previous next

[398] turn them back. He soon returned with the report that his efforts were in vain. I appealed to those in my own vicinity — the rear of the retreating troops — to face about and redeem themselves, but without effect. They declared that the General had ordered them to “retire,” and retire they did most disgracefully, despite the urgent appeals of Assistant Adjutant-General Dunham, of their own brigade, and myself. About this time Lieut. Wright, of the Fourth New-Jersey regiment, came to me with ten men, appearing to be very indignant at the conduct of the brigade, and asked to be led back to the ene my. I ordered him to report to Col. White, at the bridge. The names of the men forming this squad, who wished to save their honor, were, as given me by Lieut. Wright, Ord.-Sergt. Hannery, Sergt. Pettitts, Corp. Cox, privates John Winer, David Pope, John Connor, Joseph Schlab, Joseph Schern, George H. Cherry, Kilbon Fender — all of the Fourth New-Jersey regiment. I beg that they may be suitably rewarded, and that Captain Dunham and Lieutenant Wright be promoted for their gallantry. I have little else to add to the report already rendered. I beg leave, however, to ask a suitable notice of the gallant conduct of the officers and men of the Eleventh and Twelfth Ohio, whose bearing could not be excelled by any troops whatever — for there was no faltering among them, nor was there the slightest appearance of any thing but eagerness to engage the enemy, and fight against every odds of numbers. I have made especial mention of Col. White and Lieut.-Col. Coleman and Hines. I should add the name of Major Jackson, of the Eleventh; and though such mention may seem a matter of course, I should be unjust were I not to bear witness to the coolness and efficient energy of Lieutenants Kennedy and Botsford, of my staff.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. P. Scammon, Colonel Commanding First Brigade.

Colonel whites report.

Fairfax station, Va., August 27, 1862.
Col. E. P. Scammon, Commanding First Prov. Brigade, Kanawha Division:
sir: I have the honor to report the part taken in the action at Bull Run bridge this day by the Twelfth regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, under my command.

In obedience to your orders, the Twelfth regiment Ohio volunteer infantry left Alexandria this morning at four A. M., by rail, for Bull Run bridge, where it arrived about eight o'clock, disembarked, and formed on the railroad track on the left bank of the stream, fronting two rifle-pits on the opposite side. The men were ordered to lie down behind the embankment of the road, while the Eleventh regiment Ohio volunteer infantry was ordered to the left to prevent a flank movement of the enemy by a ford in that direction. These positions were taken while the enemy were pressing the First New-Jersey brigade, which had preceded us in the advance across the bridge, and their retiring forces mixing with ours on the narrow track produced some little delay in the movement, at the same time the enemy shelling. Scarcely had we taken the position when I received your order to advance and take position to save the bridge if possible. The Twelfth regiment was then filed to the right, up the hill-side, facing the bridge, brought to the front, and advanced on hands and knees through the insufficient covering of grass and low shrubbery to the brow of the hill, the centre overlooking the bridge, the left deflected a little to the rear, to engage the lower rifle-pit and the enemy on the opposite bank of the run. The galling fire poured into their advance soon hurled them back, but in a short time a regiment was sent to outflank our right, and another our left, while a charge was made down the hill on our front. Companies A and F were at once advanced to the right and rear to defend our right. Our line of battle was now crescent-shaped, with three regiments pouring a heavy fire into it, which positions were held against this great odds for two hours and a half, and had it not been for the timely assistance of the Eleventh regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, in driving back a column passing to our left and rear, we should have been surrounded, but this enabled me to draw off by the right flank in good order.

We then formed on the brow of the next hill in our rear on a line parallel to the first. The enemy advanced his forces in the same manner as before, except that the regiments on our right moved further to our rear, making a desperate effort to cut us off, and did succeed in passing between the regiment and Capt. H, S. Clement, with twenty men, who was sent by Lieut.-Col. Hines to the right to observe and report the enemy's movement in that direction, but fortunately he effected an escape and joined us two miles below.

We were finally compelled to fall back to the next ridge in the rear, where a stand was made, and with the assistance of the gallant Eleventh Ohio regiment, which did all that was in the power of men under the circumstances, put a check to their advance, and enabled us to get off our wounded and retire in good order, they covering the retreat.

The officers of my command did their whole duty, and deserve great praise for gallantry and the manner in which they handled their several commands.

Lieut.-Col. J. D. Hines and Major E. H. Carey are deserving of special commendation, and to their individual exertion in maintaining order, and their prompt assistance in handling the regiment, I am in a great measure indebted for being able to withdraw, in an open meadow, a worn-out and exhausted regiment, in the face of a foe four to one. Wm. B. Nesbit, Lieutenant and Adjutant, and James H. Palmer, Sergeant-Major, are also deserving a special notice for gallantry and devotion to duty. In passing with orders along the line while the command was lying and delivering their fire, they were conspicuous and greatly exposed. The non-commissioned officers and privates

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.
Ohio (Ohio, United States) (4)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
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 (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: