previous next

[34] around, leaving several killed and wounded on the spot. About nine prisoners who were already in their hands were liberated by this action. Afterward, we were several times molested from various sides by the enemy's cavalry. At about midnight the command to leave the position and march to Washington was given by Gen. McDowell. The brigade retired in perfect order and ready to repel any attack on the road from Centreville to Fairfax Court House, Annandale, to Washington. Besides the six guns which were mounted by our men and thereby preserved to our army, the 8th regiment brought in in safety two Union colors left behind by soldiers on the field of battle. The officers and men did their duty admirably, and the undersigned commander deems it his duty to express herewith officially his entire satisfaction with the conduct of his brigade. The three regiments (the 8th, 29th, and Garibaldi Guard) arrived in Washington in good order at 6 o'clock last night, after a fatiguing march of nineteen hours.

The loss of the brigade amounts to fifteen or twenty killed and wounded at the outposts. Thus far my report of the action taken by my brigade in the engagement on the unfortunate day at Bull Run, in a military point of view. It was my intention to defer a final report for a better and more suitable opportunity, on account of the very unfortunate result of the battle; but I have read since so many reports in newspapers, where many a high commanding officer pretends to have been in the rear with his brigade, or regiment, at the retreat, that I am obliged to report in the most absolute terms, that, according to my order, all regiments, artillery and stragglers, had passed my arriere guard at Centreville, and the last artillery at Fairfax Court House, and that the brigade under my command marched last across the Long Bridge into Washington. I have to add, in conclusion, that the Twenty-seventh regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, with the exception of Company K, Captain Menninger, which was on guard duty in Centreville village, at Headquarters, and under order to escort Col. Miles's train, retired from Centreville at about 11 o'clock, without any orders from me, and proceeded to Washington.

Louis Blenker, Commander Brigade, Fifth Division.

Col. Davies' report.

Headquarters of the Second brigade, Fifth Division troops, N. R. Va., July 25, 1861.
To Capt. James B. Fry, Assistant Adjutant-General, Gen. McDowell Commanding:
sir: In accordance with the circular of the 23d inst., Headquarters Troops, Department N. E. Virginia, I have the honor of reporting the proceedings of the Second Brigade, Fifth Division, at the battle of Blackburn's Ford, six miles from the battle-ground of Bull Run, on the 21st inst. The Fifth Division, under the command of Col. Miles, consisting of the First and Second Brigades, Richardson's Brigade, and Green's and Hunt's Light Batteries, formed the left wing of the troops in action.

The first brigade, Col. Blenker, occupied during the day the heights of Centreville, and were not engaged with the enemy.

The second brigade, under my command, was in readiness to march from camp at 2 1/2 A. M., but the road was so blocked with moving troops, that my brigade was obliged to take a parallel route through the fields, Green's battery in advance, until it struck the road leading to Blackburn's Ford, about one mile south of Centreville. At this point Col. Miles gave me directions to assume the command of Richardson's brigade, and to take position in front of the batteries at Blackburn's Ford, on and near the battle-ground of 18th inst., and make the demonstration of attack in pursuance of Gen. McDowell's orders.

I immediately ordered forward the two 20-pound rifle guns of Hunt's battery, commanded by Lieut. Edwards, to an open field about 80 yards east of the road from Centreville to Bull Run, and on a line with the place where our batteries were playing on the 18th inst., and about 1,500 yards from the enemy's batteries at Blackburn's Ford, and there commenced a rapid firing. I ordered the Eighteenth regiment forward as a protection to this battery, in the open field, and formed line of battle, facing the enemy, the Thirty-second regiment being held in reserve on the road just in rear.

Having ascertained from our guide that there was a road without obstruction leading from the Centreville road to the east, and then bearing off toward the south in the direction of the enemy's position, and which could be seen about half a mile distant to the east from Edwards's battery, I ordered the Sixteenth and Thirty-first regiments, N. Y. V., on to this road at its junction with the Centreville road. One regiment deployed along the road a considerable distance, and the other remained in column to protect two guns of Hunt's battery, which I ordered to be stationed at that point. I then gave orders to Col. Richardson to make such arrangements with regard to the defence of the position in front of the enemy's batteries at Blackburn's Ford, (the immediate battle-ground of the 18th inst.,) as in his judgment the emergency of the moment might require.

At this juncture, being about 10 o'clock A. M., and finding the ammunition for the 20-pound rifled guns fast running out, and having accomplished, in my judgment, (from the movement of the troops opposite, which we could plainly see,) a demonstration ordered, I ordered Lieut. Edwards to cease firing.

About 11 o'clock A. M., Col. Miles came on to the ground, informing me that he had ordered forward the Sixteenth and Thirty-first regiments from the position in which I had previously placed them, and also two guns commanded by Lieut. Platt, and had also ordered forward the other two guns of Hunt's battery into the open field, where Lieut. Edwards

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
D. J. Miles (4)
E. Hunt (4)
C. L. Edwards (4)
J. B. Richardson (3)
Irwin McDowell (3)
Neale Green (2)
Louis Blenker (2)
C. H. Platt (1)
Menninger (1)
James B. Fry (1)
Thomas A. Davies (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
18th (3)
July 25th, 1861 AD (1)
23rd (1)
21st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: