Today in History:

191 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


no more firing that I heard of after it got into the road. The detachment of the battery which was with the gun stood at their posts, and, had the gun not run off, they would have had it ready for action as soon as it entered the road. This, sir, is my recollection of the affair, and I respectfully submit it to your consideration.


Captain Third Company of Howitzers.

General J. B. MAGRUDER.

Numbers 3. Report of Captain William Collins, C. S. Army.

CAMP HOOD, VA., July 7, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to an order received from you, I have the honor to report the skirmish of the 5th instant, in which I was engaged, and the circumstances of the retreat of the cavalry under my command.

On the evening of the 4th instant I, in company with Captain Stanard, visited the quarters of Colonel Dreux, and informed him that we had received information that a squad or foraging party of the enemy had advanced up as far as Captain Smith's that day, and that they were in the habit of visiting that point daily, and Colonel Dreux then informed us that the had received the same information, and intended to go out that night and try and capture a party of them, and that he desired that I should accompany him with a detachment of twenty of my command, and that the would also take along Captain Stanard and one of his howitzers, and also a detachment of twenty from four companies of infantry.

About 12 o'clock at night the above force marched from Young's Mills, under the command Colonel Dreux. We marched down below the farm of Pembroke Jones, and turned in at the house of a man maned Curtis, at which place we had expected, from information received, that we would, perhaps, find the squad above spoken of quartered. Finding no one, we marched back to the main road, from which point Colonel Dreux sent down, in the direction of Newport News, three of my command, in company with a men named Fitchett as guide, to ascertain if there were any troops approaching, at which time Colonel Dreux marched his men up the road, towards Lee's store, and after having traveled about a half a mile, we arrived opposite a small woods road, running at right angles into the main road, at which point we were halted. The cavalry was then ordered down this woods road seventy-five yards, and directed to form in column of fours, facing the main road, in readiness to charge. The howitzer was then placed in the same road, about ten paces in front of the cavalry. The infantry was then stationed on the right and left of this road, along the side of the main road. At this time the vedettes, that had been sent down the road towards Newport News, returned and reported that the enemy was approaching, about a mile off, and that they covered a distance of two hundred yards of the road, of which he could see, and how much farther their column extended he did not know. Colonel Dreux then sent a detachment of five or six of the infantry down the road to act as scouts, and to conceal themselves in the bushes, and to report the approach of the enemy; and they were ordered to keep themselves concealed, and not to fire until the command was give, at which time the infantry and howitzer would fire simultaneously, immediately after which time the cavalry