Series 1, Volume 2, p. 160-161
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Martinsburg, Va., July 6, 1861.
SIR: I telegraphed my intention to cross the Potomac on the 1st instant. I now have the honor to report my movements since that date. I left Hagerstown on the afternoon of the 30th ultimo, the earliest day my command could take the field in a proper condition for active service, intending the following morning to enter Virginia with two columns at Dam No. 4 and Williamsport, to be united the same day at Hainesville, the known location of the rebels. Owing to the danger and difficulty attending the fording at Dam No. 4, I placed all the force at Williamsport. My order of march for the 2d instant is given in the accompanying circular.
The advance crossed the Potomac at 4 a m., all taking the main road to Martinsburg, with the exception of Negley’s brigade, which, about one mile from the ford, diverged to the right, to meet the enemy should he come from Hedgesville, to guard our right, and to rejoin at Hainesville. About five miles from the ford the skirmishers in front and on the flank suddenly became engaged with the enemy, posted in a clump of trees. At the same time their main force appeared in front, sheltered by fences, timber and houses. Abercrombie immediately deployed his regiments (First Wisconsin and Eleventh Pennsylvania) on each side of the road, placed Hudson’s section, supported by the First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry, in the road, and advanced to the attack against a warm fire before him. The enemy, being supported by artillery, resisted for twenty-five minutes with much determination. Lieutenant Hudson after getting into position soon silenced their guns.
In the mean time Thomas brigade rapidly advanced, and deployed to the left to turn the right flank of the enemy. The enemy, seeing this movement, and being pressed by Abercrombie, retired, hotly pursued for four miles by artillery and infantry. The cavalry could not be employed, on account of numerous fences and walls crossing the country.
In the enemy’s camp were found camp equipage, provisions, grain, &c. This brush was highly creditable to our arms, winning as we did the day against a foe superior in number to those engaged on our side. They were well posted, sheltered by timber, and sustained by artillery and cavalry. Our men advanced over open ground against a warm fire of artillery and infantry. I present the reports of Colonels Abercrombie and Thomas and Lieutenants Perkins and Hudson, and take much pleasure in bearing testimony as an eye-witness to the admirable manner in which their commands were handled and their commendations earned.
I also bear testimony to efficient service in posting portions of the troops and conducting them to the front and into action rendered by the members of my staff present on the field of battle - Col. F. J. Porter, Capt. John Newton, and Lieutenant Babcock, and Majors Price and Biddle - who were employed conveying orders; also Surgeon Tripler in attention to the wounded.
The loss of the enemy was over sixty killed. The number of wounded cannot be ascertained, as a large number were carried off the field.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major- General, Commanding.
Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Army, Washington City.
Series 1, Volume 2, p. 179-186
Report of Capt. James H. Simpson, TA S. Topographical Engineers.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Martinsburg, Va., July 4, 1861.
MAJOR: I have to report that the column under General Patterson crossed the Potomac from Williamsport into Virginia on the morning of the 2d, and encamped the same night at Hainesville, on Hoke’s Run, twelve miles distant. The main column, under General Patterson, consisting of probably three-fourths of the command, took the most direct route. The balance of the command, under the command of General Negley, and which I accompanied, took a more circuitous route, the object being to sweep the whole country. We met the enemy on both routes, but they could not withstand the force of our array, and, after exchanging some shots, fled precipitately. The next morning we started for this city, which we reached yesterday before noon, our entry being of the most gallant character, and the citizens generally receiving us with cheers of gratulations and sweet smiles of approbation. The enemy in a small body is posted, or were yesterday, about two and one- half miles from us on the Winchester road, but they will not be permitted to remain there long. To-day our train has gone to Williamsport to obtain supplies. The main body of the enemy is represented as being intrenched about seven miles from us on the Winchester road. They are variously estimated by the citizens of the country from 7,000 to 20,000 strong. We probably are about 10,000 strong.
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. SIMPSON,
Captain, Topographical Engineers.
Maj. HARTMAN BACHE,
Comdg. Corps Topographical Engineers, Washington, D. C.
Report of Col. George H. Thomas, Second U. S. Cavalry.
HDQRS. 1ST BRIG., 1ST DIV., PATTERSONS COLUMN,
Camp near Martinsburg, Va., July 3, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the First Brigade, under my command, in the encounter with the enemy on the 2d instant. About one mile in advance of Falling Waters, on the road from Williamsport, Md., to Martinsburg, Va., Colonel Abercrombie, in command of the leading brigade, was met by the enemy, who had taken a position in a body of timber, and opposed his advance with much determination, using both artillery and infantry. My brigade being the next, I brought it into line on the left of the road, one section of Perkins’ Battery being thrown forward, supported by the Twenty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers (Colonel Dare), completely outflanking the enemy’s right. After a few discharges from the artillery the enemy retreated, hotly pursued both by Abercrombie’s Brigade on the right of the road, and mine on the left, for more than three miles. The Twenty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers (Colonel Ballier) deployed as skirmishers, supported by the Sixth, Colonel Kagle, passed over their camp, which had been abandoned in much disorder and haste.
The artillery, supported by the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, advanced along the road, until halted by the general’s orders, and my brigade went into camp upon part of the ground previously occupied by the enemy on Hoke’s Run. Two companies of the Second Cavalry, Captains Whiting and Royall, were held in reserve, as I hoped that I might have an opportunity of charging the enemy after the retreat commenced; but no such opportunity was offered, on account of the broken and wooded nature of the country over which we had to operate.
There were no casualties in my brigade. One hundred and fifty tents were found in the enemy’s camps and destroyed; also a large quantity of forage, as we had no means of transporting either. It gives me much pleasure to say that the troops behaved with the utmost coolness and precision during the engagement. I herewith submit reports of Captains Perkins and Hudson, in command of separate sections of artillery.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS, Colonel Second Cavalry, Commanding First Brigade.
Maj. F. J. PORTER,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Department of Pennsylvania.
Report of Lieut. D. D. Perkins, Fourth U. S. Artillery.
CAMP NEAR MARTINSBURG, VA., July 4, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of my operations in the affair of the 2d instant. My battery of light artillery, Company F, of the Fourth Regiment, U. S. Army, having been assigned by sections to the different columns, I remained with the center section (Lieutenant Martin’s), composed of two 6-pounder guns. A few miles after crossing the Potomac firing commenced on the right, with Colonel Abercrombie’s brigade, and by direction of Col. George H. Thomas, commanding brigade to which I had been assigned, I proceeded as rapidly as possible to the front, and took position in a wheat field on the left of the main road. Here, not finding any occasion to place my guns in battery, I passed on, inclining to the right through several fields, up to a thick wood, which afforded cover for a body of the enemy’s skirmishers. With the assistance of Colonel Dare and Colonel Ballier, commanding regiments, in support, this place was soon cleared, and I moved along the edge of the wood, when, by direction of Colonel Thomas, who visited my section at that time, I struck into the main road, and continued in it thereafter.
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,
D. D. PERKINS,
First Lieut. Fourth Artillery, Comdg. Co. F, Fourth Artillery.
Col. G. H. THOMAS, Commanding First Brigade.
Report of Maj. Gen. W. H. Keim, Pennsylvania Militia.
SECOND DIVISION HEADQUARTERS,
Camp Brown, Martinsburg, Va., July 8, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you the reports of the First Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, Col. John C. Starkweather, and the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Col. P. Jarrett, received through Col. 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 Abcrcrombie, 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.
Col. J. J. Abercrombie, commanding the brigade, deserves great credit for the skill and the masterly manner in which he handled the troops. I beg you will report him favorably to the War Department. The presence of the commanding general, Maj. Gen. 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.
The loss on the part of the enemy was large, estimated from 60 to 80 killed and a large number wounded. Our loss, 2 killed; 13 wounded; 1 missing.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
W. H. KEIM,
Major-General, Comdg. Second Div. Pennsylvania Vols.
Col. F. J. PORTER, Department of Pennsylvania.
Report of Col. J. J. Abercrombie, Seventh U. S. Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH BRIGADE, July 8, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose the reports of Colonels Starkweather and Jarrett, of the First Wisconsin and Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiments, relative to the combat of the 2d of this month. The troops composing the Sixth Brigade, including Captain McMullin’s Rangers, acquitted themselves with much credit, both to officers and men. Captain Hudson’s section of the Light Battery, and the City Troop, under Captain James, aided materially in driving the enemy from the field.
With trifling exceptions, much praise is due the Pennsylvania Eleventh, Colonel Jarrett, and Wisconsin First, Colonel Starkweather. The colonels of these regiments displayed great coolness and activity in getting and maintaining their positions in line to the close of the conflict.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. J. ABERCROMBIE, Col. Seventh Infantry, Comdg. Sixth Brig. Volunteer Militia.
Maj. FITZ-JOHN PORTER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters Department Pennsylvania.
Report of Col. John C. Starkweather, First Wisconsin Infantry.
HDQRS. 1ST REGT. WIS. VOLS., 2D DIV., 6TH BRIG.,
Martinsburg, Va., July 4, 1861.
DEAR SIR: I have the honor of reporting for your information and that of the War Department, that on the 2d day of July, 1861, when en route for Martinsburg, within a short distance of Hoke’s Run, at about 10 o’clock a. m. of that day, First Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers being in advance of the column’s main body, I detailed Company B, Capt. H. A. Mitchell, to deploy to the right and left of the road as skirmishers in advance of the column, being sustained on the road by the cavalry. After such deployment had been made and an advance forward of about a quarter of a mile, firing was heard in continued long volleys from a large body of the enemy’s troops, which was well replied to by Company B and McMullin’s Rangers. The strength of the enemy being too great, however, for the skirmishers engaged, I deployed Company A, Capt. George B. Bingham, to their assistance, and. kept them all in position, doing great execution, until ordered to fall back slowly, so as to allow the artillery to work more effectually, who had in the mean time been placed in position on the right. The companies rallied upon the center, and fell back slowly and in perfect order, keeping up their firing upon the enemy, and after reaching the head of column I deployed the whole right wing, Companies A, B, C, D, and E, assisted by Company F, of left wing, upon the enemy’s left front as skirmishers, sending at the same time the balance of the regiment by companies to the front by the road. The skirmishers, sustained by the left four companies, turned the right flank of the enemy, and with the assistance of the artillery, drove the enemy’s right flank in, and routed them from the woods. The whole regiment was then rallied on the color company, and deployed immediately to the front and in advance of the column as skirmishers, sustaining such position until a halt was made by the whole column. My regiment was most handsomely sustained in the outset by the artillery and Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment Volunteers, Colonel Jarrett, and afterwards by them and other troops in the column.
The field officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, Major Lane, and Adjutant Poole, are entitled from me to great praise for their promptness and great efficiency in the skirmish. Officers and men all behaved with the utmost bravery, and are entitled to great credit as raw troops.
The casualties consist in the death of Private George Drake, of Company A; Sergeant W. M. Graham, Company B, dangerously wounded, being shot in three separate places; Color Sergeant Fred. Hutching, wounded in the leg, belongs to Company E, color company; Privates William Matthews, P. O. Pummer, and Henry Young, of Company G, wounded; first two in the legs, other in the head; and Sol. Wyse, of Company K, taken prisoner by the enemy’s cavalry on the extreme right of skirmishers, when deployed to the front, just as a halt was ordered and a rally being made on the center.
I have the honor to be, yours, to command,
JOHN C. STARKWEATHER,
Colonel, Comdg. First Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers.
Colonel ABERCROMBIE, Commanding Brigade.
Report of Col. P. Jarrett, Eleventh Pennsylvania Infantry.
HDQRS. ELEVENTH PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS,
Camp near Martinsburg, July 3, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by my command in the engagement of yesterday morning. The regiment being formed in the woods to the right of the turnpike, I detached Companies A, B, and C as skirmishers, with a view of outflanking the enemy, whose cavalry were making a demonstration in that direction, and moved forward, maintaining a fire against the enemy, who retired as I advanced until I reached the point where I rejoined the left of the regiment. The loss in this part of the command was one wounded. At the same time the remainder of the regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Coulter, was advanced by him in line (Companies D and E being extended upon the right as skirmishers), with a view of turning the enemy’s guns upon the road. In this manner he moved forward upon the open ground for about one mile, keeping up a very brisk fire with the enemy until the woods to the right of their guns were reached, from which, however, their guns had by that time been removed. The loss in this part of the command was one killed and eight wounded. Then, closing in my line, I reunited the regiment, and there being no occasion for further operations in that direction, rejoined the remainder of the brigade upon the road.
The officers and men behaved well, and it affords me pleasure to say that each one performed his duty to my entire satisfaction. I am also happy to state that Lieutenant-Colonel Coulter and Major Earnest deserve much credit for the able manner in which they brought their command into action.
Colonel, Comdg. Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Col. J. J. ABERCROMBIE,
Commanding Sixth Brigade Volunteers.
Report of Capt. Edward McK. Hudson, Fourteenth U. S. Infantry.
CAMP NEAR MARTINSBURG, VIRGINIA, July 4, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report the operations of the first section, one 12-pounder howitzer and one 6-pounder gun, of Light Company F, Fourth Artillery, under my command on the 2d instant.
The section was attached to Colonel Abercrombie’s brigade, and crossed the Potomac in rear of the advanced infantry about 4.15 a. m. After proceeding some four miles along the road, the infantry being deployed to the right and left, a sharp fire opened upon our right wing from a thick wood. I brought my pieces into battery on high ground to the right of the road, and threw a few rounds of shell and shrapnel into the edge of the wood and at a house near by, from the garden of which some of the rebel fire seemed to proceed. The infantry were at the same time pouring a well-sustained fire into the wood, from which the enemy soon retreated. My section then advanced with the brigade, and was placed in position at several commanding points on either side of the road. Nothing, however, occurred until in the immediate neighborhood of Hainesville. I was advancing on a narrow part of the road in column of pieces, when a company of some seventy-five of the rebels, whom I, from their gray uniform, at first took for Wisconsin troops, opened a very hot fire at the distance of some three hundred yards. I brought my howitzer into battery, and dispersed them with a single canister. At that moment two guns opened fire upon me from a point beyond and some distance to the left.
By this time my 6-pounder was ready for action, and two or three rounds from each piece silenced the fire of the rebel battery. After advancing a short distance beyond the village I was directed to halt, as already the place selected for camp was passed.
During the whole day, the First City Troop, Captain James, accompanied, supported, and protected my section.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient, servant,
EDW. MCK. HUDSON,
Captain, Commanding Section.
Capt. D. D. PERKINS, Captain, Commanding Battery.
Report of Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Johnston, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS, DARKESVILLE, July 4, 1861.
GENERAL: I respectfully transmit herewith Colonel Jackson’s report of his operations, including those of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart’s Cavalry, on the 2d and 3d instants. This report gives most satisfactory evidence of the skill of these two officers and the efficiency of the troops under their command. Each of these two officers has, since the commencement of hostilities, been exercising the command corresponding to the next grade above the commission he holds, and proved himself fully competent to such command. I therefore respectfully recommend that Colonel Jackson be promoted without delay to the grade of brigadier-general, and Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart to that of colonel.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Brigadier General, C. S. Army.
General COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
Report of Col. T. J. Jackson, C. S. Army, Commanding First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE,
Darkesville, July 3, 1861.
COLONEL: About 7 ½ a. m. yesterday I received a note at Camp Stephens from Lieut. Col. J. E. B. Stuart, of the Virginia Cavalry, to the effect that the Federal troops were four and one-half miles in advance. Having received instructions from you not to fall back unless the enemy were in force, but having assured myself of his being in force to retire under cover of our cavalry, I immediately ordered forward Colonel Harper’s regiment and Captain Pendleton’s battery, and gave the necessary instructions for moving the baggage to the rear should it be necessary, and for advancing other regiments should it be desirable; Colonel Gordon being instructed to guard the baggage. After advancing a short distance I left three pieces of the battery. On reaching the vicinity of Falling Waters I found Federal troops in the position indicated by Colonel Stuart. I directed Colonel Harper to deploy two of his companies, under command of Major Baylor, to the right. The enemy soon advanced, also deployed, and opened their fire, which was returned by our skirmishers with such effect as to force those of the enemy back on their reserve. From a house and barn which we took possession of an apparently deadly fire was poured on the advancing foe until our position was being turned, when, in obedience to my instructions, Colonel Harper gradually fell back. Soon the enemy opened with his artillery, which Captain Pendleton, after occupying a good position in rear and waiting until the advance sufficiently crowded the road in front, replied to with a solid shot, which entirely cleared the road in front. Having ordered the quartermaster, Maj. John A. Harman, to move the baggage to the rear, as I had satisfied myself that the enemy were in force, and that my orders required me to retire, I continued to fall back, checking the Federal forces, who were advancing through the fields in line and through the woods as skirmishers, endeavoring to outflank me, by means of our deployed troops and an occasional fire from the gun. Colonel Allen’s regiment, and also Colonel Preston’s, in obedience to orders from me, advanced to support Colonel Harper, if necessary, and once Colonel Allen’s took a position for the purpose of checking the advance, but it was not brought into action, as my purposes were accomplished without it.
Previous to my arrival at the position where the skirmishing commenced, Colonel Stuart, leaving Captain White with his company to watch the enemy, had with the rest of his command moved forward for the purpose of turning the right flank of the enemy, and if practicable capturing his advance. Fearing lest Colonel Stuart should be cut off I sent a message to him that I would make a stand about one and a half miles in advance of Martinsburg, where I requested him to join me. Soon after I had posted my infantry and artillery Colonel Stuart joined me. The enemy halted at Camp Stephens for the night. Leaving Colonel Stuart in advance of Martinsburg, I encamped two and a half miles this side, at Big Spring, where I remained until I received your order this morning to join you at this place. Only one regiment and one piece of artillery of my command were brought into action.
Colonel Harper reports:
I carried but three hundred and eighty men of my regiment into the fight, of whom eleven are wounded and nine are missing; several are believed to have been left dead upon the ground. The enemy’s loss was much greater. One of my skirmishing companies, in its advance upon the orchard upon the left of the road, found eight dead bodies of the enemy. The fire upon the advancing line of the enemy in our front was also quite effective. A field officer was seen to fall from his horse, and one of my field officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Harman, in charge of the companies at the house and barn, reports that he saw as many as fourteen men carried to the rear in blankets.
Colonel Stuart reports his capture of an entire company (the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers), with the exception of the captain. Three, resisting, were killed. He farther reports that “one of the enemy was killed by a negro of Captain Carter’s and one of Captain Patrick’s company.” The following is his list of prisoners: Forty-three privates, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers; one second lieutenant, one surgeon, one (position not known), but all of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers; one private First Wisconsin Volunteers; two privates Second U. S. Cavalry, mounted and equipped; making a total of forty-nine. He reports one wounded and two missing. The enemy, he states, entered Martinsburg at 12 m. to-day.
Colonel Stuart and his command merit high praise, and I may here remark that he has exhibited those qualities which are calculated to make him eminent in his arm of the service. He speaks of Messrs. Swan and Brien, citizens of Maryland, deserving, as usual, great credit.
Among the reasons which induced me to advance on the enemy may be mentioned a desire to capture him should his strength not exceed a few hundred, and should he appear in force, to hold him in check until the baggage wagons should be loaded and move in column to tile rear. Great credit is due to the officers and men for the admirable manner in which they discharged their respective duties.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
T. J. JACKSON Colonel, Virginia Volunteers, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. E. K. SMITH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, C. S. Army.
The engagement near Martinsburg!
July 8, 1861
Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
The engagement near Martinsburg!
Buckler's Town, Berkeley Co., Va., July 3d, 1861.
The firing was pretty brisk for ten or fifteen minutes. The enemy moved forward in good style, and did some execution in our ranks; but, so far as our officers could judge, and as stated by prisoners, the loss on the side of the United States men far exceeded ours. We lost three men killed and had about six or eight slightly wounded. None of our officers were hurt, though they were all at their posts, and displayed throughout great coolness and courage. Col. Harper and Lieut. Col. Harman were where their duty called them, in command of the main body, and succeeded in driving back the main body of the enemy — acting not unworthily of men who had seen service in Mexico. Major Baylor, who was at the head of the troops first engaged, nobly sustained the character ascribed to him by the men whom he formerly commanded as Colonel. The 6-pounder was fired six times, and is supposed to have done good execution. The enemy was found to be far too numerous for our forces, and were fast endeavoring to outflank and surround us; but Col. Jackson was not to be so outdone, and after doing the Yankees as much damage as was possible, drew off the troops engaged in good order. The fortunate gunners who were engaged at the guns of Captain Pendleton's Artillery, rejoined their company without loss, and the whole brigade retreated in good order, and part of the time in view of the enemy's troops, which were thrown out on the left of their main body with a view to surrounding us. We encamped three miles southward from Martinsburg last night, and fell back to this place, (three miles further,) where we have been joined by a larger force, under command of Gen. Johnston. We now hope to meet the enemy to-day or to-morrow, on ground of their own selection, if they desire it. X.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1861