of my regiment for the coolness with which you conducted the affair at Bull Run and the masterly manner in which our retreat was conducted from Fairfax Station to Annandale.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. COLEMAN,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Colonel E. P. SCAMMON,
Commanding First Provisional Brigade.
Numbers 51. Report of Colonel Carr B. White, Twelfth Ohio Infantry, of action at Bull Run Bridge.
FAIRFAX STATION, VA., August 27, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken in the action at Bull Run Bridge this day by the Twelfth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under my command.
In obedience to your order the Twelfth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry left Alexandria this morning at 4 a.m. by rail for Bull Run Bridge, where it arrived about 8 o'clock, disembarked, and formed on the railroad track on the left bank of the stream, fronting two rifle pits on the opposite side. The men were ordered to lie down behind the embankment of the road, while the Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry was ordered to the left to prevent a flank movement of the enemy by a ford in that direction. These positions were taken while the enemy were pressing the First New Jersey Brigade, which had preceded us in the advance across the bridge, and their retiring forces mixing with ours on the narrow track produced some little delay in the movement, at the same time the enemy shelling.
Scarcely had we taken position when I received your order to advance and take position to save the bridge, if possible. The Twelfth Regiment was then filed to the right up the hill-side, facing the bridge, brought to a front, and advanced on hands and knees through the insufficient covering of grass and low shrubbery to the brow of the hill, the center overlooking the bridge, the left deflected a little to the rear, to engage the lower rifle pit and the enemy in the woods on the opposite bank of the run. The galling fire poured into their advance soon hurled them back, but in a short time a regiment was sent to outflank our right, and another our left, while a charge was made down the hill on our front. Companies A and F were at once advanced to the right and rear to defend our right. Our line of battle was now crescent-shaped, with three regiments pouring a heavy fire into it, which position was held against this great odds for two hours and a half; and had it not been for the timely assistance of the Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in driving back a column crossing to our left and rear we should have been surrounded, but this enabled me to draw off by the right flank in good order.*
We then formed on the brow of the next hill in our rear on a line parallel to the first. The enemy advanced his forces in the same manner as before, except that the regiments on our right moved farther to our rear, making a desperate effort to cut us off, and did succeed in
*Nominal list of casualties shows 14 killed, 42 wounded, and 17 missing.