HDQRS. FIRST PROVISIONAL BRIGADE, KANAWHA DIV.,
Fort Ramsay, Va., August 30, 1862.
SIR: I send herewith the reports of Colonel White and Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, commanding the Twelfth and Eleventh Ohio Regiments in the recent affair at Bull Run. I have already rendered a report of the march, and I have only to transmit the detailed reports, with such remarks as I deem necessary, to preserve a true record of the affair.
I reached Bull Run Bridge at 8.30 a.m. of the 27th. On our near approach to the bridge I heard the reports of cannon, apparently some five or six pieces, fired with some degree of rapidity. On reaching the bridge we found that the New Jersey Bridge, under General Taylor, was engaged with the enemy, but hearing only cannon, fancied that it was only a contest between artillery at long range. I did not then know that the New Jersey Brigade was unprovided with artillery. I do not remember to have heard any musketry beyond what might have passed for the accidental discharge of a few pieces from carelessness of soldiers-certainly there was nothing bearing the least resemblance to the rattle of musketry from four regiments of infantry. We had just left the cars when the New Jersey troops came pouring along the track of the railroad in utter disorder, some of them talking of overwhelming numbers of the enemy, some censuring because they were ordered to retreat without firing a gun. I asked the meaning of what I saw, and was answered that General Taylor had ordered the troops to move back around a bend of the road to get out of range of the enemy's cannon. I wrote a note to General Taylor announcing my arrival, and that I would move up instantly to his support. The Twelfth Ohio was ordered to the bridge to hold it, and was moving up as fast as the press of the retreating force would permit, when I received from the assistant adjutant-general of General Taylor the information that he was disabled and turned over the command to me. I sent my assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant Kennedy, of the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers, to halt the fugitives and turn them back. He soon returned with the report that his efforts were in vain. I appealed to those in my own vicinity, the rear of the retreating troops, to face about and redeem themselves, but without effect. They declared that the general had ordered them to retire, and retire they did most disgracefully, despite the urgent appeals of Assistant Adjutant-General Dunham, of their own brigade, and myself.
About this time Lieutenant Wright, of the Fourth New Jersey Regiment, came to me with 10 men, appearing to be very indignant at the conduct of the brigade, and asked to be led back to the enemy. I ordered him to report to Colonel White, at the bridge. The names of the men forming this squad, who wished to save their honor, were, as given me by Lieutenant Wright, Orderly Sergeant Hannery, Sergeant Pettit, Corporal Cox, and Privates John Winer, David Pope, John Connor, Joseph Schlab, Joseph Schern, George H. Cherry, and Kilbon Fender, all of the Fourth New Jersey Regiment. I beg that they may be suitably rewarded, and that Captain Dunham and Lieutenant Wright be promoted for their gallantry.
I have little else to add to the report already rendered. I beg leave, however, to ask a suitable notice of the gallant conduct of the officers and men of the Eleventh and Twelfth Ohio, whose bearing could not be excelled by any troops whatever, for there was no faltering among them, nor was there the slightest appearance of anything but eagerness to engage the enemy and fight against every odds of numbers.