Monday, July 25, 2016

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED -- Beauregard promoted to full General

[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 26, 1861]
Gen P.G.T. Beauregard.
(CDV, blog author's collection)
General Beauregard.
On Monday, President Davis, while at Manassas Junction, raised this gallant General from the rank of a Brigadier to the rank of a full General, in token of his admiration of the achievement of Sunday, the 21st. A well deserved honor.

The battle of Stone Bridge.
additional Particulars.
official report of the fight.
      "A Louisianian" communicates the following interesting intelligence to this paper:
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
     The gallant Colonel Wheat is not dead, as was reported yesterday, but strong hopes are entertained of his recovery. All Louisiana, and I trust all lovers of heroism in the Confederate States, will say Amen to the prayer, that he and all his wounded compatriots in arms may be restored to the service of their country, to their families and friends, long to live and enjoy the honors due to their dauntless spirits.
Sketch of a Louisiana Tiger at the
First Battle of Manassas.
(La. Civil War Centennial Commission)
     I have just read a letter from Capt. George McCausland, Aid to General Evans, written on behalf of Major Wheat to a relative of Lt. Allen C. Dickinson, Adjutant of Wheat's Battalion.
For the information of the family and friends of Lieut. Dickinson, I extract a portion of the letter, viz! "He (Major Wheat,) deeply regrets to say that our dear friend (Lieut. D) was so unfortunate as to receive a wound, which, slight as it is, will prevent him, for some time, from rendering those services now so needed by our country. The would is in the leg, and although very painful, is not dangerous. To one who knows Lieut. D. as he supposes you do, it is unnecessary to say that he received the wound in the front, fighting as a soldier and a Southerner. With renewed assurances of the slightness of the wound, and of his appreciation of Lieut. Dickinson's gallantry, he begs you to feel no uneasiness on his account."
           Lieut. Dickinson is a native of Caroline county, Virginia, a relative of the families of Brashear, Magruder and Anderson. For some years he has resided in New Orleans, and at an early period joined a company of Lousianians to fight for the liberties of his country. He fought with his battalion, which was on the extreme left of our army and in the hottest of the contest, until he was wounded. His horse having been killed under him, he was on foot with sword in one hand and revolver in the other, about fifty yards from the enemy, when a Minnie ball struck him. He fell and lay over an hour, when, fortunately, Gen. Beauregard and Staff, and Capt. McCausland, passed. The generous McCausland dismounted and placed Dickinson on his horse.
      Of the bravery of Lieut. D., it is not necessary to say a word, when a man so well noted for chivalry as Robert Wheat has said that he appreciated the gallantry of his Adjutant. Lieut. D. is doing well and is enjoying the kind care and hospitality of Mr. Waggoner and family, on Clay street, in this city.
      Maj. Wheat's battalion fought on the extreme left, where the battle raged hottest. Although only 400 strong, they, with a Georgia regiment, charged a column of Federalists, mostly regulars, of 3,000. When the battle was over, less than half responded to the call, and some of them are wounded.
      When and where all were brave almost to a fault, it would seem invidious to discriminate. But from the position of the battalion, and the known courage of its leader, officers and men, the bloody result might have been anticipated. It is said of one of the companies that, upon reaching the enemy's column, they threw down their rifles, (having no bayonets,) drew their bowie-knives, and cut their way through the enemy, with a loss of two-thirds of the company.
Such was the dauntless bravery of Wheat's battalion, and such is the heroism of the Confederate army.
      Whilst we deeply mourn the honored dead, we rejoice that they died on the field of glory, and that by their conduct and their fall, suffering proof has been given to the enemy and the world that the Confederate States cannot be subjugated. Louisiana.
      The following, from another correspondent, relates to a well-known citizen of Richmond. We cordially endorse the suggestion that Sergeant Massenburg deserves promotion for gallant and meritorious services:
      Now that the smoke of the battle at Manassas is being cleared off, we may begin to give some of the more remarkable incidents of the day, and some of the many instances of individual fearlessness and valor.
      Sergeant James Massenburg, noted in Richmond as one of the best drill-masters before entering the service, is among those whose personal valor should be specially noticed. He belongs to the Thomas Artillery, of this city, an independent company, which was engaged for at least five hours in the hottest of the fight at Manassas. Early in the engagement, Sergeant Massenburg was stricken by a fragment from a bursting bombshell of the enemy, felled to the ground, and was borne from the field as among the dead.--In about half an hour he so far recovered as to be able to crawl back to his guns, and by his cheerfulness and encouraging words, did much to animate his almost famished companions. He was highly recommended to the Governor for a Lieutenancy before entering the service, and now that he has shown himself so eminently entitled to promotion, will no doubt receive it at the hands of the President, than whom no one better knows the value of such a soldier. Junius.
North Carolina Sixth.
We are gratified to learn, from the Enquirer, that the extent of the disasters suffered by this gallant regiment is far less than the reports have described. The rumor that they had been dreadfully cut up, grew doubtless out of the fact that, exhausted by the ardor of battle, and the fatigue of the subsequent pursuit of the enemy, they failed to return to camp, but bivouacked on the ground, where night overtook them. Provisions were sent to them by order of President Davis. These they greatly needed, having gone immediately from the cars to the battle, after eating no meal since Saturdaymorning. It is believed that no officer, save the lamented Col. Fisher, was killed.
A gallant Marylander killed.
In the list of the slain in the battle of last Sunday, we regret to see the name of Colonel Thomas, of Maryland, one of the aids to Gen. Johnston. Col. Thomas belonged to a family prominently and honorably identified with the history of Maryland for a century past. He was ardently attached to his native State, and felt keenly her present humiliation. He has fallen a martyr to the cause of Southern independence.
Interesting incident.
A correspondent of the Petersburg Express relates the following:
One of the most interesting incidents of the battle is presented in the case of Wylie P. Mangum, jr., son of Ex-Senator Mangum, of North Carolina. This young man was attached to Colonel Fisher's Regiment, I believe, and owes the preservation of his life to a copy of the Bible presented to him by his sister.--He had the good book in his left coat pocket. It was struck by a ball near the edge, but the book changed the direction of the bullet, and it glanced off, inflicting a severe, but not dangerous flesh wound. The book was saturated with blood, but the advice written on a fly leaf by the sister who gave it, was perfectly legible. It read thus: "To my brother. He will read a portion of this blessed word everyday, and remember his sister."
Who took Sherman's battery?
The Lynchburg Virginian asserts that it was Colonel J. A. Early, at the head of his gallant brigade, who charged upon and took the Sherman battery. The Virginian has this from a returned soldier who was in the fight on Sunday, and has learned it from several other sources. Gen. Beauregard pronounced it the most splendid military achievement he ever witnessed.
      Col. James Preston, of Montgomery, bore a conspicuous and gallant part in the capture of the battery, and was the first to lay his hand upon a gun, for which offence a retreating Yankee gave him a shot in the arm. We may also mention here that the 7th and 24th Virginia Regiments and the 7th Louisiana, form Col. Early's brigade.
Some of the killed and wounded.
Capt. Hale, of the Grayson Dare-Devils (says the Lynchburg Republican,) is among the killed in the battle on Sunday at Manassas. A large number of his company were also killed and many wounded. They were in the thickest of the fight, and acted in the most gallant manner.
      Lieut. John W. Daniel, son of Judge Wm. Daniel, of Lynchburg, fought gallantly and fell painfully but not dangerously wounded in the battle at Stone Bridge. He is not over eighteen years of age, and had just attached himself to the Confederate Army.
Capt. William Edmondson, of one of the Roanoke companies, was badly wounded in the battle at Stone Bridge on Sunday. His right jaw-bone was broken and his shoulder terribly incinerated by a shell, besides receiving a musket ball in his arm.
      Capt. Winston Radford and Alexander Irvin, of the Bedford Cavalry, and Valentine Rucker, of Amherst, Lieutenant in Captain Whitehead's company of Cavalry, were killed in making the magnificent charge which was made after the battle.
Farmville Guards.
The Farmville (Va.) Journal says:
       We learn that the "Guards" were in the fight of Sunday, for about three hours, and lost but one man--Mr. Wm. A. Wilson, who was killed. Mr. W. was a most estimable young man, and the intelligence of his death will bring sorrow to many hearts. His friends will have, however, the consolation of knowing that he died defending the cause of freedom and his native land.
      We learn, also, that during the fight, or the fight of the enemy, our friend John Jenkins, a "high private" in the Guards, captured two live Yankees and carried them safe into camp.

Determined to subjugate us.
The Northern Congressmen and journals redouble their menaces of death and destruction to the South. The South scorns and defies them. They don't know the people they are dealing with. They can never overrun this country. Their threats to violate women, to despoil farms, to make us their vassals, would convert even a nation of cowards into a nation of heroes. What, then, must be its effect upon a race as heroic as ever lived in all the tide of time? Nor need they misconstrue the calm contempt of the South for the foolish boastings of their vulgar Congressmen, and its forbearance to prisoners as the result of fear or a desire to propitiate them. The answer of the South to their brutal slang is in her sword — such an answer as they received at Bethel Church, at Bull's Run, and at Manassas. Let them multiply their forces. We shall have as many men in the field as themselves, and that will be twice as many as we shall need. Let them go on with their threats to hang Jeff. Davis and his Cabinet. When they begin their hanging game on the humblest son of the South that breathes, the best life they have shall pay for it, and if Lincoln and his Cabinet are not swung from one scaffold, it will be because they have concluded to conduct the war with humanity, or have escaped from Washington in Scotch caps, long cloaks, and fast midnight trains.

The Washington Artillery.
--We had the pleasure of an interview, yesterday, with Corporal E. C. Payne, of the Washington (N. O.) Artillery Battalion, which performed such an important part in the battle at Stone Bridge. It was this gentleman who was wounded in the action, and not private John Payne, as heretofore reported. The wound is, fortunately, not serious; though, under the circumstances, he had a narrow cacaos.--A fragment of shell struck him on the head and knocked him senseless, while he was bravely at work at his gun. The casualties to the Battalion in the two engagements are as follows in the battle of Bull's Run--Private George W.M killed; Captain Eshleman, and Privates Baker, Tarleton, Tully and Zebal, wounded. In the battle at Stone Bridge--Sergeants Joshua Reynolds, killed; Corporal Payne and Private Grawher, wounded. It is gratifying to know that all the wounded are recovering.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED-- The First Battle of Manassas, Aftermath

[The Richmond Daily Dispatch]

Pvt. William Baxter Ott, Co. I, 4th Va. Inf.
Killed in action July 21, 1861.
(Liljenquist Family Collection, Library of Congress)
Killed and wounded at the battle of Stone Bridge, Sunday, July 21st.
The following is a partial list of killed and wounded obtained from officers and privates at Manassas by a correspondent of the Enquirer:
Second Virginia Regiment.
Colonel Nelson, mortally wounded.
Botts' Greys--Private Manning, mortally wounded; private Timberlake, mortally wounded; private Eiscler, mortally wounded; private Middlekeff, slightly wounded.
Fourth Virginia Regiment.
Rockbridge Grays--Private Goolsby, mortally wounded; private Cox, mortally wounded; private Marstella, slightly wounded.
Montgomery Fencibles--Lieut. Langhorn, slightly wounded.
Fourth Alabama Regiment.
Lieutenant John Simpson, Company H, probably killed. Privates James Jackson, of Florence, wounded; Tom Kirkham, of Florence, wounded; Colonel Jones, severely wounded; Lieutenant Laws. wounded; Major Scott, wounded; Chas. Weem, wounded.
Second Virginia Regiment.
Captain Roan, mortally wounded; Captain Clarke, slightly wounded; Captain Chambers, killed; Private Scott Dishman, Company C, killed; Private Palmgrate, Company C, killed; Private Sam Ritter, Company C, wounded; Private C. Whiting, Company C, wounded; Private Mead, Clarke county, Company F, wounded.
Washington Artillery, of New Orleans.
Sergeant Joshua Reynolds, killed, struck in forehead by a shell, while giving word of command; Private John Payne, wounded; Private Crutcher, wounded.
Hampton Legion, of S. C.
Col.Hampton, wounded; Lieut. Col. Johnson, killed; Lieut. Egan, of Davis Guards, killed; Private Coutrie, WashingtonLight Infantry, Charleston, wounded; Private Bouknight, Watson Guards, slightly wounded; Private Brown, Washington Guards, slightly wounded.
Col. Sloan's 4th S. C. Regiment.
Corporal W. A. Young, of Capt Hollinsworth's company, killed, and Capt. Poole, mortally wounded.
20 Va. Regiment--Col. Allen's.
E. O. Burgess, Company F, killed; Issac N. Glaize, Company F. killed; William Young, Company F, killed; Lloyd Powell, Company F, killed; Capt. Clarke, Company F, wounded; William Glen, wounded; Strother Barton, wounded; Richard Meade, wounded; William Hobson, wounded; Chas Mitchell, mortally wounded;--Kidd, wounded.
30th Va Regiment.
Captain Winston Radford, from Bedford, of Radford's Rangers, killed; Edley Irvin, same company, killed; Private Fuqua, Clay Dragoons, Company A, Radford Rangers, killed; Corp'l C. Turpin, wounded, same company.
Col. Cash's 8th South Carolina Regiment.
Lieut. Cook, Company H, wounded; Capt. Harrington, Company G. wounded; Private Cook, Company G, wounded; Private Long, Company G, wounded; Private White, Company C, killed; Private Eilaby, Company C, wounded.
Private Dixon, Company F, killed.
Capt. Harrington, of Company G, (Colonel Cash's South Carolina Regiment) captured Hon. Mr. Ely, or Early, a member of the U. S. Congress, from Rochester District, N. Y.--an amateur fighter.
Twenty-right Virginia Regiment, Col. R. T. Preston.
Company B--Capt R. C. Runnels and private Z F Nutter, slightly wounded.
Capt. Kent's Company--First Lieutenant R. W. Saunders, wounded; Ed. Langhorne, killed.
General Kirby Smith, of Regular Army, was only wounded and not killed as at first reported.
Colonel R. T. Preston took Colonel Wilcox, of the Michigan regiment, one captain and three privates prisoners, with his own hands.
Gen. Johnston's Staff.
Colonel Thomas, killed; Colonel Mason, wounded.
Gen Bee's Staff.
Colonel C. H.Stevens, wounded.
Sixth North Carolina Regiment.
Col. Fisher, killed.
An estimate of the killed and wounded, by the Chief Military Surgeon at Gen. Beauregard's Headquarters, on the part of our army, places the amount at 300 to 400 killed, and 1000 to 1200 wounded.
On the part of the enemy, from 6,000 to 7,000 killed and wounded.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED -- The First Battle of Manassas, Va. July 21, 1861

Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard
[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 22, 1861]
The great victory.
     We have the inexpressible satisfaction of announcing this morning another victory of our arms; a decisive victory after the most hotly contested and most important battle ever fought on the American continent. The numbers engaged on each side was far beyond precedent in American history; and, fought as the battle was, under the gaze of two capitals of two powerful Confederacies, it possessed an interest and significance such as has attached to few battles ever before fought.
     It is not ascertained how many of the enemy were actually engaged; though the number could not have been much less than seventy-five thousand. The number actually engaged on our own side was nearly fifty thousand.--The skirmishing is said to have begun as early as four o'clock yesterday morning; the heavy fighting between eight and nine o'clock. It continued all day with unabated vigor.--Night closed upon the scene with the enemy in full retreat, hotly pursued by our gallant men.
     Our left was commanded by the brave Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, who had arrived on the field on the day before from Winchester with twenty thousand men. Patterson had, on Monday, marched down from Martinsburg to within a few miles of the entrenchments at Winchester, and had, on Wednesday, suddenly fallen back across the Potomac. Johnston at once determined to reinforce Beauregard, having no doubt that Patterson had been ordered to join Mcdowell. The result proved the correctness of this surmise, for Patterson's column constituted a part of the enemy's fighting force on yesterday.
      The centre of our line was commanded by President Davis in person; the left by the
Gen. J.E. Johnston
(Library of Congress)
glorious Beauregard.President Davis, with the energy and gallantry that belongs to his character, had no sooner delivered his Message to Congress in this city on Saturday, than he commenced his arrangements for sharing the fate of our army in the field. He accordingly left this city early yesterday morning, and arrived in time to take a decisive part in the battle.
      The heaviest onset of the enemy was made upon our left, under Gen. Johnston, and it was this division that suffered the heaviest loss. --It continued to be pressed during the whole of the day, until about four o'clock in the afternoon, when President Davis advanced his centre, disengaged a portion of the enemy's forces and decided the fortune of the day.
      The day is ours; but the victory, though glorious, has cost us dearly. Some of the casualties are stated in the telegraphic column. While we rejoice over the public success, we have to mourn the loss of some of the most gallant spirits and most valuable men of whom the South could boast. The events of to-day will be looked for with the deepest interest.


[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 24, 1861]
The great victory.
increasing excitement.
action of the Confederate Congress.
&c., &c., &c.
     The excitement in the city yesterday reached a height such as we never before witnessed. The anxiety of many of our own citizens subsided on learning that their kindred were uninjured in the great battle at Stone Bridge, and all seemed to unite in the general exultation. The intelligence from Washington, which we publish in our telegraphic column, was received at an early hour in the day, and immediately posted upon the bulletin board, around which a vast throng congregated, and so continued until night, cheering and otherwise giving expression to joyous feeling. Ladies caught the enthusiasm of the hour, and stopped to listen to the glad news, while pleasure sparkled in every bright eye. While this was the state of affairs in the Capital of the Confederate States, how was it in the doomed city where Lincoln, and Seward, and Scott, and hosts of corrupt satellites, have been planning iniquitous schemes and out-stripping even Satan in the atrocity of their machinations? Washington was shrouded in gloom; and we doubt not that the cowardly fiends fled to their hiding places, and trembled in apprehension of popular vengeance.
     To satisfy the demand of the public, an extra was issued from this office in the forenoon of yesterday, and thus the exciting intelligence was spread all over the city. It was in truth a day long to be remembered.
     The Confederate Congress, on Monday, passed appropriate resolutions after receiving the dispatch from President Davis, announcing the victory. These were alluded to in yesterday's paper, but the resolutions themselves were accidentally omitted. The official dispatch was presented by Mr. Memminger, who said:
     This announcement informs Congress that the invader of our soil has been driven back, that our altars have been purified and our homes secured from the ruthless hand of an unprincipled foe. But, sir, it has been at a cost that will bring sorrow into many families; wet with burning tears the cheeks of many widows and orphans, and into many happy homes bring grief and desolation; and I presume, sir, Congress will be little disposed on such an occasion to go on with their usual business. I have therefore taken the liberty of offering a series of resolutions, which I will submit to the attention of Congress, and ask their adoption.
     Resolved, That we recognize the hand of the Most High God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, in the glorious victory with which He has crowned our arms at Manassas; and that the people of these Confederate States are invited, by appropriate services on the ensuing Sabbath, to offer up their united thanks giving and prayers for this mighty deliverance.
     Resolved, That we deeply deplore the necessity which has washed the soil of our country with the blood of so many of our noble sons, and that we offer to their respective families and friends our warmest and most cordial sympathies, assuring them that the sacrifice made will be consecrated in the hearts of our people, and will there enshrine the names of the gallant dead, as the champions of free and Constitutional Government.
      Resolved, That we approve the prompt and patriotic efforts of the Mayor of the city of Richmond, to make provisions for the wounded, and that a committee of one member from each State be appointed to co-operate in the plan.
      Resolved, That Congress do now adjourn.
The resolutions were unanimously adopted, and Congress adjourned.
Incidents of the battle.
      It is stated that while Gen. Beauregard was leading Hampton's Legion into the thickest of the fight, his horse's head was shot off by a shell, which also killed the horses of two of his aids, Messrs. Heyward and Ferguson, of South Carolina.
    The member of the Washington Artillery who was killed, and whose body was brought to this city by his father on Monday night, was Sergeant Joshua Reynolds. He behaved with great coolness and gallantry in the fight until he received his fatal wound. We heard of but two others of this splendid battalion who were injured--Privates Payne and Crutcher.
Maj. C.R. Wheat
1st Bn. La. Vols.
(Confederate Veteran Magazine)
Major Wheat, of Louisiana, is reported badly wounded, and his battalion is said to have suffered severely.
     The friends of Lieut. Edgar Macon, of the Thomas Artillery, of this city, have received intelligence of his death.
     The Col. Willcox mentioned elsewhere as among the prisoners, surrendered to the 28th Virginia Regiment. It will gratify every true Virginian to learn of the capture of Captain Edward C. Carrington, who is connected with some of the best families in the South, none of whom would object to his consignment to the hands of an executioner. Another prisoner of rank is Col. Corcoran, of the 69th New York Regiment.
     Col. Francis S. Bartow, of Georgia, had taken the colors of his regiment in his hands, and was leading a brilliant charge, when he fell. The bereaved wife of the gallant officer was in Richmond when she heard the news of his death.
     Col. Kemper'sAlexandria Artillery receive high praise for their bravery in the action.--Their guns did tremendous execution.
Additional.
     The Central train arrived from Manassas Junction at half-past 7 o'clock last evening Several thousand persons had assembled, and the fact that some of our dead were brought in the train, changed the current of joy to some extent. This, however, did not prevent a cordial and enthusiastic welcome to President Davis, who was among the passengers An account of his arrival will be found in an other column.
     Many incidents were related of the fight, and all concur in the accounts elsewhere given of the complete rout of the Federal Army.
     We are enabled to state on the best authority that the loss in killed, on our side, does not exceed five hundred--probably not much over four hundred.
     It is currently reported, and even vouched for by some of the passengers, that Gen. Scott
Lt. Gen. T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson
(Library of Congress)
was near the scene of action in his carriage. When the retreat of his army took place, Scott left the vehicle and escaped in one direction, while the carriage drove off in another. Our men, of course, pursued the carriage and captured it, and in it found the sword and epaulette of the old General. A letter from Manassas tells the same story.
      At least a hundred wagons, loaded with army stores, were captured by the Confederates.
      A large number of muskets and other relics of the battle were brought down last evening. Not the least interesting among these were daguerreotype likenesses of females, found in the pockets or haversacks of those who expected to whip the "rebels."
      A doubtful rumor was in circulation that John Cochrane and Lovejoy, members of Congress, who came to see the fight, were taken prisoners.
     The "contraband" articles captured included fine brandies and wines, with which the Federals probably intended to hold a jollification, after their victory.
      The rumored capture of Gen. Patterson is unfounded.
      For a mass of intelligence, as reported from Washington, we refer the reader to the telegraphic columns. It will be seen that the enemy's lowest estimate of his loss is four to five thousand.

Monday, July 18, 2016

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED -- The Battle of Blackburn's Ford, Va., July 18, 1861

Volunteer with the 11th Va. Infantry
(Liljenquist Family Collection, Library
of Congress)
[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 19, 1861]
Glorious News.
Grand battle at Manassas.
Confederates Victorious.
     We have the infinite pleasure of announcing a great victory at Manassas yesterday. The enemy having occupied Fairfax the day before, and our advanced post at that place having fallen back to Bull's Run, the former pushed on to the latter place at 4 o'clock yesterday morning, when the ball opened. The fight soon became general, and extended throughout our lines.
     We are unable to give details. The news is however, that the battle lasted several hours, and that our gallant soldiers repulsed the enemy at all points with great slaughter. At latest accounts, the Federalists were in full retreat towards Alexandria.
     It is said that the South Carolinians and Virginians who occupied the advance position suffered severely.
     The New Orleans Washington Artillery are reported to have literally mowed the enemy down with their well-directed fire.
    The heroic Beauregard was in command.
     Under our telegraphic head will be found a dispatch from Manassas giving some details. The news which appears above is similar to that received by the Confederate authorities from officers who participated in the engagement.


First Virginia Regiment
(Va. Nat'l. Guard photo)

[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 20, 1861]
The fight at Manassas!
brilliant Victory!
the enemy Complete'y Routed.
from 1,000 to 1,500 Federal troops killed!
heroic conduct of our troops.
Partial list of killed and wounded on our side.
the Alexandria Riflemen.
&c., &c., &c.,
[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Manassas Junction, July 18-- 10 P. M.
     Victory perches upon our banners. The army of the Potomac, under the command of General Beauregard, gave battle to the enemy to-day, at Bull's Run, four miles from Manassas Junction, in a Northwest direction, and three miles to the left of the Alexandria Rail-Road. The enemy attempted to cross the ford of several points in great numbers, but were repulsed by our brave and determined troops three times, with heavy loss on the enemy's side. The enemy retreated about five o'clock in the afternoon in confusion, two of our regiments pursuing them. A large number of them have been taken prisoners. On our side, the casualties are few.
      Yesterday the enemy appeared in force at Fairfax Court House, when, after exchanging a few shots with them, our troops retreated to Roll's Run, General Beauregard preferring to give them battle there. The General was hurriedly sent for and quickly came to the scene of action, when he ordered the retreat, which has proved to be a brilliant strategic movement. At first our troops were much displeased, believing the retreat had been ordered by some junior officer, but when they learned that the order emanated from their General-in-Chief, they were perfectly satisfied, having in him unbounded confidence. The regiments engaged in this brilliant and successful battle were the First Virginia, the Seventeenth (Alexandria) Virginia, the Mississippi and the Louisiana.
     All of our men behaved with the utmost ruggedness  and fought like the disciplined soldiers of a Napoleon. It would be invidious to single out the troops from any particular State as having exhibited qualities not found in all. The conduct of our gallant little army (never before under fire,) on this occasion surpasses all praise. For steadiness under a most galling fire, indifference to their peril, good order and precision of aim, history may be ransacked in vain for a parallel. The enemy out numbered them in the proportion of three to one. The Washington Artillery, of New Orleans, were at an early stage of the battle given all opportunity of displaying their high state of efficiency and marksmanship, and they abundantly justified the reputation of the battalion. An eye-witness says at every fire they made a wide gap in the envoy's ranks.
      The First Virginia Regiment, (Col. Moore's,) bared the brunt of the action, the killed and wounded on our side being chiefly in that Regiment, as I have already informed you per telegraph. Col. Moore himself was wounded slightly soon after the battle commenced When being unable to continue at the head of his men, the command devolved upon Lieut. Col. Fry, aided by Major Skinner and Adjutant Mitchell, who inform me that the bullets of the enemy came like bail. He saw eleven of his men wounded at one volley.-- Capt. James K. Lee, company B., of same regiment, was mortally wounded. While I write, he is still in life, but not expected to survive the morning.
The following are all members of Colonel Moore's Regiment:
Lieut. H. H. Miles was mortally wounded.
Lieut. W. W. Harris, slightly wounded.
Capt. W. J. Allen, slightly wounded.
Private Reilly, Company E, mortally wounded.
Private Whitaker, Company C, mortally wounded.
Private Diaconte, Company K, instantly killed.
Private Wilkinson, Company G, instantly killed.
Private Mallory, Company C, instantly killed.
Private Allen, Company B, probably killed Sergeant Lumpkins, Company B, hand not off
Lieut. English, Company C, slightly wounded.
     I have not yet been able to learn the killed and wounded in other Regiments. The enemy is variously reported to have lost from five to fifteen hundred--the former probably being nearest the truth. Not having been on the field. I am unable to describe the ground, but am informed the enemy were strongly posted with numerous heavy guns on the embankment which slopes down to the ford, while our troops were in the hollow disputing their advance to the other side.
     It has been stated that the enemy threw chain shot and fired upon our hospital while the yellow flag, which secures immunity in civilized nations, was flying. General Beauregard had a narrow escape, a ball having passed through the kitchen of a house where he was partaking of dinner. I need not say the General has displayed qualities of the highest order as a military commander, with, perhaps, the pardonable exception of indifference to his own life, now so valuable to the Confederacy. He exhibited great coolness during the engagement, and was in all parts of the field.
    The Alexandria Riflemen are said to have particularly distinguished themselves, having crossed the ford in the face of a terrific fire from the enemy's artillery, and fought hand to hand with the Yankee hirelings.
     Capt. Dulany, of the Fairfax Riflemen, was seriously wounded. Lieut. Javins, of the Mount Vernon Guard, of Alexandria, was also seriously wounded. Wm. Sangster, of the Alexandria Riflemen, was killed. One of the enemy's Colonels was killed by a squad of Col. Kershaw's 2d South Carolina Regiment, his horse shot, and $700 in gold found upon his person.
     The enemy will doubtless return to-morrow with reinforcements, being exasperated by their humiliating defeat.
     I shall probably be able to ascertain additional particulars when the official reports come in. D. G. D.
[The reader is referred to the telegraph column for special intelligence from Manassas]

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Big News From the Confederacy -- The Fall of Vicksburg

[Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 9, 1863]
Texas Monument at Vicksburg, Miss.
(National Park Service)

The fall of Vicksburg.
      After a defence which will be remembered as long as valor and patriotism continue to be objects of reverence among mankind, the heroic garrison of Vicksburg has been compelled to yield to the near prospect of starvation that which it never would have yielded to the prowess of the enemy. No helping hand was stretched out to them in the hour of their need — no encouraging voice came to them from beyond the enemy's lines — not an effort was made to relieve them — not an attempt to afford them succor. Shut out from all hope, save in their own valor and the resources which lay within their lines, it was theirs, from day to day, and from hour to hour, to experience that dreary sinking of the heart which arises from hope deferred, when they knew that a friendly army was lying within sound of their cannon, and that relief or assistance was not to be expected from them.
     We know not what may have been the situation of Gen. Johnston. His friends complain that he was not sufficiently furnished with men and the munitions of war. He may not have had the half of the force which even the Yankee estimate places at his command. But this we do know, that Vicksburg was a place of the utmost importance, that its capture, to be followed, we presume, by the capture like wise of Port Hudson, reduces our cause in the Southwest to great difficulty. Under such circumstances, it does appear to us that some little risk might have been run, some attempt, however feeble, might have been made to relieve it. But Gen. Johnston thought differently, and we suppose he is right. Doubtless he thinks the same thing with regard to Port Hudson, and we may therefore make up our minds to a catastrophe in that quarter.--From all the information we can collect, Grant never had more than 60,000 men around Vicksburg. He went there with that number, and was never able, with all his reinforcements, to swell his army to a larger size. The garrison had 17,000 men when they surrendered, and communication was constantly kept up with the army outside. The force of the latter must have been deplorably small indeed, otherwise a combined attack would surely have been concerted and executed. For the honor of the Confederacy, we cannot but wish this had been tried, even though it had been unsuccessful. The most mortifying part of the whole affair is, that the surrender was made, without a blow struck by the army without.
     The blow is severe. It is indeed a grievous one to the whole Confederacy, which had learned not only to admire but to love Vicksburg. Its gallant and successful defence for so many long months, against the concentrated assaults of so many gunboats, and finally of a combined attack of a large army in the rear, and a fleet of floating batteries in front, had impressed the public mind with the idea that it was invincible. Had it fallen directly after Natchez, as everybody expected, no one would have been surprised. But to the general surprise of all, it successfully defied and defeated the enemy, and had become our champion, our pride and our boast. Our heart and hope was with it. Its fate, however, was not unexpected by many; nor is it by any means irreparable. Not unexpected, for it was known in this city ten days ago that no attempt would be made to relieve the garrison. Not irreparable, for although it may not be as convenient for us to maintain the blockade of the Mississippi without Vicksburg as with it, yet if our own army acts with the vigor the situation demands, the navigation of the Mississippi, so far from being restored, will be so completely blockaded that nothing but a gunboat can go from St. Louis or Louisville to New Orleans, and gunboats do not carry freight. The Northwestern Yankees are fighting, they say, for the navigation of the Mississippi. They are as far from it now as ever.
      P. S.--Since writing the above, a telegram from Martinsburg says that the Baltimore Gazette, of the 6th, reports Grant to be retreating from Vicksburg.

BIG NEWS FROM THE CONFEDERACY -- NEWS SKETCHY FROM GETTYSBURG

[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 8, 1863]

First Day at Gettysburg, from James Walker painting.
The battle of Gettysburg.
     We are without farther information from the great battle said to have been fought on Sunday than that which came Tuesday morning, and which we publish in the proper column. The report of the returned prisoner, who overheard the officers at Old Point say they had sustained a loss of 60,000 men, though otherwise of little value, is useful as confirmatory evidence. We have no means of testing the accuracy of the dispatch from Martinsburg. Correspondents — especially telegraphic correspondents — with the best intentions, are often led estray. 
     They are obliged, in the absence of official intelligence, to depend on the evidence of persons from the scene of action, who are often but imperfectly informed themselves, and sometimes on mere rumor. They therefore, in such cares, state their authority, and let the public judge of the value of their information. In the present instance, the very enormity of the loss in prisoners attributed to the enemy excites incredulity, although no man doubts that the reporter stated accurately the prevalent belief in Martinsburg at the time. We feel as well assured that Gen. Lee, if he has met the enemy in a pitched battle, has inflicted a terrible defeat upon them, as we do that we are living, breathing, sentient beings. 
      Whether the details be precisely such as the telegraph gives us is another matter. If Gen. Lee has, after a hard fought battle, taken 40,000 prisoners, he has gained one of the most complete victories on record. He has utterly destroyed the only obstacle that stood between him and Baltimore, and we can see no reason why he should not be in that city before to-morrow night. The force to defend it consists entirely of militia, many of them but ill affected, and they have within the city a deadly enemy, as numerous as themselves, panting for revenge and ready to rise on the first opportunity. In the panic which must follow such an astounding overthrow nothing can be easier than to march in and take possession.
     We are confident that Gen Lee has struck some great blow from the strong belief generally entertained that he has all this time been acting upon a certainly. He would never have ventured upon a march, apparently so hazardous as that into Pennsylvania, had he not well calculated all the chances beforehand. What serves to convince us that a battle was fought and a victory gained on Sunday, is the account given in the telegram of the movement made by the corps of Gen. Hill. It corresponds with the accounts given in the Yankee newspapers, that he had been repulsed.--The truth seems to be that he made a retrograde movement pursuant to orders, in order to reduce the enemy to follow him. They did so, according to the telegram, when the wings of Gen. Lee's army closed upon and enveloped them. It was a repetition of the maneuver practiced by Hannibal at Cannae which resulted in the slaughter of 70,000 Romans and the capture of 14,000 out of an army of 86,000 Hannibal killed the enveloped Romans. Lee, according to this account, only took the Yankees prisoners.
     If this telegram states the truth in its full extent, not only Baltimore, but Washington likewise must speedily fall. Baltimore once in our possession, Washington cannot possibly sustain itself. We shall then have redeemed Maryland and rendered her an efficient ally, instead of leaving her in the hands of the enemy. She can furnish as with 50,000 troops equal to any in the world, burning with hatred, and eager to avenge the countless wrongs and indignities which they have suffered at the hands of the Yankees. The war will then be permanently transferred to the enemy's territory, and in a few months we may confidently expect to see the Confederate banner waving in triumph over the city of Philadelphia. We already begin to see glimpses of peace, if this telegram prove only half true. But let us have no peace which we do not dictate ourselves.
     The refusal of the Captain of the flag boat to let any Yankee papers go on shore is proof almost positive that they have sustained some great disaster.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

BIG NEWS FROM THE CONFEDERACY -- SEVEN DAYS BATTLES END

[Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 3, 1862]
The great battle.
Terrible fights of Monday [June 30] and Tuesday [July 1].
heroism of our troops — their Spirits Buoyant.
Critical situation of the Yankee forces.
&c., &c., &c.,
      Since the issue of our paper yesterday no information has reached us of the transactions of our own and the enemy's forces calculated to discourage the hope that the grand army of McClellan is completely discomfited. The determined stands made by the Federal forces on Monday and Tuesday were only the last desperate struggles against ignominious capture or utter annihilation. Their condition is one of desperation, and it is but natural that they should struggle with energy to avert the fate that awaits them.
Monday Afternoons fight.
       We have already laid before our readers such accounts of the desperate and determined fight of Monday evening as we were enabled to gather from the most authentic sources. An active participant in that memorable engagement has furnished a detailed account of the part borne by the division of Gen. A. P. Hill in this struggle. This division went into the fight about half past 5 o'clock P. M., and was actively engaged from that time until its close, after 9 o'clock at night.
      The 40th Virginia Regiment, Fields' Brigade, Col. Brockenbrough commanding, was deployed as skirmishers, three hundred yards to the right, separating them from the balance of the brigade, which was ordered forward. The regiment was then withdrawn as skirmishers, and placed in the rear of the division, which was advancing rapidly to the field in regular line of battle. After advancing in this order for some distance, they were thrown out upon the left, through a heavy tract of woods — emerging from which they encountered a strong force of the enemy, who threw themselves upon the ground and awaited the approach of the regiment. When within one hundred and fifty yards of this body, which we learn, was partly composed of the 57th N. Y. regiment, a most murderous and destructive fire was opened upon them and it is believed that not loss than seventy-five of our men fell from the first volley. This, as might have been expected, produced some confusion in the regiment, and they fell back to the woods, hotly pursued by the exultant foe. Many of the regiment, it
Brig. Gen. Charles W. Field
is believed, were captured in this woods, as at roll-call next morning but fifty were present to respond to their names out of 450 that went into the fight.
      On a hill, obliquely to the right of Gen. Hill's advance, was posted a battery of some twelve pieces, which had been twice captured during the afternoon by our forces under Gen. Longstreet, but recaptured by the enemy. This battery, the brigade of Gen. Fields--reduced in numbers and worn out with fatigue from their participation in every general engagement since Thursday--was ordered to charge. With spirit and alacrity they responded to the order, and with close rank and steady step they moved forward to its execution. In their approach to the battery, they fired three or four rounds, and then engaged the enemy with the bayonet. Here the struggle was bloody and determined, but after a most obstinate resistance, the enemy was driven from his pieces, and pressed back some two hundred yards in a hand-to-hand engagement. This charge was made by three regiments — the 47th, 53d and 60th Virginia.
      The other brigades of the division coming up to the support of Fields, finding the enemy routed, commenced cheering vociferously. The Federal General, McCall, hearing this cheering, and mistaking the source from whence it came, rode up and said, "Hurrah, boys; I am glad you have held the battery. Hold on for a short time and reinforcements will be up to sustain you!" He was accompanied by Major Biddle, his Adjutant-General, Major Williams, another aid, and two couriers. Suspecting that he had, perhaps, made a mistake, he asked what regiment it was that held the battery. An officer present replied, the 47th Virginia. On obtaining this information, Majors Williams and Biddle and the two couriers wheeled about and endeavored to effect their escape. They were fired upon, and Major Biddle shot through the head and killed instantly. The others, so far as is known, escaped without injury. Gen. McCall being in advance of his party, was brought to a stand by a private in the 47th regiment, who drew his gun upon him and demanded his surrender. His sword was received by Major Mayo. The General was particularly solicitous that no indignity should be offered him, when he was emphatically assured by Major Mayo that he had not fallen into the hands of a soldiery unacquainted with the usages of civilized warfare. Under an escort, McCall was then sent to Gen. Hill.
      About 9 o'clock the brigade of Gen. Anderson was advanced to the front and drawn up in line of battle. Several volleys were fired into the woods where the enemy had taken shelter, which had the effect to disperse them, and the fight closed for the evening. During the engagement Gen. Anderson was knocked from his horse by the fragment of a shell striking him on the side of the head. He was missed after the fight was ended, and it was feared that he had been captured; but on Tuesdaymorning he came in tolerably well, but considerably bruised about the head.
Tuesday's operations.
Pvt. Edwin F. Jemison, Co. C., 2nd La. Inf., KIA, July 1, Malvern Hill

  




      During the forenoon of Tuesday there was no regular engagement, but much desultory firing along the whole extent of the retreating and advancing lines. In the afternoon, about 2½ o'clock, a brisk fight was commenced on the right of the left wing of our army, Jackson's corps, then situated convenient to Dr. Poindexter's farm, on the Williamsburg road, and directly opposite Turkey Island creek. The character of the country here is slightly undulating, the intervening ground between the belligerent parties consisting of open, cultivated fields, whilst the extremes are dense woods of heavy timber and thick undergrowth. From the situation occupied by our troops, the enemy was discovered in large force deploying their troops, and placing their artillery in position. Bodies of skirmishers were thrown out from our column with a view to test the disposition of the enemy. This required but a short time to accomplishes as a brisk fire was soon opened upon them. Our artillery then opened fire upon the batteries of the enemy which had the effect to produce another "artillery duel," lasting for one hour and a half, both parties serving their pieces with decided skill and alacrity.
      Heavy bodies of infantry were advanced to the support of our artillery, and a general fight ensued, which resulted in the repulse and temporary withdrawal of the enemy; but, ultimately rallying and bringing to their aid a battery on their-right, they opened a fierce oblique fire on the left flank of our forces then in action. This fire, which was excessively severe, was continued without intermission, and responded to with spirit by our own artillery until 6 o'clock P. M.
       An intermission of some half hour then occurred, during which time, according to the representation of prisoners subsequently captured, the enemy at this point were heavily reinforced, when the fight was again renewed, our centre and right of line becoming engaged. For three successive hours there was kept up one unbroken roar of artillery and musketry, which, for fierce intensity, exceeded anything that has occurred in the whole series of bloody battles around Richmond. The very earth trembled beneath the deafening and incessant peals. Notwithstanding the fatigue and well night exhausted condition of our men, from their almost superhuman labors of the previous six days, they entered this fight with an ardor and readiness, plainly indicating their unchangeable determination to conquer of die. About 9½ or 10 o'clock, our artillery ceased firing, having effectually silenced the batteries of the enemy. This, however, it is due to say, was the only perceptible advantage gained by this wing of the army in the afternoon's operations. The loss sustained by both contending parties was heavy. Now many on either side it is impossible to state, or even give an approximate estimate.
      Whilst these operations were going on the left wing of our army, a scarcely less severe fight was progressing on the right, where the division of Gen. Huger was engaged. The brigades of Mahone and Armistead had been exerting themselves against a largely overwhelming force of the enemy, but being compelled to fall back in order to rest their men. Gen. Ranson's brigade was ordered forward. It consisted of five regiments, viz: 24th, Col. Clark; 25th, Col. Kutledge, 26th, Col. Vance; 35th, Col. Ransom, and 49th, Col. Ramseur, all North Carolina troops. They were ordered to charge two heavy batteries, that were supported by not less than five Federal brigades, and all the while they were marching up to make the charge were under three fires. They did not falter, however, but went forward into the very teeth of the enemy without so much as the slightest indication of hesitation. It was, beyond question, one of the hardest fights, and one of the most desperate charges, that has been made during the whole war. This one brigade engaged the main body of the enemy's army at this point, and when compelled to withdraw did so in the most perfect order, and with the most undaunted spirit. Gen. Ranson fearlessly and intrepidly led his brigade on horseback, and was during the whole continuance of the fight, exposed to the leaden hall of the enemy.
     Col. M. W. Ranson, of the 35th regiment, was wounded in the early part of the fight by a Minnie ball in the arm, but remained at the head of his regiment, rallying and cheering his men, till struck by a piece of shell in the side and prostrated. Lieut. Col. Pettway then took command of the regiment, but was almost immediately killed. Colonel Ramseur, of the 49th, was wounded, and the casualties are very large throughout the entire brigade. We held our ground, and Gen. Ranson and his men slept upon the field they had formerly occupied, and but for the pelting rain would have renewed the fight yesterday morning.
      There were, doubtless, other divisions and brigades engaged at different points along the line, who acquitted themselves with the same heroic and determined courage as that of the gallant Ranson; but being unapprised of their particular participation in this grand struggle for the defence of liberty, we are not prepared to notice them specially.
Yesterday's operations.
      Notwithstanding the heavy rains of yesterday, the two armies were not inactive, though we have no report of any severe fighting. The latest accounts we have inform us that the enemy, finding some difficulty in getting off the bulk of their forces by the way of Turkey Island, had moved to their left, in the direction of Deep Bottom, where there are good landings and deep water. But their retreat was cut off by our troops occupying the New Market road, while they were also being attacked along the lines of the Long Bridge and the Quaker roads. These three roads form a triangle of about one and a half or two miles area of low and heavily timbered land, with thick undergrowth and which, in wet weather, is almost impassable.
      If this information is correct — and we cannot doubt it — the total surrender must be only a question of time; and, in the absence of supplies, can not be postponed more than one or two days.
Federal Barbarity.
      On Monday last, in the fight near Willis's Church, Winfield Byrd, of the 11th Alabama regiment, was taken prisoner by the Yankees uninjured. After his capture two Yankee officers assaulted him with their swords--one of them piercing him through the side, the other striking at his head. The blow was warded off by Byrd with his hand, and while his head was protected the blow was received on the arm and hand, inflicting a painful wound. The Yankees were subsequently driven back and Byrd recaptured. He is now at a house near the church. --Woodward, of the same regiment, was wounded, and is at the same place.