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hem wounded, others exhausted by the long struggle, who gave us gloomy reports; but as the fire on both sides continued steadily, we felt sure that our brave Southerners had not been conquered by the overwhelming hordes of the North. It is, however, due to truth to say that the result of this hour hung trembling in the balance. We had lost numbers of our most distinguished officers. Gens. Bartow and Bee had been stricken down; Lieut-Col. Johnson, of the Hampton Legion, had been killed; Col. Hampton had been wounded; but there was at hand the fearless general whose reputation as a commander was staked on this battle: Gen. Beauregard promptly offered to lead the Hampton Legion into action, which he executed in a style unsurpassed and unsurpassable. Gen. Beauregard rode up and down our lines between the enemy and his own men, regardless of the heavy fire, cheering and encouraging our troops. About this time a shell struck his horse, taking its head off, and killing the horses of his
on and the reserve watching the Capitol, has under him a corps of 16,000 men almost exclusively volunteers; Gen. McDowell has also left a strong guard in his intrenchments along the right bank of the Potomac, guarding the bridges and covering the roads to Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church. The division in military occupation of Maryland under Gen. Banks, most of which is concentrated in and around Baltimore, consists of 7,400 men, with some field-guns. The corps at Fortress Monroe and Hampton, under Gen. Butler, is 11,000 strong, with two field batteries, some guns of position, and the fortress itself in hand. Gen. Lyon, who is operating in Missouri with marked success, has about 6,500 men. Gen. Prentiss at Cairo commands a division of 6,000 men and two field-batteries. There are beside these forces many regiments organized and actually in the field. The army under the command of Gen. Beauregard at Manassas Junction is estimated at 60,000, but that must include the reserves,
crater of a volcano. The punishment was severe and rapid. Colonel Hampton's Legion suffered greatly. It came last night, and marched directly into battle. When I went upon the ground I heard that Colonel Hampton and Johnson were both killed, but afterwards I met Colonel HampColonel Hampton riding from the field, wounded badly, but exhilarated at the thought that his men had exhibited surpassing intrepidity, and that General all, another had his arm broken, another had his jaw shot away. Col. Hampton met us with the appearance of having had a ball in his temple, ainto the very thickest of the fight, and Col. Johnson fell, with Col. Hampton, on the spot upon which their columns had been planted. I sent ad, and had opened a most galling fire. Gens. Bee and Bartow, and Hampton's Legion, rallied to sustain him. The fight was bloody, but nearernced to Henry's house, and were passing through the garden, when Col. Hampton was shot down. Without his further orders they were confused.
said, are losing confidence in the Government, and another defeat would bring a large number over to the policy of allowing secession to take place peaceably. Some persons now express a belief that the North will have to acknowledge the South before the end of the year, but the real tendency of events seems to be more and more in the direction of the state of affairs that will render both parties glad of a compromise. The Federal troops are stated to have evacuated both Harper's Ferry and Hampton, and much anxiety was evidently felt as to the safety of Washington. The opinion was, however, that it would be a great mistake on the part of the Confederates to attack that city. If defeated, they would lose all the prestige gained at Bull Run; and, if successful, they would again unite the North against them as one man; while, if they abstain from needlessly arousing animosity and remain on the defensive, the North, it is asserted, will soon divide into two parties, an event which woul
ance in force towards Yorktown. In obedience to these orders, with the concerted sign of a white badge upon our left arm, (at midnight,) I marched my regiment to Hampton, where the General met the command and accompanied it. On approaching a defile through a thick wood, about five or six miles from Hampton, a heavy and well-susHampton, a heavy and well-sustained fire of cannister and small arms was opened upon the regiment while it was marching in a narrow road, upon the flank in route step, and wholly unsuspicious of any enemy, inasmuch as we were ordered to reenforce Col. Duryea, who had preceded us by some two hours, and who had been ordered to throw out, as he marched, an advanciment and three hundred and sixty Virginians were engaged for five and a half hours with four and a half regiments of the enemy, at Bethel Church, nine miles from Hampton. The enemy made three distinct and well-sustained charges, but were repulsed with heavy loss. Our cavalry pursued them for six miles, when their retreat becam
s to the left, and join their regiment, the 2d, which is on the march to aid the left wing. This regiment, to which was attached Kemper's battery, followed by the 8th, Col. Cash, hurried to the scene of action. It was met along the way by numbers of the wounded, dying, and retiring, who declared that the day had gone against us; that Sloan's regiment, the 4th, was cut to pieces; that Hampton's Legion, coming to the rescue, and the Louisiana battalion, were annihilated; that Gen. Bee and Col. Hampton were mortally wounded, and Col. Ben. Johnson killed; and that the Confederate forces were out-flanked and routed, and the day lost. This was the unvarying tenor of the words that greeted us from the wounded and dying and the fugitives who met us during the last mile of our approach to the field of battle. To the sharp cry of the officers of the 2d regiment, On, men, on! these fellows are whipped, and think that everybody else is, the troops responded nobly, and closing up their columns
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 2. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 168.-the burning of Hampton, Va. August 7-8, 1861. (search)
o the cavalry, who answered to a question why Hampton was fired, that the cursed Yankees, having haan, and his wife, (Unionists,) the coroner of Hampton, Mr. Kennon Whiting and lady, and several othl impression was prevalent that the firing of Hampton was done by order of General Butler. Even sumong the rebels there the story was told that Hampton was fired by the troops of General Butler.--Brces were marched within a mile and a half of Hampton, and again drawn up to give battle, if the enhat it would be necessary for him to reoccupy Hampton, in order to be able to retain the large forch this notice of the intended reoccupation of Hampton by the Federal forces, Gen. Magruder decided ng to Butler's demand for the reoccupation of Hampton. It appears that Hampton had been evacuateHampton had been evacuated by Butler's forces, in the first instance, on account of a panic originated by a balloon explorater had perished in one of the burnt houses of Hampton. There was no other casualty known to have o[3 more...]