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[27] from the Zouaves, as Col. Farnham is still at hospital. Since the retreat more than three-fourths of the Zouaves have disappeared.

I beg leave to express my obligations to the officers of my staff, viz.:--Captain H. S. Wright, Lieut. E. S. W. Snyder, Lieutenant F. N. Farquhar, of the Engineers; Captain Chauncey McKeever, Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieutenant J. J. Sweet, of the Second Cavalry, and Lieutenant J. D. Fairbanks, of the First Michigan, for the able and fearless performance of their duties, and to recommend them to your favorable consideration.

Very respectfully,

S. P. Heintzelman, Colonel of the Seventeenth Infantry, Commanding the First Division.

Report of Colonel Gorman.

Headquarters First Minnesota regiment, Washington, D. C., July 24, 1861.
Colonel Franklin, Commanding First Brigade Colonel Heintzelman's Division, N. E. Virginia:
sir: I have the honor to communicate, as Colonel of the First Minnesota regiment of Volunteers, the events connected with the movements of my command, comprising a part of your brigade.

On Tuesday morning, the 16th inst., in obedience to your order, we took up the line of march, and on the evening of Thursday arrived at Centreville and bivouacked until Sunday morning, the 21st instant, at half-past 2 o'clock, when we again took up our line of march, in obedience to your orders, to meet the enemy, then known to be in large force between Bull Run and Manassas station, Virginia.

Our march from Centreville to Bull Run was not marked by any extraordinary event, my regiment leading the advance of your brigade. On arriving at Bull Run, the battle began to rage with great warmth with the column of infantry and artillery of another division, both being hotly engaged. Here Captain Wright, of the military engineers, serving as an aid upon the staff of Colonel Heintzelman, commanding our division, informed me that my regiment was needed to flank the enemy upon the extreme left; whereupon I moved forward at “quick” and “double-quick” time, until we arrived at an open field looking out upon the enemy's lines. After holding this position a short time, Captain Wright, by your direction, ordered me through the woods to take position near the front and centre of the enemy's line, in an open field, where we came under the direct fire of the enemy's batteries, formed in “column by division.”

After remaining in this position for some ten minutes, I received orders from both your aids and those of Colonel Heintzelman to pass the whole front of the enemy's line, in support of Rickett's battery, and proceed to the extreme right of our line and the left of the enemy, a distance of about a mile or more.

This movement was effected at “quick” and “double-quick” time, both by the infantry and artillery, during which march the men threw from their shoulders their haversacks, blankets, and most of their canteens, to facilitate their eagerness to engage the enemy. On arriving at the point indicated, being the extreme left of the enemy and the extreme right of our line, and in advance of all other of our troops, and where I was informed officially that two other regiments had declined to charge, we formed a line of battle, our right resting within a few feet of the woods, and the left at and around Rickett's battery, and upon the crest of the hill, within fifty or sixty feet of the enemy's line of infantry, with whom we could have readily conversed in an ordinary tone of voice. Immediately upon Rickett's battery coming into position and we in “line of battle,” Colonel Heintzelman rode up between our lines and that of the enemy, within pistol shot of each, which circumstance staggered my judgment whether those in front were friends or enemies, it being equally manifest that the enemy were in the same dilemma as to our identity. But a few seconds, however, undeceived both — they displaying the rebel and we the Union flag. Instantly a blaze of fire was poured into the faces of the combatants, each producing terrible destruction, owing to the close proximity of the forces, which was followed by volley after volley, in regular and irregular order as to time, until Rickett's battery was disabled and cut to pieces, and a large portion of its officers and men had fallen, and until Companies H, I, K, C, G, and those immediately surrounding my regimental flag, were so desperately cut to pieces as to make it more of a slaughter-house than an equal combat, the enemy manifestly numbering five guns to our one, besides being intrenched in the woods and behind ditches and pits plainly perceptible, and with batteries upon the enemy's right, enfilading my left flank, and within three hundred and fifty yards' direct range. After an effort to obtain aid from the Fire Zouaves, then immediately upon our left, two or three different orders came to retire, as it was manifest that the contest was too deadly and unequal to be longer justifiably maintained. Whereupon, I gave the command to retire, seeing that the whole of our forces were seemingly in retreat. Every inch of ground, however, was strongly contested by skirmishers, through the woods, by the fences and over the undulating ground, until we had retired some four hundred yards in reasonably good order, to a point where the men could procure water, and then took up a regular and orderly retreat to such point as some general officer might indicate thereafter.

I feel it due to my regiment to say, that before leaving the extreme right of our line the enemy attempted to make a charge with a body of perhaps five hundred cavalry, who were met by my command and a part of the Fire Zouaves, and repulsed with considerable loss to the enemy, but without any to us.

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