Today in History:

21 Series I Volume XII-I Serial 15 - Second Manassas Part I


on my extreme left, and General Taylor's reserve brigade entering the woods, the fighting continued with great severity continuously along the timber in front of our position. A Mississippi regiment, charging with yells upon Buell's battery, was gallantly met with a bayonet charge by the Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania, under cover of which the battery was withdrawn. A Louisiana regiment of Taylor's brigade, undertaking a charge upon Dilger's battery, was received with a fire of canister and grape, delivered with such precision and rapidity as nearly destroyed it.

Every attempt of the enemy of emerge from the cover of the woods was repulsed by artillery and counter-attacks of infantry, and his loss at this portion of the field, inflicted especially by artillery, was very great. On our part the loss was heavy the Eighth New York alone losing 46 killed and 134 wounded.* One of my aides-de-camp, Captain Nicolai Dunka, a capable and brave officer, was killed by a musketball while carrying an order to this part of the field. Colonel Gilsa, of the Forty-first New York, Captain Miser, and Lieutenant Brandenstein, of General Blenker's staff, were severely wounded.

The enemy's movement in the bringing up of artillery and fresh troops threatening entirely to envelop my left, a new position was taken at the edge of the timber on the line B, and the enemy reoccupied the belt of woods lost by them at the beginning. Up to this point the musketry and artillery fire had been incessant and the fighting throughout the field generally severe. Farther to the right our artillery, under the immediate direction of Colonel Pilsen, had been hotly engaged with the batteries of the enemy's center. Milroy and Cluseret were opposed to Generals Elzey and Early, commanding the enemy's right and center. Our own center, under Cluseret, after an ineffectual attempt upon the enemy's batteries, had held obstinately every foot of its advanced ground, repelling with steadiness and gallantry repeated assaults of the enemy. General Milroy had been warmly engaged driving in a strong line of the enemy's skirmishers, attacking their main body at close quarters, and suffering severely in an attempt to plant a battery upon the heights. Upon the extreme right General Schenck, in support of Milroy, had advanced his line, extending it into contact with the enemy, occupying them with skirmishers, shelling the woods, and checking their advance in flank.

Notwithstanding the fair promise held out to an effort on the right, I judged it best at this point to re-establish my whole line in conformity to the change on the left preparatory to a renewal of the battle. Accordingly the brigades of the right were withdrawn for a space, and, except from a portion of Cluseret's strong position at the center and occasional exchanges of artillery shots, the firing subsided, the enemy meantime remaining in his position and our pickets occupying securely the points temporarily relinquished by the main line.

Pending these preparations I received from the hands of one of my scouts the following letter from General Shields:

LURAY, June 8-9.30 a. m.

Major-General FREMONT,

Commanding pursuing Forces:

I write by your scout. I think by this time there will be twelve pieces of artillery opposite Jackson's train at Port Republic, if he has taken that route. Some cavalry and artillery have pushed on the Waynesborough to burn the bridge. I hope to have two brigades at Port Republic to-day. I follow myself with two other brigades to-


* But see revised statement, pp. 664, 665.