Today in History:

226 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 226 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

the next morning at 9 o'clock. All the trains but the two first were equally and unaccountably delayed. From daylight till 9 o'clock my utmost efforts with the telegraphed seemed to avail little or nothing. The regimental commanders, Colonels Dunning, Stanley, Morton, Smith, and Turley, were equally balked by railroad detections. Without waiting further, the twenty-five cavalry and the few of Colonel Morton's Twentieth Infantry had formed to move hon, when Captain Bond arrived at 9 a. m. with news of the escape, as before stated.

Before this I had relied with entire confidence that the line was occupied as stated in Colonel Irvine's telegraph of the 12th instant, instead of which it now appears that his troops were at West Union, eight miles west of the Red House, where the Horseshoe Run road, traveled by the rebels, intersects the Northwest pike; and it also appears by the statement of Lieutenant H. A. Myers and Angier Dobbs, of the cavalry atached to Colonel Irvine's command, that all scouts and pickets had been withdrawn, by Colonel Irvine's order, from that road early on the 13th, and the road left entirely free all night along. On this subject see Colonel Irvine's report, herewith presented.

As soon as possible after Captain Bond's arrival at Oakland, the horses were taken from Colonel Morton's baggage wagon and hitched to one of the guns, and, with the few of Colonel Morton's infantry then arrived, started in the pursuit, while I moved on with as much dispatch as possible with my aid, Captain Bond, a guided, and twenty-five cavalry. At Red House I found the gun sent to Colonel Irvine some days before, one company of his infantry, and a few prisoners captured that morning. Ordering forward all but eight of the cavalry, I stopped a few moments to gather information and make dispositions rendered necessary in consequence of the (since found to be erroneous) reports that there was a body of rebel troops yet to come up. I moved forward again with five of the cavalry, and soon overtook Colonels Irvine, Depuy, and their commands, which halted about six miles east of the Red House. A council was immediately called, including the field officers and captains of all the companies, in order to learn the actual condition of the men and all other facts that should govern the action of the command. A free interchange of facts and opinions occurred, when the facts found and opinions arrived at were, that the enemy had passed the Red House, about three thousand strong, including from three to give guns and several hundred cavalry, before 5 o'clock in the morning, the artillery covering the rear.

That the very sparse settlements along the line of the march had been and were being so stripped of provisions by the enemy that no reliance could be placed upon getting any kind of supplies in their track.

That none of the companies that marched over the night before from Oakland had any supper, and that very few, if any, in the whole command had any breakfast, and the haversacks were almost entirely empty, and wholly so with the most of the men.

There did not appear to be on an average one day's rations for the men then on the march drawn and unconsumed. For the whole but one wagon; and all there was in the way of means of transportation, provisions, camp equipage, and cooking utensils had been left in the rear and in camp.

The whole force then in the column, I think, did not exceed 1,300 men.

If the pursuit continued, the march for many miles must be over the ranges of the Alleghany Mountains, with no known possibility of citing the enemy off or attacking him in flank, even though the pursuers could overtake the pursued. The mounted scouts,

Page 226 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.