The fight at Manassas, Thursday.
[from our own Correspondents.]
Bull's Run, July 19, 1861.
While our boys are leaning on their muskets and discussing the events of yesterday, I retire a few paces in the woods to give you a few outlines of the battle of yesterday, fought, and as a matter of course, won chiefly by the boys of the 1st Regiment, aided by the Washington Artillery, of New Orleans, and some Alexandria Artillery.
Not knowing the exact position the other regiments of our brigade occupied, and as the heat of the fire was chiefly conducted against and sustained by us, I will strictly confine myself to the part we bore in the fight, leaving it to the others to state their share in it. Our brigade left Camp Pickens on the 17th, at 10 A. M.--No pen can describe the mortification our company (Company I) experienced, when we who, with the rest, stood ready to march off,) got orders to stay behind and guard the camp until further orders, and I shall not even attempt it. Luckily for us, at about 11 P. M., (I just stood on guard,) a horseman rode into camp, halted in front of Capt. Taylor
's tent, and brought the orders from headquarters to strike our tents and keep ourselves in readiness to join our regiment at daybreak.
In the joy of my heart, I ran about twenty paces beyond my post (don't tell it to the officer of the guard, to impart the tidings to the next sentinel.
The drum was rolled, and in a second our fellows were out of their tents and went to work with a will, so that in two hours all our knapsacks were packed, haversacks filled, and our tents, as well as those of the departed companies, were struck.
But don't let me keep the news longer from you. Suffice it to say, that we marched off at about 8 A. M., and our regiment drawn up in line at Bull's Run
, with the exception of Company D, who were posted already as skirmishers.
At about 10 o'clock we heard the first voices of musketry, and Company I was ordered to post themselves beyond Company D on the right.
We marched towards the banks of the creek and threw ourselves behind the trees, in the bushes, flat on the ground, on our knees, standing, sitting — in short, every possible position or attitude which human nature possibly can assume.
It was about half an hour before one of our men spied the first Yankee, and popped him down most unceremoniously, and shortly after that the ball opened for good.
True, Companies I and D had very little to do with it, as our post was not attacked during the day; and thus, besides sending now and then a Yankee, who was inquisitive enough to pry in our affairs, feeling down the hill, (where they were posted,) we comparatively kept far from the enemy's fire, only a few musket balls, or a piece of shell, now and then lodging in and near the trees and bushes behind which we were deployed.
The other companies figured were conspicuously, and had a glorious time if it Smith
's Band, splendidly as it executes their pieces, and fond as we are to listen to them, could not give us a nicer piece of music than that played by our Artillery.
It is a style quite new to us, but it beats Yankee boodle altogether to pieces. Col. Moore
was wounded in the left arm, in the commencement of the fight, and had to be carried from the field; whereupon Major Skinner
, aided by Capt. Mitchell
, took the command, (Lieut. Col. Fry
being at the time quite busy in another part,) and nobly did they acquit themselves of their task.
Where the fire was the hottest, there you were sure to see our brave commanders, cheering and commanding our boys alternately.
Company H. fought side by side with the Alexandria Rifles, (of the 11th Regiment,) and vied with each other in the display of courage and intrepidity.
They (Company H) deplore the loss of one man, and had two men slightly wounded; but dearly did they make the enemy pay for their loss.
Almost out of the very ranks of the enemy they dragged the man who shot their brave comrade, and Lieut Vaughan
possessed himself of his arms, (a splendid rifle, by the bye.) The man is now a prisoner.
Besides, this one, they took two or three more prisoners, and any quantity of rifles and Minnie muskets, most of which they dropped again, as they obstructed their movements Capt.Sherman
and his Washington
Volunteers Company E,) had a good chance of wreaking their vengeance upon their foes and grasped at it with both hands.
himself fired both his pistols five times, which we may safely believe as having killed ten men, he being a bad shot.
They, too, lost one man and had four more wounded.
Company B was unfortunate enough to have their Captain
) and Lieutenant
) wounded, which fact added, if possible, to their courage — besides they lost one man and five slightly wounded.
Company K, too, deplore the loss of one man and two wounded, and from their side made a perfect slaughter in the enemy.
Apropos.--When the regiment left on the 17th, eight of Company K's men were on guard, and as orders were given from headquarters not to let anybody pass out of camp after the regiment left, it was to be expected that they had to stay behind; but Lieut Loman
took his men when they came back, and stating plainly that where his company was, there too was their place.
They passed in spite of the sentinels and joined their boys.--Well done Rifles!
Company C, too, showed that they are the boys who relish a fight.
They were lucky enough to carry every man of their camp safe and sound back again, except three or four who were slightly wounded, amongst whom Lieut. English
. Company G unfortunately lost their 21 Lieutenant
, Miles, and his loss is deeply felt by the whole regiment.
He was an efficient officer and highly estimated by his men and fellow-officers.
His death and the loss of the other five noble fellows throw a gloom over the triumph of yesterday, which we cannot shake off entirely, in spite of us. But the recollection how and when they fell
and the thought that we expect hourly to get called upon to avenge their death, cheers us greatly and makes us bear our loss.
Don't think that I placed the companies in this sketch according to their valor, (for as Lieut. Col. Fry
exclaimed this morning; ‘"our boys, one and all, have done bravely,"’) but I just put them down as I was able to take notes down.
Altogether it was the most decided down-right whipping the Yankees
over received on Virginia
They had the advantage of ground and the advantage of numbers.
Not that we had not men enough, but we never had more than 1200 men in the field at the same time, while they were leading 15,000 men on at one charge.
Their famous Sherman battery did not intimidate us in the least, and we had the pleasure to send to-day two of their most splendid rifle cannon to Manassas
I believe we got muskets enough to equip a good-sized battalion, and there is no end to the haversacks and canteens which they threw away in their flight.
Amongst other things, our wagons brought us to-day a load of caps and hats, which shows that after all they must have great respect for us, or they would not have taken them off for us. Well, at 7 o'clock P. M. we stopped firing, but they did not stop retreating, and there the fun ended for that day.
N. B.--Gen. Longstreet
showed himself in the most conspicuous part of the fight, and had his horse shot from under him.
P. S.--Honor to whom honor is due. The color guard acted most heroically.
While the fight was the hottest Serg Reeves
, with Corp. Norvell
and four privates, passed the creek with flying colors, having to wade up to their waist through the water, and planted the glorious bars and stars on the hill under an incessant fire from the enemy, whilst Reeves
roared out to Turner
to rally to their colors After repeated orders to retreat only, he fell back with his men to the main body.
Company G lost two men more than I stated first--thus three in all.
The dead are buried.
A large apple tree shades their graves, and McLane's farm, which received their noble bodies, will forevermore be a sacred place in the memory of the whole South
They are carefully wrapped up in their blankets, and papers with their honored names attached to each of them.
Peace be to their ashes.
Manassas Junction, July 19, 1861, 9 P. M
Well, one of the long-looked for ‘"big fights"’ to come off at this place, as the first step towards the destruction of Richmond
, has taken place, and resulted in a complete frustration of the enemy and his plans.
A more complete and glorious victory we could not have asked, and must add another leaf to the chaplet of Gen. Beauregard
When 7,000 men are thrice repulsed by less than two thousand, with over ten times the loss sustained by the attacked; when the 2,000 attacked has no peculiar advantage of position, nor breastworks to protect them, it certainly proves either uncommon skill in the management of the defence, or extraordinary weakness in the plan of attack.
On yesterday, about noon, Gen. McDowell
, with twelve or fourteen regiments and one battery, in which there were at least two rifle cannon, attempted to force a passage across Bull's Run
, at Mitchell's Ford, about 3½ miles from Manassas Junction
. General Longstreet
's Brigade, composed of the First Virginia Regiment, under Col. Moore
, the Seventeenth Virginia and one Louisiana Regiment, being situated near the Ford
, received the attack, principally the First Virginia Regiment, and repulsed them three times, with a loss of only 12 men killed and about 60 wounded, while the loss of the enemy is stated by their own men to be not less than 300 killed and 600 wounded. There were not more than 1,000 of our men engaged, including a battery of two or three guns, while there could not have been less than 3,000 of the enemy actually engaged, besides a battery of at least two rifle cannon.
We expected the attack would be renewed to-day, but this morning the enemy hoisted a white flag and asked permission to bury their dead, which was granted; and it was from these men who have been burying the dead, and the prisoners, ten in number, that we learn there were 900 missing this morning at roll call.
They have been all day burying their dead, and we don't know whether they are done yet or not. It is rumored just now, at 11.
A. M., that Gen. Beauregard
was hourly expecting a night attack.
Besides the killed and wounded, and the ten prisoners we took, we have taken two 32-pound rifle cannon, some four or five hundred muskets, and as many hats.
Our men behaved with the utmost coolness firing irregularly, but taking good aim. The battle lasted three and a half hours. The musketry firing by the enemy was done with remarkable regularity, but with little effect, as the result proved.
A rifle cannon ball went through the house occupied by our men as a hospital, near Gen. Beauregard
P. S.--July 20, 6 A. M.--There was no firing this morning in the direction of our line.--The reports this morning from the killed and wounded of the enemy are so contradictory that I cannot say anything is reliable.
There is do doubt they have met with a severe loss, and a most extraordinary defeat in their attempt to cross Bull's Run