War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0291 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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No. 12. Report of Colonel John C. Lee, Fifty-fifth Ohio Infantry, of the battle of Bull Run.


Camp L'Anglaise, September 3, 1862.

I have, sir, obedience to orders, to report of the Fifty-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry its arrival at Rappahannock Station, 21st ultimo, as follows:

From the 21st to the 29th, inclusive, the regiment was constantly on duty with the brigade, but not actively engaged with the enemy at any time. On the 29th it was much of the day under fire of the enemy;s artillery, with serious injury to no one, but with some bruises to several.

On Saturday, the 30th, about 12 m., my regiment was separated from the brigade by order of Colonel McLean, and posted as a vedette between (as I supposed) the left of General Schenck's division and the right of General Reynolds', who formed the right of General McDowell's line. My position was assigned me by a member of General Sigel's staff, with instructions as above stated. This position was to the left of Centerville pike about 100 yards, the brigade being close to and on the right-hand side. I found a battery on the first ridge on the left and in front of me, and a regiment of infantry to the left and rear of the battery, from me distant 50 yards, with the battalion massed in column by division on the eastern slope of the ridge, to protect it from the frequent solid shot of the enemy's artillery. I remained until nearly 3 o'clock p.m. The battalion of infantry then moved to the left and rear behind the woods on the left, but without communicating with me. Almost simultaneously I saw several battalions of infantry pass by the flank eastwardly, and to the rear of my position, along the north side of this piece od woods. Musketry was also heard on the south and west side of the woods. I at once dispatched Captain Gambee with this information to Colonel McLean, who had moved the balance of the brigade to the ridge in my rear. I also rode rapidly to the retreating forces above mentioned, but could learn nothing more than that the enemy was in the road and advancing. The balls from the enemy's musketry, yet unseen, began to fall upon us. By order column was rapidly forward toward the crest of the hill, but at the same time there came over the hill and passing numerously in our front Federal soldiers, driven by the advancing enemy. With this mass pressing against us it was impossible to fire, and, being wholly unsupported, the battalion was faced by the rear rank and moved rapidly over to the bridge behind us, when we reformed on the right of the Seventy-fifth, under Colonel McLean's orders. In this position we fired upon the enemy, who had fully gained the top of the ridge we had left, and from it he fell back.

The enemy appearing upon our left flank the battalion was wheeled to the left, at the same time delivering a destructive fire. An advance was made, and the enemy held at bay for some time, when he fell back, slowly at first, but soon rapidly, into the woods. Their flag fell three times. At this the battalion advanced with enthusiastic cheers. The colors were often pierced, but kept up and unfurled. Although the enemy had disappeared from our new front, he appeared in overwhelming numbers upon our new left and few right flanks and with re-enforcements upon our front. Thus engaged, the fighting continued until