War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0359 Chapter XIV. BALL'S BLUFF AND EDWARDS FERRY, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

and surrendered to me. I then ordered their men to lay down their arms and march into our lines in small squads, which they did. After-wards they were marched into town in charge of a company from this and one from the Eighteenth Regiment. The number of prisoners surrender at that time in a body was about 300, among whom were two colonels and about twenty commissioned officers.

In all of the movements of which I have spoken the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Mississippi Regiments acted together, the Eighth Virginia I cannot refrain from expressing my admiration for the gallantry displayed by the officers and men of the Eighteenth Regiment while under my observation, and particularly of Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin and Major Henry, their commanding officers.

All resistance on the part of the enemy having ceased, and night rendering further movements impracticable, the main body of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Regiments was withdrawn to an open field near the town, where they bivouacked for the night, leaving two companies upon the field under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel McGuirk, of this regiment to secure stragglers from the enemy. About 11 o'clock p.m. I sent another detachment of 90 men from my regiment to the field, to gather up and remove our dead and wounded. These detachments, together with one from the Eighth Virginia Regiment, secured about 200 additional prisoners, during the night and about the same number during the next morning.

I have neglected to mention that in our advance upon the enemy we captured one 12-pounder rifled cannon near the banks of the river. The other gun captured was taken in the same movement a little in advance and to the left of the rifled cannon. Lieutenant-Colonel McGuirk having been ordered on detached service by you as field officer of the day was not able to act with the regiment till late in the day. As soon,however, as it was possible, and before the battle had closed, he joined the regiment and entered at once upon the discharge of the duties of his position with courage and skill. During his absence I requested Major Lyle to act as lieutenant-colonel and Captain W. D. Holder to act as major. Both of these gentlemen discharged the responsible duties of their respective positions in a manner entirely satisfactory and worthy of all commendation.

Captain E. W. Upshaw, of this regiment, who had been ordered to the left to re-enforce the Eighth Virginia Regiment, joined that regiment in their last charge, in which they drove back the right wing of the enemy, forcing them to abandon a piece of artillery which was afterwards brought off by our troops.

For two months previous to the battle Captain Duff, of this regiment, had been stationed with his company on picket duty at Big Spring, between Leesburg and the river. Their position was a dangerous and trying one,being constantly exposed to sudden attacks from the enemy, and its duties were at all times arduous, but I am only the more gratified to say that they were uniformly discharged in the most satisfactory manner. Early on the morning of the 21st Captain Duff was attacked near Big Spring by a body of the enemy outnumbering his own command at least four to one, but after a sharp skirmish he repulsed them with considerable loss. Later in the forenoon of the day, he in connection with two companies of the Eighteenth Regiment and Captain Ball's troop of cavalry, who had been sent to his support, engaged the enemy twice in both of which affairs they were successfully met and