Today in History:

181 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


ited my section at that time, I struck into the main road, and continued in it hereafter.

A quarter of a mile beyond the point where I entered the road, I was informed at a farm-House that a considerable force of the rebels had passed about ten minutes before. Striking into a gallop, I took my section as far ahead of its support as I dared, and halted until I could get sight of its approach. Immediately I was visited by two officers of the enemy. I went out to meet them. We brought our horses together, and shook hands quite cordially, when they asked me what company I belonged to and how far "the boys" were behind. I answered so as to allay any suspicion they might have that I was not one of their own party, and endeavored to detain them, for neither I nor my section were provided with small-arms. At first they appeared satisfied that my pieces formed a part of their own flying artillery. Suddenly they somehow discovered their error, and, bending over their horses' necks, ran away at the utmost speed. As soon as could be done in a narrow road, I put my pieces in battery and discharged some canister then some spherical case-shot, at them and their retreating friends, with what effect I do not know. I then returned to camp.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant Fourth Artillery, Commanding Co. F, Fourth Artillery.

Colonel G. H. THOMAS, Commanding First Brigade.

Numbers 5. Report of Major General W. H. Keim, Pennsylvania Militia.


Camp Brown, Martinsburg, Va., July 8, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you the reports of the First Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, Colonel John C. Starkweather, and the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel P. Jarrett, received through Colonel J. J. Abercrombie, officer commanding Sixth Brigade, Second Division, U. S. Army. The details are given so clearly, it is not necessary to dilate upon that subject.

The enemy had the advantage of position and local information. Posted so as to command the approach of the brigade under Colonel Abercrombie, they opened fire near Hoke's Run, beyond Falling Waters, six miles from Williamsport, Md. The Wisconsin regiment, in the advance, promptly responded to the attack, supported by the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, until Captain Perkins' battery was placed in position. When united, a galling fire was opened upon them. Captain McMullin's Rangers, the First City Troop, Captain James, and Colonel Thomas' command maintained a position under fire with great firmness.

Colonel J. J. Abercrombie, commanding the brigade, deserves great credit for the skill and the masterly manner in which he halted the troops. I beg you will report him favorably to the War Department. The presence of the commanding general, Major General robert Patterson, and staff, was of essential service. It infused life and spirit into the different commands. With the eye of the commander upon them, they acted bravely and with great steadiness, considering the short time of service and with inexperienced volunteers.