previous next

Doc. 194.-rebel raid on Manassas, Va.

The following is the Philadelphia Inquirer's account of the rebel raid upon Manassas:

Alexandria, August 27, 1862.
There was an important rebel raid on Manassas last night, the details of which I give you, having just arrived from near that locality, as correctly as the excitement of the hour will permit.

The regular train, which should have arrived here last night at ten o'clock, was attacked by about four hundred of Stuart's cavalry, under command of Lee, at Bristow, a place some four miles and a half west of Manassas. The first intimation the passengers had of the approaching danger was a sudden shock, occasioned by the engine running into a pile of ties placed upon the track.

Fortunately the machine was going at a high rate of speed, and the obstruction was removed without throwing the train from the track. The rebel cavalry had undoubtedly concluded upon no such result, for they were drawn up in line on each side of the track. The moment, however, they discovered that their design had been frustrated, they fired upon the train, killing one man on top of a car, and slightly wounding several inside.

The engineer pulled out the throttle of his engine, and the train was rapidly driven up to Manassas, thence to Bull Run bridge, about four miles east of Manassas, where it encountered a train standing on the track, loaded with soldiers, completely demolishing five freight-cars and piling the broken timbers up into one mass. Three men are reported killed and several severely wounded. The conductor and the engineer of the train from Manassas were badly injured, and the locomotive was somewhat damaged.

The rebel cavalry, after firing, apparently were reenforced, for they at once rode on to Manassas, reaching there about nine o'clock, between two and three thousand strong. At Manassas they encountered the Eleventh New-York battery, which was evidently taken by surprise, although it is said sufficient warning had been given of the approach of the rebels to enable the men in charge to move off several Government trains loaded with stores. The New-York soldiers, although thrown into great confusion by the sudden dash of the rebel cavalry, fought as bravely as men could.

They, at the first onset, lost four of their eight guns. It was the first time they had been under fire, and so completely were they taken by surprise, that the officer in command, supposing the rebel cavalry to be Union troops, called to them not to press him too hard, or he would not be able to use his pieces.

The rebels, thinking they had an easy thing, when within a few yards of the guns commenced yelling like demons, and rushed upon the battery. Several soldiers were sabred at their guns. Those who could fought nobly, but with what result is not definitely known. Most of them, however, were killed or taken prisoners.

At the time of the entry of the rebels into Manassas there were but three or four companies of infantry that had accidentally been left there by a train that went up a few hours before.

The rebels, getting possession of the place, commenced the promiscuous destruction of every thing that came within their reach. They tore up the track, smashed the cars, cut the telegraph-wires, destroyed several buildings and a considerable amount of Government stores.

Before arriving at Manassas, it is believed they blew up the Broad Run bridge, as a light was seen and an explosion heard in that direction. It is also thought they destroyed considerable of the track. This morning, at eight o'clock, heavy cannonading was heard at Manassas, and it is supposed General Pope has attacked the rebels in front and rear.

Probably a more bold and desperate raid has not occurred during the history of any war. That it was a raid and nothing else is evident from the fact that it would have been impossible for any considerable force to have got in the rear of Gen. Pope's army.

That excitable people will magnify this affair into one of great importance, there can be no doubt, but to those who know, as well as your correspondent does, the immense military power of our Government, and the doom that is surely awaiting the rebels, this little trick of the traitors will seem of no consequence.

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 Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
New York (New York, United States) (1)
Manassas, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
John Pope (2)
J. E. B. Stuart (1)
Robert E. Lee (1)
Doc (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.
August 27th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: