Private (2), Co. A, 1st Minnesota Infantry, On the Return to Washington and Incidents of the Battle

5 04 2020

Our War Correspondence.
———————–
From Another Regular Correspondent.
———————–

Camp Gorman.
Washington, D. C., July 26, 1861.

To the Editors of the Pioneer and Democrat

Day before yesterday that part of our regiment under command of Captain Wilkin, at Alexandria, broke camp and on the afternoon marched in obeyance to orders to Washington, leaving Camp Gorman, made familiar to us by many interesting incidents of camp life. There we had been vigorously engaged in quick and double-quick battalion drill, before the august eyes of distinguished military officers and civilians; there we had been lazily enjoying the cool shade during the hottest days; there we had mixed with the profanity incident to every trifling difficulty, so unavoidable in camp life, with the hurrahs and pledges of friendship and undisturbed magnanimity when under orders to march; and here we had found an asylum to rest our wearied and lame limbs, after returning from the battle at Bull’s Run, and the consequent march of about fifty miles, through a rainy day, subsiding on nothing but crackers and dirty water for forty-eight hours; and here, too, we found the first opportunity to calmly reflect on the struggles of Bull’s Run, and the loss of many a brave comrade, endeared to us by many acts of kindness. Who, then, could leave Camp Gorman, at Alexandria, without emotions of mingled pain and pleasure?

Leaving Camp Gorman, we marched up to the Railroad bridge, where we had had formerly guarded, and proceeded up on the Virginia side of the Potomac to Fort Remyan, located a dew rods back from the Long Bridge; and here we made a short pause to review the fort with its 22-pounders, with the usual supply of canister and grape, and talk with members of various regiments stationed there. The bridge was crowded with government wagons and troops passing both ways. Several New York regiments passed over the Virginia side while we waited for an opportunity to pass over; the question who we were and where we came from were usually answered by our boys with, “We are Minnesota First, from Bull’s Run!” We did not enter Washington City before it was dark, when we proceeded up various streets to the Old Representative Hall, where we had learned our regiment was stationed; but on arriving there we learned that Companies A, E and I were then quartered in an old church about two squares distant; and once there we were received by the cordial grasp and friendly greeting of out comrades of company A, with many mutual exclamations of surprise that we escaped safe from Bull’s Run when many of us had been reported victims of the bullets and shells of the enemy and left on the battle field; and we squatted on the steps forming the entrance of the church or on the pews inside to talk over the incidents of the battle field and the adventures on the retreat, and all uniting in praise of the bravery displayed by our cherished Lieutenant Colonel, and our gallant company officers in the stirring scenes on Sunday. Many were the expressions of sincere regret at the fall of Sergeant Wright, so universally esteemed in our company, as well as our other comrades who fell by our side.

That night companies A, E and F, were scattered in the pews, aisles, galleries and hall, and on the steps of the church, resting from days of extreme exertion. Yesterday morning we arose to partake of breakfast and prepare for removing to camping grounds where a Vermont regiment formerly camped, and about two squares back of our previous encampment in Washington – and once here we pitched our tents and passed the balance of the day in blissful idleness – our only duty here is to fall in ranks to answer to our names at reveille and tattoo.

Yesterday a report of the casualties in our regiment at Bull’s Run was made up, and I learn that it will be telegraphed and reach you long before my letter will be received in St. Paul; hence I will not recapitulate them here.

I will conclude this letter with a few incidents as they presented themselves to my own observation, or gathered from unquestionable authority, carefully avoiding any mention of such as are enshrouded in doubt. Incidents here related are perfectly reliable.

Among three prisoners taken by company A, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Rebel army, who dashed out of the woods to order us to stop firing, mistaking us for rebels. J. B. Irvine of St. Paul, who came into our camp at Centreville, when Lieut. Coates joined us, having shouldered a musket in the morning and joined with us to share in the struggles of the day, then approached him and asked him if he was a Major, and seeing his mistake and his position as prisoner at once, he frankly but reluctantly replied, “No sir, you have better game than that; I am a Lieut. Col. in a Georgia Regiment.” This is no less a person than Lieut. Boone, now a prisoner in Washington. Others have claimed the honor of taking him prisoner, but yesterday Lieut. Coates and J. B. Irvine visited him, when a mutual recognition took place, settling the disputed point beyond doubt.

When Col. Heintzelman ordered our Regiment to fall back into the woods, his Aid damning us for remaining in the open field to be slaughtered, our men rallied again under our flag and Lieut. Col. Miller, and a fierce struggle ensued to save our colors, which the enemy desperately assailed, but which resulted in saving our colors, none of which were lost during the engagement.

Our ever-gallant Captain commanding the Regiment once made a brilliant charge, repulsing the advancing Georgians, just as Lieut. Welch of the Red Wing company fell on the field. Captains Putnam and Acker also distinguished themselves on the field.

Downie of company B, on the left, besides the Fire Zouaves, rallying with a few of them in addition to his own command, made three distinct and successive charges on the enemy, with an energy that but for superior force would have routed them.

Dr. Steward remained at the hospital about one mile in the rear of the battle ground, and is no doubt taken prisoner; while the reports of the fate of the Assistant Surgeon and the Hospital are contradictory and their fate enshrouded in uncertainty.

A cannon ball struck the musket of one member of company “A” breaking it in two pieces, but without inflicting any injury to him. Many of the boys exhibit bullet holes through various of their garments, and if we ever live to see our friends at home, we can bring with us flags, guns, revolvers, swords, sabers, &c., as trophies of the late battle field. No doubt many incidents of interest transpired on the eventful day, and will reach you through other sources. I am not in possession of any more at present.

It is generally thought we will remain here some time to recruit, get some dimes from Uncle Sam, and have a little good times, before we again advance in the rebel States to fight the battles of our county.

Private

(St. Paul, MN) Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, 8/9/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy





Pvt. Michael P. Long, Co. E, 3rd Michigan Infantry, On the Battle

4 04 2020

Arlington Heights

Camp Hunter, Va.

July 12th 1861

Dear Brother,

I received yours from Laporte [Indiana] last Thursday, John. It was with pain & sorrow I received that letter although I had almost expected Father’s death. Still I had fondly hoped that he might be spared until I could give him a home or could have been near him at his last moments. God knows I have suffered in secret for whatever harm I may have done but tis now too late. We are now alone. When I received your letter I felt crushed. I looked around me but not one of the old familiar countenances around and I seemed for the moment lost.

I have been on the sick list for a whole [week] but am now getting better. I may see you soon if you are still in Laporte as there is a prospect of our going home in 30 days. We are 3 years men but there appears to be some fluke in the manner in which we were mustered in so it is calculated we will be ordered home & be sworn in again. Our Colonel [Daniel McConnell] is very unpopular & threats have been made against his life. We are encamped on the estate of Lt. Hunter, C. S. A. The house is an old romantic-looking mansion. The grounds are the most beautiful I ever saw. The scenery is magnificent—the house commanding a view of the Potomac & the City of Washington.

Gen. McClellan is our division commander. The men have every confidence in him. If anybody says says that we did not fairly win the Battle of Bulls Run, tell them they are mistaken, but it was lost by bad generalship. Think of men marching 30 miles & when arriving near the battlefield at 3 P. M., having marched since morning on empty stomachs & then going into the battlefield on double quick & you have some idea of how we felt. To tell the truth, it was murder. To judge of how I felt & others besides, I fell asleep on the battlefield when we were posted on a hill & the boys dodging & squatting all around. We were not allowed to return a shot in the early part of the fight. We were marched within 40 rods of a masked battery & a flank fire of Minié Rifles and after marching down there to no purpose were marched to a hill on the right where they had another fair sweep at us.

Of some of the scenes I must tell you of one. One poor fellow—a member of the New York 12th—was sitting by the roadside on a stone eating a cracker. He supposed he was out of danger, poor fellow, when a rifle cannon ball struck him on side of the face and completely cut it off above the chin. It severed the upper lips from the rest of the face. The poor fellow lived 2 hours after he was shot. It was pitiful to see him put up his hands & feel for his face. Others there were [who] were worse than this.

I would advise you, John, not to enlist when no men can be found to fight their country’s battles than it may do to show patriotism, & as for enlisting any other way, it don’t pay. It costs a man 10 dollars a month to live for Uncle Sam sometimes forgets his boys. We were 3 days without rations at Bulls Run. How can men fight thus? We fare well now as Bull Run has taught them a lesson.

Send me Chicago papers if you can. There are no western papers here. I would write more if I had room.

Goodbye,

Your brother,

M. P. Long

Letter Images p. 1, p. 2

Contributed and Transcribed by William Griffing

Michael P. Long info at Spared & Shared 

Michael P. Long info at Men of the 3rd Michigan Infantry 

Michael P. Long at Ancestry.com 

Michael P. Long at Fold3 

Michael P. Long at FindAGrave 





Map: From Surveys by an Officer of Beauregard’s Staff

20 03 2020

I came across an original lithograph of this post-war map last week in a shop in Gettysburg. You can find it online, with more info, here. It’s interesting in both what it includes, and what it does not.

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Image: Chaplain Edward Duffield Neill, 1st Minnesota Infantry

19 03 2020

 

EdwardNeill

Chaplain Edward Duffield Neill, 1st MN. From this site.

EdwardDuffieldNeill

Neil later in life. From this site.





Chaplain Edward Duffield Neill*, 1st Minnesota Infantry, On the Regiment’s Casualties

18 03 2020

Our War Correspondence.
———————–
From the Chaplain of the Regiment.
———————–

Washington City, July 26, 1861.

The telegraph before this reaches you, no doubt, will flash before a sadden people the list of our killed and wounded, in the never to be forgotten conflict of last Sunday.

Every one feels that bad generalship was displayed on our side, and an improper day chosen to begin a battle, which, from the first, has been sustained by the religious sentiment of the world, at the same time all praise and heroism of the volunteers engaged in the conflict.

Yesterday the regiment left its quarters at the Assembly Rooms, and encamped about half a mile east of the Capitol, just beyond the spot where it was previous to our departure for Alexandria.

A despatch came from St. Paul to day stating that my friend, Dr. Hand, had been appointed Assistant Surgeon in the place of Le Boutillier, deceased. It is true that Dr. Le Boutillier has not been seen since the battle, but we have no authentic information that of his decease, and we still hope that we may see him alive. The last I saw of him was just as we entered on the battle field, when he told me to go and tell Dr. Stewart to bring the litters and hospital assistants.

Dr. Stewart is also missing, but we all feel that he is in the old church, near the battle ground, attending to our wounded, although he may be a prisoner, as the enemy have taken possession of that portion of the country.

I would have been with the Doctor had the hospital not been so full that I was obliged to hurry on with some wounded I picked up in an ambulance toward Centreville.

The only loss our correspondent sustained was his entire wardrobe, down to tooth brush, come and brush, amounting to about $200. All that I can wish is that my clothes may be given to some Couthern Chaplain, the sermons in the trunk perused by the captors.

Javan Irvine, of St. Paul, arrived at out camp on last Thursday evening, and shouldering a musket went forth to battle on Sunday morning, and after fighting valiantly succeeded in capturing a gentleman by the name of Lieut. Col. Boone, of Mississippi, who is a prisoner of war now in the old Capitol.

Ever since yesterday we have been in tents, and I notice that all of the St. Paul men are busy writing to their friends. I have no doubt that extracts from their letters would be interesting to your readers and that their friends would furnish them if requested.

LIST OF KILLED, ETC.
COMPANY “A,” CAPT. WILKIN.

Killed – Sergeant Henry C. Wright, of Pine Bend, shot in the thigh, and carried into the bushes, where he received other wounds.
Private Ernst Dresher and Chas. F. Clarke, Benton county. Since the latter’s death, a daguerreotype of a lady supposed to be one to whom he was engaged has arrived.
Wounded – James Malory in the foot; Robert Stephens in the arm and back; William Kramer in the face; David McWilliams slightly, and John T. Halsted in the head.
Wounded and missing – Frederick Braun, W. Dorley, Wm. Betcher.
Missing – Wm. Schmidler and Louis Keifer.

COMPANY “C,” CAPTAIN ACKER

Killed – Sergeant John Renshaw, Eugene Wilmer, and Corporal Sam Waterhouse.
Privates Cunningham, Randolph, Robertson, Cyrus Smith, Julius Smith, and Thompson.
Wounded and missing – Corporal Geo. McMullen.
Privates Twitchell, Haskell, Hough, Marr, Ladd, Richardson, McNally, Combs, and Mayence.

Recapitulation of killed and wounded in the whole regiment.
Com.   Killed   Wnded/Msg     Wounded   Missing       Total

A             5               4                      5              2            15
B             –              11                      –              3           14
C              9               9                     10            4           32
D              1              1                       –              –             2
E              1             12                      1              1           15
F              5               3                      4              9           21
G             4              14                      –              3           21
H           12              10                      –              2          24
I               6              16                     2              –            24
K             5                 3                     1              6           15
Killed…………………………………………………………………48
Wounded and missing………………………………………….105
Missing………………………………………………………………30
Total……………………………………………………………………….183

(St. Paul, MN) Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, 8/9/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy

* Edward Duffield Neil of St. Paul was the regiment’s first chaplain.

Edward Duffield Neill biography

Edward Duffield Neill in the news 

Edward Duffield Neill at Ancestry.com

Edward Duffield Neill at Fold3

Edward Duffield Neill at FindAGrave.com





Private, Co. A*, 1st Minnesota Infantry, On the Battle and Retreat

13 03 2020

Our War Correspondence.
———————–
March To the Battle Field – The Battle – Dreadful Scenes – Behavior of Col. Gorman and Lieut. Col. Miller – Defence of the Regiment, &c. &c.
———————–
From our Regular Correspondent.

Camp Gorman, Alexandria,
July 23, 1861.

I returned here last night with sore feet, lame limbs, wet through, indescribably exhausted, and a heart beating with rapid pulsations for our losses and reverses in the battle at Bull’s Run. Partaking of refreshments at the hands of our colored cook, we retired to rest, and this is the first opportunity I have had to address you a faint description of the scenes of terror through which we have passed.

I will begin with the beginning. On Saturday last we were all encamped at Centreville, and at noon we had orders to prepare for march at 6 P.M. At this hour we had our three days’ rations in our haversacks, our muskets discharged and reloaded, and standing in our ranks, when the orders were countermanded so far as to extend the time till 2 o’clock next morning, when after a good rest we rose and accoutered and quipped as usual for march.

The morning was bright and the moon cast its silvery rays over a beautiful landscape; the atmosphere cool and pleasant, and every thing around us calculated to make us buoyant and hopeful. The column formed in line and passing through Centreville, and we were at once upon our march for the battle field. The sun rose on Sunday in all its glory, and all nature, as we progressed through woodland and fields, seemed aglow with fragrance and beauty.

On arriving into an open field, the occasional reports of artillery which we had heard at intervals grew louder and more frequent; and in the distance we descried the smoke that arose from the battle field. Here we halted a little to fill our canteens with water – a highly commendable move as the day grew hot and sultry. Here we shook hands with some of the Company “C” Second Infantry Regulars, which we relieved at Fort Ripley just as they were about to proceed in advance to the battle field, then three miles distant. Instantly we were again ordered to fall in, and in quick and double quick time, under the burning rays of a July sun, over a rough rocky road, over hills and through valleys, we approached the battle field, the roar of artillery and musketry growing louder and louder every moment. We were first brought into a field in the rear of the battle, and afterwards under the lead of Col. Heintzelman brought right up into the battle, passing regiment after regiment, or rather remnants of them, after they were cut up under the destructive fire of the enemy; and as we passed along the edge of the hill where the battle had for hours been raging with fury, and cannon balls and shells still scattered about, we saw the field covered with dead horses, and men carrying away the dead, dying and wounded. It was a terrible sight to see, but at that time it made little or no impression on us. Our brigade was marched over a little hill, where we were formed into a line of battle, our regiment on the extreme right, and the Fire Zouaves on our left, with Rickett’s battery in the centre. Here the battle raged with fury for upwards of two hours, in the course of which two other regiments were brought to our aid; but the once retreating enemy was reinforced with fifteen thousand of a reserve force, and they became to formidable for our shattered ranks. Yet our brave men did not yield before an aid of General Heintzelman came up to order us to retreat into the woods, with the words, “Why do you stand there to be slaughtered by the enemy?” Simultaneously with our retreat the whole column began to move to the rear, and a precipitous retreat of an unorganized army was the result, the enemy pursuing to harass us in the rear. Rickett’s battery was left on the battle field. The sight that met every eye for a moment, when retreating down the hill, miraculously escaping from the stream of musketry, artillery and shells, which formed the parting salute from the enemy, was horrible beyond description. There lay the dead, riddled with musket balls, in every conceivable condition, some with the skull pierced and brains scattered on the ground; others severed in pieces with cannon balls, and the wounded and dying suffering intense agonies, who called in vain for succor from those who could but save themselves by flight. It was a sad picture, and will carry sadness and sorrow to the hearts and homes of thousands throughout the North, who have lost a father, a son, a husband, a brother or a friend, at the battle of Bull’s Run.

In the rear of the battle field the woods and fields were strewed with knapsacks, haversacks, blankets and other garments, thrown aside in the hurried march into the battle and in the hasty retreat. Broken wagons, provisions, and implements of war lined the road from Bull’s Run to Alexandria – a distance of forty or fifty miles. Boxes of crackers, barrels of bacon and other provisions, and useless garments thrown off to facilitate the hasty retreat of an army of exhausted and fatigued men, will furnish the colored population along the line – who were busily appropriating them to their own use – clothing and provision for years, while the Federal Treasury will lose thousands.

Two miles beyond Centreville the retreating column was again thrown into confusion by shells falling into their midst, and the artillery and cavalry accelerating their speed, heedlessly rushed through, and no doubt over, our own men – leaving a cloud of dust to mark their rapid progress. Our column scattered again into the woods, and an engagement took place with our rear, which lasted but a short time, and resulted in the death of one man on our side. The enemy did not pursue us farther, as we ascertained next morning after passing this night in the woods. The main body marched on and halted at their encampments in and around Centreville for a couple of hours. Here Col. Gorman was seen for the first time after marching us into the battle field, his boasted bravery not being observed by any one – and his voice, so bold and commanding on dress parade, was either drowned in the roar and noise of the battle field, or else he must have kept himself at a safe distance. I have good authority for this statement – authority that can be substantiated by evidence. Lieut. Col. Miller, however, was very active in rallying us, pointing to the Stars and Stripes, and calling on us to justify the fond expectations which Minnesotians have placed in our Regiment. He was in the thickest of the fight, and Minnesota should justly acknowledge his bravery.

After a lapse of about two hours, the retreating column again took up the line of march through Fairfax to their former encampments in Alexandria and Georgetown. A part of our regiment is encamped in Washington. Most of those who were left exhausted along the line, have come here. Stragglers will continue to come in – yesterday quite a number arrived. I learn that four hundred fo the Minnesota First are encamped at Washington. A few of our men are in the Alexandria Hospital. It is impossible to give you any reliable information as to the number of our dead and wounded, as yet; but as soon as I can ascertain it, to any degree of certainty, the statistics shall be immediately forwarded to you.

The telegraph makes some disparaging and unjust statements about our regiment, which I presume some reporter innocently made up from unreliable camp rumors – which are as numerous as they are unreliable. Thus I find in this morning’s Baltimore Clipper the following;

The panic was commenced in a light battery commanded by a fat lieutenant. He was porceeding under orders to flank one of the enemy’s batteries, when a detachment of their cavalry made a dash at them. Instead of unlimbering and essaying to receive the charge with grape or canister, he turned and instantly fled, leaving two of the pieces on the field.

The Second Connecticut and the Minnesota (of Gen. Schenck’s brigade, which were exposed to the fire of the battery which the fat lieutenant had started to flank) then broke and run into the bushes. Instantaneously it seemed that the panic was communicated in all directions.

The above is but a conctanation of misstatements. The first statement about the battery is an evident absurdity. Of the “fat lieutenant” was not “unlimbering to receive the charge with grape or canister,” how could he “leave two pieces on the field.” Secondly, the Minnesota regiment does not belong to Gen. Schenck’s brigade, and we did not “break and run into the bushes” before the proper order was communicated through the proper officers, and then simultaneously with the Fire Zouaves (who always receive so much praise) and the whole column. It is a base slander on the Minnesota First, every man of which fought side by side with the Zouaves, whose bravery is universally acknowledged.

According to the telegraph reports, the enemy’s force at Bull’s Run ws 120,000, while ours is set down at 25,000, which latter number is by many considered exaggerated. I learned from some volunteers who formed the reserve force that there were a number of regiments not called into the field at all; and when taken into consideration that the enemy had the advantages of strong fortifications and masked batteries, acting as they did on the defensive, how could we look for any other result than a disgraceful rout, acting as we did on the aggressive.

There is considerable talk among the boys of trophies taken during the engagement, while some have taken prisoners, some secession flags, some pistols, revolvers and other implements of war, &c., &c.

Considerable excitement exists among the soldiers and others as to the probable attack on Washington, or retaking Alexandria, but I rather think the enemy will have enough to do to bury their dead and nurse their wounded. If they had not force enough to send out from Bull’s Run to head us off our retreat, how could they dare an attempt on the offensive when their policy this far has been on the defensive? We are safe enough here; and the movement to concentrate troops at Washington and on the Potomac is only to organize a strong force for another advance on the rebels.

Later – July 24th. – Mail facilities were cut off to Alexandria yesterday, and I send by a messenger to day. We are ordered to Washington to day, and once there with our regiment, I shall collect further details for you. Captain Wilkin is with us. He estimates the killed and wounded of the company at twenty.

Private.

(St. Paul, MN) Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, 8/9/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy

* Captain Alexander Wilkin, mentioned in the last paragraph, was in command of Co. A of St. Paul, and so the letter writer is assumed to be a member of that company.





Unknown Captain*, 2nd Vermont Infantry, On the Battle and Retreat

24 02 2020

From the Daily Freeman.
The Vermont 2d at Bull Run.
———————–

The Vermont Second were on the left wing, which brought us directly opposite a portion of the enemy’s line stationed behind a fence; but in about ten minutes we had the pleasure of seeing their line give away, and they fled to the woods. But at the same instant I discovered a movement of a large body of their troops towards us, with the evident design of outflanking our right. We seemed to have the battle now immediately before us, and the necessity of a change of position of our Regiment was apparent to all. We had nearly ceased fire when I noticed Capt. Walbridge, who was on my right, and on the right of the Regiment, facing his men to deploy to the right. I inferred from this that the general order had been given to deploy, although I heard no such order. But it was impossible to hear, and we had to go by signs, and guess our way through. I immediately gave orders to my Company to face to the right, and we marched around so as to prevent their outflanking us. I discovered at this time that Capt. Walbridge and myself were alone in this maneuver, and I have since learned that no order was given to this effect; but the movement saved a part of our artillery at least. All concerned had by this time discovered that, on account of superior numbers of the enemy’s reserve, we should not be able to hold the ground against them; but the Fourth Maine, which was not on our left, and the Vermont Regiment – part on the left and part on the right – held the position a long time, retiring slowly, while our wounded, baggage, and artillery mostly gained the line of retreat. It was nearly night, and God save me from another such scene as followed. The ground where we were, was so situated that we could only retreat along one road, which passed through a dense wood, and that vast array of wounded and whole, baggage and artillery, all rushed for this pass. Why we were not all cut to pieces, I do not know. The Rebels did not see our entire defeat, and did not pursue us as promptly as they might have done, and we gained a very fair start on them. But night was setting in, and we could not get Companies together, much less Regiments, and every one retreated on his own hook. Horses were unhitched from baggage trains, and turned back, covered with riders, and the wagons left to block the already narrow pass. Horses and wagons were often overturned, and left piled pell-mell in the gutters. At one place we had a bridge to cross and I never saw such confusion. There we lost most of our baggage. I counted as many as twenty dead horses, with wagons innumerable, piled in this ravine, and troops actually crossed over this mass of horse flesh and wagons, boxes and barrels, cannon, &c., rather than over the bridge. I had thus far kept the most of my Company together, and from the fact of our being last off the field, and in the rear, I was every moment expecting an attack on our retreating columns. But the delay here was so great that I rallied my men, and we passed to the left into the woods to a point above the bridge some few rods, where we crossed by wading the creek, which was about waist deep. This carried us to about the middle of the column, and we stopped a moment to witness the dreadful scene at the bridge. I saw an ambulance, in which were several wounded troops, run off the bank, killing the horses, but leaving the men still alive. All sorts of horrible sights, too shocking to contemplate, were before us. We now proceeded to the top of the hill, where we sat down to empty the water from our boots and ring it out of our clothes. While this engaged, the report of a cannon to the rear but too plainly told that we were pursued and overtaken, Our cavalry, however, it seems, were expecting this, and a gallant charge from them saved us from utter annihilation.

We were now ten miles from the camp we had left in the morning, and thirty-five miles from Alexandria, the only point where we could count ourselves safe. If we had stopped the retreating column here, and formed in some order we might have made a successful stand, but this was impossible. If I had now had all my company together, I would have given all the money I ever saw in Vermont, or ever expect to. You may perhaps faintly appreciate my feelings in thinking that out of my whole company who were anxiously looking to me for advice and direction only about twenty could be counted; and among the missing was my own boy. I halted and we held a counsel as to whether we would proceed or wait and try to gather in the rest. We concluded that we could not aid them by remaining, and having with us all that we knew were wounded, we concluded to keep along and pick up what we could. Our march was now direct to Alexandria, thirty-five miles, and we did not make any long halt till we reached here about ten o’clock this morning, a terribly tired and worn out set of fellows. We ate some luncheon from our haversacks about eleven yesterday, just before going into the battle, and that was the last we had until some time after noon to-day. I have been trying to get up life enough with the boys to have them wash and improve their looks a little, but all except one or two are still sleeping in the dirt, so black you could not recognize them. We succeeded to-day in getting some bread and butter, which is all we have had to eat, but the men are so tired they all lie around me unconscious of hunger.

(Barton, VT) Independent Standard, 8/9/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy

* The writer mentions a son in his company. Using this roster, this captain could be – Co. D, Capt. Charles D. Dillingham (there is also a Martin L.); Co. E, Capt. Richard Smith (also Edward H. and Nathan F.); Co. H, Capt. William T. Burnham (also Andrew J.).

Dillingham was born in 1837, and would not likely have a son of age.

Smith was 40 years old at the time. Fold3 

Burnham was 43 years old at the time. Fold3

I’ve been unable to positively establish links between the Smiths or between the Burnhams.