Fairfax Station, Army of the Potomac,
August 31st, 1861.
To Col. A. P. Hill
Commanding Thirteenth Regiment Virginia Volunteers:
:--I have the honor to submit the following report of an engagement with the Federal
troops in the vicinity of Bailey's Cross Roads:
On Sunday morning, August 25th, at 2 o'clock, A. M., I received from brigade headquarters an order from General A. Elzey
, to take four companies of the Thirteenth Infantry, accompanied by a section of Beckham
's battery, to be commanded by Captain Beckham
in person, the entire force to be under my command, and proceed to Anondale and there join Col. J. E. B. Stuart
, of the First Cavalry, who would give me farther instructions.
Upon arriving at Anondale I joined Col. Stuart
with his cavalry, who conducted my command, composed and officered as follows:
Company A, Capt. Nalle
; 1st Lieut. Cullen
Company B, 1st Lieut. Starke
Company D, 1st Lieut. Winston
commanding, 2d Lieut. Byrd
, 3d Lieut. Hibbs
Company G, Capt. Hill
And one section of Beckham
's battery, commanded by Capt. Beckham
in person, to ‘"Mason's Hill."’ an eminence six miles from Alexandria
, commanding a view of the Federal Capitol
and all the principal points
along the Potomac
Almost immediately upon our arrival, a considerable force
of Federal infantry and cavalry made their appearance in the road, about a quarter of a mile from the base of the hill.
directed me to attack them, and if possible cut off their retreat.
I immediately proceeded with company G, Capt. Hill
Not being familiar with the topography of the country, we unavoidably allowed ourselves to be discovered when within a few hundred yards of the enemy; the cavalry immediately fell back,
the infantry retired to the woods.
Skirting the woods, I ordered the company under my command to charge them on their right flank, which was promptly obeyed, ending in the loss of three killed and one prisoner on the side of the enemy.
About three A. M. the following day my pickets were attacked--one horse shot in the knee being the only damage sustained on our side.
At daylight the enemy opened a heavy fire upon my front and left flank.
I immediately caused Captain Hill
's company to be deployed as skirmishers at the base of the hill, with orders not to fire until the nearer approach of the enemy.
A few sharp-shooters posted in the woods succeeded in killing several of the enemy, who, failing to ascertain our strength by drawing out my command, retired.
About four P. M. the same day I attacked, with company B, (Culpeper Minute Men), Lieut. Starke
commanding, a company of U. S. infantry, who were routed after heavy firing on both sides, with considerable loss on the part of the Federals
The enemy appeared greatly confused and astonished at the position we had taken, being almost surrounded by their camps.
On Tuesday morning my entire command was relieved, and with two additional companies of the 1st Maryland Regiment, commanded by Major B. J. Johnson
, the entire force commanded by Col. J. E. B. Stuart
, advanced on Munson's hill, which was occupied by Federal troops, the attack on which, as well as on Upton's hill
, still further in advance, was a complete success.
The field officer of the day on the Federal
side and a number of men were killed--six prisoners were taken.
East of Upton's hill
, near the Loudoun and Hampshire
Railroad, whilst patrolling with a detachment of ten men from company I, 1st Maryland Regiment, commanded by Lt. Mitchell
, I was attacked by about sixty of the enemy, who were under cover of the woods.
By the first volley delivered, Lieut. Mitchell
was severely wounded and private Fountaine
killed by my side.
I took the dead man's piece, and directed the rest of the party to fall upon the bank of the road and avail themselves of the cover of a few stunted bushes, from which position we returned their fire with great effect.
The firing was kept up until the enemy were compelled to cease in order to bear off their dead and wounded.
Nothing except the coolness of the men under my command prevented the entire detachment from being killed or captured.
, coming up at the close of the action, directed me to have the wounded conveyed to Falls Church
In my absence, he made an attack with our entire force upon the enemy, who had been largely reinforced, routing them after a desperate fight, killing a large number.
then ordered the entire command back to Munson's hill, where we were kept active night and day to hold the position.
The killed and wounded of this command are as follows: Company A.--Killed--Private Robinson
; wounded--Private Sizer
, thigh amputated.
Company G.--Corporal Arnold
, mortally wounded; Private Hardigan
, slightly wounded.
I cannot close this report without expressing to you my extreme gratification at the gallant and soldier-like conduct of every officer and private of the command.
Constantly exposed to the fire of a superior force, without rations, lying out in a drenching rain without blankets or covering of any kind, they performed the most arduous and critical duties in a manner that argues well for the success of our cause.