War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0060 Chapter LXIII. MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

MARCH 9, 1862.-Skirmish at Sangster's Station, Va.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, First Maryland Infantry (Confederate).

MARCH 12, 1862.

GENERAL: On Sunday, March 9, by your order, I, with a detail from the First Maryland Regiment, relieved Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, of the Thirteenth Virginia, at outpost Numbers 2. Immediately upon reaching the post I began to place the men under my command upon the line theretofore established. I posted thirty-four men of Company I, Lieutenant Mitchell, at Mrs. Butler's house on the east of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad; forty-eight riflemen of Company F, Lieutenant Hough, at the post to the right of Ford's house and left of the railroad; twenty-eight riflemen of Companies A and B, Lieutenant Shellman and Costello, at the church on the hill to the left of Ford's house, and thirty-six men of Company H, Captain Murray, at the reserve. Having reported before to General Steuart, commanding outposts, the extreme weakness of the position in consequence of the inability of the sentinel on the right flank to see an approaching enemy, who would be masked by intervening hills until within fifty yards of the line of sentinels, which rendered the right flank liable at any time to be turned and the enemy to get in the rear of the reserve before being observed, I had obtained his permission to charge the line to protect us from this danger as far as possible, which, however, would only be partial. I started to go to outsentinel to select a position for a picket, when I met Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, who had just brought in his men from the church, who told me some cavalry vedettes had just passed, and informed him that they had been driven in from my front by the enemy, who was advancing in force. I instantly ordered the sentinels to be drawn in, and while doing so his flankers and line of skirmishers appeared within a short distance of where I then was. I then hastened to F Company, and ordered Lieutenant Hough to fall back to the road, behind Ford's house, leading to the railroad to protect my rear, sent by courier to Lieutenants Shellman and Costello to bring their men in, having before by courier ordered Captain Murray up to the rear of Ford's house, which order was not received by him, and I sent again, ordering him up. When I rode up on the hill toward the church a regiment in line of battle was advancing up the hollow from Sangster's Cross-Roads, a company of cavalry was charging on F Company, which was retiring in disorder across an open field in the direction I had ordered, and another company of cavalry was sweeping around the hill toward the church. Lieutenants Shellman and Costello brought their men down to the hollow behind Ford's houses, where I united them with Captain Murray's, and being then informed that a large body of infantry were moving down the railroad between me and my first post, I moved rapidly in that direction, when the cavalry appeared directly between me and the road to the railroad. I gave them a volley, which drove them back, and gained the timber, and then by the road through it, got to Lieutenant Mitchell's post. Just below it was Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, who had on leaving told me he would hold that position to keep open communication with our rear. I then deployed H Company as skirmishers along the line of the railroad to the right, in front of Lieutenant Mitchell's original post. He formed my men on the left of it, while Lieutenant-Colonel Walker held a position on the right. Here we remained for some time, until Lieutenant-Colonel Walker