Congressman Albert Gallatin Riddle, On the Retreat

16 01 2023


Mr. Riddle, a member of Congress from Ohio, writes a letter to the Cleveland Leader concerning his experience at the battle at Bull Run, from which we make the following extract:

“Well, the further they (the soldiers) ran, the more frightened they grew, and although we moved on as rapidly as we could, the fugitives passed us by scores.

The heat was awful, although now about 6; the men were exhausted; their mouths gaped, their lips cracked and blackened with the powder of the cartridges they had bitten off in the battle; their eyes staring in frenzy – no mortal ever saw such a mass of ghastly wretches.

As we passed the poor, demented, exhausted wretches, who could not climb into the high, close baggage wagons, they made frantic efforts to get on to and into our carriage. They grasped it everywhere, and got on to it, and into it, and over it, and implored us every way to take them on. We had to be rough with them. At first they loaded us down almost to a stand still, and we had to push them off and throw them out. Finally Brown and I, with a pistol each, kept them out, although hone poor devil got in in spite of us, and we lugged the coward two miles. I finally opened the door and he tumbled out.

The Baltimore (MD) Sun, 8/3/1861

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Albert Gallatin Riddle at Wikipedia