Page images



-N. Y. Times.

something in this movement, and looking for | in motion since two hours before day, which shallow water, but finding none, we imme- settled the question as to their intention to dia:ely plunged into the stream and swam the make the attack. Beauregard, who had studriver. When within twenty feet of the oppo- ied the whole ground around-knew every hill, site shore we heard firing and cries of " come ravine, and pathway—had made all the necesback," and on turning round we saw ten or sary arrangements and planned the battle. Not fifteen men, in their shirt sleeves, ordering us knowing at what point of a semicircle of ten back, and firing several shots at us. Of course miles around Manassas the enemy would attack, we did not obey this command, but started off his forces had to be scattered in such a way as at a good pace into what we supposed was to guard all points, prevent a flank movement Maryland. We had not gone far before we came on either side, and guard his intrenchments and to another stream, which we waded.

supplies in the centre. We afterwards ascertained that we had crossed We got up in the morning at daylight, took a Edward's Island about 17 miles from Washing. cup of coffee and remained quietly laughing and ton. Before losing sight of our pursuers, talking at head-quarters, while the scouts were Capt. Allen showed his pistol, and shook it in passing in and out bring ng news from the enedetiance of them. This was the only weapon, my. At a quarter past six in the still, bright with the exception of the knife, we had among morning, we heard the first deep-toned sound 03. This was about half-past five Sunday of cannon on the centre of our line, about three morning. Finding ourselves among friends, miles off. We waited till nine for further inforwe walked five miles to Great Falls, where we mation, and at nine the generals ordered to horse, laid down and rested till noon. On waking and away we dashed to the hill overlooking the we resumed our march, and reached the arsenal point at which cannon, like minute guns, had at nine at night, where we found our picket- continued slowly to fire. The enemy could not guard of Second Vermont regiment. They see any of our troops, but were firing at the dust received us kindly, provided us with supper, kicked up along the road, which they saw above and furnished us with a bed. The next morn- the low trees. We were for some time at the ing we all hurried on to Washington, and tele- point they were firing at, and some twenty or graphed our safe arrival to our friends. thirty balls of their rified cannons whizzed

through the air above us, and I felt very forcibly E. P. DOHERTY. the remark of Cuddy to his mother Mause, that

“a straggling bullet has nae discretion" and might take my head off as well as that of any.

body else. The firing, at this point kept up Doo. 7.

slowly from a quarter past six till eleven, when SECESSION LETTERS AND NARRATIVES. we heard a gun fire on the extreme left of the

semicircle, and we were then satisfied that DOCTOR J. C. NOTT'S ACCOUNT.

the firing in front was a mere feint. In a few RICHMOND, July 23, 1861.

minutes the cannon firing came in rapid succesDear HARLESTON: I have seen the great and sion, as if one battery was answering another. glorions battle of Manassas, which brought a The generals then ordered “to horse” again, nation into existence, and the scene was grand and away we rode to the seat of battlo, about and impressive beyond the power of language. three miles off. When we arrived on the top of We foresaw the action several days ahead—the a hill, in an old field, we could get glimpses of enemy were known to be advancing in immense the fight through the woods. The cannons masses from Arlington towards Fairfax, and the were roaring and the musketry sounded like a master stroke was at once made, to order John- large bundle of fire crackers, and the constant ston down from Winchester, by forced marches, roaring of the big guns, the sharp sound of before Patterson could get down on the other rifled cannons, Minié rifles and muskets, with side. Johnston's troops marched all twenty- the bursting of shells, made one feel that death six miles, then crowded into the railroad, came was doing his work with fearful rapidity. down in successive trains, without sleeping or The enemy had concentrated all his forces eating, (15,000,) and arrived, many of them, on this one point, while ours were scattered while the battle was raging.

around a half circle of ten miles, and the few I got to Manassas the morning of the day regiments who received the first onset were previous to the fight; and knowing well both most terribly cut up. It was far greater odds Generals Beauregard and Johnston, and their than human nature could stand, the regiments staff officers, I went immediately to head- were torn to pieces, driven back, and so overquarters. Zac. Deas, among the rest, was there whelmed by numbers that I feared the day was in full feather, and I of course felt at home in lost. At this stage of the game the enemy his camp, where I spent the night. General was telegraphing to Washington that the batBeauregard determined to attack them in sev- tle had been won, and secession was about to eral columns at once the next morning, so as be crushed. My heart failed me as I saw load to cut them up before Patterson could arrive- after load of our poor wounded and dying but our scouts came early in the morning, in- soldiers brought and strewed on the ground, forming the generals that the enemy had been along the ravine where I was at work. Dr.

No one

Fanthray, who belonged to General Johnston's details which will reach you through print long staff, and myself were just getting fully to before this. work, when an old surgeon, whom I do not The victory was dearly bought, but still know, came to us and said the enemy were blood is the price of freedom; and we can at carrying every thing before them, and ordered least, while we drop a tear over the graves of us to fall back to another point with the wound- our fallen friends, feel the proud consolation ed, as they were turning our flank, and the that they have died like heroes, and given battle would soon be upon us. Accordingly liberty to unborn generations. the wounded were taken up and we fell back, Our troops are pouring in every day from but after following the ambulances for a mile, the South, and if Beauregard and Johnston we found that they were to be taken all the choose to lead them, they can plant the hated way to Manassas_about four miles—where Palmetto tree beside the Bunker Hill monuthere were hospitals and surgeons to receivement, which was erected to commemorate the them, and we returned to our position near the same principles for which we are now fightbattle.

ing, and to which a degenerate race has proved At this juncture I saw our reinforcements recreant. They have forced this fight upon pouring in with the rapidity and eagerness us, and after exhausting every thing but honor of a fox chase, and was satisfied that they for peace, it is their turn to sue for terms. would drive every thing before them.

I never had any idea of military science becan imagine such a grand, glorious picture as fore. Beauregard and Johnston played it like these patriots presented, rushing to the field a game of chess without seeing the boardthrough the masses of wounded bodies which when a messenger came and told the enemy's strewed the roadside as they passed along. For move, a move was immediately ordered to put half a mile behind me the road passed down a him in check.* gradual slope, and through an old field, as I The times are so exciting here that I cannot looked back, I could see a regiment of infantry yet foresee my movements. I found that they coming in a trot, with their bright muskets had surgeons enough for the wounded in the glittering in the sun; then would come a bat- hospitals at Manassas, and having no commistery of artillery, each gun carriage crowded sion, I left and came up to Richmond to send with men and drawn by four horses in full down many things needed for the patients, gallop: Next came troops of cavalry, dashing thinking I could serve them better in this way with the speed of Murat; after these followed, than any other. -Mobile Evening News, July 30. with almost equal speed, wagons loaded with ammunition, &c., screaming all the while,

* The position of the Confederato forces is thus given in “push ahead boys,” “ pitch into the d-d Yankees," " drive them into the Potomac.” This kept up from about mid-day till dark, and I felt

|Α as if the Alps themselves could not withstand such a rush. The cannon and small-arms were roaring like a thunder storm as they rushed to the battle-field.

3 One regiment, which had been driven back by overwhelming numbers, was now supported, and I soon perceived that the firing was getting further off, as I had expected, and I knew that the “pet lambs” now could

2 only be saved by their superior heels. About this time, too, the last of General Johnston's command arrived on the cars, opposite the battle-ground, to the number of some three or four thousand, and although they had been two nights without sleep, they jumped from the cars and cut across to the field. By this time A. The columns of the enemy making the feint attack on we had collected about 15,000 against their the centre of the Confederate lines.

B, B. The columns of the enemry, 85,000 strong, making 35,000, and, from all accounts, no red fox ever made tracks so fast as did these cowardly

1. Manassas Junction, with Confederate troops holding

the fortified camp. wretches. They were all fresh and better 2. The 15,000 Confederate troops who fought the battle accoutred in every respect than our men, one

and defeated the 35,000 Federals who attacked them.

3. The centre of the Confederate lines; a battery in pohalf or more of whom had to make forced marches to get at them. They had selected 4.4, 4, 4. Positions of troops forming the Confederate lines, their position coolly and deliberately in the where they were kept in lino to meet an advance from any

quarter. It is understood that some reinforcements were morning, while ours were scattered over ten sent dowu from these positions to join in the fight on the miles and had to run through the mid-day sunshine. If our men had been equally fresh

6,5. Railroads which make the junction at Manassas.

NOTE.-From the extreme left to the extremo right of they would have gone straight into their in- our lines, which formed nearly a trne semicircle, tho distrenchments at Arlington. But I will not ured by the arc or directly across from right to left, is not speculate on the future and weary you with clear.

the paper:

[ocr errors]


R. R.


the real attack on the left of the Confederate lines.



tance was ten miles; but whether this distance was meas

NOTES TAKEN ON THE BATTLE-FIELD. regard, Johnston, and Bonham have just come

Buli. Rus, Sunday Morning, July 21-10 o'clock. to the hill where I have been standing. The It seemed to be conceded that this was to whole scene is before us—a grand moving diobe the day of trial for which we have been rama. The enemy have sent a ball from their working for many months past, and, in com- rifled cannon at us. Another. They pass over mon with the immense mass of men assembled us with a sound that makes our flesh crawl. here, I have taken my position upon Bull Run, All have left the spot but Gens. Beauregard, to share the fortunes of the contest.

Bonham, and Johnston, and their aids. The The scene a moment since, and yet, is unut- firing has ceased at the head of our flanking terably sublime. Upon the hill, just one and column. It is renewed again, nearer, I think,

I a third mile off, the enemy are placing their to the enemy. Another ball exactly over our artillery. We see them plunging down the heads. A very sustaining force follows our Centreville road to the apex of the eminence flanking column. The enemy, firing at our above Mitchell's ford, and deploying to the generals, has dropped a shot among the wagright and left. Dark masses are drifting on ons in the edge of the woods below, and they with the power of fate in the road. We see dash off. Another shot follows them as they the columns moving, and, as they deploy fly, and plunges in the ground but a few feet through the forests, we see the cloud of dust behind one of them. floating over them, to mark their course.

11 o'clock. When the dust ceases we are sure that they

The firing has been awful. The heads of have taken their position. The firing now the flanking and resisting columns are distinctcommences from two batteries to the rightly visible from the smoke that rises above and left of the road. It is constant, and an- them, and they stand stationary for a long other has been opened about a mile lower time; but at last the enemy's column goes down. That, however, has been firing for an , back-a column of dust arises in their

rear-a hour past. The guns are served with great

shout rises that roars loud as the artillery from rapidity and precision, and, as we are within our men—the enemy's fire slackens-onr rerange, and uncertain, therefore, when they serves advance—the dust rises on to the posiwill favor us, there is quite an interest in the tion lately occupied by the enemy-we triposition. Our own troops are in the dense umph, we triumph, thank God! The dust still forest that lies below us on Bull Run. They rises in the rear of the enemy, as though they are still, not a gun has yet been fired, and were retreating rapidly. there would seem to be nothing to indicate

Quarter before twelve o'clock. their presence. Of their presence and their

The enemy make another stand. Again, readiness the enemy is advised, however, and there is the roar of musketry, long like the is making all the headway he can.

of the roar of distant and protracted thunder. Again precise position, however, they are still unad- the roar, but always at the head of the enemy's vised; and in every clump of trees, and all column. A column of dust rises to the left of along the line, they are plunging shots. So our forces and passes to the enemy's right. It far, however, none have told. Our own bat- must be intended to flank them. It is fearful teries are in reserve, ready for a spring to any the work that now goes on-how many brave

to think how many heart strings are wrung by point that may come to be available. The hospital is again the object for their fire; and men must be mangled and in anguishi. the battery I mentioned as a mile below the

Again the enemy has fallen back to another ford, having heavier guns than mere field - point, half a mile in the rear; and the spirals pieces, and one at least rifled, is now playing in the background. The whole scene is in the

of the smoke curl up the side of the mountain The object, however, of the most intense in- Piedmont valley, which I have often noticed terest is å line of dust that begins to rise above to have slept so sweetly to the west of Centrethe mass of forest lying for miles away to the ville, and sweeping on down to the south. It right of the enemy. That it is a moving col- is nearly level, or seems so, and the Blue Ridge umn is evident, but whether of our own or the rises to form the dark background of a most enemy is the principal question. If ours, we

magnificent picture.

Twelve o'clock, Noon. are taking the enemy in flank; if theirs, they

The batteries first opening have been silent outtlank us. It moves towards the enemy, and for half an hour, and the whole extended valley a courier that joins us reports that it is the bri- is now the thick' of the fight. Where the enemy gade of General Cocke. On it goes. There is last took his stand retreating, the fight is fearno corresponding column of the enemy. The ful; the dust is denser than the smoke. It is movement promises success. The enemy may awful. They have been repulsed three timeshave stationed a force in anticipation, but if so it is reported by a courier-and now they not we fall upon their flank.

have taken their bloodiest and fiual stand. Half-past 10 o'clock, A.M. There is firing on our flanking column. The

Half-past twelve o'clock. enemy have opened their battery upon it half- now, have I dreamed of such a spectacle ; for

The firing now is at its height. Never, until way. The column responds. The firing be one long mile the whole valley is a boiling comes rapid-musketry-rapid. Gens. Beau- crater of dust and smoke.

upon it.


One o'clock.

go there.

Quarter before one o'clock. off far to the north. As they retreated on the
The fray ceases ; Generals Beauregard and Braddock road to Centreville a charge was
Johnston dash on to the scene of action, and made upon them by
as we cannot doubt that the enemy has again and I think of the Radford Rangers. They

a portion of our cavalry, fallen back, it looks as though they were on their dashed upon them about a mile away, and dust way to Washington.

above them for ten minutes rose up as from Column after column is thrown in from all the crater of a volcano. The punishment was along the line of Bull Run to fall upon the left severe and rapid. flank of the enemy, and the firing is again re

Colonel Hampton's Legion suffered greatly. newed, as though nothing had been done. An It came last night, and marched directly into effort would seem to have been made to out- battle. When I went upon the ground I heard flank us, and it has brought on another

that Colonel Hampton and Johnson were both

engagement further off, but on a line with the first. killed, but afterwards I met Colonel Hampton The cannon established on the hill was a feint riding from the field, wounded badly, but ex. at Mitchell's Ford, while of both armies the hilarated at the thought that his men had exeffort was to outflank. These guns now but hibited surpassing intrepidity, and that Genplay at the columns of dust as they rise from eral Beauregard himself had relieved him and the infantry and cavalry as they tramp past;

led his legion into battle. and as those columns are near the point where

Colonel Sloan's Fourth regiment South CaroI stand, they have brought a dozen balls at least lina Volunteers suffered as much. They stood within 100 yards.

decimated at every fire until reinforcements Fifteen minutes past one o'clock.

came, and they exhibit a sad remnant of the The firing has almost entirely ceased, but noble body of men that entered into battle. still our reserves are pouring in. The enemy

The Second regiment, Colonel Kershaw, did seems to be making an attempt to cross at fearful execution at the crisis of the contest, Mitchell's Ford. All at Mitchell's Ford is a

but suffered less. feint, and it is now certain that the grand

The Fourth Alabama regiment, Col. Jones, battle-ground for empire is now to the west, and the Eighth Georgia regiment, Col. Gardner, beyond the Stone Bridge, on Bull Run, and I suffered greatly.

Wearied and worn, and sick at heart, I reEvening.

tired from the field whose glory is scarce equal At two o'clock I arrived on the ground; but to its gloom, and I have not the strength now of the further scenes of this eventful battle I to write more. I send iny feld notes as they have nothing more to say, save this only, that are. at five o'clock the enemy was driven from the President Davis came upon the ground just field, leaving most of the guns of Sherman's as the battle ended, and the wildest cheering battery behind them, with an awful list of dead greeted him. He rode along the lines of warand wounded.

worn men who had been drawn off from acIt will be evident to any one who becomes tion, and he seemed proud of them, and of his familiar with the events of the day that I mis right to command such noble men, but it was apprehend many of the occurrences. The at tempered with a feeling of regret that their tack was made at a point above the Stone right to his respect had been vindicated at so Bridge, on Bull Run, by the whole disposable dreadful a sacrifice. Many wounded still stood force of the enemy, led by General McDowell. in the ranks, and exhibited the unalterable The importance of the movement was not at purpose to stand there while they had strength first estimated, and it was met by Gen. Evans, to do so. with only the Fourth South Carolina regiment, How many of the enemy were killed we Colonel Sloan, the Independent Louisiana bat- have no means of knowing, but it must have talion, Major Wheat, and two guns of the been much greater than our own. Our men Washington Artillery. The charge of the ene- shot with the utmost possible coolness and my was met with an intrepidity that was be- precision, and they must have claimed this yond all praise, and the whole column of the compliment. enemy was held at bay until reinforcements We took Sherman's battery, sixteen guns, came. These were led on by Colonel Jackson, and three guns from those batteries that opened Colonel Bartow, General Bee, and General upon us first above Mitchell's Ford. Jones. The conflict went on in a fierce and ter- These are facts reported to me on the ground rible struggle of the Confederate troops against at sundown, but they are not necessarily corgreat odds and amidst terrible slaughter. rect. I have hesitated to state any thing, but

At the crisis of the engagement two regiments upon the whole have thought it be t. I will of South Carolinians-Kershaw's and Cocke's-send a corrected list of our casualties to-morwere ordered to advance. Kemper's battery row. was attached to Kershaw's. As these troops ad- There was an engagement at the batteries vanced, they were joined by Preston's regiment above Mitchell's Ford, in which the Fifth, of Cocke's brigade. A tremendous charge was Seventh, and Eighth South Carolina regiments made, which decided the fate of the day. After were engaged, but the facts have not transpired acts of incredible valor, the enemy was driven / beyond the taking of guns.

- Charleston Mercury.


plain of battle at Stone Bridge. The rest, in ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

reserve at the several crossings for five miles Camp PICKENS, Monday, July 22, 1861.

down, were inactive, suspended on contingenI gave you yesterday, as well as the circum- cies for movement, until too late for a direct stances would permit, my first impressions of movement on the enemy's position. the great battle at the Stone Bridge, and, after The action, as I have stated, was commenced 8 day of constant inquiry, and as much reflec- by a feint on the hills above Mitchell's Ford, tion as was possible, I will attempt to give a upon the top of which the enemy industriously more perfect outline of that most brilliant mili- exhibited large masses of his forces; and the tary achievement.

demonstration was followed up, as I have staAs I stated, the battle was expected. All ted, by a movement round by Stone Bridge to things indicated the approach of an impending our left flank. This movement was anticipated crisis. The moral atmosphere was heavy with by a like movement of ours to take him upon its awful import, and without being able to say his right flank; and thus the two flanking what it was precisely that induced conviction, forces meeting, monopolized the interest, and yet conviction of the contest had become a became the leading actors in the splendid milifaith with all, and men rose in the morning to tary drama. Our force, however, was & dea day pregnant of death to men, and of the tachment; theirs was their main body. They fortunes and the fate of the Republic.

had determined to force a crossing at that Nor did the realization of this conception de point-to conquer fate to that object; and to pend upon the action of the enemy. They that end they had sent forward, it would seem, took the initiative, and came to meet us ; but if their entire force, beyond that necessary for they had not, we would have gone to them. It the demonstration, and as the letter which is now reasonably certain that matters here was found on a prisoner, and a copy of which were so matured that the military authorities I send you, states their force at 130,000—too were ready and determined to advance, and it much, perhaps. It is certain it was large, and was with a feeling of relief, perhaps, that the that not less than 80,000 were despatched upon first booming of the cannon at McLean's Ford this mission. To meet this, we had only the removed from us the responsibilities of that brigade of Gen. Evans, consisting of the Fourth movement. We were not entirely prepared— South Carolina, and Wheat's Louisiana Batas well prepared, at least, as we might have talion, and two guns of the Washington Artilhoped to be. The forces of Gen. Holmes, from lery, sustained by Col. Cocke's brigade, conFredericksburg, and of Gen. Evans, from sisting of Cols. Cocke's Nineteenth Virginia Leesburg, were in the battle; and so, also, regiment, Wither's Seventeenth Virginia, and were the most of those from Gen. Johnston. Preston's Twenty-eighth Virginia. The disadBut two brigades of Gen. Johnston's force- vantage, therefore, was in the fact that the Gen. Smith's and Col. Elzey's—had not arrived. great disproportion of our column left it exHampton's Legion and Wynder's Sixth regiment posed to an accumulated and concentrated fire, of North Carolina had not arrived the night which occasioned a mortality disproportioned before. Many that had arrived from the to what might have been anticipated from a sources mentioned above were without the more equal number. In addition to this, the provisions of a military life, and were too enemy had posted his column with all the wearied for the most efficient military service; l available regulars in the service. The Second but still our forces had been greatly strength- and Third Infantry, at least, and Doubleday's med. At least 15,000 men had been added to battalion, late of Patterson's column, it is beour too small force. The enemy, in not renew- lieved, were in the action, as also some three ing the attack, or offering to bury their dead, three thousand collected at Washington for would seem to have been demoralized; and service. [Not one of these men were in the ander the circumstances, therefore, it would action.-ED. TIMES.) Staking the fate of his seem that our generals had resolved to strike army on this attack, it was truly severe. Never and drive the invader back, or challenge fate did men fight as our men did. The Fourth upon the open field of battle.

regiment and Wheat's battalion stood until alTo this end it would seem to have been their most cut to pieces under a concentrated fire purpose to lead an attacking force directly on from flank and front, and they did, in fact, as I the road to Centreville, by Mitchell's Ford, thought they did, force the enemy to recoil ; where Gen. Bonham, with his brigade, had but the utmost they could expect was to induce beer posted, and a flanking force by Stone but a temporary check to such a moving mass. Bridge, and along the line which the enemy It still rolled on, and, as brigade after brigade himself selected for a flanking force on us. was subsequently thrown in, it but sustained This action of the enemy induced a necessary the check; and, as they were successively cut change in our plans. From attacking, we were up by the more abundant ordnance of the enforced to a defence, and it may be a question omy, they still left to him the advantage of his whether the result was better than it could numbers. have been. Our whole available force would To exhibit the circumstances under which then have been in action. As it was, only reinforcements were effected, I would state a those were in that could be thrown upon the little more explicitly the position of our forces.

VOL II.-Doc. 7

« PreviousContinue »