[for the Richmond Dispatch.]
Richmond, August 4th.
To the Editor of the Dispatch-- Dear Sir:
The inclosed letter, which I have just received from an English officer, who took part in the famous fight of the 21st ult., may be of interest to your readers.
I have, therefore, great pleasure in placing it at your service.
Special Correspondent of the London Morning Herald
and the Morning Chronicle.
"headquarters Confederate Army,
"Manassas Junction, July 20
"My dear Day:
The accounts which you read in the Richmond papers about the great battle which has just come off, are not in the least exaggerated.
You may give them verbatim
to the London
I could never have contemplated that such a terrible disaster would have befallen the Northern
Their army was well appointed, well organized, and provided with a splendid artillery, the entire of which fell into our hands.--Wheat
's Battalion, (to which I was attached as a volunteer,) consisting of only 400 men, sustained for an hour the shock of at least 8,000 of the enemy, and only retreated when almost cut to pieces.
Every officer who was mounted had his horse shot under him.--When carrying a message from Wheat
to Gen. Evans
, my own horse met with a similar fate, and I escaped by a perfect miracle.
I must confess that this command was the admiration of friend and foe. Formed in part of Irish
, and the rest the flower of Southern chivalry, the battalion covered itself with glory.
Emotions of no ordinary character thrilled through my breast, as I found myself struggling on this terrible field of carnage, and advocating a righteous cause, surrounded as I was by so many of my own gallant island countrymen.
You will be glad to hear that I escaped the terrible ordeal of shot and shell, and was honored with the thanks of General Beauregard
for some slight services which I performed on the field.
seemed the genius of the fight — conspicuous by his great size and soldier-like mien, his flashing eye and glittering blade, he was seen everywhere in the hottest part of the struggle.--Poor fellow, he was desperately wounded, but is now recovering.
The loss of the enemy was 8,000 men, 57 pieces of cannon, and about 25,000 stand of arms.