigned to my left.

As soon as the entire line was displayed evidences of movements became perceptible in the line of the enemy, and in a few moments they were in full retreat by the rear of their left flank. I then proposed to Colonel Withers to proceed towards the stone bridge with a view to cut them off, and forming to the right into column, Colonel Withers being in advance, we marched towards that point.

I detailed some of my men under General Johnson Hagood and Col. Allen J. Green, of South Carolina, who were doing duty in my regiment as volunteer privates, each to take charge of one of the captured guns and turn them on the enemy, while Captain Kemper took charge of two others, and they continued firing until ordered to desist by one of our general officers.

I directed my march along the turnpike to the stone bridge, while Colonel Withers turned to the right and entered the wood. He threw out a skirmishing company, who crossed below the bridge in advance, while my command was marched along the road. Arriving on the north side of Bull Run, a reserve of the enemy was seen occupying the wood in front with artillery, and I deployed line of battle in the field to the right of the road, Colonel Withers forming line in my rear. Here I sent Adjutant Sill to the rear to report to the first general officer he might meet with that I had occupied that position; that the enemy was in front, and that I awaited orders. He delivered his message to Colonel Chesnut, aide to General Beauregard, and returned.

In the mean time Major Hill, C. S. Army, of the staff of General ——, reported to me with a squadron of cavalry, under the command of Maj. John Scott, C. S. Army, and stated that General Beauregard authorized the pursuit of the enemy with a view to cut them off. I immediately formed column for the advance, when Surgeon Stone, U.S. Army, rode up and asked why I was retreating (mistaking us for friends). He was informed of his mistake, and sent to the rear as a prisoner, first informing me that the enemy were in force in our front. Throwing out the rifles of Captain Hoke (now under the command of Lieutenant Pulliam) and Captain Cuthbert to the right and left of the road, and the cavalry, accompanied by Major Hill, along the road, I moved by column of company along the right of the road towards Centreville. Arrived at the house on the hill which was occupied by the enemy as a hospital, having made many prisoners by the way, we found that a portion of our cavalry (Captains Wickham’s and Radford’s*) had had an engagement there with a battery of the enemy which they had taken, but had retired after being fired on by the heavy reserve corps which intervened between them and my command. This cavalry had come into the road by Lewis’ Ford, below the stone bridge, and neither of us knew of the position of the other until some time after. At this point Captain Radford, Virginia Cavalry, was found mortally wounded.

Here the enemy opened upon us a fire in front, and I again formed line of battle, my regiment and the cavalry on the right of the road in the wood with a field in front, the Hampton Legion as a reserve, and Colonel Cash in column on the left ready to deploy. Here a staff officer rode up and gave me an order from General Beauregard not to engage the enemy until re-enforcements arrived, stating that they were on the way. Soon after Captain Kemper overtook me with his battery, when I formed column with my regiment and the Legion on the right, Colonel Cash on the left, and the battery in the road. At the request of Major Hill he was permitted to go in advance with Captain Cuthbert’s company deployed as skirmishers, and in this order the whole column was moved on to the hill commanding the suspension bridge, where our skirmishers became engaged with the enemy. I directed Captain Kemper to unlimber two of his pieces on the hill and open fire on the enemy, while I deployed my regiment on the right with the Legion and retained Colonel Cash in column on the left. The main body of the enemy were retreating by the Sudley Ford road, which comes into the turnpike at the suspension bridge on the south side of the run. Captain Kemper fired from one gun on the column retreating by the former road and from the other along the turnpike.

The effect of the firing was most disastrous. The reserve which we were pursuing, meeting the main body of the enemy coming by the other road, just at the entrance of the bridge, completely blocked it, and formed a barricade with cannon, caissons, ambulances, wagons, and other vehicles, which were abandoned with horses and harness complete, while the drivers fled. Many of the soldiers threw their arms into the creek, and everything indicated the greatest possible panic. The venerable Edmund Ruffin, who fired the first gun at Fort Sumter, who, as a volunteer in the Palmetto Guard, shared the fatigues and dangers of the retreat from Fairfax Court-House, and gallantly fought through the day at Manassas, fired the first gun at the retreating column of the enemy, which resulted in this extraordinary capture.

At this point I received a peremptory order to return to Bull Bun and take my position at the stone bridge. Here also the skirmishers recaptured General Steuart, of Maryland, who had been for several hours in custody of the enemy. Reluctantly I ordered my command to return, but, directing Colonel Cash to remain, I went with a detachment of twenty Volunteers from his regiment to the bridge, where I found Lieutenant-Colonel Munford, with a portion of the Virginia Cavalry, extricating the valuable capture. They had arrived by the Sudley Ford road, having pursued the enemy from the battle-field, and came up to the bridge when Captain Kemper ceased firing. Here I remained until 10 o’clock at night, aiding Colonel Munford, when I returned to camp.

Colonel Cash’s regiment remained in position until 1 o’clock, when the most valuable of the captured articles had been secured and carried to the rear. I am informed that about thirty pieces of cannon were taken at this point. At the time when we were first ordered forward Captain Perryman had been sent with his command on scouting duty across Bull Run, and I dispatched my aide-de-camp, Mr. Edward Wallace, to conduct him to Lewis’. Arrived there, finding the regiment had entered the engagement, he went with Mr. Wallace in search of his comrades, but not being able to obtain any information of our position, he attached himself to Colonel Hays’ Louisiana regiment, and entered the fight in time to participate in the final charge and pursuit of the enemy on the Sudley Ford road. Captain Perryman reports himself as much indebted to Mr. Wallace for his efficient aid in conducting his company through the engagement, and particularly mentions his coolness and gallantry.

One of my personal aides, Mr. W. H. Hardy, was most serviceable during the engagement, gallantly bearing order after order with promptness and intelligence. Having been sent by me to conduct Colonel Preston’s regiment to a position on my left, he was shot in the breast at the head of that regiment before he had proceeded sixty yards, and died instantly. A youth of pure and gentle spirit, he evinced on the field the cool, self possessed heroism of the veteran soldier.

Mr. John A. Myers, private, Captain Casson’s company, mounted Mr. Hardy’s horse, and rendered me most efficient aid during the remainder of the day.

Mr. A. E. Doby, also of my staff, was most active in assisting me on the field, and was most conspicuously exposed. His gallantry and intelligence in conveying my orders deserve particular mention. Riding into a squad of some of the zouaves when sent to Captain Kemper, then in the rear, he preserved his life by promptly repeating a signal which he saw one of them use as he rode up.

Colonel Cash distinguished himself by his courageous bearing and his able and efficient conduct of his regiment during the whole day. He will particularly report the conduct of his command.

Captain Kemper, of the Alexandria Artillery, and all his officers and men, engaged as they were under my own eye, merit the most honorable mention in this report. To the efficiency of this battery I have no doubt we are chiefly indebted for the valuable capture of arms, stores, and munitions of war at the suspension bridge. Without this artillery they could not have been arrested.

It is difficult to discriminate among my own officers and men, since all engaged in the fight with enthusiastic bravery and spirit, and bore themselves with light-hearted and vivacious gallantry to the end.

Captain Hoke, bravely leading his company, which was flanked by the left wing of the zouaves, was severely wounded in the flint charge and borne from the field, was taken prisoner by the enemy, but soon rescued. His company was subsequently courageously led by Lieutenant Pulliam.

Captain Richardson was wounded early in the action, gallantly leading his company. Upon being sent to the rear he, too, was captured by the zouaves, but afterwards rescued. The escape of so many of the zouaves to our rear was accomplished by their lying down, feigning to be dead or wounded, when we charged over them, and then treacherously turning upon us. They murdered one of our men in cold blood after he had surrendered, and one attempted to kill another of our number who kindly stopped to give him water, supposing him wounded. The command of Captain Richardson’s company devolved upon Lieutenant Durant, who efficiently conducted it through the day.

Captain McManus was painfully wounded in the arm early in the engagement, but bravely led his company through the day.

Captain Wallace was slightly wounded in the face at the head of his company. Lieutenant Bell was also smack. Lieutenant De Pass was most dangerously and severely wounded in the head, in the hottest of the fight, after most gallantly conducting himself in his position with his company. Captain Kennedy was struck, but only bruised, by a ball in the side. Captains Casson, Haile, Cuthbert, and Rhett were uninjured, though bravely conspicuous, as were all the company officers, in rallying and cheering their men in the thickest of the fight.

To Lieutenant-Colonel Jones and Major Goodwyn I am much indebted for their efficient discharge of their important duties. The latter was particularly exposed from time to time, and bore himself with reckless courage. Captain Sill, adjutant, and Sergeant-Major Haile were active and efficient, and did good service in the fight, the former with his pistols and the latter with his musket.

Many individual instances of distinguished gallantry have been brought to my notice, but where the whole command have conducted themselves with courage, devotion, and spirit it would be unjust to particularize. So, too, incidents illustrating the gallantry and spirit of the whole regiment might be mentioned, but would swell this report to too great a length.

Dr. Salmond, surgeon, and Dr. Nott, his assistant, were on the field, courageously devoting themselves to the wounded, and the chaplain, Rev. E. J. Meynardie, was assiduous in his attention to our unfortunate comrades.

The regimental flag, gallantly borne by Sergeant Garden, was three times struck during the engagement, and one of the color guard was wounded. The flag of the Palmetto Guard, Captain Cuthbert, was struck four times, that of Captain Kennedy once, and Captain Wallace’s once.

Among the trophies taken by my regiment was the flag of the First Regiment, Second Brigade, Fourth Division, of the State of Maine, with its proud motto, “Dirigo,” and a small Federal ensign.

I would particularly mention the gallant conduct of the Rev. T. J. Arthur, whose rifle did good service, and that of Professor Venable, of South Carolina College, Capt. F. W. McMaster, Gen. Johnson Hagood, Col. Allen J. Green, Maj. J. H. Felder, Mr. Edward Felder, and Mr. Oscar Lieber, citizens of South Carolina, who fought in the ranks of volunteers with distinguished bravery and efficiency.

Accompanying this report I have the honor to inclose a list of the casualties of the day in my regiment, with a statement of the number engaged.(+)

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

J. B. KERSHAW,

Colonel Second Regiment S. C. Volunteers, &c.

Brig. Gen. M. L. BONHAM,

Commanding First Brigade, &c.

(*) See second report, p. 527

+Embodied in No. 121, post.

—-

CAMP NEAR FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, August 22, 1861

GENERAL: If not improper, I would like to amend my official report of the battle of Manassas in the following respect:

In the paragraph where the names “Captains Wickham’s and Radford’s” occur in parenthesis insert “Powells and part of Captain Pitzer’s,” so that the whole passage in parenthesis will read thus: “(Captains Whickham’s, Radford’s, Powell’s, and part of Captain Pitzer’s).”

Only yesterday I learned that Captain Powell’s and part of Captain Pitzer’s company participated in the charge upon the battery near the hospital north of Bull Run.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. KERSHAW.

Colonel, Commanding Second Regiment, S. C. Volunteers

Brig. Gen. M. L. BONHAM,

Commanding First Brigade, &c.