In this to me the bloody, severe, and entirely unsatisfactory battle of or near Groveton, where even privates realized that they were going into the jaws of death itself, I can but express great pleasure in being allowed to witness and spared to chronicle the bravery of the entire command; also to feel the satisfaction of knowing that every order was promptly and strictly obeyed.
To Colonels Johnson (Twenty-fifth New York), Marshall (Thirteenth New York), also Colonel Berdan, I feel much indebted for giving me from time to time the true position and movements of the enemy. To Captains Powers and Spear and Lieutenant Davis, aide-de-camp, the two former being slightly wounded, I also feel indebted for the military manner in which they rapidly conveyed the many orders I was obliged to issue. To Lieutenant Perkins also, for the cool and concise manner in delivering the orders sent to me from General Butterfield, I am greatly obliged. Sergeant-Major Banks, of the Second Maine, a soldier in every respect, and temporarily acting as an aide, I must not here neglect to mention. For his coolness and general deportment throughout the entire engagement he marts promotion.
In closing, I must add that our support on the right from some cause was feeble in the extreme. Could it have been more vigorous I shall ever believe that we should not have found ourselves in our final desperate and almost inextricable position. I even now wounded why we are not prisoners of war.
Inclosed please notice as correct a list of casualties occurring in the brigade as I have been able to obtain.*
Very respectfully, I remain, your obedient servant,
CHAS. W. ROBERTS,
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade.
Captain HOYT, A. A. G., Third Brigadier, Morell's Div., Porter's A. C.
Numbers 91. Report of Colonel Elisha G. Marshall, Thirteenth New York Infantry, of the battle of Bull Run.
HDQRS. THIRTEENTH Regiment N. Y. STATE VOLS.,
Camp near Hall's Hill, Va., September 6, 1862.
SIR: i have the honor to state that, according to orders received from you on the 30th of August, I was directed, with the other regiments of the brigade, to move through the skirt of timber in front of us and drive the enemy. As you are aware, we did so, after coming upon the skirmishers of Colonel Berdan, who should have been far to our front, thus causing my regiment to halt. When we arrived at the edge of the skirt of timber our skirmishers were held by the enemy. We received a cross-fire of the enemy in this position. After about two hours we were ordered to push on to the enemy in connection with the troops on our right, take the railroad, and push around our right and hold the railroad. I reported this to you and General Butterfield. The Eighteenth Massachusetts, sustained by myself, then pushed on across this field under a sever fire, and were followed by the First Michigan, and held for a long time our ground under a cross-fire of the enemy. Re-enforcements were started to us but did not arrive. Our right in the timber gave way; still we held our ground, hoping that re-enforcements would
*See revised statement, p. 259.