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he having abandoned his intrenchments the not returning to make an effort to follow us. night before. Our batteries on the hill now opened fire, susOn advancing one mile in front of Centre-tained by the Second Michigan regiment on the ville, I came to a halt near some springs to procure water for the brigade, and Gen. Tyler and myself left with a squadron of cavalry and two companies of infantry for the purpose of making a reconnoissance, to the front, which, on arriving one mile in front of Blackburn's Ford, proved that the enemy had a battery in rear of the run so as to enfilade the road. He had also strong pickets of infantry and skirmishing parties occupying the woods and houses in front of his position. The battalion of light infantry was now ordered to deploy five hundred yards in front of the eminence upon which this camp is situated, and a position was at once taken by the rifled guns, which now opened their fire.

This fire was not answered by the enemy until several rounds had been fired, and I pushed forward the skirmishers to the edge of the woods, they driving in those of the enemy in fine style, and then brought up the 1st Massachusetts regiment to their support, the skirmishers still advancing into the woods.

Capt. Brackett's squadron of the 2d Cavalry, and two 12-pounder howitzers, commanded by Capt. Ayers, 5th U. S. Artillery, now moved up into an opening in the woods, in support. The enemy also opened another battery more to our left, so as to cross fire with the other upon the road. I ordered up at this time the 12th New York regiment, Col. Walrath, to the left of our battery, and it being formed in line of battle, I directed it to make a charge upon their position, the skirmishers still pushing forward and drawing the enemy's fire, but keeping themselves well covered. I now left the position of the 12th New York regiment to place upon the right of the battery the Massachusetts and the 2d and 3d Michigan regiments, when a very heavy fire of musketry and artillery was opened by the enemy, along his whole line. On moving toward our left, I found the 12th New York regiment had fallen back out of the woods in disorder, only parts of two companies, some sixty men in all, remaining in line, and retreating. The howitzers, and also the cavalry, had been withdrawn; our left was thus exposed, although the skirmishers still held their ground in the woods, and the three remaining regiments on the right remained firm and determined.

I now reported to Gen. Tyler that the main body of the New York regiment had fallen back in confusion, and I proposed to make a charge with the three remaining regiments, for the purpose of carrying the enemy's position. The General replied that the enemy were in large force and strongly fortified, and a further attack was unnecessary; that it was merely a reconnoissance which he had made, that he had found where the strength of the enemy lay, and ordered me to fall back in good order to our batteries on the hill, which we did, the enemy closing his fire before we left the ground, and

right, in close column by divisions-the other two regiments forming line of battle on the left. The New York regiment, after some time, formed under cover of the woods in rear. In this affair our skirmishers advanced so close to the enemy's works and batteries that two mounted officers were killed inside the breastworks, and one of our men was shot through the shoulder with a revolver by one of the enemy's officers, and one of their cannoneers was bayoneted by one of our men while the former was engaged in loading his gun. Our skirmishers, also, in falling back, had several of their wounded bayoneted by order of the enemy's officers.

The enemy's intrenchments and batteries appeared to be in rear of the creek called Bull Run. The batteries on the extreme right of their line were on high ground, and fired over the heads of their infantry in front. At night we fell back to Centreville for water and ations, and this morning have again occupied our ground upon the hill in front of the enemy, they being in large force, and having their pickets and skirmishers in the woods, and in front of them, as yesterday. I have the honor also to inclose a statement of our loss incidental to this affair. I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Col. Commanding Fourth Brigade, First Division.

To Brig.-Gen. TYLER, Commanding First Division.


E, Captain Ayers, Fifth Artillery, commandThird Regiment U. S. Artillery, Company ing.First Lient. Loraine wounded. 2 privates killed, 1 private wounded. 4 horses killed, 3

horses wounded.

Capt. Brackett's Squadron, Companies G and
Second Cavalry.-1 sergeant and 2 privates

wounded. 8 horses wounded.

der-1 sergeant and 1 private killed. 4 priLight Infantry Battalion, Capt. Britchschnei vates wounded, (3 of the Second Michigan.)

Twelfth New York Regiment, Col. Walrath 1 corporal and 18 privates wounded. 1 corcommanding.-1 corporal and 4 privates killed. poral and 9 privates missing.

Second Michigan Infantry, Col. J. B. Rich ardson commanding.—1 private wounded.

commanding.-1 private wounded.
Third Michigan Infantry, Col. Mc Connell

TOTAL.-19 killed, 38 wounded, and 26 missing; 4 horses killed and 11 wounded.

Col. Commanding Fourth Brigade, First Division.

POTOMAC, MANASSAS, August, 1861.
GENERAL: With the general results of the
engagement between several brigades of my

command and a considerable force of the ene- | Stone Bridge crossing, with Sloane's 4th regi my, in the vicinity of Mitchell's and Blackburn's ment South Carolina volunteers, Wheat's SpeFords of Bull Run, on the 18th ultimo, you cial Battalion Louisiana volunteers, four 6were made duly acquainted at the time by tele- pounder guns and two companies of Virginia graph, but it is my place now to submit in de-cavalry.

tail the operations of that day.

Early's brigade, consisting of Kemper's 7th, Opportunely informed of the determination Early's 24th regiment of Virginia volunteers, of the enemy to advance on Manassas, my ad- Hays' 7th regiment Louisiana volunteers, and vanced brigades, on the night of the 16th of three rifle pieces of Walton's battery. LieuJuly, were made aware from these head-quar-tenant Squires' at first were held in position in ters of the impending movement; and in exact the rear of, and as a support to, Ewell's briaccordance with my instructions, a copy of gade, until after the development of the enemy which is appended, marked "A," their with- in heavy offensive force, in front of Mitchell's drawal within the lines of Bull Run was effect- and Blackburn's Fords, when it was placed ed with complete success during the day and in rear of and nearly equidistant between night of the 17th ultimo in face of, and in im- McLean's, Blackburn's, and Mitchell's Fords. mediate proximity to a largely superior force, despite a well-planned, well-executed effort to cut off the retreat of Bonham's brigade-first at Germantown, and subsequently at Centreville, whence he withdrew by my direction, after midnight, without collision, although enveloped on three sides by their lines. This movement had the intended effect of deceiving the enemy, as to my ulterior purposes, and led him to anticipate an unresisted passage of Bull Run.

As prescribed in the first and second sections of the paper herewith, marked "A," on the morning of the 18th of July, my troops resting on Bull Run, from Union Mills Ford to the Stone Bridge, a distance of about eight miles, were posted as follows:

Ewell's brigade occupied a position in vicinity of Union Mills Ford. It consisted of Rhode's 5th and Siebel's 6th regiments of Alabama, and Seymour's 6th regiment of Louisiana volunteers, with four 12-pounder howitzers, of Walton's battery, and Harrison's, Green's and Cabell's companies of Virginia cavalry.

D. R. Jones' brigade was in position in rear of McLean's Ford, and consisted of Jenkins' 5th South Carolina, and Bunt's 15th and Fetherstone's 18th regiments of Mississippi volunteers, with two brass 6-pounder guns of Walton's battery, and one company of cavalry.

Longstreet's brigade covered Blackburn's Ford, and consisted of Moore's 1st, Garland's 11th and Crose's 17th regiments Virginia volunteers, with two 6-pounder brass guns of Walton's battery.

Bonham's brigade held the approaches to Mitchell's Ford; it was composed of Kershaw's 2d, Williams' 3d, Bacon's 7th and Cash's 8th regiments South Carolina volunteers; of Shields' and Del Kemper's batteries, and of Flood's, Radford's, Payne's, Ball's, Wickman's and Powell's companies of Virginia cavalry, under Col. Radford.

Cocke's brigade held the Fords below and in vicinity of the Stone Bridge, and consisted of Wither's 18th, Lieutenant-Colonel Strange's 19th, and R. T. Preston's 28th regiments, with Latham's battery and one company of cavalry, Virginia volunteers.

Evans held my left flank and protected the

Pending the development of the enemy's purpose, about ten (10) o'clock A. M., I established my head-quarters at a central point, McLean's farm-house, near to McLean's and Blackburn's Fords, where two 6-pounders of Walton's battery were in reserve; but, subsequently during the engagement, I took post to the left of my reserve.

Of the topographical features of the country thus occupied, it must suffice to say that Bull Run is a small stream running in this locality, nearly from West to East, to its confluence with the Occoquan River, about twelve miles from the Potomac, and draining a considerable scope of country, from its source in Bull Run Mountain, to a short distance of the Potomac at Occoquan. At this season, habitually low and sluggish, it is, however, rapidly and frequently swollen by the summer rains until unfordable. The banks for the most part are rocky and steep, but abound in long used fords. The country, on either side much broken and thickly wooded, becomes gently rolling and open as it recedes from the stream. On the Northern side the ground is much the highest, and commands the other bank completely. Roads traverse and intersect the surrounding country in almost every direction. Finally, at Mitchell's Ford, the stream is about equidistant between Centreville and Manassas, some six miles apart. On the morning of the 18th, finding that the enemy was assuming a threatening attitude, in addition to the regiments, whose positions have been already stated, I ordered up from Camp Pickens, as a reserve, in rear of Bonham's brigade, the effective men of 6 companies of Kelley's Eighth regiment Louisiana volunteers, and Kirkland's Eleventh regiment North Carolina volunteers, which, having arrived the night before en route for Winchester, I had halted in view of the existing necessities of the service. Subsequently the latter was placed in position to the left of Bonham's brigade.

Appearing in heavy force in front of Bonham's position, the enemy, about meridian, opened fire, with several 20-pounder rifle guns from a hill, over one and a half miles from Bull Run. At the same time Kemper, supported by two companies of light infantry, occupied a

ridge on the left of the Centreville road, about six hundred yards in advance of the ford, with two 6-pounder (smooth) guns. At first the firing of the enemy was at random, but by half past 12 P. M. he had obtained the range of our position, and poured into the brigade a shower of shot, but without injury to us in men, horses, or guns. From the distance, however, our guns could not reply with effect, and we did not attempt it, patiently awaiting a more opportune moment.

Meanwhile a light battery was pushed forward by the enemy, whereupon Kemper threw only six solid shot, with the effect of driving back both the battery and its supporting force. This is understood to have been Ayres' battery, and the damage must have been considerable to have obliged such a retrograde movement on the part of that officer.

The purposes of Kemper's position having now been fully served, his pieces and support were withdrawn across Mitchell's Ford, to a point previously designated, and which commanded the direct approaches to the ford.

About half-past 11 o'clock A. M., the enemy was also discovered by the pickets of Longstreet's brigade advancing in strong columns of infantry, with artillery and cavalry, on Blackburn's Ford.

At meridian the pickets fell back silently before the advancing fire across the ford, which -as well as the entire southern bank of the stream, for the whole front of Longstreet's brigade was covered at the water's edge by an extended line of skirmishers, while two 6pounders of Walton's battery, under Lieut. Garnett, were advantageously placed to command the direct approach to the ford, but with orders to retire to the rear as soon as commanded by the enemy.

The northern bank of the stream, in front of Longstreet's position, rises with a steep slope at least fifty feet above the level of the water, leaving a narrow berme in front of the ford of some 20 yards. This ridge formed for them an admirable natural parapet, behind which they could, and did approch, under shelter, in heavy force, within less than 100 yards of our skirmishers; the southern shore was almost a plain, raised but a few feet above the water for several hundred yards, then rising with a very gradual, gentle slope, and undulations, back to Manassas. On the immediate bank there was a fringe of trees, but with little, if any, undergrowth or shelter, while on the other shore there were timber and much thick brush and covering. The ground in the rear of our skirmishers, and occupied by our artillery, was an old field extending along the stream about one mile, and iminediately back for about half a mile to a border or skirting of dense, secondgrowth pines. The whole of this ground was commanded at all points by the ridge occupied by the enemy's musketry, as was also the conntry to the rear, for a distance much beyond the range of 20-pounder rifle guns, by the range of

hills on which their batteries were planted, and which, it may be further noted, commanded also all our approaches from this direction to the three threatened fords.

Before advancing his infantry the enemy maintained a fire of rifle artillery from the batteries just mentioned for half an hour, then he pushed forward a column of over 3,000 infantry to the assault, with such a weight of numbers as to be repelled with difficulty by the comparatively small force at not more than twelve hundred bayonets, with which Brigadier-General Longstreet met him with characteristic vigor and intrepidity. Our troops engaged at this time were the First and Seventeenth, and four companies of the Eleventh regiment Virginia volunteers; their resistance was resolute, and maintained with a steadiness worthy of all praise; it was successful, and the enemy was repulsed. In a short time, however, he returned to the contest with increased force and determination, but was again foiled and driven back by our skirmishers and Longstreet's reserve companies, which were brought up and employed at the most vigorously assailed points at the critical moment.

It was now that Brigadier-General Longstreet sent for reënforcements from Early's brigade, which I had anticipated by directing the advance of Gen. Early, with two regiments of infantry and two pieces of artillery. As these came upon the field the enemy had advanced a third time with heavy numbers to force Longstreet's position. Hay's regiment, 7th Louisiana volunteers, which was in advance, was placed on the bank of the stream, under some cover, to the immediate right and left of the ford, relieving Corse's regiment, 17th Virginia volunteers; this was done under a heavy fire of musketry, with promising steadiness. The 7th Virginia, under Lieutenant-Colonel Williams, was then formed to the right, also under heavy fire, and pushed forward to the stream, relieving the 1st regiment Virginia volunteers. At the same time, two rifle guns, brought up with Early's brigade, were moved down in the field to the right of the road, so as to be concealed from the enemy's artillery by the girth of timber on the immediate bank of the stream, and there opened fire, directed only by the sound of the enemy's musketry. Unable to effect a passage, the enemy kept up a scattering fire for some time. Some of our troops had pushed across the stream, and several small parties of Corse's regiment, under command of Capt. Mayre, met and drove the enemy with the bayonet; but as the roadway from the ford was too narrow for a combined movement in force, Gen. Longstreet recalled them to the south bank. Meanwhile, the remainder of Early's infantry and artillery had been called upthat is, six companies of the 24th regiment Virginia volunteers, under Lieut-Col. Hairston, and five pieces of artillery, one rifle gun and four six-pounder brass guns, including two 6pounder guns under Lieut. Garnett, which had

ardson, Garnett, and Whittington. At the same time, our infantry held the bank of the stream in advance of our guns, and the missiles flew to and fro above them, as, cool and veteranlike, for more than an hour they steadily awaited the moment and signal for the advance. While the conflict was at its height before Blackburn's Ford, about 4 o'clock P. M., the

been previously sent to the rear by Gen. Longstreet. This infantry was at once placed in position to the left of the ford, in a space unoccupied by Hays, and the artillery was unlimbered in battery to the right of the road in a line with the two guns already in action. A scattering fire of musketry was still kept up by the enemy for a short time, but that was soon silenced. It was at this stage of the affair that a re-enemy again displayed himself in force before markable artillery duel was commenced and maintained on our side with a long-trained professional opponent superior in character as well as in the number of his weapons, provided with improved munitions and every artillery appliance, and at the same time occupying the commanding position. The results were marvellous, and fitting precursors to the artillery achievements of the twenty-first of July. In the outset our fire was directed against the enemy's infantry, whose bayonets, gleaming above the tree-tops, alone indicated their presence and force.


This drew the attention of a battery placed on a high, commanding ridge, and a duel began in earnest. For a time the aim of the adversary was inaccurate, but this was quickly corrected, and shot fell and shells burst thick and fast in the midst of our battery, wounding in the course of the combat Capt. Eschelman, five privates, and the horse of Lieut. RichardFrom the position of our pieces and the nature of the ground, their aim could only be directed at the smoke of the enemy's artillery; how skilfully and with what execution this was done c. only be realized by an eye-witness. For a few moments, their guns were silenced, but were soon re-opened. By direction of Gen. Longstreet his battery was then advanced by hand out of the range now ascertained by the enemy, and a shower of spherical case, shell, and round shot flew over the heads of our gunners; but one of our pieces had become hors de combat from an enlarged vent. From the new position our guns fired as before, with no other aim than the smoke and flash of their adversaries' pieces-renewed and urged the conflict with such signal vigor and effect, that gradually the fire of the enemy slackened, the intervals between their discharges grew longer and longer, finally to cease, and we fired a last gun at a baffled, flying foe, whose heavy masses in the distance were plainly seen to break and scatter, in wild confusion and utter rout, strewing the ground with cast-away guns, hats, blankets, and knapsacks, as our parting shells were thrown among them. In their retreat one of their pieces was abandoned, but from the nature of the ground it was not sent for that night, and under cover of darkness the enemy recovered it.

The guns engaged in this singular conflict on our side were three 6-pounder rifle pieces and four ordinary 6-pounders, all of Walton's battery-the Washington Artillery, of New Orleans. The officers immediately attached were, Cap. Eschelman, Lieuts. C. W. Squires, Rich

Bonham's position. At this, Colonel Kershaw with four companies of his regiment, Second South Carolina, and one piece of Kemper's battery, were thrown across Mitchell's Ford to the ridge which Kemper had occupied that morning. Two solid shot, and three spherical case thrown among them-with a precision inaugurated by that artillerist at Vienna-effected their discomfiture and disappearance, and our troops in the quarters were again withdrawn within our lines, having discharged the duty assigned.

At the close of the engagement before Blackburn Ford, I directed Gen. Longstreet to withdraw the 1st and 17th regiments, which had borne the brunt of the action, to a position in reserve, leaving Col. Early to occupy the field with his brigade and Garland's regiment.

As a part of the history of this engagement, I desire to place on record, that on the 18th of July not one yard of intrenchment nor one rifle-pit sheltered the men at Blackburn's Ford, who, officers and men, with rare exceptions, were on that day for the first time under fire, and who, taking and maintaining every position ordered, cannot be too much commended for their soldierly behavior.

Our artillery were manned and officered by those who but yesterday were called from the civil avocations of a busy city. They were matched with the picked artillery of the Federal regular ariny-Company E, 3d artillery, under Capt. Ayres, with an armament, as their own chief of artillery admits, of two 10-pounder Parrott rifle guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 6-pounder pieces, aided by two 20-pounder Parrott rifle guns of Company G, 5th artillery, under Lieut. Benjamin; thus matched they drove their veteran adversaries from the field, giving confidence in and promise of the coming efficiency of that brilliant arm of our service.

Having thus related the main or general results and events of the action of Bull Run, in conclusion, it is proper to signalize some of those who contributed most to the satisfactory results of that day.

Thanks are due to Brig.-Gens. Bonham and Ewell, and to Col. Cocke and the officers under them, for the ability shown in conducting and executing the retrograde movements on Bull Run, directed in my orders of the 18th of July -movements on which hung the fortunes of this army.

Brig.-Gen. Longstreet, who commanded immediately the troops engaged at Blackburn's Ford on the 18th, equalled my confident ex

pectations, and I may fitly say, that by his presence in the right place, at the right moment, among his men, by the exhibition of characteristic coolness, and by his words of encouragement to the men of his command, he infused a confidence and spirit that contributed largely to the success of our arms on that day. Col. Early brought his brigade into position, and subsequently into action, with judgment; and at the proper moment he displayed capacity for command and personal gallantry.

Col. Moore, commanding the 1st Virginia volunteers, was severely wounded at the head of his regiment, the command of which subsequently devolved upon Major Skinner, Lieut.Col. Fry having been obliged to leave the field in consequence of a sun-stroke.

on Bull Run. Called from the head of his regiment by what appeared to me an imperative need of the service, to take charge of the superior duties of the Quartermaster's Department, with the advance at that critical juneture, he accepted the responsibilities involved, and was eminently efficient.

For further information touching officers and individuals of the 1st brigade, and the details of the retrograde movement, I have to refer particularly to the report of Brigadier-General Bonham, herewith.

It is proper here to state, that while from the outset it had been determined, on the approach of the enemy in force, to fall back and fight him on the line of Bull Run, yet the posi tion occupied by Gen. Ewell's brigade, if necesAn accomplished, promising officer, Major sary, could have been maintained against a Carter H. Herrison, 11th regiment Virginia largely superior force. This was especially the volunteers, was lost to the service while lead-case with the Fifth Alabaina volunteers, Coloing two companies of his regiment against the nel Rodes, which that excellent officer had enemy; he fell, twice shot, mortally wounded. made capable of a resolute, protracted defence Brigadier-General Longstreet, while finding on all sides alacrity, ardor and intelligence, mentions his special obligations to Cols. Moore, Garland, and Corse, commanding, severally, regiments of his brigade, and to their fieldofficers, Lieut.-Cols. Fry, Funsten, and Munford, and Majors Brent and Skinner, of whom he says: "they displayed more coolness and energy than is usual among veterans of the old service." General Longstreet also mentions the conduct of Captain Marey, of the 17th Virginia volunteers, as especially gallant on one occasion, in advance of the Ford.

The regiments of Early's brigade were commanded by Colonel Harry Hays, and Lieutenant-Colonels Williams and Hairston, who handled their commands in action with satisfactory coolness and skill, supported by their field officers, Lieut.-Col. DeChoiseul and Major Penn, of the 7th Louisiana, and Major Patton, of the 7th Virginia Volunteers.

The skill, the conduct, and the soldierly qualities of the Washington Artillery engaged were all that could be desired. The officers and men attached to the seven pieces already specified, won for their battalion a distinction which, I feel assured, will never be tarnished, and which will ever serve to urge them and their corps to high endeavor. Lieutenant Squires worthily commanded the pieces in action. The commander of the battalion was necessarily absent from the immediate field, under orders in the sphere of his duties, but the fruits of his discipline, zeal, instruction, and capacity as an artillery commander, were present, and must redound to his reputation.

On the left of Mitchell's Ford, while no serious engagement occurred, the conduct of all was eminently satisfactory to the general officer in command.

It is due, however, to J. L. Kemper, Virginia forces, to express my sense of the value of his services in the preparation for, and execution of, the retreat from Fairfax Court Ilouse

against heavy odds. Accordingly, on the morning of the 17th ult., when the enemy appeared before that position, they were checked and held at bay, with some confessed loss, in a skirmish in advance of the works, in which Major Morgan and Capt. Shelly, Fifth regiment Alabama volunteers, acted with intelligent gallantry; and the post was only abandoned under general but specific imperative orders, in conformity with a long-conceived, established plan of action and battle.

Capt. E. P. Alexander, Confederate States engineer, fortunately joined my head-quarters in time to introduce the system of new fieldsignals which, under his skilful management, rendered me the most important service preceding and during the engagement.

The medical officers serving with the regi ments engaged were at their proper posts and discharged their duties with satisfactory skill and zeal; and, on one occasion at least, under an annoying fire, when Surgeon Cullen, First regiment Virginia volunteers, was obliged to remove our wounded from the hospital, which had become the special target of the enemy's rifle guns, notwithstanding it was surmounted by the usual yellow hospital flag, but which, however, I hope, for the sake of past associa tions, was ignorantly mistaken for a Confederate flag. The name of each individual medical officer I cannot mention.

On the day of the engagement, I was attended by my personal staff, Lieutenant S. W. Ferguson, A.D.C., and my volunteer aides-decamp, Colonels Preston, Manning, Chestnut, Miles, Chisholm, and Heyward, of South Carolina, to all of whom I am greatly indebted for manifold essential services in the transmission of orders on the field, and in the preliminary arrangements for occupation and maintenance of the line of Bull Run.

Col. Thomas Jordan, Assistant AdjutantGeneral; Capt. C. N. Smith, Assistant Adju tant-General; Col. S. Jones, Chief of Artillery

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