Secession accounts of the fight.
The Leesburg Democratic Mirror
extra of July 19, says:--We have just learned that a sanguinary battle took place at Bull Run
, near Manassas Junction
, on yesterday, July 18, in which the enemy met with terrible loss.
The following letter, from a perfectly reliable gentleman, was sent to us at seven o'clock this morning, July 19.
We will endeavor to give to our friends from time to time the latest information from the scene of action.
Two passengers, who also left the Junction
yesterday evening, confirm the statements of our correspondent, and say that the victory was overwhelming:
Account by a Washington artillerist.
The Memphis Avalanche
, of July 26, has the following letter from a member of the Washington Artillery, to a sister living in Memphis
The writer graphically describes the battle at Bull Run
Baltimore exchange narrative.
The following account comes through our occasional correspondent at Washington
, on whom we have great reliance:
The following account of the battle at Bull Run
is given by the Hons.
Wm. A. Richardson
, John A. McClernand
, of Ill.
, and John W. Noel
, of Missouri
, (all members of the House
,) who were eye-witnesses of the battle, and aided in several instances in bearing from the field members of the New York 12th, who were wounded.
The action commenced under the direction of Gen. Tyler
, of Connecticut
, at 1 1/2 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, at Bull Run
, three miles from Centreville
, between several companies of skirmishers attached to the Massachusetts 1st, and a masked battery situated on a slight eminence.
The skirmishers retreated rapidly, and were succeeded in the engagement by Sherman
's battery and two companies of regular cavalry, which, after continuing the contest for some time, were supported by the New York 12th, 1st Maine, 2d Michigan, 1st Massachusetts, and a Wisconsin regiment, when the battle was waged with great earnestness, continuing until 5 o'clock. The Federal troops were then drawn back in great confusion beyond the range of the Confederate batteries, where they bivouacked for the night.
During the conflict the Michigan
, Maine, and Wisconsin
regiments held their ground with a fortitude which, in view of the galling fire to which they were exposed, was most remarkable, but the New York 12th and the Massachusetts 1st regiments retired in great disorder from the field, a portion of them throwing away knapsacks and even their arms, in their flight.
A number of the members of the former regiments openly asserted that their confused retreat was the fault of their officers, who evinced a total lack of courage, and were the first to flee.
After the retreat had been commenced, Corcoran
's New York 69th (Irish
) and Cameron
's New York 79th (Scotch) regiments were ordered up to the support, but arrived too late to take part in the action.
There were three batteries in all. The first to open fire which was the smallest, was situated on the top of an eminence; the second, and most destructive, in a ravine.
The latter was totally concealed from view by brushwood, &c.; and it was in attempting to take the first by assault that the Federal
troops stumbled upon it. The battle occurred at a point in the declivity of the road, where it makes a turn, forming an obtuse angle, and the third battery was so placed as to enfilade with its fire the approaches towards the Junction
Much jealousy, it is stated by the same authority, existed between the regular officers and those of the volunteer corps, each appearing desirous of shifting to the other side the responsibility of any movement not advised by themselves, and the jealousy, it is feared, will seriously affect the efficiency of the “grand army.”
Thus, Gen. McDowell
expressly states that the battle was not his own, but that of Gen. Tyler
The former officer said he would not advance further until he had thoroughly and carefully reconnoitred the position of the batteries, their capabilities, &c.; and the inference derived by my informants from his remarks is, that he deems his present force entirely insufficient to carry the position before him.
One of the gentlemen mentioned at the commencement of this account gives it as his opinion that Manassas Junction
cannot be carried by 50,000 men in two months, and all agreed in saying that the force under Beauregard
has been entirely underrated numerically, and that their fighting qualities are superior.
The cheers with which they rushed to the fight frequently rang above the din of the battle.
Their numbers were not ascertained, but it is estimated at upwards of 5,000 South Carolinians, under command of Gen. M. L. Bonham
, of South Carolina
Their artillery was of the best kind.
A shot from one of their batteries severed a bough from a tree quite two miles distant, and but a few feet from where the vehicles of two Congressmen
One ball fell directly in the midst of a group of Congressmen, among whom was Owen Lovejoy
, but injured no one, the members scampering in different directions, sheltering among trees, &c.
It is said to have been admirably served, too, as the heavy list of killed and the disabling of Sherman
's battery amply testify.
There were a number of rifle-pits also in front of the batteries, from which much execution was done by expert riflemen.
The Congressmen were greatly impressed with the extent and magnitude of the earthworks, intrenchments, &c., erected by the Confederates
They were all of the most formidable and extensive character.
It is thought by them that Manassas Junction
is encircled by a chain of batteries, which can only be penetrated by severe fighting.
All the intrenchments evidence consummate skill in their construction.
The entire column under Gen. McDowell
fell back at 8 o'clock on Thursday evening, a short distance from Centreville
, where they encamped.
They were joined during the evening by Heintzelman
's command, and on the succeeding morning by that of Col. Burnside
, all of which troops are encamped there.
Later in the evening, Gen. Schenck
's brigade of Ohio
troops was sent forward on the Hainesville
road to flank the batteries, but no tidings had been heard of them up to 8 o'clock yesterday (Friday) morning, when the Congressmen left Gen. McDowell
's Headquarters, bringing with them his despatches to the War Department.
These despatches put the loss of the Federalists in killed at 5, but Mr. McClernand
states that he himself saw a greater number than that killed.
All of these gentlemen agree in estimating the number killed at 100.
The disparity between the statements of the gentlemen and the official despatches is accounted for by the fact that the latter are based upon the returns of the surgeons, and that many of the killed are oftentimes never reported until after the publication of the official accounts.
One remarkable fact which commanded the special attention of the members of Congress was the absence, from that portion of Virginia
visited by them, of all the male inhabitants capable of bearing arms.
They state that they saw but few people, and those were chiefly old women and children.
The women seemed to regard the soldiers with bitter hostility, and, to quote the language of one of the Congressmen, their “eyes fairly flashed fire whenever they looked at a soldier.”
expressed no fears of being attacked, but seemed apprehensive of some of the volunteer corps stumbling upon a masked battery, and thus “precipitating a general engagement.”
The loss of the Confederates
was not known, but is conjectured by the Federalists to have been heavy.
Among the killed, is said to be one Colonel Fountain
--at least, a deserter so stated.
The excesses of the Federal
troops in Virginia
are exciting general indignation among army officers.
A member of Congress, who visited the scene this morning, states that the village of Germantown
has been entirely burnt, with the exception of one house, in which lay a sick man, who had been robbed, he was told, by an army surgeon, of nearly every article he possessed of the slightest value, even to his jack-knife.
has issued orders that the first soldier detected in perpetrating these depredations shall be shot, and has ordered that a guard be placed over the principal residences of any town the troops may enter.
Memphis appeal account.