War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0577 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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No. 135. Report of Colonel Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding Light Artillery Battalion, of the battle of Manassas.


Camp near Winchester, Va., October 2, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the battalion of artillery under my command in the battle of Manassas Plains, August 30:

The battalion received orders on the evening of the 29th near Thoroughfare Gap to march to the front during the night, and after a tedious march encamped about dawn on the morning of the 30th on the pike leading from Gainesville to stone bridge and about 2 miles from Gainesville. Soon after daylight I found that our bivouac was on the battle-field of the previous evening and near our advanced division on picket. The enemy showing every disposition to attack us, upon consultation with Brigadier General J. B. Hood, and at his suggestion, I placed my batteries (four) on a commanding ridge immediately to his left and rear. On the general line of battle this ridge was about the center, Jackson's corps being immediately on my left and Longstreet's on my right. It was an admirable ridge of over a quarter of a mile, generally overlooking the ground in front of for some 2,000 yards. This ground was occupied by several farms, with corn fields, orchards, fences, &c., making it much desired by the enemy for their skirmishers, being quite undulating. Opposite the top of the ridge and distant about 1,300 yards was a strip of timber with quite a fall of ground behind it. Between this strip and General Jackson's right, along an old railroad excavation, was an open field.

About 7 a.m. a regiment of the enemy's infantry made its appearance some 2,000 yards distant, when a few shots were fired from my long-range guns in position, causing them to move. This fire was responded to by three long-range batteries of the enemy. During the morning whenever the infantry of the enemy showed itself it was fired on by our guns, which fire always elicited a reply from the artillery opposed to us, doing us but little damage and resulting in driving the enemy back.

About 12 m. the enemy attempted an advance, driving in our skirmishers in a spirited manner and occupying the orchard in my front. They soon came within reach of our howitzers, when a few discharges of spherical case drove them back, and our skirmishers resumed their original position.

During the morning the enemy had massed his infantry behind the timber before mentioned with a view to turn our left, and about 4 p.m. moved from out these woods in heavy lines of attack on General Jackson's position. The left of the ridge was held by Eubank's battery of four smooth-bores, who opened on the enemy as soon as he discovered their advance. At the same time I shifted to his assistance with two howitzers of Parker's battery, two of Rhett's battery, and one of Jordan's battery, at the same time directing nine other pieces (mostly rifles) on the right of the ridge, under Captains Jordan and Taylor, to change their position, so as to fire on the enemy in flank and on the woods containing their reserves. With these eighteen guns a continuous fire was kept up on the enemy during his attack, which lasted about half an hour. His reserves moved twice out of the woods to the support of the attacking columns and twice were they repulsed by the