Corp.* Warren D. Wilkes, Co. J, 4th South Carolina Infantry, On the Capture of “Sherman’s Battery”

12 09 2020

The Capture of Sherman’s Battery.

From Lieut. Warren Wilkes, of the 4th Regiment of South Carolina volunteers, who arrived here yesterday in charge of the remains of his brother, Adjutant S. M. Wilkes, killed at Manassas, we obtain the following particulars of the capture of this celebrated battery. The battery was masked in a pine thicket, from which position it opened fire, at about ten minutes past 8 o’clock in the morning, upon Major White’s battalion of the 4th South Carolina regiment, which maintained its ground until the 4th Alabama and 11th Virginia regiments came to its assistance. The battle continued to increase in vigor and intensity, and whilst raging most furiously, our men at this point finding they were being overwhelmed in numbers, were about giving way in the centre of the column. At this critical juncture, Ex-Gov. Smith, with the 49th regiment of Virginians came to the rescue. Seizing a Confederate flag he unfurled it to the breeze, and appealing to the troops in short, forcible terms, to rally to the rescue and make one gallant final charge with their comrades in arms and win the day, he put himself at the head of the column, and followed by our gallant men, charged through several companies of sharp shooters stationed in the bushes and behind fences, reached the terrible battery, and amid a blinding storm of “leaden rain and iron hail,” captured it and turned the pieces on the panic-stricken foe. Not one man of Sherman’s battery was left to tell of its capture, and but four horses remained alive.

The following are the casualties sustained by the 4th South Carolina regiment: – Capt. Kilpatrick received a shot in his right hand; a severe wound, but it will not cause amputation. Capt. Pool was shot through the right thigh, rendering immediate amputation necessary. Lieut. Ballale was shot through the left leg; amputated. Orderly Sergeant Fuller, of Capt. Poole’s Company, had his left foot shot to pieces. Orderly Sergeant J. W. Morrice, of the same regiment, was shot through the shoulder, and died from the effects of the wound. In Capt. Anderson’s Company, of the same regiment, private John Simpson, was shot through the heart in a bayonet charge, and instantly killed. Private Kay was wounded in the neck by a piece of bomb. This company sustained no further injury, though in the thickest of the fight. In the Palmetto Rifles, private Earl, had the flesh torn from his right shoulder to the bone, by a piece of bomb. It is hoped he will recover. Jas. Sloan, private, was shot through the cheek with a musket ball. Hubbard was wounded with a musket ball, which passed through his left arm near the elbow and through the abdomen. Cochrane was shot through the shoulder. Five members of the Company are missing.

Our informant states that the number of cannon captured from the enemy, amounted to at least seventy pieces. The amount of small arms and quantity of commissary’s stores captured in incalculable. – Richmond Enquirer.

The (Wilmington, NC) Daily Journal, 7/29/1861

Clipping image

*While the article identifies Warren D. Wilkes as a Lieutenant, records below indicate he was a corporal.

Warren Wilkes at

Warren Wilkes at Fold3

“Howitzer,” 1st Co. Richmond Howitzers, On the Battle

12 09 2020

The Howitzer Battalion.

1st Co. Howitzers.
Centreville, August 6th, 1861.

To the Editors of the Dispatch: Allow me to correct, through the medium of your paper, a wrong impression which may have gained credence form the communication signed “Chew,” of the Thomas Artillery. The article I refer to is this: “That the Richmond Howitzers did not perform efficient service in the battle of the 21st.,” thereby leading those who knew nothing of the circumstances to believe that we proved recreant to our trust, or performed iniefficient service. Had “Chew” simply stated that we were not on the left wing, he would have accomplished his object – that of refuting the statement made in a former issue, that we were actively engaged in the fight. For a long time we have been attached to Gen. Bonham’s Brigade, in the advance at Fairfax C. H., and by our position were entitled to the post of honor, the centre, and were placed there. During Thursday and Sunday we were subjected to what General Bonham told us was the truest test of the bravery of a soldier – a heavy fire, without being allowed to answer it. Shot and shell from a battery on the hill above us fell and exploded all around us. No one could tell where they would attack us. General Bonham told us if attacked we were to defend our positions as long as we had a man left; yet not a man quailed, but all were ready to take the risks in defence of such a cause as ours. We were in the pursuit and scout which followed the rout of the enemy. Still, far be it from me to detract from the exploits of the Thomas Artillery that day, which will immortalize them forever. We are now attached to General Longstreet’s brigade, with the 1st, 11th, 7th, and 17th Virginia Regiments. We are enjoying excellent health.


Richmond (VA) Dispatch, 8/8/1861

Clipping image

W. P. P., 2nd South Carolina Infantry, On the Battle

11 09 2020

From Camp Gregg.
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]

Advance Forces, Army of the Potomac,
Camp Gregg, July 31, 1861

Perhaps a letter from this quarter would not be altogether uninteresting to your readers. The Brigade of Gen. Bonham, including Capt. Kemper’s battery, are stationed at this point. We arrived here on Wednesday morning after the engagement of the 21st at Stone Bridge. The health of the troops generally is good. We have fine water, plenty of healthful food, (much of which at one time belonged to the enemy,) a large quantity of wood for cooking, and last, though by no means the least of our comforts, we are once more in possession of our tents. This important article had been dispensed from the time we left Fairfax until our arrival at this place, with the exception of one night.

The Yankee settlers in this neighborhood cut stick as soon as they found that their friends were whipped, and that the South Carolinians were coming. Many of them had raised the Union flag when the Yankees marched through here to Fairfax C. H. – Now their houses are deserted, and their possessors are perhaps safely on the other side of the Potomac.

I presume the details of the battle of Stone Bridge have reached you; but there are thousands of interesting incidents, perhaps insignificant in themselves, but which, collectively, went far towards turning the tide of battle. All the troops engaged, so far as my observations extended – and I was an eye-witness to much that occurred on that day – acted nobly. But as some newspaper correspondents have failed to do proper justice to the Second Palmetto Regiment, under Col. Kershaw, I trust you will permit me to say a few words in reference to the part it performed in that action.

During the first part of the engagement, the Second Regiment was stationed to the left of Gen. Bonham’s Brigade, about three miles below the Stone Bridge. About 12 o’clock Col. Kershaw, with Col. Cash (8th S. C. Regiment,) were ordered to repair to the battle-ground and take position on the left. – When we arrived in the neighborhood of the battle-ground, we met detached portions of Sloan’s S. C. Regiment, Hampton’s Legion, and a North Carolina Regiment, whose Colonel had been killed, leaving the field before superior numbers. So thickly flew the canister, grape, and Monnie balls of the enemy, that we were compelled to be flat upon the ground while the line of battle was being formed. It was whilst in this position we sustained a galling fire from the Fire Zouave Regiment, stationed behind a fence in our front. We also discovered at this time that there was a park of rifle cannon playing upon us from the right. At length the line of battle was formed, consisting of the 2d and 8th South Carolina Regiments and Preston’s Virginia Regiment, all under command of Col. Kershaw. Riding to the front and right of his own regiment, Col. Kershaw inquired of his men if they would follow him. Replying in the affirmative, he gave the order to charge, and with a shout they arose and broke the enemy’s line. So sudden did we spring on them and pass them, that more than a hundred Zouaves were left in our rear, and were made prisoners of by our straggling soldiers. The right wing of the Second Regiment came square upon the rifle cannon, which were in a short time turned upon the enemy. I have never ascertained the name of the battery; but a wounded enemy under one of the pieces informed us that it had once been commanded by Colonel Magruder, now of the Confederate army. It was in advancing upon this battery that the Zouaves displayed the Confederate flag, which caused us to reserve our fire for several minutes. Finally, they emerged from the woods with the Stars and Stripes, when they were fired into by the Butler Guards, the right flaking company of Kershaw’s Regiment, whose trusty Enfield rifles made many of them bite the dust. The rifle cannon were removed from the field, by order of General Beauregard, by men from the Second Regiment.

The enemy were pursued by the brigade under Col. Kershaw to within a short distance of Centreville, capturing a great number of pieces of artillery. Captain Kemper’s battery also performed a conspicuous part in the pursuit. The enemy was frequently in sight, large bodies of them flying in almost every direction. It was in the pursuit that the celebrated Rhode Island battery was captured. The small loss sustained by the Second Regiment, in killed and wounded, must not be taken as an indication that they were not in the hottest of the fight. When it is remembered that much of their fighting was accomplished whilst lying on the ground, and the enemy’s balls going over their heads, the reason why co few were killed is rapidly understood.

W. W. P.

Richmond (VA) Dispatch, 8/5/1861

Clipping image

S. S. C., 4th South Carolina, On the Battle

10 09 2020

Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
Fourth South Carolina Regiment.

Camp Pettus, 7 miles North of
Manassas, Aug. 5, 1861.

In reading the letters of your numerous correspondents with regard to the late battle at Stone Bridge, I see that nearly all allude to particular regiments, and the prominent parts enacted by each of them in achieving that great victory. Though I have been glad to see the gallantry and prowess of each regiment and legion thus chronicled to the world, I have been surprised to see that the very first regiment and battalion which were engaged in that conflict, and who sustained the whole shock of the enemy, unsupported for two hours, have been scarcely mentioned at all. I allude to the Fourth South Carolina Regiment, under Col. J. B. E. Sloan, and the Louisiana Regiment, under Maj. Wheat. As I am a member of the “Fourth,” I speak of what I know. Our regiment, with Major Wheat’s command, and two six-pounders of Latham’s Artillery, had been encamped for four or five days previous to the battle, within a few hundred yards if the Stone Bridge, waiting and watching for the enemy. Before daylight on Sunday morning, 21st, we were aroused by the firing of our pickets. Being formed in line of battle, our regiment by sunrise was lying upon the ground directly in front of the bridge, and covered by the brow of the sharp hill to the left of the road. Soon after sunrise, the long straight turnpike upon the opposite side of the Run was filled with the columns of the enemy as far as the eye could reach. They came within five hundred yards of us, threw out their skirmishers, and opened a battery upon us, feeling with ball and shell around and over the hill to find our position. Our regiment remained here with no other firing except between our skirmishers and those of the enemy, until about eight o’clock, under the immediate supervision of Gen. Evans, whose headquarters were within one hundred yards of our position.

At about 8 o’clock we received a message that the enemy had crossed the Run in large force about three miles above, and were marching down to flank us on our left. Withdrawing without the knowledge of the army in our front, and which was composed of eight or ten thousand men, we commenced a double-quick to meet the column which had crossed above. After accomplishing a mile or more, we came in sight of their long line of bayonets, glistening in the morning sun. Halting, we formed in a small hollow or ravine, with Maj. Wheat’s battalion on our right and a little advanced from our position. The enemy formed on a commanding hill, four or five hundred yards in front, and opened upon us with a heavy fire of musketry, and grape-shot from the Rhode Island Battery. Both the Louisianians and our regiment returned the fire with spirit, and several of our men were killed and wounded this early in the day, or before 9 o’clock.

Soon afterwards, we received an order to form under cover of a wood on our right, and somewhat nearer the enemy. Here we remained for some time, in the edge nearest the enemy, keeping up our fire, and having many of our men killed and wounded. The first reinforcement of which we were aware joined us here, and arrived at 9 ½ or 10 o’clock. It proved to be the 4th Alabama Regiment and some other companies, under command of the lamented Col. Bee.

With this noble regiment, which has been deservedly spoken of for its gallantry, we retired when the fire became too hot to be withstood. We, however, soon rallied, and returned to the fight, remaining in it throughout the day. A large portion of our regiment were in the first charge made upon Sherman’s Battery; and many eye-witnesses will avow that the regimental flag, presented to us a few weeks ago by the patriotic ladies of Leesburg, was the very first planted upon one of those guns. It was done by Major Robert Maxwell, our gallant color-bearer. These pieces were, I believe, taken several times before we finally succeeded in holding them. This much I have thought should be said, in justice to the 4th Regiment and the Louisiana battalion, without in the least intending to detract from any other command. Where all did nobly, comparison would be odious. History will, however, record that we were first in the fray, and, with about 1,000 men, )as four of our companies remained at the bridge as skirmishers and a reserve,) kept 30,000 of the enemy in check for one and a half or two hours.

After the day was ours, and victory had perched upon the new born banners of the South, our regiment returned to its former camping ground, now a portion of the battle-field, and, for the first time that day, partook of a soldier’s meal. Our tents and blankets had also been sent off, and, without either, we were exposed that night to a drenching rain, catching what we could of sleep, and dreaming of the thrilling incidents of the day. The loss od our regiment in killed and wounded as 102 men, our of 700 fit for duty. Among the gallant dead was Adjutant Genl. Sam. Wilks, of Anderson, South Carolina. – Our army boasts no more chivalric and accomplished gentleman. Himself and horse fell within 50 yards of our encampment, pierced by more than a dozen bullets.

S. S. C.

Richmond (VA) Dispatch, 8/8/1861

Clipping image

Pvt. William C. File, Co. G, 18th Mississippi Infantry, On the Campaign

10 09 2020

The following private letter from a private in one of the Mississippi Regiments, was handed us for publication. Many of our readers are doubtless quite familiar with the author, as he was once a cititzen of this place. As it may afford some information to our readers, we give it publicity:

Camp near Fairfax, Va.
July 24th, 1861.

Dear Farther and all at Home:

If you received my last letter, you may not be surprised at getting this one. It is now one week since we left our camp at the Junction, shifting about from one place to another. We are now farther off than we have been yet. I will tell you what we have been doing the past week. About 10 o’clock A. M., last Wednesday, our whole Brigade was suddenly called to march. We got ready in a short time, taking nothing with us but our blankets, provisions, (raw meet and crackers) and marched out about one and a half miles to Bulls Run. Here we remained all day. The next day, three companies, (including ours) crossed the creek, lying in the bushes all day as scouts. About noon they commenced fighting in our rear, a mile or so off, and for about 3 ½ hours, cannon and small arms kept an incessant firing. We heard the cannon balls but were out of their range. The Yankees were routed and fled in confusion. We heard that our loss was 45 killed and wounded, that of the enemy, 7 or 800. At night, we had very thick bushes to cover us, and taking dry oats from a field near by, made a first rate bed, but just as we had got in a good way for sleeping, a little shower of rain fell, wetting our blankets and beds, so we had the pleasure of sleeping under wet blankets the balance of the night, but we managed to pass a tolerable comfortable night. – Next day we remained lying about in the bushes. At night we heard a good deal of firing. We crossed and re-crossed the Creek again, and took our stand in the pine bushes, lying on our arms all night. We were roused up several times during the night, by firing, but the enemy did not come. Leaning up against a pine, gun in hand, I slept until sun up. We remained here during Saturday. On the next day, (Sunday,) the enemy, some two miles distant, commenced throwing bombs but all fell over our encampment or exploding in the air, doing us no damage. Our Brigade then crossed the creek, and lay in the woods some 3 or 4 hours. We could from this time until in the evening, hear the roar of cannon and small arms, at Stone Bridge, some eight miles distant. Jeff. Davis and Beauregard were there, The Yankees were again driven off the field with great loss. We have heard they had some 60,000 engaged: ours only 18 or 20,000; their loss some 15,000; ours about 5,000. We took about 500 prisoners, some 30 pieces of their best artillery, and a great quantity of baggage, &c. But I wish to tell you of our little fight.

In the evening our Brigade advanced upon the Battery that had been playing on us in the morning. We advanced to a steep hill, and were forming a line of battle at its foot, our left flank exposed to the enemy’s batty, when suddenly they opened upon us and cannon balls and grape shot, fell upon us like hail. Some of the men in front commenced hollowing like the victory was won, and at one wild rush, the whole brigade rushed up the hill – all confusion – every one became his own captain – great many shooting at their own men. Our officers tried hard to rally them, but in vain. We were where we could not see the enemy for the bushes in front of us, while we were exposed to a severe fire all the time. I saw a great many shooting but finding they were firing at our own men, I did not fire my gun.

All then run to the foot of the hill, where we first formed, and ran to an old pne field in our rear, to rally. I followed some of our company to the pines, the balls whistling around my head, plowing up the ground all around me. As I crossed the fence I saw our flag-bearer fall, exclaiming, “I’m dead.” Our captain was found dead near by, the next day, also another of our company, with 8 or 10 others. I made my way to our Regiment again. We made the attack in a bad manner. We have the honor of taking the place. Col. Longstreet came up on the other side, as we were leaving, and they run without firing hardly a gun. Our company lost two killed, three wounded; our flag-bearer dangerously. The whole brigade lost 13 killed; I don’t know how many wounded.

On Monday we paid our last respects to our captain; it was raining all day, but we buried him with military honors, firing three rounds over his grave. Yesterday we came to this place. The enemy have all left the country; gone over the river, and I expect our troops have possession of Alexandria, at this time. But I must close. – Write soon and direct as before.

Remaining till death,
W. C. File

The Carolina Flag (Concord, NC), 8/2/1861

Clipping image

William C. File at

William C. File at Fold3

S. D. S., Co. K, 18th Virginia Infantry, On the Battle

9 09 2020

Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
The Charlotte Rifles.

Charlotte C. H., Va., Aug.2d.

With your permission, I avail myself of the opportunity to return my grateful and heartfelt thanks to the kind ladies of Orange and Culpeper Court-House, who met me with many other poor wounded soldiers on the cars, with blackberry wines, warm teas and many other delicacies too numerous to mention, (but all calculated to soothe and refresh a worn out soldier,) while on our way from the battle ground of Manassas. Crowds of ladies assembled at the depots of the above mentioned places to await the arrival of the train which was to convey us from the scene of action, bringing with them kind words of comfort which almost made me thankful that I received the wound.

May God bless them – that God who so graciously protected us in our time of danger and turned aside the missiles of death hurled against us by the hands of the brutal, but cowardly foe. When I first commenced my journey I thought that I was far from friends and home, but I was greatly mistaken, for a wounded soldier will always find relief and comfort whenever and wherever he may meet with the ladies of the Old Dominion.

I received my wound in the early part of the engagement whilst attempting to shoot a cowardly Yankee, who was dodging behind a bush; the ball passed through the calf of my left leg, and was cut out behind. I was carried under a large tree to have the ball cut out, and whilst there a cannon ball shattered the top of the tree into a thousand pieces, without injuring me in the least. One of my company, James A. Thomas, was shot dead at my side by a Yankee, who pretended to be in the agonies of death. Our gallant Major George Cabell, seeing the deception practiced upon poor Thomas, (than whom a braver and better man never lived,) drew his revolver and sent the Yankee scoundrel to his last account.

Our regiment (the Eighteenth) was soon ordered to charge upon a portion of Sherman’s Battery, which they did with the greatest coolness and bravery, having taken it with the loss of but few men. The company to which I belonged, (the Charlotte Rifles, Capt. T. J. Spencer,) I am happy to say, acted with great coolness and bravery throughout the whole engagement. Our noble Captain is as brave and good a man as ever lived, rallying his men throughout the whole battle. First Lieutenant Matthew Lyle, of the Charlotte Rifles, distinguished himself by killing six of the scamps wand taking several prisoners. Among them was Capt. Jack Downey, of the New York Zouaves, who, with the true spirit of a Yankee after he was captured, threw up his hands and cried for mercy, when he was told he should not be harmed. A Minnie musket, a brace of pistols, and a sword, with his name on it, were taken from him. If ever a man deserved promotion, Lieut. L. does.

S. D. S., a Member of the Charlotte Rifles.

Richmond (VA) Dispatch, 8/5/1861

Clipping image

“Justice,” Newtown Artillery, On the Battle

9 09 2020

Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch
The Newtown Artillery in the Battle of Manassas.

Frederick Co., Va., July 30, 1861.

Hearing so much said in praise of the Newtown Artillery, attached to the Fourth Brigade of General Johnston’s Army, by the infantry who witnessed their bravery, and the good service they rendered on the battlefield on the 21st, and not seeing any notice of them, I think that justice demands these few lines, knowing, as I do, that no town in Frederick County, sent forth braver soldiers than Newtown. – Although the majority of them are mere youths, they fought with the bravery of experienced soldiers, sustaining the position assigned them, and finally driving the enemy before them. I quote an extract from letter written by one of the company to a friend. – “We were ordered to a field about {?} o’clock; it was enough to discourage any one to see the dead and wounded coming back, and hear the answers to the question, how is the battle coming off? Some would say, it’s a hard time, boys; others, we are whipped; our men are falling back; our men are cut to pieces; but we pushed on. We stopped on a hill to get orders where to go, Gen. Johnston being here observing the movements of the enemy. There we first caught sight of the Yankees, on a hill about a mile off, and shooting at use with rifle cannon. We could hear the balls whistling around us, but couldn’t see them. We stayed there about fifteen minutes, awaiting orders, that distance being too great for our guns. Our orders were to flank the enemy on the right. We went through the woods and came out in a meadow immediately on their right, about five hundred yards off. There we commenced firing, with infantry a short distance behind, to back us should they charge. We fired until we broke their ranks, when we moved nearer. They rallied several times, but couldn’t [?] our fire, and at length [?] to conclude that their only chance of safety lay in the good use they could make of their heels; so they ran, and we after them, stopping to fire on them when we came near enough; but they, having thrown away all encumbrance, proved too swift for us. We followed about three miles. Other companies followed different parts of the army. – Those we followed, judging from marks on their baggage, were from Maine, or at least a part of them. We did not turn back until nearly dark, and then we saw the awful issue of a battle field – the dead lying about, the wounded begging for help; most of them were Yankees. We came across three Mississippians under an apple tree, wounded. Three of our boys staid with them until the next day. We got back about ten at night, and were so tired we laid down without dinner or supper, except some crackers we got along the road.”

The Artillery fought this battle as did many others, after a wearisome journey from Winchester, and with but tow or three hours sleep since the Wednesday night preceding, having arrived at the Junction about midnight on Saturday night. Should they chance to take part in another battle, we are confident they will give the Yankees many balls that will be long remembered by them, though of a different description from those they expected to have on reaching Richmond.


Richmond (VA) Dispatch, 8/5/1861

Clipping Image

Unknown, Munford’s Battalion, 30th Virginia (Cavalry), On the Pursuit

5 09 2020

For the Enquirer

Col T. T. Munford and his Cavalry.

Messrs. Editors: In all the accounts I have seen of the deeds of heroism and daring displayed in the battle of the 21st, no mention has been made of the squadron of cavalry commanded by Lieut. Col. Thomas T. Munford. It is far from the intention of the writer of this to detract on leaf from the well won wreathes that now deck the brows of those who participated in the struggles and perils of that eventful day. But simply to do what he considers an act of justice, to a modest gentleman and chivalrous soldier. One from whom it will never be known what part he played, and others who are acquainted with the facts, must do him justice.

Col. Munford commanded a squadron composed of the Chesterfield Troop, Capt. William B. Ball, and the Fauquier Black Horse, Capt. William H. Payne. Col. Munford formed his command early in the morning near Mitchell’s ford, the scene of the fight of the 18th. They were first drawn up in the public road, but, owing to the large quantity of dust, were ordered to fall back to a thicket near by. – Where for more than two hours the balls of the enemy’s long range guns, passed directly over their heads, making strange music, but the men stood it like war worn veterans. An order was not went that all the cavalry should proceed at once higher up the Run to the scene of action, which order Col. Munford executed at once. On reaching the point designated he found large bodies of cavalry drawn up in different parts of the field. He promptly stationed his command in a position to secure them from the enemy’s fire and quietly awaited further orders.

A little before five in the evening Captain Payne, who had ridden over the hill to see how the fight raged, met with Col. George W. Lay, of the Confederate army, on his way with an order from Gen. Beauregard for the cavalry to pursue the enemy; and, although hundreds of the wounded and dying had passed by, the blood upon their persons telling the tale of danger and suffering that those who participated in the fight might expect, there was no holding back or hesitation manifested on the part of officers or men. The squadron was formed in column of fours, facing in the direction of the turnpike over which the enemy were flying. The Colonel who was at the head of the column at once gave the order, “gallop, march,” which was instantly obeyed, and kept up for more than a mile and a half, when the squadron was halted and formed by platoons, not being able to effect the formation while in motion, being then in a thick wood. Colonel Munford now ordered Captain Payne to take twenty men and scout the turnpike road, thinking his command was ahead of the enemy. – Capt. Payne, upon reaching the turnpike, found that the enemy had advanced opposite Col. Munford’s force. Capt. Payne’s party arrested two men, who were sent immediately to Col. M., who ordered them to be taken to Manassa.

The order was now promptly given to charge in the direction of the turnpike. Each trusty blade waved above the strong arms and steady hearts that wielded them, and with a war whoop and Indian chief might have envied, they rushed to the scene of action. A good many of the enemy were killed in the first charge, but a greater portion of those first overtaken, threw down their arms, and asked for quarter, which was at once given. At this point, several wagons and ambulances, containing medical stores, were taken and sent back. A large number were now seen in a field some distance off, and the order to charge them was given. A good many prisoners were taken from this force, among them a Captain Griffin, of the Eighth New York Regiment. He was captured by Capt. Payne, whose charger carried him some distance in advance of his squadron. At this point, they fell into an ambuscade; but owing to the impetuous charge that had been made, which so alarmed the enemy that, although there was a full battalion concealed in the thicket, and opened a tremendous fire upon Col. Munford’s lines, not a man or horse was injured. He was prevented from charging this party, by a high staked and rydered fence. Just then, a large body of the enemy, with baggage wagons and artillery, were discovered a little distance to his left, and were bringing their guns to bear upon the squadron; and also a column of the enemy advancing in his rear. He then ordered his men to fall back over a hill out of sight, which was done quietly and in perfect order; and then conducted them under the cover of the hill, to a wood near by. Soon after reaching the wood, artillery was heard passing over the turnpike, coming in the direction of Col. Munford’s command. Several troopers were now detached to find out whether it was the enemy or our own troops, who had followed in pursuit.

His scouts soon returned and reported that the troops passing down the road were a portion of the Second South Carolina Regiment, under command of Col. Kershaw. And two pieces of artillery from Cap. Kemper’s battery, commanded by Capt. Kemper in person. The large force of the enemy seen to the left, evidently being alarmed by Col. Munford’s charge, quickened their march to reach Cub Run bridge, where they were forced to cross with their teams and artillery, the stream being a very rocky one and having few fords upon it. The enemy came into the pike a few hundred yards above the bridge just as Capt. Kemper got his guns in position. He immediately opened fire upon them with terrible effect. – Their consternation now became complete, and everything was abandoned – wagons, guns, ambulances were all deserted except by a few stragglers, who remained behind, and were put to flight by the Albemarle Light Horse, commanded by Major John Scott, of the Confederate army, who had followed on with Col. Kershaw and Captain Kemper, and were stationed on the side of the turnpike, when they could advance as soon as the artillery ceased firing. As soon as Capt. Kemper turned his guns to return to the Stone Bridge, Major Hill, of the Confederate army, rode up to Col. Munford’s command and asked for a troop of horse to assist Col. Kershaw to remove the guns from Cub Run bridge. Col. Munford, who had gone to the point from which the artillery tired, returned in a few minutes and promptly complied with Major Hill’s request, and proceeded at once to the bridge, which was found to be perfectly barricaded by the guns and wagons which had been left. When Col. Munford reached the bridge none of the guns had been removed. He immediately ordered his men to dismount and disengage the guns, saying to Major Scott that he would superintend the removal. A portion of his command, Capt. Payne’s troop, had been out on picked duty all day Saturday, and Saturday night, near the lines of the enemy; but worked without complaining until after two o’clock A. M., disengaging the guns, and caissons and taking them up the hill from the bridge, Col. Munford remaining all the time and working as hard as any trooper on the ground. They reached the Stone bridge with the prizes they had taken a little before dawn, which amounted to ten guns and their caissons, and among them the large siege gun called, I understand, Tom. There were several which had to be left for the want of teams to draw them. Leaving the Stone bridge just at dawn, the squadron got into Manassa about half-past nine Monday morning, and were greeted with cheer after cheer as they passed the different encampments along the rode from the Stone bridge to the Junction. It will be seen that some of the men had been over forty-eight hours without sleep and scarcely a mouthful to eat, and undergoing violent exercise nearly the whole time. Sixty odd waggon and artillery horses were taken at the bridge and on the road. It is due to the officers and men under Col. Munford’s command to state that never once during the whole day, was an order given the was not promptly and accurately obeyed, and it is also, due to Col. Munford to state that all of the prisoners, among whom there were several regular United States soldiers, who were taken after night, that it was the charge of Col. Munford’s squadron which disorganized them and caused the loss of their guns, then fired on by Kemper’s battery. The only accident that befell this command was caused by the accidental discharge of a pistol in the hand of young Taliaferro, of the Black Horse. That ball taking effect behind his horses ear, causing it to fall, and breaking its rider’s collar bone, but who immediately regained his feet and ran some two hundred yards and fired the remaining five barrels of his pistol at one of the enemy, who was running across the field. This is a simple and true account of the part Col. Munford had in that day’s work, given by one who was an eye witness to it all.

August 1, 1861.

Richmond (VA) Enquirer, 8/13/1861

Clipping Image

Unknown, 30th Virginia (Cavalry), On the Battle

4 09 2020

The Thirtieth Virginia Regiment – A correspondent of the Lynchburg Virginian thus narrates the exploits of this regiment in the battle of Manassas:

Early in the morning of the 21st, and indeed during the previous night, the approach of the enemy was known in the Southern camp; but at what point on Bull Run creek the attack would be made, was unknown; therefore, every point was guarded by infantry and cavalry. For this reason, the 30th Regiment was stationed in squads at different points on the creek. At 10:00 A. M., it was evident that the design of the enemy was to attack the left wing of our army, at the point known as Stone Bridge. Near this point Col. Radford had concentrated, and remined much exposed to the enemy’s artillery and infantry during the engagement of six or eight hours, at the end of which time, however, the enemy’s column began to give way and Col. Radford was ordered to charge. This order was properly obeyed, and with such terrific valor as to cause a perfect stampede with the enemy. They broke their lines and run in every direction, throwing down their arms and divesting themselves of everything that would render their escape doubtful. Many surrendered themselves prisoners of war, and begged our brave soldiers not to shoot them. In this charge we succeeded in taking from 40 to 60 prisoners, killed 25 artillery horses, captured 15 0r 20 wagons, and left from 60 to 100 of the enemy killed and wounded on the field. Then it was, in the foremost of the fight, the gallant and intrepid Capt. Winston Radford, of the “Radford Rangers,” received a mortal wound, from which he died an hour afterwards, in the arms of a stranger friend, upon the soil of his own native State; and truly ‘tis a proud legacy to those who mourn his loss to say that the last sound that greeted the ears of the brave, dying man, was the tramp of the retreating foe. Truly, Capt. Radford died a hero, as did, at the same time, his companion in arms, the lamented Irvine. Shortly afterward, and but a few hundred yards further down the road, a second charge was made, which resulted, without the loss of a man of this regiment, in the capture of 60 prisoners, 14 pieces of artillery, 30 wagons and ambulances, a large number of horses, besides various other articles of value belonging to the enemy. At this point 42 invaders were killed, and a large number wounded. From this it may be seen why it is the Northern press attribute their great loss of artillery and other Federal property to the Confederate cavalry, in their retreat from Bull Run. And it is no disparagement to other regiments and companies, who did their duty nobly, to say that the 30th Regiment, Mounted Rangers, under their daring and fearless commander, Colonel Radford, did their whole duty.

Richmond (VA) Dispatch, 8/10/1861

Clipping Image

Lt. Col. James Madison Leach, 11th North Carolina Infantry, Defends His Conduct In the Battle

3 09 2020

Camp Rhett, (Near Manassa,)
Aug. 15th, 1861.

Mr. Editor: – I feel it my duty to notice, in this public way, a vile calumny against me, the report of which has been reaching me for the last three days, as talked of in Raleigh and various places in the State. It is to the effect that in the battles of Bull Run and Manassas, or Stone Bridge, I not only behaved ungallantly, but showed a want of bravery, fled from the field, was arrested and tried for cowardice, &c.

In both battles I endeavored to do my whole duty, as an officer and a North Carolinian.

I was often on horseback, riding up and down the lines, speaking words of cheer to the brave soldiers, and while this in the saddle was exposed to the heavy cannonading and shelling of the enemy, and was again and again urged by officers and privates to dismount and take my place in the entrenchments, which I sometimes did while the balls were flying over our heads, and often piercing the frail embankments, our brave men standing coolly awaiting the enemy. I take no credit to myself for this, I only did my duty, but mention it to refute the lying calumny of my slanderers; and take leave to say that every man did his duty, well and bravely, on those memorable days.

In the evening of the 21st, at least one hour after the last gun had been fired at our Regiment, and when the thrilling, glorious news first reached us, that the Yankees had been finally repulsed on the right wing, a distance from us of from three to five miles, and were fleeing, and while the whole line was wild with joy, I galloped off to the right, in common with many officers of other Regiments, not actually in the main fight, fell in with the Lynchburg Cavalry, as I understood, and pursued the enemy to Bull Run, and there hearing and believing they were routed, and hoping they would be pursued thus making the route complete, I returned across the field of the dead and dying, and back at half speed to our entrenchments, where I learned our Regiment had left some 20 minutes or more, though they were still in hearing, and I pressed on to the farther edge of the old field beyond Bull Run where I overtook the several Brigades that had been ordered to pursue and was a few minutes in finding our Regiment and getting through the mighty throng to them, where we remained about an hour and a half, and then marched back to our entrenchments, sleeping all night upon our arms.

It is strange news to every soldier of our Regiment that I showed any want of bravery; and is treated with that indignation and contempt that it deserves; while on the other hand it is said and repeated by officers and privates, that I acted rashly, and exposed myself unnecessarily.

I herewith append the statement in my defence, refuting the base falsehoods, made by 45 of the 48 commissioned officers of the regiment, two of them being absent when the statement was carried round, and the other, Lieut. Smith, being on sick leave at Charlottesville.

Thus it will be seen that every statement I have made is shown to be true by the brave officers of the regiment who have known me long, and who, in my military capacity, know me best; and I am proud to know that in their expressions of confidence and esteem they reflect the sentiments of the privates of the regiment.

It is regarded here as singular that I should have been singled our to be thus made the subject of such hellish persecution; while it is gratifying to me to learn, that both friends and enemies, whether political or personal, who have any character, are pronouncing the report to be a miserable lie.

It were flattery to call such slanderers liars, cowards, and scoundrels, though I do pronounce him, or them, and shall so regard any who may hereafter circulate the report with a view to my injury.

Lt. Col. 11th Reg’t N. C. V.


Camp Rhett, (near Manassas Junction,)
August 10, 1861.

As commissioned officers of the 11th Regiment N. C. Volunteers, it affords us great pleasure to contradict the report now in circulation in North Carolina, that Lt. Col. Leach, of our regiment, behaved ungallantly and showed a want of bravery in the battles of Bull Run and Stone Bridge, of Thursday and Sunday, the 18th and 21st ult., and to testify that it is wholly, out-and-out, a fabrication. But that on the other hand, he on both days, bore himself bravely and gallantly, often exposing himself to the cannonading and shelling of the enemy, by riding up and down the entrenchments and peaking words of cheer and encouragement to the brave soldiers.

After firing had ceased in the Centre, where our regiment was posted, at a late hour in the evening, when the first news reached us that the enemy were repulsed on the left, he galloped off in that direction, with officers as we have learned, from other regiments; and after we were ordered to pursue the enemy on the right wing, he overtook and joined us at the edge of the old field, one mile and a half from Mitchell’s Ford, where we were stationed. Ant it is utterly false that he was arrested for want of bravery. We likewise take pleasure in stating that Lt. Col. Leach has discharged his duty as a gallant officer, and is generally beloved by the Regiment.

[This is signed by the officers of the regiment as described by Lt. Col. Leach, and can be seen in the clipping attached below.]

(Raleigh, NC) Semi-Weekly Standard, 8/21/1861

Clipping Image

James Madison Leach at Wikipedia 

James Madison Leach at NCPedia 

James Madison Leach at Ancestry 

James Madison Leach at Fold3 

James Madison Leach at FindAGrave