slightly, and then advanced to near the embankment. Twice did I see
this line advance and retire, exposed to a close and deadly fire of mus
ketry. Seeing a second line issuing from the woods upon the field, I
was in the act of ordering a battery to be placed in position to fire upon
them when a battery was directed by the major-general commanding
to fire upon them, this battery being near the turnpike in an excellent
and commanding position. The fire of this battery was most oppor
tunely delivered upon this advancing line of the enemy. They were
caught in the open field. The effect of every shot could be seen. A
rapid fire of shot, shell, and spherical case, delivered with admirable
precision, checked their advance. As the shells and spherical case
would burst over in front and near them their ranks would break,
hesitate, and scatter. This artillery fire alone broke regiment after
regiment and drove them back into the woods.
Seeing these successive lines and regiments of the enemy checked
and finally driven back, and yet their front line quite close upon Jack
son s line, thus leaving an interval of more than 600 yards between
them and the broken retreating lines, I ordered General Featherston
to move his brigade by the flank rapidly down the slope in his front,
and thus take in rear or intercept the retreat of the enemy that were
so closely engaged with Jackson. This order was repeated three times
and in the most positive and peremptory manner, but it was not obeyed.
At length the front line of the enemy, sadly thinned by the close fire
of Jackson s men behind the railway bank, broke and fell back with
great precipitancy and disorder, followed by a portion of Jackson s
troops. Featherston now descends the slope in his front and joins in
the pursuit across the open field. Pryor s brigade was also ordered
to follow rapidly. The fleeing enemy, under cover of the woods, en
deavored to reform and to contest the field with us, but our men, in
spirited by their success, eagerly rush forward, scarcely halting to
deliver their fire. The Federals are forced to continue their retreat;
the woods through which the enemy fled (some 600 or 700 yards wide)
are at length crossed, and a second field, three-quarters of a mil
wide, is in our front. The surface of this field, beginning near 1
woods, ascends slightly, and then descending somewhat further rises
again higher than it is near the woods. In the edge of this tielc
directed my command to halt for a few minutes to reform line, they
having become broken and somewhat scattered from their rapid
suit of the enemy and traversing the thick woods. While my men
600 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
were reforming I rode to the crest of the ridge in front of me and saw
two entire regiments descending rapidly into the valley. The time
lost in reforming my men enabled these retreating regiments to gain
shelter in the woods on the far side of the field.
It is proper that I should state that the field in which my command
was now being formed was swept by a brisk artillery fire about 1,200
yards distant, the men being but indifferently protected by the ridge in
front. This fire was borne by the men with great coolness, no disorder
or embarrassment being perceptible. Being now occupied in forming
the command for an advance across the field into the woods where the
enemy had retreated and for the attack upon the battery to our right
and front that was delivering a most annoying fire upon us, I was or
dered by the major-general commanding to move with my brigade to the
right of the turnpike to the support of General Hood. I now directed
General Pryor, who was near me, to confer with General Featherstou
and to indicate to him my plans for the further pursuit of the enemy.
For information as to the services of these two brigades in the subse
quent part of the action I beg to refer you to the reports of their respect
ive commanders, herewith inclosed.
In obedience to the orders above mentioned I marched my brigade
to the right of the turnpike and advanced on that side. In all of this
change of position (in all more than 2 miles) the brigade was exposed
to a heavy fire of the enemy s artillery, and at two different parts of the
field I had to bear off to the rear, so as not to obstruct the fire of our
own artillery. This caused some little delay in my advance. On the
right of the turnpike the enemy seemed to have been driven back even
faster and farther than on the left. Seeing no person to tell me where
General Hood was engaged I continued to advance as rapidly as pos
sible, frequently at double-quick time, and in direction of the most ad
vanced and heaviest firing. At length, having crossed a deep ravine
and risen to the summit of the ascent on the far side, the portion of the
field where the musketry fight was then going on was in close prox
imity, it being in a skirt of woods bordering a small stream not 300 yards
distant. To reach this there was an open, level field and then a short
and abrupt descent to the stream. While crossing this field we Avere
exposed to a close artillery fire of the enemy from a battery in front of
where our men were then engaged. In addition to this two brigades
of the enemy s infantry, who were approaching obliquely the field where
the musketry was then raging, reaching the crest of a hill and seeing
my brigade moving to the same point halted and fired a volley deliber
ately at my men, but at near 500 yards distant. They fired one after
the other 5 the leading brigade moved to the rear after firing through
the intervals of the second. The balls in each case came near, but in
flicted a trifling loss ; 2 or 3 men wounded slightly. It was now late
sundown. My men crossed the little stream near which the fight was
then still raging, passed through the woods skirting it, and then changed
direction to the left, so as to occupy the same line that our troops were
then occupying. They were then thrown into the woods and cautioned
to be careful not to fire upon our own men, who were then engaged.
My men entered where Wright s brigade had been engaged, and near
where General Toombs had been engaged (this was the first time that
my men had been engaged in close musketry fight) on the right of the
turnpike. The fighting here was soon over, but the musketry was of
the heaviest kind while it lasted. The firing continued till after dark
for more than half an hour and then gradually ceased. The artillery
continued to fire after the musketry had ceased, but by 8.30 [o clock]
CHAP. XXIV.] CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 601
it had all ceased. My brigade bivouacked at this poiut of the field
which was the most advanced point reached by our infantry, and near
the hilt where Bee and Bartow fell on July 21, 1861 the first Manassas.
The list of casualties of the three brigades having been previously
forwarded, it will suffice to state that the entire loss in killed, wounded,
and missing was 330 (4 missing).*
In closing this report I beg to assure the major-general commanding
that both men and officers of my brigade behaved in a manner highly
creditable to them. I will only bring to his favorable notice in this
report the four regimental commanders of the brigade, viz: Major [J. H.
J.J Williams, commanding Ninth Alabama ; Major [H. A.] Herbert,
Eighth j Captain [J. C. C. j Sanders, Eleventh, and Major [John H.]
Caldwell, Tenth Alabama. It will be seen that there was no field
officer of higher rank than major, and of those but three.
To my personal staff Capt. Walter E. Winn, assistant adjutant-gen
eral, and Lieut. M. M. Lindsay, Nineteenth Mississippi my thanks are
especially due for their willingness and promptness in rendering their
services at all times during the engagement. I would also bring to
your favorable notice Private J. C. Causey, of the Third Virginia Cav
alry, my courier, who received late in the action (after dark) a painful
wound on the head from a piece of shell while carrying an order to one
of my regiments.
The inclosed reports of Generals Featherston and Pry or will bring to
your notice such instances of men and officers in their brigades as are
deserving of commendation.
I am, sir. very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. M. WILCOX,
Brigadier- General , Commanding, &c.
Maj. G. MOXLEY SORREL,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
Report of Brig. Gen. Roger A. Pry or, C. 8. Army, commanding brigade,
of the battle of Manassas.
HEADQUARTERS PRYOR S BRIGADE,
Near Winchester, Va., October 5, 1862.
CAPTAIN : A very brief narrative will suffice to exhibit the operations
of this brigade in the battle of Manassas :
When the enemy s attack on the left of our line was repulsed I was
directed by Brigadier-General Wilcox to throw my brigade on his broken
columns. Disposing my troops in two lines, with the first consisting of
the Third Virginia, the Fourteenth Alabama, and the Eighth Florida
Eegiments, I pushed across the field to the end of intercepting the en
emy in his retreat. Perceiving my design, the fleeing Federals turned
to the left, sought the shelter of a neighboring wood, and attempte
arrest our advance ; but neither a terrific artillery tire on their 1 alt
nor an unexpected fusilade in front could check the impetuous onset ol
my brave men. Into the woods they dashed, and with little delay dis
lodged the enemy from his cover. This accomplished, I changed
List not found. Casualties in Pryor s brigade embodied in No. 128. See also p. 568.
602 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
to the right, with the view of charging the batteries from whose fire my
troops suffered so severely. In pursuance of a suggestion from General
Wilcox, I concerted with Brigadier-General Featherston a plan of at
tack on these batteries. It was agreed that while General Featherston
turned the enemy s flank I should assail him in front. In the execution
of this scheme very little difficulty was encountered, the enemy on our
approach invariably abandoning his position almost without a struggle.
Several of his detached pieces and caissons were captured, but gener
ally he succeeded by a timely flight in escaping with his batteries. In
deed, with his expulsion from the wood where he first sought shelter
the fighting with us ceased. Afterward it was a mere chase, in which
the enemy exhibited such fleetness that we could inflict upon him only
a trifling loss. The pursuit was vigorously pressed, nevertheless, until
darkness arrested our farther progress. The brigade bivouacked on
the advanced position won by our arms.
In the progress of the action I had the misfortune to be separated
from my command by a circumstance to which 1 allude only in explana
tion of my absence. Returning from a search after two of my regiments,
which in the confusion of the fight had become detached from the bri
gade, I advanced unconsciously beyond the enemy s line and was a while
detained in my embarrassing position. Eventually, however, I was so
fortunate as to effect my escape and rejoin my command.
Of the conduct of officers and men in this fight I have to speak in the
most complimentary terms. The Fifth and Eighth Florida Eegiments,
though never under fire before, exhibited the cool and collected cour
age of veterans. Special mention of peculiar merit in individuals I re
serve for another communication.
The loss of the brigade, as shown by the list of casualties, was com
paratively inconsiderable, not exceeding 150 in killed, wounded, and
missing.* Among the killed, however, was my assistant adjutant-gen
eral, Oapt. Walter Wrenn, a young gentleman of the purest and most
amiable character, of a genius developed and adorned by rare attain
ments in every department of polite learning, and of a courage which
had serenely confronted death on more than one battle-field. He fell
in the moment of victory and in the act of cheering on a charge.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EOGEE A. PEYOE,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Capt. W. E. WINN,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
Report of Brig. Gen. Winfield 8. Featherston, C. S. Army, commanding
brigade, of the battle of Manassas.
EICHMOND, VA., September 25, 1862.
SIB : I submit the following report, showing the action of my brigade
at the battle of Manassas Plains, fought on August 30 last :
At an early hour on the morning of the 30th my brigade was posted
near a fence about half a mile west of the main road running to the vil
lage of Groveton, uniting with General Jackson s command on my left
* See pp. 561, 568.
CHAI>. XXIV.] CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 603
at the railroad embankment. General Pryor s brigade was placed on
the right of mine and General Wilcox s a short distance in the rear to
support the other two. The other brigades of General Lougstreet s divis
ion continued our line of battle to the right and extending a consider
able distance beyond the turnpike running through Grovetou. Im
mediately in our front and extending a considerable distance to our
right was an old field from a half to a mile wide. The troops remained
in position here from an early hour in the morning until about 3 o clock
in the afternoon. While in this position my brigade was subjected to
a very heavy fire from the enemy s artillery, which was placed in the
woods on the opposite side of the field lying in our front. Two of
our batteries, placed on a hill about the center of my brigade and just
in the rear, returned the enemy s fire during the most of the time. The
enemy were observed during the forenoon passing down the turnpike
from the direction of the stone house and filing to the right and left of
About 3 p. m. one brigade was seen emerging from the woods on
the opposite side of the field, advancing in the direction of General
Jackson s right and my left. The advance was steady and unchecked
under a very heavy fire of the batteries supported by my brigade, as
well as from others placed on the right and left of the turnpike road.
This brigade of the enemy was followed by two others (under the same
heavy fire of our batteries), which advanced to within 40 or 50 yards of
our lines. Here they came to a halt and returned the fire of our in
fantry for about thirty minutes, when they commenced the retreat
across the field in great confusion. The fire of our artillery upon the
retreating foe was rapid and destructive. As soon as the retreat
commenced our troops were ordered to advance. One of General Jack
son s brigades advanced on our left, and my brigade, General Pryor s,
and General Wilcox s moved forward in line of battle on its right. We
readied the works in front and passed through the skirt of woods over
600 yards wide, when we came to another old field some half a mile or
three-quarters in width. Here we found on the opposite side of the
field the enemy drawn up in line of battle, with several pieces of artil
lery turned upon our troops, and directing a rapid, heavy, and destruc
tive fire both upon the right and left of our lines.
At this time General Wilcox who had, as senior brigadier, been
directing the movements of his brigade, General Pryor s, and mine was
ordered by General Longstreet to move rapidly with his brigade to the
right to the support of General Hood. This left me the senior brigadier
on the left of our lines. Very soon after General Wilcox left with his bri
gade Major [Thomas] Walton, of General Lougstreet s staff, announced
to me that Colonel Thomas, commanding a brigade of General Jackson s
division, had been sent to re-enforce me, and that other troops were com
ing up for the same purpose. Generals Pender and Archer very soon
arrived with their brigades, and I immediately directed my brigade to be
moved to the left, so as to extend beyond the enemy s right, and Gen
erals Pender and Archer to form on the right of my brigade. This was
promptly done. Colonel Thomas brigade was held in reserve with one
regiment of General Pryor s. As soon as our line was formed an ad
vance was ordered. The whole line moved forward in rapid and gal
lant style. The enemy fled after the first well-directed fire through the
woods in the direction of the stone house. All the pieces of their artil
lery were left upon the field and captured. These brigades continue
the march in pursuit of the enemy. Passing through a skirt ot woods,
they reached another field some three-quarters of a mile wide, on tno
604 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
farther side of which the enemy were discovered again in line of battle,
with one or two pieces of artillery placed upon a commanding eminence,
which were turned upon our troops as soon as they made their appear
ance. These brigades were again put in line of battle in the edge of the
woods, and Colonel Thomas was directed to move with his brigade to the
left of our line to prevent a flank movement by the enemy and their re-
enforcements from coming up a road running on our left and extending
in front to the turnpike near the stone house. These dispositions hav
ing been made, our lines advanced. The enemy fled precipitately,
doing us no injury, except with their artillery, scarcely returning the
fire of our infantry. Having driven them from their position, any
farther movement was prevented by the darkness of the night. It was
now fully dark, and our troops bivouacked upon the ground until morn
The enemy s artillery was served with great skill and effect upon our
troops during the entire engagement, to which our greatest loss on the
left must be attributed.
Our troops whose conduct came under my observation behaved with
great coolness and courage during the whole engagement, which lasted
about four hours.
The Dixie Battery, under command of Captain Chapman, attached to
my brigade, was placed to the left of the turnpike, near the village of
Groveton, where it performed good service during the day.
When General Wilcox left the field and the command of the troops
on the left devolved upon me I placed the command of my immediate
brigade under Colonel Posey, who was the senior colonel present.
To the members of my staff who were with me on the field Captain
[W. E.I Barksdale, Lieutenant [A. N.] Parker, and Capt. C. N. Feath-
erston I feel indebted for their efficiency and promptness in executing
The list of casualties in my brigade is herewith transmitted,* as well
as lists of those who particularly distinguished themselves during the
All of which is respectfully submitted.
W. S. FEATHEESTON,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Maj. G. MOXLEY SORREL, A. A. G., LongstreeVs Division.
Report of Brig. Gen. John B. Hood, C. S. Army, commanding division, of
operations August 22-31, including Freemarts Ford, Groveton, and
September 27, 1862.
SIR : I have the honor to submit the following report of the opera
tions of this division, composed of two brigades Fourth Alabama,
Second and Eleventh Mississippi, and Sixth North Carolina, Col. E. M.
Law commanding; my own brigade, First, Fourth, and Fifth Texas,
Eighteenth Georgia, and Hampton Legion ; and [James JEeilly s, [W.
K.] Bachman s, and [Hugh E.] Garden s batteries, Maj. B. W. Frobel
commanding in the engagements at Freeman s Ford, on the Eappa-
hannock Eiver, August 22 ; Plains of Manassas, August 29 and 30 ;
* Not found, but see p. 568.
CHAP. XXIV.] CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 605
Boonsborough Gap, Md.. September 14, and Sharpsburg, Md., Septem
ber 16 and 1 7 :
On August 22, agreeably to orders of the commanding general. I
proceeded to Freeman s Ford to relieve General Trimble s brigade.
On my arrival in the afternoon I found the enemy had crossed over the
river and were in the immediate front of General Trimble. The Texas
brigade being placed on the right and Colonel Law s on the left, the
attack was made at once, General Trimble leading off in the center.
The enemy were driven precipitately over the Kappahannock with con
siderable loss, not less, I think, than from 200 to 300. During the
engagement Maj. D. M. Whaley, Fifth Texas, fell gallantly discharging
The next night the command marched to Waterloo Ford and relieved
General A. P. Hill s division. From this point, having joined the main
body of General Longstreet s forces, the march was continued in the
direction of Manassas. On arriving at Thoroughfare Gap the enemy
were drawn up in line to dispute our passage. After a spirited little
engagement with them by General D. E. Jones troops, on the evening
of the 28th instant, our forces were able to bivouac for the night beyond
The next morning at daylight the march was again resumed, with
this division .in the advance, Lieutenant-Colonel Upton, of the Fifth
Texas, in command of a party of select Texan riflemen, constituting
the advance guard. Coming up with the rear guard of the enemy
before sunrise, this gallant and distinguished officer drove them before
him so rapidly that halts would have to be made for the troops in rear
Early in the day we came up with the main body of the enemy on
the plains of Manassas, engaging General Jackson s forces. Disposi
tion of the troops being made, the Texas brigade advanced in line of
battle down and on the immediate right of the pike leading to the stone
bridge, and Colonel Law s brigade on the left. Arriving on a line with
the line of battle established by General Jackscta, the division was
halted by order of the general commanding.
About 4 o clock in the afternoon the enemy made a fierce attack upon
General Jackson, his noble troops holding their ground with their usual
gallantry. At sunset an order came to me from the commanding general
to move forward and attack the enemy. Before, however, this division
could come to attention it was attacked, and I instantly ordered the two
brigades to move forward and charge the enemy, which they did most
gallantly, driving them in confusion in front of them. Colonel Law s
brigade, being engaged with a very heavy force of the enemy, captured
one piece of artillery, three stand of colors, and 100 prisoners, and the
Texas brigade three stand of colors. It soon became so very dark that
it was impossible to pursue the enemy any farther.
At 12 o clock at night orders came to retake our position on the right
of General Jackson, in which we remained until 4 o clock the next
afternoon, August 30, when the battle of the plains of Manassas com
menced by a most vigorous attack by the enemy upon the right of
General Jackson. After a severe struggle the enemy gave way in great
confusion on the left of the pike, and by direction of the general com
manding I moved forward this division, with the Texas brigade on the
right of the pike and Colonel Law s advancing on the left and pass
over to th-e right. Within 150 yards after leaving their position th
Texas brigade became engaged with a heavy force of the enemy, b
with their usual daring and enthusiasm they charged gallantly on,
OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
driving a largely superior force a distance of 1J miles, causing terrible
slaughter in their ranks, capturing a battery of four guns crowning the
heights near the Chinn house.
Colonel Law s brigade having moved forward on the left, driving the
enemy and accomplishing most noble work in their immediate front;
the Texas brigade having gained the heights, and being a long distance
in advance of the remainder of our troops and very much exhausted,
I ordered them to halt and hold their ground. Soon after General
Evans brigade came up and became engaged. I passed on to the
heights and assisted in placing other brigades in position as they
arrived on the field, and so soon as my own droops were sufficiently
rested they were brought forward and slept upon the field of battle
near the Sudley Ford road. The noble troops of this division captured
four pieces of artillery and eight stand of colors, and as to their gal
lantry and unflinching courage they stand unsurpassed within the
history of the world.
Many gallant officers and men fell upon this memorable field, and
our country has cause to regret the loss of none of her sons more than
that of Lieut, Col. John C. Upton, Fifth Texas. Major [W. P.] Town-
send, of the Fourth Texas; Lieutenant- Colonel [S. Z.] Euif and Major
[J. C.] Griffis, of the Eighteenth Georgia, and Capt. K. Bryan, acting
major of the Fifth Texas, fell severely wounded while nobly discharging
their duties. Of the different regimental commanders too much cannot
be said. Col. J. B. Bobertson, Fifth Texas, was wounded while directing