Retaking of the Artillery by the Brigade.
There are two things, however, about which there can be no doubt-one that the Thirty-third, being at the time on the extreme left of our army, charged alone and took the enemy's battery or section thereof on our left, and that the rest of the brigade immediately charged and took a battery or section of one nearest the Henry House
, and as I now recollect, if not mistaken, retook the one previously taken by the Thirty-third, numbers of the Thirty-third falling in with other regiments as individuals, and not as a regiment, and also that I ordered the charge by the Thirty-third before the time arrived to execute General Jackson
's order for the reason before given.
Every regiment gallantly did its whole duty, the other regiments likely doing more fighting than the Thirty-third, owing to the heavy loss sustained by it in making the first charge alone and the disorganization that followed.
I had frequent talks with the officers of the brigade after the fight and never knew of any difference of opinion as to the action of the different regiments of the brigade, and see no occasion for any now. In a fight, of course, every one sees more clearly what takes place in his immediate presence, and no doubt, many things were seen by others of which I have no personal knowledge.
I have evidence in my possession from others of the Thirty-third which more than sustain my account of the action of the Thirty-third.
From having been somewhat unwell, my hand is a little tremulous, but I hope you may be able to wade through this badly written letter, and if you tire before you reach the end, you can stop and take it in broken doses.
I should have written you a clean and better account of the part performed by the Thirty-third and the rest of the brigade at the first battle of Manassas
, but you must be satisfied at present with this.
I should regret very much for any controversy to arise as to the part performed by any regiment of the brigade that was immortalized on the eventful 21st of July, 1861, when all behaved so gallantly and are entitled to the consolation of knowing that their full duty was well performed.
But as you are
an editor, though I may be over-cautious, I will ask, as there is no necessity of it, you will not make public my letter.
The whole brigade measured up to its full standard of duty, made its reputation and there let it rest.
Ever since the close of the war I have had a great longing to visit the Valley of Virginia
, but the time never seemed opportune, but I still cherish, perhaps, the vain hope of doing so. As age advances, my heart instinctively turns to old friends and old things, many of whom (that is, friends) I fancy, I would meet in the Valley
I shall be pleased to hear from you any time when when you are at leisure, and in the meantime, I remain,