previous next

[663] on their arms under the guns of the enemy; and the next morning we turned to the left, and proceeded up the river, crossing Hazel River at Wellford, and that night reached a point about opposite to the Fauquier White Sulphur Springs. Here we also found the enemy, who, having burnt the bridge, was again opposing the our passage.

On Sunday, the twenty-fourth, the brigade was moved into position on the Rappahannock Hills, near the house of Dr. Scott, to support our artillery, which was engaged with that of the enemy across the stream. There the men were subjected to a severe cannonading for four hours, and suffered a small loss of five wounded. At the dawn of day, Monday morning, the twenty-sixth, the regiments were turned out as ordered, with the utmost prom ptitude, without knapsacks; and again wheeling to the left, we marched rapidly several miles up the river, crossed the Rappahannock, (Hedgeman's River,) without opposition, at Hinson's Mill, and made a forced march of twenty-four miles that day, up the Salem Valley, to Cobbler's Mountain.

On the twenty-seventh, we continued the march without wagons or baggage of any kind, turning to the right at Salem, through Thoroughfare Gap, in the Bull Run Mountain, and slept at night in rear of our artillery, in the road near Bristoe's Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. The next morning we reached Manassas Junction, where the enemy, attempting to recapture it, (said to be General Taylor's New Jersey brigade from Alexandria,) were scattered, with considerable loss, and driven by our forces across Bull Run, toward Centreville. In the afternoon of that day, the brigade returned from pursuit to the junction, where three days rations were issued from the vast supply of captured stores, and the men, for a few hours, rested and regaled themselves upon delicacies unknown to our commissariat, which they were in good condition to enjoy, having eaten nothing for several days except roasting ears, taken, by order, from the cornfields near the road, and what was given by the generous citizens of the Salem Valley to the soldiers as they hurried along in their rapid march.

I have thus thought proper to state, somewhat in detail, the incidents of this bold flank movement by which we crossed the Rappahannock, turned the right of the enemy, got entirely into his rear, and cut off all his communications, seemingly without his knowledge, and certainly without serious opposition from him.

Wounded in the Affair at Rappahannock.

Thirteenth regiment South Carolina volunteers,2
Fourteenth regiment South Carolina volunteers,3

the Second battle of Manassas.

At dark, on the evening of Wednesday, the twenty-seventh of August, the brigade, in conjunction with that of Colonel (now General) Thomas, was thrown out on the south side of the Manassas Junction as the rear guard, and formed in line of battle, facing the enemy, who had, during the evening, been fighting General Ewell near Bristoe's Station. Standing under arms here, we had a fine view of the magnificent conflagration caused by the burning of sutlers' and commissary stores, together with about a hundred cars on the railroad, freighted with every article necessary for the outfit of a great army, all of which was set on fire about midnight and consumed.

About two o'clock in the morning of Thursday, the twenty-eighth, we silently retired from our picket lines in front of the enemy, and by the light of the smouldering ruins, followed the division across Bull Run, at Blackburn's Ford, to Centreville. Here we rested a short time, and thence turned back toward Bull Run, and moving by the Warrenton turnpike, crossed the run again near the Stone Bridge. At this critical moment, the enemy, falling back from the Rappahannock, (caused doubtless by our flank movement,) were coming down the turnpike from Warrenton, meeting us. Soon after crossing the run, we turned to the right, leaving the turnpike, and after going up the river a short distance, changed front, and were drawn up, in battle array, along the line of the unfinished independent railroad track, facing the turnpike, along which the enemy was moving. Brisk firing was heard upon our right, and about dark the brigade was hurried to the scene of action, and ordered to report to General Ewell, who was directing the engagement. Arrived on the field after dark, finding General Ewell badly wounded. Soon after the firing ceased. We slept upon our arms near Ewell's battle-field, and the next morning, at early dawn, returned near the position first taken up by us the evening before, and were placed in line of battle on the extreme left of the whole command, near Catharpin Run. We occupied a small, rocky, wooded knoll, having a railroad excavation bending around the east and north fronts, and a cleared field on the north-west. This position was slightly in advance of the general line, and besides being on the extreme left, was considered important, because of the Sudley Ford road, which it commanded. Our line made an obtuse angle, pointing toward the enemy, one side of which ran nearly parallel with the railroad cut, and the other along the fence bordering the cleared field before spoken of. Within these contracted limits was the little tongue of woodland which we occupied, and which we were directed to hold at all hazards. On this spot, barely large enough to hold the brigade, we stood and fought, with intervals of cessation, from eight o'clock in the morning until dark. We repulsed many successive charges, (I believe seven,) the enemy constantly throwing fresh columns upon us, and persisting in his effort to carry the point with the utmost obstinancy. During the different struggles of the day, the regiments were relieved and shifted as occasion required. The space covered by the brigade was so small, and the distance between the regiments so inconsiderable,

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)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
R. S. Ewell (4)
O. H. Thomas (1)
R. Taylor (1)
W. C. Scott (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 (1)
28th (1)
27th (1)
26th (1)
24th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: