Numbers 23. Report of Colonel William Barksdale, Thirteenth Mississippi Infantry.
Fort Evans, near Leesburg, October 28, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in obedience to your orders, I left my encampment near Ball's Mill, on Goose Creek, with my regiment on Sunday morning, the 20th instant, at 5 o'clock, and encamped the following night on the Alexandria turnpike road, near the Burnt Bridge over Goose Creek, about 4 miles east from Leesburg, with the Eighth Virginia Regiment, Colonel Hunton, on my right, and the Seventeenth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Featherston, on my left..
Early on Monday morning the guns of the enemy opened upon us from their batteries on the Maryland side of the Pontomac River, but without effect. At 8 o'clock I proceeded with my regiment to Fort Evans, and forthwith took position in the woods to the right of the fort, where I could observe the movements of the enemy.
About 12 o'clock I dispatched Captain L. D. Fletcher's company (D) to report to you at Fort Evans. I herewith inclose his report of the company's movements that day. During the whole of the engagement it was in the thickest of the fight, rendering efficient service, and bearing itself with undaunted courage.
About 1.30 o'clock I was ordered by you to advance in the direction of Edwards Ferry, and to ascertain the position and number of the enemy. I marched at once in that direction, and halted in a skirt of woods near the Daily house, at the same time directing Captain McIntosh to skirmish in the woods and near the river on the left, and Captain Eckford, with a platoon of his company, to skirmish on the right of that house, and report without delay the result of their observation. Both reported that the enemy were in force in large numbers on this side of the river and just beyond the Daily house. I immediately ordered the regiment to advance, and when near the house a number of shots were fired by the advance guard on both sides, killing 1 man of my regiment. The loss of the enemy not ascertained.
Perceiving that the object of the enemy was to outflank me on the right, and learning that Colonels Burt and Featherston, with their respective commands, had been ordered in another direction, I formed my regiment on the right of the Edwards Ferry road, intending to commence the attack from the woods stretching along the Daily plantation and to the right of the house, at the same time directing Captain Bradley to skirmish on the left and Captain [Wm. H.] Worthington on the right.
At this moment I was ordered by you to hasten to the support of the Eighth Virginia Regiment and the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Mississippi Regiments, which were engaged with the enemy 2 miles from Edwards Ferry and near Conrad's Ferry. I at once, in double-quick time, started to their relief, leaving Captain Worthington's company to observe the movements of the enemy at Edwards Ferry, but before reaching the scene of action I received two peremptory orders from you to return to the vicinity of Fort Evans, which was accordingly done, directing the companies of Captains [Saml. J.] Randell, [D. R.] McIntosh, and Worthington to remain in the rear, to prevent the advance of the enemy that night from Edwards Ferry.
I am satisfied that the presence of my command in position at Ed-