Numbers 88. Reports of Colo. J. B. Kershaw, Second South Carolina Infantry.
HDQRS. SECOND PALMETTO REG'T S. C. VOLS.,
Vienna, Va., July 26, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a report of the operations of the troops under my command in the engagement near stone bridge on the 21st instant:
About noon on that day I received an order to move to Lewis' house, some there miles distant, to the support of Colonel Jackson's brigade, then engaged with the enemy, with my own regiment, that of Colonel Cash, and Captain Kemper's battery. These troops, with the exception of Captain Perryman's company, of my regiment, were at once put on the march. As we eared the road it was perceived that the passage of troops, indicated to the enemy on the north side of Bull Bun by the clouds of dusk, had attracted a dangerous fire of rifled cannon, and I directed the march across the fields. Captain Kemper was directed to precede the column to Lewis' and await my arrival.
Arrived in the vicinity of Lewis', a large number of out troops were met returning in a disorganized condition, and giving the most unfavorable accounts of the aspect of affairs on the field. Colonel Miles, of General Beauregard's staff, met me to hasten our march, and informed me that Hampton's Legion had just engaged, and that the enemy had acquired a decided advantage.
Soon after orders were received from General Johnston to enter the field on the left of Lewis'. Turning to the left, we passed over a hill through a thicket of woods under a fire of shot and shell from a battery directly in the line of our march, which wounded several, and killed one of our men. Emerging from the wood into old field, near as ravine, with rising ground in front, I formed line of battle preparatory to entering the field at a point which seemed to indicate the left of the line of fire, which was very heavy in front and constantly increasing, and which I supposed to be directed upon Hampton's Legion.
Before Colonel Cash had got into position upon my left it was perceive that the had passed still farther to on left and covered the whole front of my regiment, rendering it necessary to move the whole command in that direction by a flank. This movement had just been made when the line of fire made a corresponding change, rendering a still further movement necessary to avoid what I supposed to be the line of our troops in front of us. I therefore broke to the right into column, marched to the left, and formed on right into line. When my regiment had formed, the men were made to line down, to avoid the shower of balls which was passing over us while Colonel Cash was conforming to the movement.
At this moment the head of a regiment marching by a flank passed to the right of my regiment and partly over my right wing, led by an officer who was said to be General Smith. I immediately rode up to the officer, and desired him to form on the left of Colonel Cash. Before he could respond he received a ball in his left breast or shoulder, and his men commenced firing to their front and right into the wood from which the shot came, and formed hurriedly in front of my right wing.
Colonel Cash, having to form in a thick wood, had not yet got into line, when a staff officer gave me the valuable information that a road on my left, leading perpendicularly to the front my line, would bring me into a flanking position upon the enemy. Desiring to avail