Numbers 112. Report of Major George L. Andrews, Seventeenth U. S. Infantry, of the battle of Bull Run.
HDQRS. FIRST BATT., SEVENTEENTH U. S. INFANTRY, September 5, 1862.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that this battalion, under my command, arrived at Manassas Junction on the 29th ultimo, and during the afternoon of that day was marched out on the road to Gainesville and brought under fire of the rebel batteries. On the morning of August 30, 1862, we arrived at Bull Run, and were put into position about 9 o'clock a. m. to the right of the center of line of battle. Here we remained until nearly 2 o'clock p. m., at which time we were advanced into a corn field and remained there several hours, being the whole day under the enemy's fire and losing several men.
About 5 o'clock p. m. I was ordered to retire in line of battle, and when out from under fire to march my command by the flank to the vicinity of Bull Run Hill and give the men something to eat, as they had then been some eighteen hours without food. On my way to obey this order, and when nearly to the summit of Bull Run Hill, I was ordered to halt, and asked by a major-general, who I afterward learned was Major-General Pope, "What troops are these and where are you going?" Upon receiving the required information, was soundly berated for the movement and ordered to remain where I was. Soon after I received orders through a staff officer to advance into the timber on our right, as we then were being faced by the right flank. This officer I referred to my brigade commander, but prior to his return received peremptory orders to advance from a general whom I subsequently was informed was Major-General McDowell.
In obedience to this order I filed to the right and advanced toward the timber, and followed a road which brought me on the extreme left of the woods. I here entered the woods, and feeling my way along finally came out on the other side in an open plain. We had not advanced a hundred paces on the plain before a battery which flanked us opened, and I retired to the shelter of the woods again. I now halted the battalion and proceeded in person in search of the enemy's infantry. In this I did not succeed only so far as to hear musketry some distance on my right, which appeared to be slowly advancing toward me. Finding the Second U. S. Infantry, under the command of Major C. S. Lovell, Tenth Infantry, posted on the line of the road by which I advanced, I marched my battalion out to support his left.
The firing from our right now rapidly approached, and soon two lines of the rebels appeared at a short distance immediately in our front. A well-directed fire was now opened upon them from our whole line, with apparently a most destructive effect, and sustained at intervals as often as the enemy appeared. It was at this point my battalion suffered its principal loss. Suspecting all the time we were being flanked, I sent to our left just before we opened fire, but could learn nothing.
About 7 p. m., finding the Second Infantry were retiring, I did so like-wise, and had hardly gone back 100 paces when, my left wing becoming exposed in an open plain, the enemy opened a brisk fire upon us from a battery, but without any known effect, as I immediately marched by a flank under the shelter of the timber. While doing so my line was cut and several companies badly scattered by a regiment of volunteers, who, in spite of the best efforts of myself and officers, could not be