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Doc. 37.-the battle of Manassas. [correction of official Reports.]

headquarters Department N. E. V., Arlington, August 13, 1861.
Colonel Richardson, commanding Fourth Brigade:
Sir: I herewith enclose you an extract from a supplemental report of Brigadier-General McDowell, of the battle of Bull Run, on the twenty-first ultimo.

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

Chauncy McKeever, Asst. Adj.-General.

headquarters Department N. E. V., Arlington, August 12, 1861.
Lieutenant-Colonel E. D. Townsend, A. A. G., Headquarters of the Army:
Colonel: My attention has been called by those interested, to two omissions in my report of the battle of the twenty-first ultimo, near Manassas, and I ask leave to make the following corrections, wishing that they be made part of my original report. In speaking of the retreat, I mentioned that it was covered by Colonel Blenker's brigade. I should have said Colonel Richardson's and Colonel Blenker's brigades. The former was on the left of the Centreville ridge, and the latter in front of it on the Warrenton road. Each covered the retreat of those on the respective roads to the common point, Centreville, from there to the rear. Colonel Richardson was behind, and covered the main body.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

Irvin McDowell, Brigadier-General, commanding. Chauncy McKeever, Asst. Adj.-General.

Special despatch to the Detroit daily Tribune.

Washington, July 23.
My brigade has just arrived, after covering the retreat of the entire army.

All are up in tolerable good order.

The Michigan Second and Third regiments were in the rear of the whole.

J. B. Richardson, Commanding Fourth Brigade.

General Willcox's report.

Detroit, Michigan, September 3, 1861.
Brig.-General L. Thomas, Adj.-Gen. U. S. A.:
General: My brigade, the Second of Heintzelman's division, marching in rear of Franklin's origade, arrived at the Sudley Ford at about half past 12 P. M., July twenty-first, 1861.

The brigade now consisted of the First Michigan, Eleventh New York, (Fire Zouaves), Thirty-eighth New York, and Arnold's battery. The Fourth Michigan had been left at Fairfax Station and Fairfax Court-House by order of General McDowell. Halting for rest and water, I obeyed the General's orders to post Arnold's battery on a hill commanding the ford, with the First Michigan for support, and at one o'clock pushed forward with my two remaining regiments up the Sudley and Brentville road. We marched about two miles, and came up on the left of what I supposed to have been Franklin's line, near the junction of the Warrenton and Sudley roads. The troops on our left were engaged in a desultory fire with the enemy posted in the thicket and ravine across the Warrenton road, not far from the Henry house. The Thirty-eighth New York was quickly formed in order of battle, and the Zouaves were hastening into line, when I received an order to detach a regiment for the support of Ricketts's battery, (of Franklin's brigade,) posted on a hill quarter of a mile to our right and front, near Dogan's house. I led up the Zouaves for this important service, leaving the Thirty-eighth under its gallant and experienced Colonel Hobart Ward.

Ricketts was soon ordered to take a new position near the Henry house. The Zouaves followed in support, and finally formed line on the right flank of the battery with two companies in reserve.

Up to this time the enemy had fallen back, but now he formed the remains of his brigades engaged with Hunter in the morning, viz., Bee's, Barton's and Evans's, in a new line upon Jackson's brigade of fresh troops, making all together six thousand five hundred infantry, thirteen pieces of artillery, and Stuart's cavalry, according to General Beauregard's report. This force was posted in the belt of woods which skirted the plateau southwardly, and lying in the angle formed in that direction, between the Warrenton and Sudley roads, about a mile from the Warrenton road, and with its left resting on the Brentsville and Sudley road. Ricketts's battery had crossed the Sudley road, from its post near Dogan's house, and was within musket range of the woods, which stretched from that road around from his right towards his front, and forming a pocket, which almost enveloped the battery with its support.

The enemy were first discovered by Colonel Heintzelman, lining the woods in our front. He ordered up the Zouaves, commanded by Colonel Farnham. The ground was slightly rising before us, and the enemy opened a heavy but not destructive fire, as we reached the crest. The Zouaves returned the fire, but immediately fell back bewildered and broken.

Stuart's cavalry charged upon them from the woods on the right, but were scattered by a fire from the two reserve companies, with a loss ascertained (from the Southern papers) of twenty-nine killed and wounded.

Meantime Ricketts's cannoneers were being picked off. With Colonel Heintzelman's approval, and a promise of reenforcements, I collected some one hundred Zouaves, and with Captain Downey, and others of their officers, made a dash into the [335] woods on our right, and killed, wounded, and captured about thirty of the enemy.

Returning in a few minutes, I found the field cleared of both friend and foe, except the killed and wounded. The horses, men, and two officers of Ricketts's battery lay stretched upon the ground, but the enemy had not yet seized it.

Recrossing the Sudley road, I met the First Michigan, Major Bidwell commanding, and marching back with this regiment, we found the enemy now drawn up in a thin line across the field and in possession of the battery. Advancing to the fence on the roadside, the First Michigan opened fire; the right wing fell back to reload, owing to a blundering order, but the left stood firm, expelled the enemy, and retook the battery. The troops here opposed to us I believe to have been the Seventh Georgia.

Colonel Heintzelman now came up and ordered us promptly forward, and with the promise of another regiment, it was my design to turn the enemy's left. The left wing of the First Michigan recrossed the field, struck into the woods beyond the Zouaves, succeeded in destroying and capturing a small number of the enemy, and pushing back his extreme left out of that part or point of the woods adjacent to the Sudley road.

Meantime the right wing of the First Michigan re-formed and advanced in good order. I met it, and we pushed on towards the next point of woods. From this point I found the enemy's left discovered us by our fire, and we became engaged with their rear rank, their front being then occupied by the advancing troops of Franklin's or Sherman's brigade. The officers and men of the First Michigan stood up bravely at this critical moment, holding on anxiously for reenforcements. But from all I can learn, the Thirty-eighth, which was ordered up to me, were directed to the left of the Henry house, (instead of to the right and along the Sudley road,) came in contact with the enemy's centre, and never reached me. It was now nearly four o'clock. General Beauregard had been gathering new reenforcements. General Kirby Smith had joined him with a portion of Johnston's army. Our scattered troops were contending in fractions against the enemy's army in position, and massed on the plateau, with his artillery sweeping every approach. General Johnston was bringing fresh troops to turn our own right. The Twenty-eighth Virginia attacked my own handful from the rear in the woods, and I had the ill fortune to be wounded, and a few moments afterwards captured. But I was spared witnessing, the disaster which further pursued our arms.

In this report I have only endeavored to supply partly the information that was not known, or found in any other report, in consequence of my capture. Permit me to add further that the Thirty-eighth New York was distinguished for its steadiness in ranks, and for gallantly repelling a charge made upon it by the New Orleans Tigers. The Zouaves, though broken as a regiment, did good service under my own eyes in the woods, and detachments of them joined various other regiments in the fight. The First Michigan deserves the credit of advancing farther into the enemy's lines than any other of our troops, as their dead bodies proved after the battle.

I only regret that from the fact of my separation from Arnold's battery I cannot add any testimony of my own to the well-known gallantry with which he and his command conducted themselves.

I have the honor to be, General,

Very respectfully yours,

J. B. Willcox, Brig.-Gen, late Colonel First Michigan Infantry.

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