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[559] and fifty yards of our position, with very little effect. We fired two more scattering volleys, all with little effect. By this time the enemy were close upon our front, and had closed in upon our left flank. Seeing this, the battalion gave way, and retreated rapidly and in great confusion. Being on the extreme left of the brigade, we were the first to see the flank movement of the enemy, and by the rapid retreat were prevented from being surrounded.

All the officers of the battalion strove most gallantly to hold the men to their position, and made the most heroic endeavors to rally them after they had broken. Failing in this, some of the officers and men joined in with the reserves, and took part in their successful advance. Second Lieutenant Alexander, company A, was disabled by a severe wound in the left thigh, about the time the battalion gave way. It may be proper to add that Lieutenant White, acting Aid-de-camp to Colonel Garnett, informed me, just as the enemy advanced from the woods, that the Tenth Virginia regiment occupied our left.

Accompanying this you will please find a list of casualties.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

John Seddon, Major, commanding First Virginia Battalion.

Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson.

camp near Liberty Mills, August 13, 1862.
To Colonel Taliaferro, commanding Third Brigade, A. V.:
Colonel: On Saturday last, the ninth instant, four o'clock P. M., I arrived with my regiment (the Forty-seventh Alabama) within range of the enemy's batteries that had opened on the advancing columns of our army. We were allowed to rest a few minutes, when we were again ordered to advance, and take our position under the range of the enemy's guns. We advanced along the road for the distance of a mile, with the enemy's shells bursting over our heads; but, as we were within the range given to their guns, no damage was done to my regiment. When the position desired by our brigade commander was gained, we were ordered to form our line of battle and lie down. By this time the cannonade was in quicker succession. The men under my command behaved themselves very well, though somewhat confused at the bursting of shells over their heads; but after remaining a short time they became quiet. We remained about forty minutes in this position, without sustaining any loss, when the order was given by General Taliaferro to advance in line of battle. I reported this command to the regiment, when they advanced, in tolerable order, the distance of fifty yards, when we approached a fence, which we crossed, and found ourselves in presence of the enemy's infantry, which had opened on us with some effect. I formed my men in line of battle, about three hundred yards from the line of the enemy, and opened fire on them. Although it was the first battle any of my men had ever been in, yet they behaved themselves very well, and returned the fire in quick succession, and with a good deal of deliberation. Affairs remained in this position for about twenty minutes, when we found ourselves attacked from a very unexpected quarter: the enemy, having flanked us, had come round to our rear, and were pouring heavy volleys on us, at the distance of forty paces. As soon as I discovered this new enemy, I gave the command to face about. A few companies of the right wing obeyed the command; but the left, not understanding the order, and being subjected to a severe cross-fire, gave way, and retreated across the field. As soon as the left gave way, the right also got into confusion, and followed the left. I made repeated efforts to rally the regiment, but, finding it impossible to do so under the cross-fire they were subjected to, I followed them across the field, and on a hill that screened them from the balls of the enemy. As soon as they found themselves out of range, they halted, and began of themselves to rally to their standard. I encouraged them as much as my exhausted state from fatigue and feeble health would permit, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing most of them returning to duty. I ordered the colors to advance, which they did, and the regiment followed, though without any line of battle. I remained behind, sending up those that showed less inclination to advance. I soon found it would be impossible to get them in regular line, and, therefore, staid a few paces in the rear, encouraging those that staid behind, and preventing them from firing among those in advance. We continued to advance, in this open way, to within two hundred yards of the enemy, drawn up in another field, on the opposite side of the field. The advance of our line at this point made a halt, and very deliberately returned the fire of the enemy. I encouraged those in the rear to advance as far as their friends had done, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing them slowly make their way to the front. The front line, seeing the rear advance, also advanced, and the enemy in a few minutes began to give ground. At this point we were charged by a body of cavalry, but, meeting with a rolling fire from our line, they retreated with considerable loss. Our men now advanced in quick time, and the enemy's retreat soon became a complete rout. We continued to pursue them from one field to another, until about seven o'clock, when our men, becoming exhausted, made a halt, and took no further part in the action.

The number of killed in my regiment was eleven men and one captain, Captain Munsen, who fell at the time we were flanked by the enemy. The Captain conducted himself with great gallantry, and the regiment has sustained a great loss in his death. We had also ninety men wounded, including those that were wounded slightly. I think the wounded, with a few exceptions, will recover.

The above is an outline of the part played by the Forty-seventh Alabama regiment, in the late

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Alexander G. Taliaferro (2)
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