Manassas (Also Known As The First Battle of Bull Run)

    These pages are dedicated to the memory of all the men from North Carolina that fought in the Civil War.

    (Also Known As The First Battle of Bull Run)
    North Carolina Standard
    July 31, 1861
    Manassas, July 21, 1861 by Captain Richard W. York, 6th Regiment N.C.T
    The battle commenced on the morning with heavy cannonading on the right 
    and center by both sides, maintaining their positions.  The dull boom of the 
    cannon was distinctly heard by us as we were disembarking from the cars 
    and as soon as that was done our regiment was formed up and moved off in 
    quick time notwithstanding our weary march from Winchester and though 
    tired and exhausted, yet the terrible cannonading in the center and on the right 
    nerved every arm, brightened every eye and quickened every step.
    On we went through the dust that rose in clouds until we reached a point where 
    we filed to the left to a spring where our canteens were filled with fresh water 
    and as each company received its water, were marched to the shade and 
    allowed to lay down and rest.  As the watering operation was finished, we 
    proceeded and were halted under the cover of a hill in the rear of one of our 
    batteries and ordered to load and rest and immediately we loaded and laid 
    our weary limbs upon the grass and many fell into a doze notwithstanding 
    the battle that was raging around us; but men who had not slept for three 
    nights on a forced march could sleep any where.
    This was about 7:00 and the sun shone brightly and the cannonading 
    became more intense.  Dense clouds of smoke rose from the opposite 
    hills.  The earth shook with awful thunder and continued to wax hotter and 
    hotter when the cry rang out “Colonel Fisher we are ready”.  He replied
     “I know that”.  Suddenly his clear voice rang out “Attention”, when every 
    man sprang with new life to his place in the ranks, shouldered his musket 
    and at the command “Forward, March” we moved briskly up the hill and 
    formed in the line of battle in the rear of one of our batteries where we could 
    see distinctly the columns of smoke rising up from the enemy’s batteries on 
    the opposite hill, while the balls were whipping around us. 
    Suddenly we shifted position further to the left on a road running by a thick 
    woods and still the balls were whistling over us.  A slug from a rifle cannon 
    passed through our ranks but there was no wavering but intent on the 
    attack, you could read on every brow the stern resolve to conquer or die.
    Here we stood, resting on our arms with the wounded lying around us, and 
    ever and anon some one would breathe his last when again rang the clarion 
    voice and led by our gallant colonel, we filed through the dense, tangled 
    undergrowth and sped onward until we struck a ravine which led directly up 
    to Sherman’s battery and were halted with the two right flank companies 
    under Captains Freeland and York within forty yards of the guns and a 
    regiment of U.S. Regulars supporting them, when the command of “Fire” 
    was given when we silenced the batter at the first fire.  
    Captains Kirkland and Avery led their men around the point of a woods 
    and charged the battery and drove every man from the piece.  About this 
    time, some officers cried out to cease firing, that we were firing into our 
    own men.
    Exposed to a raking fire from the enemy and fired into by our friends, 
    Colonel Fisher ordered us to retreat which was done in some disorder, 
    owing to the cry that we were firing into our friends.  It was here that the 
    gallant Colonel Fisher fell in front of the battery, leading on his men to the 
    charge.  He was shot through the head with a ball.  May he rest in soldier’s 
    heaven; for a nobler, braver, more gallant man never lead a column to victory.  
    His orderly brought his remains to the Junction and placed them in a coffin 
    and the body was sent to North Carolina that it might sleep in the soil that 
    gave him birth and in whose defense he offered up his life.
    That portion of the regiment rallied by the gallant Lightfoot and Webb pitched 
    into the hottest part of the fight and joined in the final charge when the enemy 
    were put to flight and joined in the pursuit for several miles.
    No more gallant spirit ever strode over the field than Lt. Colonel Lightfoot and 
    Major Webb.  The remainder of the regiment under these officers fell in with 
    other regiments and fought to the last.  No regiment behaved with more bravery 
    and gallantry then did the 6th North Carolina Infantry on that memorable field.  
    Lt. Colonel Lightfoot was wounded in the calf of the leg but never stopped 
    although on foot as were all our field officers.  Captain Avery was shot in the 
    leg but never left the field.  Lieutenant W.P. Mangum was severely wounded 
    in the left side.
    Also wounded:
    Sgt. Herman Sears was badly wounded although not dangerously
    Sgt. John W. Wilder received a flesh wound in the thigh
    Pte. J.T. Morris, believed to be mortally wounded
    Pte. Jas. H. Moring, shot through the thigh and doing well
    Pte. J.D. Ausley, flesh wound in thigh
    We learn that Captain York of this county of Colonel Fisher’s Regiment, bore himself 
    with great intrepidity in the Battle of Manassas.  He “encountered the enemy within 
    ten steps of him with rifles drawn but the captain was too quick for his adversary.  
    Before the latter could pull the trigger, Capt. York shot him dead and took his rifle.  
    The rifle passed through Petersburg yesterday, destined for the Captain’s wife.”
    Capt. Freeland’s company of Col. Fisher’s Regiment fought bravely at Manassas.  
    We extract the following from a letter written by the captain to his wife on the 23rd ult.
    “I am yet alive and well and so only through the great mercies of God.  Sixteen of 
    my brave boys fell around me, dead and wounded, while storming one of the enemy’s 
    batteries.  Our brave Colonel Fisher fell near me.  The battle raged dreadfully for 
    twelve hours.  They drove us once in some disorder but we drove them at last with 
    great slaughter.  I hope never to witness such a scene again.  I have just visited 
    our wounded and could be weep over them.  Our dead are all buried.”
    North Carolina Standard
    August 7, 1861
    We have just learned that Assistant Adjutant General Riddick was in the Battle 
    of Manassas and bravely acted his part.  He was an aide to General Longstreet 
    to whose brigade the 5th and 6th North Carolina Regiments are attached.
    A portion of the wounded of Manassas were carried to Charlottesville, Virginia 
    where they have been quickly attended to.  At last accounts, there were 251 
    wounded Confederate soldiers there and 9 Yankee prisoners of war who were 
    wounded.  Eleven South Carolinians had died at the hospital and one North 
    Carolinian, J.W.Wilder, announced in our last issue.  The following North 
    Carolinians are there, wounded:  R. Brannon, back and arm; J. W. Miller, wrist, 
    not bad; Sgt. Jas. Parsons, breast, not severe; and James Redmond, leg broken, 
    severe—all members of the 6th Regiment N.C.T.
    North Carolina Standard
    October 2, 1861
    Lt. Dunnot, who was captured by the Lincoln forces at Manassas and has been 
    imprisoned at Washington, escaped on Wednesday last.
    Fayetteville Observer, Monday, August 6, 1861
    6th Regiment N.C.T
    For the gratification of those who have friends in Capt. Freeland’s Company, we are permitted to 
    publish this extract of a letter to his wife.
    Manassas Junction, July 23, 1861
    My Dear Julia:
    I am yet alive and well, and so only through the great mercies of God.  Sixteen of my brave boys 
    fell around me, dead and wounded, while storming one of the enemy’s batteries.  Our brave 
    Colonel Fisher fell near me.  The battle raged dreadfully for twelve hours. They drove us once in 
    some disorder but we drove them at last with great slaughter.  I hope never to witness such a 
    scene again.  Be of good cheer, dear Julia, for I hope the last great battle is fought and won.
    I send you a list of the dead and wounded of my company:
    Killed:  J.A. Hutchins, Robert Falkner
    Wounded:  J.E. Davis, mortally; E.W. Pickett, James Redmun, A. Glenn, A.P. Copley, James 
    Copley, William Chambley, W.P. Haley, S.B. Freeman, H. Vickers, O.W. Willett, H. Pickett, 
    Silas Hutchin, Burton Rhodes.
    I have just visited my wounded and could but weep over them.  Our dead are all buried.
    Hillsboro’ Recorder
    The following is a list of killed and wounded belonging to the 5th Infantry, N.C.S.T., Col. D.K. 
    McRae, in the action on the 21st July, 1861:
    Private James Manning, Company C, killed
    Private Wiley Garner, Company C, wounded
    Private Ruffin Richardson, Company C, wounded
    Corp. Blake Wiggins, Co. G, slightly wounded

    Transcribed by Christine Spencer May 2007

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