previous next

[648] to attach any blame to Colonel Lee. This was especially the case after he had so frankly, in your presence, apologized to me for the failure of the plan of operations we had agreed on. Nor do I wish to detract from any commendation you have bestowed on Lee's brigade. My only object is to vindicate my own. Hoping that you will excuse the minuteness of my statement,

I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Wade Hampton, Brigadier-General.

Report of Colonel B. T. Johnson, of Second Virginia brigade.

Captain Taliaferro, A. A. G. Taliaferro's Division, Army of the Valley:
Captain: I have the honor to report that on Wednesday, August twenty-seventh, 1862, my command, the Second brigade of this division, consisting of the Twenty-first, Forty-second, and Forty-eighth Virginia, and First Virginia battalion, with two batteries, marched from Manassas Junction about dark. The Forty-eighth and Forty-second Virginia had been, during the day, on picket on the Blackburn's Ford and Union Mill road. Marching by the Sudley road, and passing the Chinn house, I reached the Warrenton road after midnight. I was then ordered by Brigadier-General Taliaferro, commanding division, to proceed with my command down the Warrenton road, toward Gainesville, and picket and hold it and a road cutting it at Groveton at right angles, and which led from the Junction also to Sudley Ford. I did so, holding Groveton as my reserve, throwing out pickets toward Manassas and down the turnpike, and pushing Captain George R. Gaither's troop, First Virginia cavalry, which I found on picket before I reached the position, some half a mile in front of me, with videttes still farther before him. Shortly after daylight, he reported to me a cavalry force advancing from Gainesville, and soon after himself brought in a courier captured by him, bearing a despatch from Major-General McDowell to Major-General Sigel. I immediately sent the courier and despatch to Brigadier-General Taliaferro and Major-General Jackson, and a short time after, ordered Captain Gaither to report to Major-General Jackson in person the contents of the despatch. Executing this order in the direction of Manassas, he was taken prisoner, and I lost his services, which were valuable. The intercepted despatch was an order from Major-General McDowell to Major-General Sigel and Brigadier-General Reynolds, conveying the order of attack on Manassas Junction. Sigel was ordered to march on that point from Gainesville, with his right resting on the Manassas Gap Railroad; Reynolds, moving also from Gainesville, to keep his left on the Warrenton road ; and another division was ordered to move in support of the two, in rear en echelon to each. Finding, then, I should have a superior force on me in a short time, I ordered Major John Seddon, First Virginia battalion, with his command and the Forty-eighth Virginia, to take position on the road from Grovoton toward Manassas, to guard against any flank movement on me from thence. The Forty-second Virginia, Captain Penn, I threw forward as skirmishers, and held the Twenty-first, Captain Witcher, to support the only two pieces of rifled artillery I had, which had been placed under my command by Colonel Brien, First Virginia cavalry. My own being smooth bore, I held it in reserve and in rear. Riding forward, I got on a high hill, to the right of the road, and discovered the enemy in force, their skirmishers pushing rapidly on me. I instantly brought up the rifled pieces and Forty-eighth, and, after a race, beat the enemy to the hill, and opened on them, driving in their cavalry and skirmishers; but finding them place several guns in position, which they served with rapidity and accuracy, and pressing their infantry on me, I called in Major Seddon, and, with his reenforcement, determined to hold the hill, which was the key of the surrounding country. This I did, and drove off the advance down the Warrenton road, but, after some time, discovered them on my extreme left, toward Manassas. Thus obliged to retire, I did so, toward Groveton, where I received an order from Brigadier-General Taliaferro to report to him. Before I could do so, Major-General Stuart ordered me to take position in a skirt of woods near by, and to the west. In the afternoon, I discovered the enemy's train passing to the left, toward Manassas, and opened upon it with two pieces very briskly. Farther progress was stopped for them over that road. Being ordered, then, by Major-General Jackson, to report to my command, I started in that direction; but being pushed by the enemy's cavalry and skirmishers, I ordered the Forty-eighth Virginia, Lieutenant V. Dabney, to drive them back, which was done quickly and gallantly.

That night, by General Jackson's order, I held the crossing of the Sudley road over the old railroad, and at daylight, being so ordered, rejoined the division, then commanded by Brigadier-General Starke, Brigadier-General Taliaferro having been wounded the previous evening. By him I was ordered to clear the woods we had just left, but into which the enemy's skirmishers had lodged. I directed Lieutenant Dabney, with the Forty-eighth, to do so, and then sent Captain Witcher, with the Twenty-first, to support him. They did their work at once, and well. Our line of battle was then formed, facing the east, parallel to the Warrenton road, fronting it, and to the left of it; Ewell's division being on my left, and Starke's brigade on my right. This place was not attacked until the afternoon. Our line was on the crest of a ridge covered with timber, and in front of the wood, in the open ground, was the embankment in one place and the cut in another, according as the ground lay, of an unfinished railroad. In the afternoon, the enemy carried the embankment to my left, and while I was trying to rally some men, not of my command, came close on me, and between my command and the railroad cut. The men were lying down at the time in ranks, concealed; and, unexpected, I ordered a charge, and, with a

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 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 (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: