previous next

General I. R. Trimble's report of operations of his brigade from 14th to 29th of August, 1862.

Charlottesville, January 20th, 1863.
Brigadier-General J. A. Early, Commanding Ewell's Division:
General — In compliance with your request, I furnish you a statement of the operation of my (Seventh) brigade from August 14th to August 29th, the day I was wounded.

August 14th

Marched with army from Liberty mills.

August 15th

Bivouacked on march.

August 16th

Encamped at Clark's mountain.

August 17th, 18th and 19th

Encamped at Clark's mountain.

August 20th

Marched from Clark's mountain and bivouacked at Stephensburg.

August 21st

Bivouacked near Rappahannock river.

August 22d

Marched up south side of river, crossed Hazel river at Welford's mill, near which point my brigade was left to guard the wagon train, which being attacked by the enemy who had crossed the Rappanannock, I had an engagement of two hours with a superior force, and drove it across the river with great slaughter. General Hood's brigade coming up, relieved me, but took no part in the action. See my report of this battle to Lieutenant-General Jackson by his order.

August 23d

Marched to near Warrenton Springs.

August 24th

Remained stationary. Heavy artillery engagement with the enemy. In the evening marched to Jefferson and bivouacked.

August 25th

Marched up the river, crossed and halted at Salem — distance, thirty miles.

August 26th

Marched to Bristoe--twenty-seven miles. Trains attacked. At 10 P. M. General Jackson sent me word, if I thought proper, I could attack Manassas Junction that night. Set out to do it with two regiments of near five hundred men in all. Made the attack about 12 M., captured two batteries of four pieces each with all their horses and equipments, over three hundred prisoners, about two hundred negroes, a large number of horses and wagons, a full train of army supplies and 100,000 rations of flour and beef, medical stores, &c., &c., with a loss of but fifteen killed and wounded. See my report to General Jackson by order.


August 27th

My brigade occupied three of the old batteries and redoubts at the Junction. Captain Latimer's battery warmly engaged this day with the enemy, and very effectively dispersing several bodies of the enemy's infantry and cavalry, marched to Centreville unopposed and back to the Junction.

August 28th

Marched with the army to old Manassas battle-ground, and thence to near Page-land, where, at sunset, the advance columns of General Pope's army were attacked by Jackson's and Ewell's divisions--General A. P. Hill being near Sudley's mills.

My brigade occupied the left wing of our attacking force--General Lawton's brigade on my right, General Jackson's division on the extreme right. General Early's brigade, not engaged that night, as the enemy had not advanced to his front, was a fourth of a mile to my left, and somewhat in the rear.

On the order of General Jackson to advance, my brigade moved forward in beautiful order in line of battle, across an open field, soon met the fire of the enemy, and returned it briskly, but not effectively, as the opposing force was under the brow of the plain. It soon grew dark, and the contest was fiercely maintained for an hour by both forces, with severe loss on both sides. About 8 o'clock a charge was ordered, when the Twenty-first Georgia, Major Hooper, and Twenty-first North Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel Fulton, gallantly advanced in the face of a terrific fire of musketry--Colonel Fulton taking his flag and displaying most conspicuous bravery. The fire was the more fatal from.the circumstance that the Fifteenth Alabama, being in a skirt of wood, did not advance — not hearing the order. This exposed the two regiments to a front and cross fire from the enemy, who outflanked them, and whose position under the hill enabled them to see the forms of our men against the sky. They rose up when our line was within thirty steps, and delivered a most deadly fire, in which Colonel Fulton was mortally wounded.

The two regiments held their ground most resolutely, until ordered to fall back to the fence, forty steps in the rear, where they continued until evening, retiring across the turnpike, three-fourths of a mile.

The Fifteenth Alabama, in advancing to the front, passed through a skirt of woods and halted at the fence bordering an open field, in which troops were seen. A doubt was expressed whether they were our own or the enemy's — many voices cried out, “Don't fire on our own men” ; others said, “They are Yankees.” In this uncertainty, [308] certainty, only one company on the left opened its fire, and continued it doubtingly at intervals. Unfortunately, Captain Feagan, who was on the right, believed them to be our men, and took no prompt means to discover their character, and thus lost the opportunity of delivering a destructive fire upon them.

The Twelfth Georgia advanced to the fence, opened fire rapidly against a force in front, receiving a galling fire in return, and held their ground until the close of the action. Neither the Twelfth Georgia nor Fifteenth Alabama heard the command to charge.

The left of the brigade was exposed during the whole action to the rapid discharge of a small piece of ordinance, or 6-pounder lightly charged, throwing balls and slugs and case shot, which, if well aimed, would have swept our men from the field — but the hail of projectiles passed mostly above us, like blasts of a hurricane.

I cannot refrain from the remark, that I have never known so terrible a fire as raged for over an hour on both sides. The dead and wounded bore next morning melancholy evidence of its severity. The Twenty-first Georgia had that afternoon called the rolls in my presence, and found two hundred and forty-two men in ranks; the next day, at noon, but sixty-nine men could be found for duty. The same fearful proportion was lost by the Twenty-first North Carolina. But three captains in both regiments escaped death or wounds. In this action General Ewell was wounded.

I cannot omit to mention here the truly gallant and heroic bearing of Lieutenant-Colonel Fulton in this as in former engagements. He fell in the desperate charge mortally wounded, and died the same night, requesting in his last moments that the Confederate flag he had himself borne should be displayed before his failing sight.

The Confederate States army had no braver officer or kinder hearted gentleman. His State should cherish his memory, and tell her sons in all time to emulate his patriotic virtues.

The Twenty-first Georgia and Twenty-first North Carolina regiments, or the shattered fragments left unhurt, were left next day to bury their dead.

August 29th

I took the Fifteenth Alabama and Twelfth Georgia into the action on Friday at 10 o'clock, and by order of General Lawton posted them on his left. I selected the line of the railroad excavation and embankment, a good position, as the events of that and the next day proved, and awaited the advance of the enemy, [309] who, largely reinforced, seemed resolved to exterminate Jackson's corps before General Longstreet should come up. Desperate fighting had begun in the woods on my left on the line of the railroad. Our skirmishers had been driven in, and every moment I expected a heavy force of the enemy to be hurled against our small body, not three hundred in all, but men resolved to fight to the last.

As the attack was delayed, and I feared the enemy intended, by a circuit, to outflank us through the wood between General Lawton and myself, I rode rapidly to the top of the hill, having no staff officer near me, to observe the direction in which they were advancing, when an explosive ball from the advance skirmishers shattered my leg. With great pain I kept my horse, rode back, and was carried from the field.

I presume a list of killed and wounded on the 28th, 29th and 30th has been officially handed in by my successor, and is herewith inclosed.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. R. Trimble, Brigadier-General.

Note.--The Twelfth Georgia regiment was transferred from Early's brigade to Trimble's brigade on the 27th of August, 1862.

J. A. E.

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 People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stonewall Jackson (5)
Fulton (4)
I. R. Trimble (3)
Lawton (3)
B. S. Ewell (3)
J. A. Early (3)
Charles Clark (3)
John Pope (1)
J. Longstreet (1)
Latimer (1)
T. W. Hooper (1)
J. B. Hood (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Feagan (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: