he having abandoned his intrenchments the night before. On advancing one mile in front of Centreville, I came to a halt near some springs to procure water for the brigade, and Gen. Tyler and myself left with a squadron of cavalry and two companies of infantry for the purpose of making a reconnoissance, to the front, which, on arriving one mile in front of Blackburn's Ford, proved that the enemy had a battery in rear of the run so as to enfilade the road. He had also strong pickets of infantry and skirmishing parties occupying the woods and houses in front of his position. The battalion of light infantry was now ordered to deploy five hundred yards in front of the eminence upon which this camp is situated, and a position was at once taken by the rifled guns, which now opened their fire. This fire was not answered by the enemy until several rounds had been fired, and I pushed forward the skirmishers to the edge of the woods, they driving in those of the enemy in fine style, and then brought up the 1st Massachusetts regiment to their support, the skirmishers still advancing into the woods. Capt. Brackett's squadron of the 2d Cavalry, and two 12-pounder howitzers, commanded by Capt. Ayers, 5th U. S. Artillery, now moved up into an opening in the woods, in support. The enemy also opened another battery more to our left, so as to cross fire with the other upon the road. I ordered up at this time the 12th New York regiment, Col. Walrath, to the left of our battery, and it being formed in line of battle, I directed it to make a charge upon their position, the skirmishers still pushing forward and drawing the enemy's fire, but keeping themselves well covered. I now left the position of the 12th New York regiment to place upon the right of the battery the Massachusetts and the 2d and 3d Michigan regiments, when a very heavy fire of musketry and artillery was opened by the enemy, along his whole line. On moving toward our left, I found the 12th New York regiment had fallen back out of the woods in disorder, only parts of two companies, some sixty men in all, remaining in line, and retreating. The howitzers, and also the cavalry, had been withdrawn; our left was thus exposed, although the skirmishers still held their ground in the woods, and the three remaining regiments on the right remained firm and determined. I now reported to Gen. Tyler that the main body of the New York regiment had fallen back in confusion, and I proposed to make a charge with the three remaining regiments, for the purpose of carrying the enemy's position. The General replied that the enemy were in large force and strongly fortified, and a further attack was unnecessary; that it was merely a reconnoissance which he had made, that he had found where the strength of the enemy lay, and ordered me to fall back in good order to our batteries on the hill, which we did, the enemy closing his fire before we left the ground, and not returning to make an effort to follow us. Our batteries on the hill now opened fire, sustained by the Second Michigan regiment on the right, in close column by divisions — the other two regiments forming line of battle on the left. The New York regiment, after some time, formed under cover of the woods in rear. In this affair our skirmishers advanced so close to the enemy's works and batteries that two mounted officers were killed inside the breastworks, and one of our men was shot through the shoulder with a revolver by one of the enemy's officers, and one of their cannoneers was bayoneted by one of our men while the former was engaged in loading his gun. Our skirmishers, also, in falling back, had several of their wounded bayoneted by order of the enemy's officers. The enemy's intrenchments and batteries appeared to be in rear of the creek called Bull Run. The batteries on the extreme right of their line were on high ground, and fired over the heads of their infantry in front. At night we fell back to Centreville for water and rations, and this morning have again occupied our ground upon the hill in front of the enemy, they being in large force, and having their pickets and skirmishers in the woods, and in front of them, as yesterday. I have the honor also to inclose a statement of our loss incidental to this affair. I have the honor to be, Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
List of casualties incident to the affair at Blackburn's Ford.
Third Regiment U. S. Artillery, Company E, Captain Ayers, Fifth Artillery, commanding.--First Lieut. Loraine wounded. 2 privates killed, 1 private wounded. 4 horses killed, 3 horses wounded. Capt. Brackett's Squadron, Companies G and I, Second Cavalry.--1 sergeant and 2 privates wounded. 8 horses wounded. Light Infantry Battalion, Capt. Britchschneider.--1 sergeant and 1 private killed. 4 privates wounded, (3 of the Second Michigan.) Twelfth New York Regiment, Col. Walrath commanding.--1 corporal and 4 privates killed. 1 corporal and 18 privates wounded. 1 corporal and 9 privates missing. Second Michigan Infantry, Col. J. B. Richardson commanding.--1 private wounded. Third Michigan Infantry, Col. McConnell commanding.--1 private wounded. total.--19 killed, 38 wounded, and 26 missing; 4 horses killed and 11 wounded.
J. B. Richardson, Col. Commanding Fourth Brigade, First Division.