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ble round a camp-fire, little dreaming of the stirring events in which we were about to act a principal part. One company of the Thirteenth Mississippi had been detailed to picket the river on our left from Carter's Ferry to the head of Harrison's Island; one of the Seventeenth picketed to Edwards's Ferry on our right; horse pickets were on duty still lower down the river, watching the ferry,, where Goose Creek flows into the Potomac; another company of horse were watching Goose Creek bridgad not visited the woods around Ball's Bluff. It was a wild desolate place, and the guards disliked duty in the neighborhood. The Bluff so called was about thirty feet above the level of the river, and not more than one hundred yards from Harrison's Island, the level of which was some twenty-five feet lower than the Bluff. The island, however, was fringed with timber, and could conceal thousands of men. Little notice had been taken of this cheerless looking place, and few guards of either pa
few days the rebels would suddenly drop out of Leesburgh ; others said, We shall begin to make history next week; let all prepare for a succession of Union victories that shall eclipse all the doings of the Old World! It may well be supposed that enough had occurred to disenchant them of these bombastic ideas; but no, the Federal generals, to cover up their defeat by misrepresentation, acknowledged having met with reverses at Ball's Bluff, but triumphantly rejoined-: We have captured Harrison's Island, and hold it against all efforts of the rebels 1 The fact is, they had always held undisputed possession of the island; yet the mainland was so much higher as to command it, and had our artillery been present in the battle, not twenty men of their whole force could have escaped. When at length the story was truthfully told by the New-York Times and Tribune, the whole North was thrown into consternation and mourning over the massacre, as they termed it, and began reviling each other
October 21. Twenty-one hundred men of the Fifteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts, the First California, and the Tammany regiments; the First U. S. Artillery, and Rhode Island battery, with five pieces of artillery, crossed the Potomac at Harrison's Island or Ball's Bluff, under command of Colonel E. D. Baker, to support reconnoissances above and below, under the general direction of Brig.-Gen. Stone. At about four P. M., they were suddenly attacked by a body of five thousand rebels under the Confederate General Evans. Unable through the disparity of numbers to hold their position, they were driven back to the river, and there, as no adequate means to pass the stream had been made, they were driven into it, or slaughtered on the bank. National loss: Killed, one hundred and fifty; wounded, one hundred and fifty; prisoners, five hundred.--(Docs. 35, 99.) The gunboat Conestoga having made a reconnoissance up the Tennessee River as far as the State line, returned to Cairo, Il
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., Ball's Bluff and the arrest of General Stone. (search)
h, I crossed the Potomac by your [Stone's] order from Harrison's Island to the Virginia shore with five companies, numbering ment to Colonel Baker), in command of the movement by Harrison's Island and Ball's Bluff, under the following orders: hearigade. Colonel: In case of heavy firing in front of Harrison's Island, you will advance the California regiment of your briis Tammany regiment. Proceeding to the crossing at Harrison's Island, we found the means of transportation to consist of tes not being brought up the steep. Occurrences at Harrison's Island and at the bluff, during the arrival of reenforcementn the 21st he received orders to cross the Potomac at Harrison's Island: Arrived at the landing opposite Harrison's IslHarrison's Island, I found the greatest confusion existing. No one seemed to be in charge, nor any one superintending the passage of the t was seen in the presence of the fifteen companies at Harrison's Island on their way to the scene of action at the moment of
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 5: military and naval operations on the coast of South Carolina.--military operations on the line of the Potomac River. (search)
which were four or five miles apart) was Harrison's Island, three miles in length and very narrow aconnoitering party toward Leesburg, from Harrison's Island, adding, I have means of crossing one hus's Battery. Colonel Devens was sent to Harrison's Island in two flat-boats from the Chesapeake an about twenty men had been sent out from Harrison's Island under Captain Philbrick, of the Fifteentt orders to Colonel Devens to cross from Harrison's Island with five companies of his regiment, and Ranking Devens, he had been ordered to Harrison's Island to take the chief command, with full dis service, between the Maryland shore and Harrison's Island, and at first only two skiffs and a Fran while endeavoring to cross the flood to Harrison's Island. Only one large flatboat was there, andyland shore, in support of the troops on Harrison's Island and the severely pressed combatants on Bsition of McCall, he left orders to hold Harrison's Island, and then hastened back to Edwards's Fer[2 more...]
5th Massachusetts, to transfer two flat-boats from the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, opposite Harrison's Island, to the river at that point, and therewith to ferry over his regiment to the island; whichesville, Oct. 20, 1861-10 1/2 P. M. Special order no.--. Col. Devens will land opposite Harrison's Island, with five companies of his regiment, and proceed to surprise the camp of the enemy discovee, 20th Massachusetts volunteers, will, immediately after Col. Devens's departure, occupy Harrison's Island with four companies of his regiment, and will cause the four-oared boat to be taken across decided that he had no choice but to reenforce. The main current of the Potomac passes Harrison's Island on the Maryland side, where three flat-boats or scows, with a joint capacity of 125 person1. Col. E. D. Baker, Commander of brigade: Colonel: In case of heavy firing in front of Harrison's Island, you will advance the California regiment of your brigade, or retire the regiments under C
battle of ball's Bluff, Edwards' Ferry, Harrison's Island, and Leesburg. fought October 21, 1861. th Massachusetts Volunteers were sent to Harrison's Island, under Col. Devens, who then had one comh a battalion to the river bank opposite Harrison's Island by daybreak. Two mounted howitzers, in igade ready to march. I directed him to Harrison's Island to assume command, and in full conversate battery on the right. Messengers from Harrison's Island informed me, soon after the arrival of Che ground on this side of the river near Harrison's Island, which would be abandoned in case of a rse of his force as to give protection to Harrison's Island and protect the line of the river. At tnel: In case of heavy firing in front of Harrison's Island, you will advance the California regimen1st inst., at a point near the centre of Harrison's Island, in which the companies of my regiment sse fortune it was to return had landed on Harrison Island, and the fire from the Virginia heights h[3 more...]
night, October 20, I crossed the Potomac, by your order, from Harrison's Island to the Virginia shore, with five companies, numbering about tnt Massachusetts Volunteers, of what he (Col. Hinks) saw from Harrison's Island of the engagement on the Virginia shore on the 21st ult., andich took place on the Virginia shore of the Potomac, opposite Harrison's Island, upon the 21st inst. During the afternoon of the 20th, Capspatch to him upon the Maryland side of the Potomac, opposite Harrison's Island. Being the senior artillery officer present, I took command, hundred men of the Twentieth regiment crossed from Swan's or Harrison's Island, at half past 3 A M., on Monday morning, Oct. 21, to support egiment was transported in good order and without accident to Harrison's Island, about midway between the Maryland and Virginia shores, in th same time started a reconnoitring party toward Leesburg from Harrison's Island. The enemy's pickets retired to intrenchments. Report of re
h, and were posted on the left of the line, resting on the Savannah River, until the fourteenth of the month, when I was ordered to report with my regiment to Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth New-York volunteers, on Harrison's Island, directly opposite, when I crossed my men in small boats and reported about dusk. The regiment remained in this position, throwing up breastworks ar a protection against the shells of the enemy, who, from a gunboat, and a battery on the manding Seventy-third Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers. Report of casualties in the Seventy-third regiment Pennsylvania veteran volunteers, since September second, 1864: James Quinn, private, company C, wounded December sixteenth, 1864, at Harrison's Island, near Savannah, Georgia, right leg, severely, since amputated. Colonel Mindil's Report. headquarters Thirty-Third New-Jersey volunteers, Savannah, Georgia, December 26, 1864. Captain N. K. Bray, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Se
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Ball's Bluff, battle at. (search)
e afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 20. At the same time part of a Massachusetts regiment, under Colonel Devens (see Devens, Charles), was ordered to take post upon Harrison's Island, in the Potomac, abreast of Ball's Bluff. Devens went to the island with four companies in flat-boats taken from the Chesapeake and Ohio canal. About 3,000give aid if necessary, Stone, on the morning of the 21st, ordered some Massachusetts troops under Colonels Lee and Devens to cross to the Virginia shore from Harrison's Island to reconnoitre. They did not find the fore in the neighborhood. General Evans, unperceived, lay not far off; and riflemen and cavalry were hovering near flanked. Meanwhile Colonel Baker had been pressing forward from Conrad's Ferry to the relief of the assailed troops. Ranking Devens, he had been ordered to Harrison's Island, with discretionary powers to reinforce the party on the Virginia main or to withdraw all the troops to the Maryland side of the river. He concluded to go f
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