War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0350 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

and many killed and wounded by this formidable weapon. In the precipitate retreat of the enemy on the bluffs of the river many of his troops rushed into the water and were drowned, while many others, in overloading the boats, sunk them, and shared the same fate. The rout now, about 7 o'clock, became, and the enemy commenced throwing his arms into the river. During this action I held Colonel William Barksdale, with nine companies of his regiment, the Thirteenth Mississippi, and six pieces of artillery, as a reserve, as well as to keep up a demonstration against the force of the enemy at Edwards Ferry.

At 8 o'clock p. m. the enemy surrendered his forces at Ball's Bluff, and the prisoners were marched to Leesburg. I then ordered my brigade (with the exception of the Thirteenth Regiment Mississippi, which remained in front of Edwards Ferry) to retire to the town of Leesburg, and rest for the night.

On Tuesday morning I was informed by Colonel Barksdale that the enemy were still in considerable force at Edwards Ferry. I directed him to make a thorough reconnaissance of the position and strength of the enemy nd attack him. At 2 o'clock p. m. he gallantly attacked a much superior force in their entrenchments, driving them to the bank of the river, killing 30 or 40, and wounding a considerable number. About sundown, the enemy being strongly e-enforced and stationed in rifle-pits, Colonel Barksdale wisely retired with his regiment to Fort Evans, leaving a guard of two companies to watch the movements of the enemy, who, evidently expecting renewed attack, retired during the night and recrossed the river at Edwards Ferry.

On Wednesday morning, finding my brigade very much exhausted, I left Colonel Barksdale, with his regiment, with two pieces of artillery and a cavalry force, as a grant guard, and I ordered the other three regiments to fall back towards Carter's Mill to rest and to be collected in order. Colonel Hunton, with his regiment and two pieces of artillery, were halted at a strong position on the south bank of the Sycolin, about 3 miles south of Leesburg.

I would here state that in an interview on Monday night with the commissioned officers of the Federal Army taken prisoners I was convinced that they expected to be recaptured either during the night or the next day, and as the captured officers refused their parole not to take up arms against the Southern Confederacy till duly exchanged, I ordered the whole number to be immediately marched to Manassas. This parole was only offered to give them the liberty of the town, as I did not with to confine them with the privates.

In the engagement on the 21st of October, which lasted nearly thirteen hours, our loss, from a force of 1,709 aggregate, was as follows:*

* * * * * * *

The force of the enemy, as far as I have been able to ascertain, was five regiments and three pieces of artillery at Ball's Bluff, and four regiments, two batteries, and a squadron of cavalry at Edwards Ferry, numbering in all about 8,000 troops. In addition to this force three batteries of long range were constantly firing on my troops from the Maryland side of the river.

The loss of the enemy, so fare as known, is as follows: 1,300 killed, wounded, and drowned; captured 710 prisoners, 1500 stand of arms, three pieces of cannon, one stand of colors, a large number of cartidgeboxes, bayonet scabbards, and a quantity of camp furniture. Among the killed of the enemy was General Baker, formerly Senator from Oregon, and several other commissioned offices. Among the prisoners


*Statement omitted is tabulated in report No. 22, p.353.