I ordered details to man the enemy's guns; put Major Terrell, of General Robertson's staff, in charge of the guns; he extemporized lanyards; fired upon the enemy in accordance with my orders. I led a regiment or battalion myself, during the morning, to an exposed redoubt on the right, which the enemy was threatening to seize so as to flank and enfilade the place. I did innumerable acts, which, if not in command, I never would have dreamed of doing, and as long as my authority was unquestioned, I deemed it entirely unnecessary to notify General Trimble and others, whom I supposed already cognizant of the fact, that I was in command; and even if General Jackson had not specially intrusted me with this command, as a Major-General on the spot, I was entitled to it, and would have assumed it as a matter of course, in accordance with the Articles of War, and never till a few days ago did I conceive that any one claimed to be in command but myself. General Trimble lays stress on my idea of the distance of the enemy's works from where he overtook me. A dark night, what is more natural than to mistake the degree of proximity of lights in the distance. They were the lights of Manassas. According to Dr. Eliason, the artillery had reached us before General Trimble's arrival, and the report, as well as other noises, gave strength to the conviction that we were very near the place. We had captured a picket much farther out, and I desired to convey the idea that we were very near the main body — whether it was posted as grand guard, reserved or intrenched garrison, is not so material in that statement. In the face of General Trimble's positive denial of sending me such a message referred to, “that he would prefer waiting till daylight or anything like it,” while my recollection is clear that I did receive such a message, and received it as coming from General Trimble, yet as he was positive to not having sent it, or anything like it, I feel bound to believe that either the message was misrepresented or made up by the messenger, or that it was a message received from General Robertson, whose sharpshooters had been previously deployed. When matters follow each other so closely, it is difficult, in a report written some time after, to fix the order of time; but General Trimble does the cavalry injustice in his report. There seems to be a growing tendency to abuse and underrate the services of that arm of service by a few officers of infantry, among whom I regret to find General Trimble. Troops should be taught to take pride in other branches of service than their own. Officers, particularly general officers, should be the last, by word or example, to inculcate in the troops of their command a spirit of jealousy and unjust detraction toward other arms of service, where all are mutually dependent and mutually interested, with functions differing in character, but not in importance. So far as my own and the conduct of my cavalry are concerned, I am content to rest their vindication and their defence with the generals under whom it has been my honor and pleasure to serve since the first gun of the war. Most respectfully, Your obedient servant,
J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General.
Statement of Surgeon Eliason.
camp Pelham, April 17, 1863.General: In compliance with your request, I give you an account of the events of the night of August twenty-six, 1862, as I remember them. After General Jackson had taken complete possession of Bristoe Station, you started for Manassas, moving slowly at the head of the column, in order that the infantry might have time to come up. When the advanced guard got within a mile and a half of Manassas, they captured a sentinel standing on the railroad track, and, directly after, encountered the picket of infantry and cavalry to which he belonged. After a few shots they were driven in, and pursued until a shell, fired by the enemy, struck just to our right. We then halted, and waited to ascertain the position of our infantry. Just about day we heard a few shots, and, the command being mounted in haste, we rode into Manassas almost simultaneously with the infantry, who had not full possession of the place, as the enemy were in full view of its eastern side. This was just after full daylight. Most respectfully,
Report of Major-General Trimble of the capture of Manassas.
Colonel: I have received your communication, dated yesterday, calling my attention to a seeming discrepancy between your [my] report of the capture of Manassas Junction, on the night of the twenty-sixth August last, and that of Major-General Stuart, together with an extract from his report. It is not difficult to account for partial or serious discrepancy in reports of two officers, when one was present on the spot, with all the circumstances passing under his immediate notice, and the other was at the time a mile or two distant, and in the night. I have carefully read over my original report, dated Charlottesville, January sixth, 1863, [the clerk, in copying it, must have made an error in writing 1862, which please correct,] and have to-day had a conference, through my staff, with numerous officers who took part in the transaction, and have not a word to alter — that report stating correctly the main facts, but not all the circumstances, which I shall now briefly relate. I was not aware, on marching on Manassas Junction, that General Stuart had gone in ahead, as the staff officers did not notify me of that fact, nor that I was to act under General Stuart. Hence, when I heard the discharge of musketry in our front, as stated in my report, I was quite