General Orders #224 – Forces Ordered to Manassas

31 12 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – CONFEDERATE

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 980-981

Special Orders,
No. 224.

Headquarters of the Forces,
Richmond, Va., July 17,1861.


IV. Brigadier-General Holmes will hold himself in readiness to advance with three regiments and one field battery of his command to the support of Brigadier-General Beauregard upon notice to that effect from the latter general. He will take care to make arrangements for the security of the position which he now holds, and will replace the troops he withdraws therefrom by the militia of the county which has been called into service. He will keep in mind that the movement herein indicated is not to jeopardize the security of the military district under his command, to which, in case of necessity, he will return, and, in any event, after the service upon which he may be detailed shall have been accomplished.

V. The Fifth North Carolina Regiment, Colonel McRae, will proceed to Manassas, and will report to Brigadier-General Beauregard as soon as transportation can be furnished, of which due notice will be given by the quartermaster in this city.

VI. Hampton’s Legion will proceed without delay to Manassas Junction, and join the Army of the Potomac, under Brigadier-General Beauregard. The infantry of the Legion will go by railroad; the cavalry will march; the artillery will follow on as soon as transportation can be furnished.


By order of General Lee:

GEO. DEAS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.





Unknown, 5th North Carolina Infantry, On the Battle

31 08 2015

Col. McRae’s Regiment at Manassas.

We regret very much that a sprained ankle kept our friend McRae from the field at Manassas, for we know he would have been willing to risk his life a thousand times to have participated in that day’s work. But the Regiment was there and did noble work as will be seen from the following account.

The Fifth Infantry, North Carolina State Troops, forms a part of Brigadier General Longstreet’s command, and although crippled in its efficiency by the sickness of two of its field officers, nobly performed its part in the battle at Manassas, on the right wing, under the gallant lead of its Lieutenant Colonel, who was in sole command during the entire engagement.

Early in the morning the cannonading commenced from two batteries on the right flank of the position occupied by this regiment, supported by a full brigade of the enemy. Col. Jones, determined to ascertain the position of their batteries and the force of the enemy, detailed a small reconoitering force under the command of the Rev. James Sinclair, Chaplain of the Regiment, who had volunteered his services for the day. – This force crossed the Run, and attempted to penetrate the wood on the left of the enemy’s position, but was recalled in order to charge the batteries up the ravine on the right, the scouts having brought in the necessary information. – The Virginia Seventeenth was at the same time ordered to support the North Carolina fifth, which duty it gallantly discharged. General Longstreet, with characteristic valor, undertook now a movement which if the orders were understood generally, would have carried the day with a still greater lustre, if not a more complete victory.

Col. Jones was ordered to send four companies up the hill as skirmishers, and to draw the fire of the batteries, while Brigadier General Jones from our right was to flank the enemy on his left. The reserve companies of the 5th, supported by the 17th Virginia, was to attack the right. The skirmishers of the North Carolina 5th, headed by the Chaplain, charged up the hill, in the face of a storm of grape and canister which killed two and wounded five of his men. On the summit of that hill these man lay for two hours, receiving the enemy’s fire without flinching, while on every side the hoary monarches of the forest were being mown down like grass before the mower’s scythe. The brave commander himself seemed to be ubiquitous here, there and everywhere exposing himself in the hottest of the fire. It is hard for men to remain still and receive the fire of the enemy, without being permitted to return it; and this precisely was the condition of the North Carolina 5th on the 21st inst. Long and eagerly did those brave men watch for the signal of the attack upon the right, in order to advance and give the Northern hounds a tuch of the Southern steel.

After remaining on the hill for two hours, and losing in killed and wounded seven men, this gody received orders to retire to the ravine, which was done in good order.

But the tide of battle again rolled down the hill, and once more four companies of the 5th N. S. State troops were ordered to occupy the summit, and await orders to advance with the bayonet on the battery on the right of the enemy’s position. This was accomplished without any loss to the North Carolinians and although they were not privileged to advance upon the battery, we think the North Carolina Fifth Infantry has given good earnest that at no distant day she will carve for herself a name in the military annals of the Southern Confederacy. Had Col. Jones the other field officers of the Regiment with him, there would have probably been another bright spot in the glories of the 21st of July, 1861. But Bravely did he perform his duty, though his Lieutenant Colonel was a preacher, taking his first lesson in the art of war, and imparting the same to the enemy in the most impressive manner possible.

Gen. Longstreet, in token of his appreciation of Mr. Sinclair’s services on the occasion, presented him with one of the sabres captured from the enemy, and expressed his desire that he should go on his staff.

[New Bern, NC] Weekly Progress, 8/6/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy

Rev. James Sinclair info Findagrave, post war Congressional testimony, defends his reputation in 1864 – all in all, an interesting fellow.

Joseph P. Jones resigned 10/24/1861





Captain Samuel Reeves, Jr., Co. E, 5th North Carolina Infantry, On the Battle

25 08 2015

The 5th State Regiment. – The Salisbury Banner publishes a letter from Capt. Samuel Reeves Jr. to his father in that place, dated Bull Run, July 23d, in which he says –

“On Sunday 21st, we passed through the battle – our Regiment had not much to do in it. My company were thrown into the woods as skirmishers. They were fired on by the enemy once, and stood the fire well, not a man flinched. They returned the fire promptly, and repulsed the company who fired on them, Afterwards they saw more of the enemy, a few, only six of my men fired and killed 4 men (Yankees.) That ended all we did. I have the pleasure to report that I had not one man killed or wounded, all sound and well and perfectly happy – although we have lain on the creek bank three nights, without anything but blankets. We have plenty of meat and bread all the time. Our Regiment lost only 2 men killed and 6 or 8 wounded.”

(Fayetteville, North) Carolina Observer, 8/6/1861.

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Contributed by John Hennessy

See Samuel Reeves record with the 5th NC here.