I cannot refrain from paying a tribute to the gallantry of Captain Ricketts and Lieutenant Ramsay. The service has sustained a serious loss in the temporary removal of Captain Ricketts from duty, and the cool and determined bravery of Lieutenant Ramsay was admired by all who witnessed it. It may be a consolation to his friends to know that he unflinchingly died soldier's death, regretted by all.
I transmit with this a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of the brigade.*
It is my firm belief that a great deal of the misfortune of the day at Bull Run is due to the fact that the troops knew very little of the principles and practice of firing. In every case I believe that the firing of the rebels was better than ours. At any rate I am sure that ours was very bad, the rear files sometimes firing into and killing the front ones. It is to be hoped that practice and instruction will have corrected this evil by the time that we have another battle.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. B. FRANKLIN,
Colonel Twelfth Infantry, Commanding First Brigadier, Third Div.
Captain C. McKEEVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.
No. 45. Report of Lieutenant Edmund Kirby, First U. S. Artillery.
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 23, 1861.
SIR: I submit the following report:
On Sunday, July 21, Captain J. B. Ricketts was ordered to place his battery in position at about one thousand five hundred yards from the enemy. An order was afterwards received to advance about one thousand yards, which was executed at a trot, and where we remained in battery, firing as fast as possible, until obliged to retreat, leaving six rifled guns on the field.
Captain J. B. Ricketts was severely wounded at this critical moment, and First Lieutenant Douglas Ramsay was killed.
Lieutenant W. A. Elkderkin conducted the limbers and caissons to the rear, as I was separated from the battery at the moment the retreat became general. I joined the battery soon after and continued the retreat, but was obliged to abandon everything at Bull Run except three limbers and fifty-six horses.
The non-commissioned officers and privates acted with great bravery, and remained on the field as long as possible.
Our casualties are: Left on the field, 6 rifled guns and 49 horses, and 1 forge. Killed: 1 officer and 11 men; wounded, 1 officer and 14 men. Total, 27.+
* * * * * *
My present station is the Park House, foot of Seventh street, Washington, D. C.
Second Lieutenant, First U. S. Artillery, Commanding Light Company I.
*Embodied in division return, p.405.
+Nominal list of casualties omitted.