« PreviousContinue »
shooters of Richmond, and selected ten men non, and had retreated from the north side of from their ranks, under the command of Lieut. Laurel Mountain, near Beelington, on yesterE. E. De Priest, to remain with bim, and fire on day. the enemy as soon as they advanced. They It being ascertained that the enemy had rehad only a few mornents to wait, when they tired toward the village of New Interest, and were seen crossing the river, when General G. thence, as was supposed, over a mountain road gave his little squad orders to fire and retreat, leading by the Shafer Branch, or main Cheat which they did, killing several as they retreat- River, to St. George's; the troops were brought ed. The enemy immediately fired, when Gen. rapidly forward on their route, so as to reach Garnett fell, shot through the breast, killing the entrance of the mountain road at about six him instantly. He fell on Lieut. De Priest as o'clock. A short distance after entering this he came to the ground, and had to be left to path, the passago was found to be obstructed the mercy of his foes.
with large trees, recently felled, in about twelve Here, it seems, the enemy ceased his pursuit; to fifteen places, and in nearly every defile for but we still kepi up our retreat, without eating three or four miles. But the information which or resting, for two days and nights, and marching was from time to time received that this force, many a weary mile, until we reached Mary- which had some fifteen hours the start of us land, a portion of which we marched through, from Beelington, were only four or five miles in and continued on to Harily County, where we advance, encouraged our efforts, and, though met good friends in the worthy and noble- for nearly the whole time the rain was pouring hearted farmers of that beautiful portion of in torrents, and the clayey mnd was almost imOld Virginia. We rested awhile in a little passable in many places, the spirit of our troops, place called Petersburg, where we received without exception as it came under my eye, treatment fit for conquerors. Wo continued was such as to bear them most rapidly onward our march to this place, where we will remain under all these trials, superadded to that of until we are clothed and gain some strength, hunger with the greater part of them, for the many of the men being unfit for service by previous fifteen or twenty hours. sickness and fatigue.
At about noon we reached Kalers or the first I cannot conclude this letter without bearing ford of the Shafer Branch, or main Cheat Rive testimony to the bravery, coolness, courage, er, having within the previous two or threo and fatherly kindness of Col. Taliaferro toi- miles fired at and driven in several pickets, ards his men, not one of whom but would fol- protecting those who were forming the barrilow him wherever he should lead. The same cades, and at one place we broke up a camp remarks will apply to Lieut.-Col. Crenshaw, where meals wero being cooked. Maj. Joz. H. Pendleton, and Adj. Wm. B. Pen- At tho ford near “Kalers," and at about onedleton, than whom no braver nor better souls half the distance to another ford which we met can be found.
with about ono mile further on, we saw the To Lient. E. E. De Priest and Private W. C. baggage train of the enemy, apparently at rest. Wane, of the sharp-shooters, great credit is duo This I proposed to attack as soon as strengthfor their bravery and courage in action. They ened by the arrival of Steedman's Second Bathave never yet refused to obey any order, low- talion, with Dumont's regiment, when the ever hazardous, nor to perform it with zeal and thoughtless firing of a musket at our ford set alacrity. Both of them were with General G. the train rapidly in motion, and long lines of at his death, the latter of whom tried to get infantry were formed in order of battle to prohis watch and sword, but was forced to leave tect it.' In a few minutes, however, the arrival them to the Yankees.
NED. of Barnett's artillery, with Dumont close upon
it, enabled the command to push forward in its
original order. But the train and its guard Doo. 203.
had retired, leaving only a few skirmishers to
meet us at the second ford, where, however, GENERAL BENHAM'S REPORT.
quite a brisk firing was kept up by the advancé Cheat River Caup, Carrichy 13, 2827.A;}
regiments, and the artillery opened for some
minutes to clear the adjacent wood the more General: In accordance with your direc- completely of the enemy. We then continued tions this morning, I took command of the ad- our march rapidly to this ford, and as we apvance troops of your column, consisting of the proached it we came upon their train, the last Fourteenth Ohio regiment, Steedman, with one half of it just crossing the river. The enemy section of Col. Barnett's battery, the Seventh was found to have taken a strong position, Indiana regiment, under Colonel Dumont, the with his forces upon a precipitous bank of Ninth Indiana regiment, under Colonel Milroy some fifty to eighty feet in height, upon the -in all about eighteen hundred men—and with opposite side of the river; while our own this force, as instructed, started from near troops were upon the low land, nearly level Leeds ville, at about four o'clock a. M., to pur- with the river. Steedman's regiment in the sue the army of General Garnett, which con- advance opened its fire most gallantly upon sisted, as we learned, of from four thousand to them, which was immediately returned by their five thousand men, and from four to six can- strong force of infantry and by their cannon; upon which Barnett's artillery was ordered up, suit on their hasty retreat from Laurel Mounand opened upon them with excellent effect. tain, twenty-seven miles distant. The troops As I soon perceived a position by which their were, therefore, halted for food and rest at left could be turned, six companies of Du- about two o'clock P. M. mont's regiment were ordered to cross the The result proves to be, the capture of about river about three hundred yards above them, forty loaded wagons and teams, being nearly to pass up the hill obliquely from our right to all their baggage train, as we learn, and includtheir left, and take them in the rear. By some ing a large portion of new clothing, camp equimistake, (possibly in the transmission of the or- page, and other stores; their head-quarter pader,) this command crossed at about double this pers, and military chest; also two stands of distance, and turned at first to their right, colors; also a third flag, since taken, and one which delayed the effect of this movement. fine rifled piece of artillery; while the comAfter fifteen minutes, however, this error was manding General, Robert S. Garnett, is killed rectified, and the hill being reported as imprac- -- his body being now cared for by us—and ticable, this command, now increased to the fifteen or twenty more of the enemy are killed, whole regiment, was ordered down to the ford and nearly fifty prisoners. under close cover of the hill on their side, Our own loss is two killed and six wounded, and then to take them directly in front and one dangerously. right at the road. The firing of Steedman's In concluding this report, I feel it my duty regiment and of Milroy's, now well up and in to state that, just as the action was closing, the action, with repeated and rapid discharges of head regiment of the body of troops under the artillery during the movement, decided the yourself, though starting, as I learn, some three action at once. As Dumont reached the road, hours later, the Sixth Indiana, under Colonel having passed along and under their wholo Crittenden, caine up to the field in excellent front, the firing ceased and the enemy fled in order, but unfortunately too late to aid us in great confusion, Dumont's regiment pursuing the battle. them about one mile further, having a brisk The conduct of those gallant officers, Coloskirmishing with their rear for the first half of nels Barnett, Steedman, Dumont, and Milroy, that distance, during which General Garnett with the steady perseverance of their officers
, was killed.
in their long and arduous march, suffering The enemy would still have been followed from hunger, rain, and cold, with their gallantup most closely, and probably to the capture ry in action, was most heroic and beyond all of a large portion of their scattered arıny, but praise of mine. Their country only can apprethis was absolutely impossible with our fa- ciate and reward their services, tigued and exhausted troops, who had already I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, marched some eighteen miles or more, in an
Your obedient servant, almost incessant and violent rain, and the
H. W. BENHAM, Capt. of Engineers, greater part of them without food since the
Chief Engineer Department of Ohio,
Commanding Advance Column. evening, and a portion of them even from the noon of yesterday, so warm had been the pur- To Brig.-Gen. T. A. MORRIS.
BULL RUN, SUNDAY, JULY 21st. I know eyes more tender looked upward to Thee;
That visage, so marred by the torturing crown-
Those smooth, noble limbs, racked with anguish I
see; We-walking so slowly adown the green lane, With Sabbath-bells chiming, and birds singing
The side where the blood and the water gushed
down, psalms, He-eager with haste, pressing on o'er the slain,
From stroke fierce and brutal.
Help hearts that are bursting to stifle their cries ;
The shout of the populace, too, has been there, We-waiting with faces all reverent and still,
To drown pleas for justice, to clothe truth in lies
To enrage and to madden.
For their weal as our own ;-"we are brethren," We-kneeling to hear benedictions of love,
we plead; Our hearts all at peace with the message from Unceasing those prayers to Our Father were made ; Heaven!
When they flung down the palm for palmetto, we He-stretched on the field, gasping, wounded, to
“Let us still hope to win them." prove, If mercy were found where such courage had striven,
“God so loved, that He gave !” We are giving to
these In the midst of the slaughter.
The lives that were dearer to us than our own; O God !--can I live with the horrible truth!
Let us add prayer for blood, trusting God to appease Stabbed through as he lay, with their glittering
Our heart's craving pain, when He hears on his steel;
throne, Could they look in that face, like a woman's for
“Oh, Father, forgive them !"
-N. Y. Evening Post, July 21.
Oh, country, marvel of the earth! Smoothing down the fair cheek, as my own baby's Oh, realm to sudden greatness grown! face,
that gloried in thy birth, Those eyes with her look, where my kisses were Shall it behold thee overthrown? prest,
Shall traitors lay that greatness low?
No! Land of Hope and Blessing, No!
BY WILLIAN CULLEN BRYANT,
Curses spring to my lips! Oh, my God, send the hail
Of swift ready vengeance for deeds such as this ! Forego all thy mercy, if judgment must fail ! Forgive my wild heart if it prayeth amiss
His blood crieth upward ! “ Amiss !”-and the strife of my clamorous grief
Is hushed into stillness—what grief like to thine !
With depths past all searching !
And we who wear thy glorious name,
Shall we, like cravens, stand apart,
The death-blow at thy generous heart?
The power that rules from sea to sea,
To leave their country great and free!