Monday, June 11, 2012

150-years-ago -- THE TEXAS BRIGADE

Hood's Texas Brigade. (Library of Congress)
[Editor's note: Apparently  the  below report is on one af the daily independent probing and scouting missions taken by the Texans around Richmond following the Battle of Seven Pines, May 31-June 1, 1862]

The Richmond Dispatch
June 11, 1862

The Texas Brigade.
On the Lines, June2nd.
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
           A modern philosopher, whose teachings are to be valued more for their worldly wisdom, perhaps, than for their classic antiquity, whose proverbs are more practical than poetic, used to get before his son as a perpetual monitor, for his intercourse with his fellow man, this injunction. "Blow your own horn." At the risk of being numbered as of this school, I claim a short space in your columns.
           In your account in this morning's Dispatch of the skirmish in which the Texans were engaged, there are some inaccuracies which I wish to correct, by simply telling she story as it is, myself being a witness on the spot, and a participator in the fight.
           On yesterday morning, beneath the warm garb of the Sabbath sunshine, while yourself and other friends in the city were no doubt quietly performing your Sabbath ablutions, this skirmish took place, and inasmuch as military men here think it was creditable, I give you the facts:
          A detail of one hundred and fifty men, from the 1st, 4th and 5th Texas regiments, was made on the morning for the purpose of securing the woods in front of our line on the Nine-mile road, seeing what Yankee force there was in the woods, and to drive them out if possible.
            We found the enemy posted in the woods a few hundred yards from our front line of pickets. After reconnoitering, we discovered a strong force of the enemy's whole brigade, it was supposed — to the left of the wood, and a large force, then unknown, immediately in our front. The force on the left were silent, calculating that they had a dead thing on us, while those in front were bold and impudent, keeping up a constant fire at us from among the trees. We let them amuse themselves for a while in this manner, occasionally silencing one as he became too annoying, until our line was fully established and safeguards placed against our friends on the left of the road.
           The command was then given, "Forward, bays! Give them!--H!" The Texas war whoop rose on the and a thousand Yankees rose like dark spirits through the gloom of the forest. The voice of their officers could be heard amid the din of battle urging their men to stand, but it was in vain they essayed to stop our fast-advancing line. they fired but one volley and took to their heels, our boys following. We pursued them out of the timber, under cover of their batteries, when they took refuge in their trenches, and fired back at us. Here we had a comrade killed; but regardless of the fierce fire poured upon them, four men bore him on their shoulders out of the field back to our camp.
          In the mean while our friends on the left of the road attempted to succor their companions and to "suck us in" They started to come in our rear, but a small "family battery" we had in the right place opened on them and deterred them from their purpose." One well aimed shell fell in their midst, killing seven and wounding a number.
            The enemy's loss in this engagement was forty-five killed, including a Lieut.-Colonel and two Lieutenants. We secured the sword of one Lieutenant and a revolver from the other. On the pistol was engraved, "Presented to. Lieut. M. C. Flost, by the citizens of. --Ward. Philadelphia." The force against us was one regiment, the 71st Pennsylvania, besides those gentry who threatened as on the left. We suppose the force that routed them did not exceed one hundred men, as a notion of our small party had to defend points in the woods to protect our flanks.--Our men were under command of Lieutenant Baizizi, of the 4th, Lieut. Jammeson, of the 1st, and Lieut. Nash, of the 5th regiment, who all acted discreetly and bravely, and led their men to the charge. Our loss was one killed; and four wounded, slightly.
          Texas scouts run these same, Yankees to their batteries a week ago yet nothing not have even been many to that the Richmond picket.
           We are too much pre occupied to give details of our engagements, but we think that the by which intelligences every fight in which Virginia are engaged are open to the press, and ought to be brought into requisition. An prevails with the arms that you are disposed to magnify on the one side and to neglect the other.
           Not partaking of this opinion. I send you this, with a simple prediction that when " the fight" takes place the Texas Brigade will kill more Yankees, storm more batteries, and capture fewer prisoners than any in the service. ATexas Scout.

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