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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
Page 700 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Tennessee, Colonel [Peter] Turney; Seventh Tennessee, Major [S. G.] Shepard; \Fourteenth Tennessee, Colonel [W. A.] Forbes; Nineteenth Georgia, Captain F. M. Johnston, and Fifth Alabama Battalion, Captain [Thomas] Bush.

MANASSAS PLAINS.

August 28, after marching through Centreville up the Warrenton turnpike and across Bull Run, my brigade was formed in line on the right of and fronting a by-road, the direction of which was nearly parallel with the railroad cut. Branch's brigade was formed to my rear and Field's on my right, and two batteries in the open field about 300 yards in front.

About 5 p. m., when the engagement commenced, I moved forward to support the batteries, and remained under a heavy fire of shell and round shot from batteries to the front and left, but without sustaining any loss, until twilight, when the artillery fire ceased, and the whole division moved by the right flank into the railroad cut in the woods.

The next morning my brigade, with Braxton's battery, was posted on a hill on the extreme left of the division, with skirmishers thrown out to the front and on the left flank. In this position it was not actively engaged, although it was somewhat annoyed by shells from batteries in front, but not in sight.

About 3 p. m. I moved, by order of General Hill, to the right until my right rested on a road which crosses the railroad at right angles, and remained there within supporting distance of other brigades of the division which had been engaged during the day. About 4 p. m., during an interval of the assaults of the enemy, General Pender sent is aide-de-camp, requesting me to relieve him, and with the consent of General Hill, who was near me at the time, I immediately marched down and filed to the right into the railroad cut. As my leading files entered the railroad cut i perceived the enemy advancing up it from the left into the wood. Unwilling to commence the fight until my troops were in position, I did not call their attention to the enemy until half of my last regiment (Colonel Turney's, First Tennessee) had entered the cut. I then pinked out the enemy on the left and ordered that regiment to fire, which it did with great effect. The first fire of this regiment was instantly answered by a furious assault upon my whole front. At this time my own brigade was the only one in sight along the whole line, but for twenty minutes or more it firmly and gallantly resisted the attack and maintained its position until other troops came on my right and left in time to save me from being flanked. Soon after the arrival of these fresh troops we charged and drove the enemy back several hundred yards, and then quietly returned to out position. In a few minutes fresh forces of the enemy arrived and attacked us as vigorously as the first. They were as firmly resisted and as gallantly repelled by another charge. At this second charge many of my men were out of ammunition and charged with empty rifles. I did not average over two cartridges to the man. A third assault was met and repulsed in the same manner, my brigade charging upon the enemy with loud cheers and driving them back with their empty rifles.

It was after sunset when we resumed our position, and we lay upon our arms that night with a strong picket in front to prevent surprise; replenished our ammunition during the night, and newt morning changed placed with Early's brigade, which had come in on our left the evening before, and in front of which a heavy skirmishing fire had been kept up all the morning. I relieved General Early's pickets with 130 men under


Page 700 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
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