previous next

[13] then said, “Colonel Richardson I shall put you in arrest.” I told him “I never should obey his arrest, and that he never could put me in that position.” Col. Miles answered that he did not understand this. I said nothing, and went on with further disposition of the troops, which was done according to the diagram. As soon as the line of battle was well formed, the enemy's cavalry made its appearance on the Centreville and Manassas road, and I ordered Lieut. Benjamin to open his rifled cannon upon them, which he did, and the cavalry disappeared after a few shots. It was now nearly dark, and the troops encamped in their present position. About ten o'clock P. M. General McDowell informed me that retreat was resolved upon; that the troops must be started on the road to Fairfax as soon as possible, and ordered me to move last and cover the retreat of the army with my brigade. I told the General I would do so, and would stand by him as long as any man would. I left with my brigade at 2 o'clock A M., after all the other regiments and batteries had retired. On reaching Fairfax, found it abandoned by our troops, and I covered the rear, bringing up my brigade in good order, the New York regiment in front, then the Massachusetts regiment, and the two Michigan regiments in rear of the whole. Arrived at Arlington at 2 o'clock P. M., on Monday after the action. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,

J. B. Richardson, Colonel Commanding Fourth Brigade. Gen. Tyler, Commanding First Division.


Colonel Chatfield's report.

Headquarters 3D regiment Conn. Vol. Arlington, Va., July 24, 1861.
To Col. E. D. Keyes, Commanding First Brigade, First Division:
I marched with my command from Centreville, Va., on Sunday, at 2 o'clock A. M., and proceeded along the Warrington turnpike to Bull Run; after being on the road several hours, formed on the east side of the run, and marched against a body of the enemy and routed them; then changed position to the left, formed, and charged upon the enemy's battery, which was supported by a large body of infantry. The regiment made a fine charge, but was obliged to fall back, (the enemy being in very much larger force of infantry, beside their battery,) which we did in good order. After engaging the enemy some three hours at different points, we were ordered off the field, which we did in good order, and, on our route, covered the retreating forces, and brought in two pieces of artillery, one caisson, and several baggage wagons, and the wagon of the sappers and miners, together with all their tools and twenty horses. During the whole engagement both officers and men behaved well and stood up to the work. I would here mention more particularly, Major Warner and Adjutant Redfield Duryee, for their coolness during the whole action, in assisting to keep the men in line, and urging them on to action.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

John L. Chatfield, Colonel Commanding.


Colonel Sherman's report.

Headquarters Third brigade, First Division, Fort Corcoran, July 25, 1861.
To Capt. A. Baird, Assist. Adj.-Gen. First Div.:
sir:--I have the honor to submit this my report of the operations of my brigade during the action of the 21st instant. The brigade was composed of the Thirteenth New York Volunteers, Col. Quimby; Sixty-ninth New York, Col. Corcoran; Seventy-ninth New York, Col. Cameron; Second Wisconsin, Lieut.-Col. Peck; and Company E, Third Artillery, under command of Capt. R. B. Ayres, Fifth Artillery. We left our camp near Centreville, pursuant to orders, at 2 A. M., taking place in your column next to the brigade of Gen. Schenck, and proceeded as far as the halt before the enemy's position, near the stone bridge at Bull Run. Here the brigade was deployed in line along the skirt of timber, and remained quietly in position till after 10 A. M. The enemy remained very quiet, but about that time we saw a regiment leave its cover in our front, and proceed in double quick time on the road toward Sudley Springs, by which we knew the column of Colonels Hunter and Heintzelman was approaching. About the same time we observed in motion a large force of the enemy below the stone bridge. I directed Capt. Ayres to take position with his battery near our right, and opened fire on this mass, but you had previously directed the two guns belonging to this battery; and, finding the smooth bore guns did not reach the enemy's position, we ceased firing, and I sent a request that you should send to me the 30-pounder rifled gun attached to Capt. Carlisle's battery. At the same time I shifted the New York Sixty-ninth to the extreme right of the brigade. There we remained till we heard the musketry fire across Bull Run, showing that the head of Col. Hunter's column was engaged. This firing was brisk, and showed that Hunter was driving before him the enemy, till about noon, when it became certain that the enemy had come to a stand, and that our force on the other side of Bull Run was all engaged, artillery and infantry.

Here you sent me the order to cross over with the whole brigade to the assistance of Col. Hunter. Early in the day, when reconnoitring the ground, I had seen a horseman descend from a bluff to a point, cross,the stream, and show himself in the open field. And, inferring we should cross over at the same point, I sent forward a company as skirmishers, and followed with the whole brigade, the New York Sixty-ninth leading. We found no difficulty in crossing over, and met no opposition in ascending the steep bluff opposite with our infantry, but it was impassable to the artillery; and I sent word back to Capt. Ayres to follow if possible,


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 Places (automatically extracted)
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.
July 25th, 1861 AD (1)
July 24th, 1861 AD (1)
21st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: