War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0494 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD Chapter XXIV.

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Numbers 106. Report of Captain W. Harvey Brown, Fourteenth U. S. Infantry, of the battle of Bull Run.


On Hall's Hill, near Washington, September 4, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor, in compliance with the orders received on the 3rd, to report the part taken by the First Battalion of the Fourteenth Infantry in the battle of Bull Run, on the 30th of August, 1862.

We entered the field about 9 a. m. in front of the Dogan house with seven companies, numbering 375 men and 15 officers, Captain J. D. O'Connell in command, Captain Keyes and Second Lieutenant Bellows, with their company (D) and 50 men, being on detached service as wagon guard. The battalion was first posted in line of battle at 10.30 a. m. in front of the First Brigade, and on the right of the Second Battalion Fourteenth Infantry. In this position we remained about two hours under heavy artillery fire and occasionally picket fire, with the loss of 1 man, struck by a shell. The brigade was then marched to the right, and advanced in the same order of battalions to a skirt of woods, the Second Battalion Fourteenth Infantry having been changed to our rear.

In this position we remained under fire, not heavy, artillery chiefly, until orders were given to advance through the woods, and took our position on a road under a tremendous fire from the enemy. Here Captain O'Connell received a slight wound. Soon after we were ordered back into the woods, some 25 yards from said road, with orders from the brigade commander to hold that place, but shortly afterward orders were given to retire, which was accomplished in line of battle by battalions. The First Battalion, with the rest of the First Brigade, did so in excellent order, though they were much exposed at first to heavy musketry as well as artillery fire, and met with some loss.

The next position we occupied was in an apple orchard about a half mile in rear of our last post, and near the place occupied by Captain Weed's battery (Fifth). Our stay here was but short. We then crossed to the south side of the Warrenton and Alexandria road and Young's Run, and advanced to the left, and occupied a narrow wagon road along the edge of the woods, and near a burnt house. While in this position we discovered the national colors in our front, and Captain O'Connell advanced to see whether our friends occupied the place, when he was fired upon and wounded, and at the same time had his horse killed. He then ordered me to take command, and retired to the rear. After giving the enemy three of four volleys we reduced their fire of musketry, and were ordered to march in retreat, which was done in excellent order. It was after sunset while occupying this last position, and quite dark when we left the field. I regret very much that Captain O'Connell is so disabled at this present time as to prevent him from making a report of the engagement, but there is no doubt he will in a few days be able to perform that duty, in addition to taking command of the battalion.

No officer distinguished himself above his fellow-officers that I observed, but all did their duty nobly. Our loss in killed, enlisted men, 14; wounded, commissioned officers, 1; enlisted men, 91; missing, 23; total, 129. I append the following list of officers who were present during the engagement:

Captain J. D. O'Connell (wounded), commanding battalion; William H. Forwood, assistant surgeon; Captain W. Harvey Brown, acting field