Newspaper Page Text
To the Editor of The Sunday News:
Believing that the readers of The
Sunday News will feel an interest in
the events'that led up to the battle
of Manassas, I write this:
In July 1861, four regiments of
South Carolina troops were camped
at Fairfax--the 2nd, Col. J. B. Ker
shaw; the 3rd, Col. - -Williams;
the 7th, Col. T. G. Bacon; the 8th
Col. Cash. These constituted 'Gen.
M. L. Bonham's brigade, the first
brigade formed in Virginia.
We spent most of our time drill
Ing. We hardly had time to cook our
ratlons. In the morning afluad drill,
Cimpany dr-illI, skirmishi dri, bat
talion drill, regi ment (rill, brigade
drill. in the evening brigade dril,
regi men t drill, batalion drill, ski rm
isIa ll. coimny dil. If there were
any other kinds of drills we had 'Cm.
On the morning of the 16t]h, the
long roll beat ; the enemy were ad
vancing, our plikets were being driv
en in. Part of my company were
picket, they came runnling in, out of
brehh. They had been doing the
double qiuick for two miles. We fell
back on Centerville, then to Bull Run.
Here we formed line of battle on the
south side of the Run, at 'Mitchell's
Ford, about three miles north of Ma
nassas junction. At once we began
digging trenches along the bank of
the creek. We worked (lay and night;
the ground was hard and tools were
searce. The enemy hu11rrie( us up by
throwing shells in our line for four
days from a battery they had up the
read towards Centerville. Col. Bacon
climbed a high tree an(d from it lie
could see the smoke of the cannon be
fore we could hear the sound, then lie
would call "Look out!" and into the
trench everybody jumiped.
On the 18th, at Blackburn's Ford,
on our right, (en. T.ongstreet had
quite a little fight with a force of
ederals about equal in number to
his own brigade. Tic enemy seem
ed to be feeling their way across the
Rupi, yet they never tested Mitchell's
Ford which was on the main road
from Centerville to Manassas, about
halfway between the two.
On Saturday, the 20th, between
sundown and dark, Col. Bacon or
dered Capt. John S. Hard to take his
company (F) to the north side of
the Run, to do picket duty. Fording
the creek we marched about half a
mile in the direction of the enemy
and filed left into a field of clover.
Here we halted, and half the com
pany was detailed for videt duty,
foir men to a post. The other half
was held in reserve, in the real', un
der the hill.
The first group of four was taken
from the left of the company, these
being the smallest men, mere boys in
fact, and posted nearest to the main
road to Centerville. This group of
four were Benjamin Sharpton, Jas.
Cadle, Smithfield Radford, and Callo
way K. Hender'son. Orders were giv
en us that two should stand wvatch
w"hile twvo slep~t in the clover, and a
fine soft bed it wvas.
We had relieved each other a fewv
times, and it was perhap~s after mid
night, when an officer i'ode up from
the irear, who proved to be Capt.
Samuel AlcGowan, a special aid on
Glen. Bonhiam's staff. I was awake
whlen lie came up and lie asked if
anything was going on.
"Nothing," I replied, "except that
the enemy are moving up the cireek
to our' left."
"liowv do you knt.y that ?" lie ask
"We hear thie wheels of waogons
atid ar'til lery rolling over thle rocks
in the road. Wait a little and you
At this moment lhe dismounted,
aind, leaving his horse with us, lhe
went for'war'd a little wvay, and~ lis
tenedl. We could see lhm lut his
hands to his ears. Present lie came
black in a hiurty.
"'H as this bieen repor'tedi to (Gen.
hlonhami or Ghen. Bleauregard ?"
''No, sir; we were forbiiiddenl to
leave our' 1pos, and no offleer or
other person hias visited us till now."'
"I ae not110 your i'companiy ofileirs
gone the toutnds of the pi('ke(ts?"'
'"'heiy have not beeni 'eret'
Country bofys only flve wee'ks fro:n:
thle iplow, we wete too new and too
areen to know the( imiportancee of
w"hat we dlidi know. A little later' in
the wvar any one of w"ould have gone
oni thle run withi the niews, orders o!
'"it is v'ery imupor'tant that Glen.
Beauregar'd should know this at
once." Saying this, Capt. .Mc~owan
hastily mounted and rode away.
WVe continued to relieve each othi
er till day. and just at sunrise (lie
complany deployed as skirmishers
and moved forward through the
woods. Arriving at the north side
of the woods . we beheld the columns
of theenemny in full view still march
lng up the Run. A wonderful
sight to us g.reen boys, fresh from
the cotton filds of Carolna, ....r.
L[ Of MNASSAS
these ranks of men In blue flowing
like a river, their thousands of bayo
nets flashing back the sunlight like
A company coming to relieve us,
we marched back and took our Iliac
es in the trenches, and in a little
while the battle of Alanassas began,
and what followed the world knows.
The enemy gave way near sun
down, and we pursued them into the
night. Near Uenterville we were
ordered back to the trenches at AlIt-'
che's Ford, where we got a full
night's sleep. But OUr spleidfid op
portunity for taking Washington was
I had often wondered whether
Gen. Deauregard knew of this move
of the 01enmy before Capt. McGowan
learned of it from us boys, and after
waiting 30 years I wrote to Gen. Me
(owan and asked him. As a reply
he published lmy letter in tle Abbe
viile Press and Banner, and said:
"The story is true in every palrtic
u!ar, except that it is not the whole
truth. Capt. McGowan did report the
facts to Gen Bonham, Who then
sa-nt Capt. .lc(;owan to report to
headquarters, at .lanassas, three
mile Y distant. Capt. NlcGowan arous
0(1 Gen. Beauregard about 2 or 3
ec*oclk in the morning, (July 21,) and
gave him the news. Gen. Beauregardl
then sent Capt. McGowan to Gen.
Jackson, at M.\cean's Ford, and (en.
Jackson sent him on to arouse Col.
Walker, of the New Orleans artillery.
When Capt. McGowan. on his return,
reached Mitchell's Ford, the sun was
just rising and the fIrst gun of the bat
tie of Alanassas was fire(."
Gen. .lcGowan ad(led that he had
often reflected how much the work
o'. these faithful young videttes, far
in front of the battle line, cont ribIt
cd to o4r first great success on the
plains of Manassas.
It may be well to sate here that
Capt. McGowan, a'fterwards colondl
of the i. th S. C. Voluiiteers, caie
into command of his brigade at the
death of Gen. M1axcy Gregg, who was
killed in the battle of Fredericksburg,
December 13, 1862. 'McGowan's bri
gade was one of the finest brigades
that South Carolina ever sent to bat
t!e. After the war Gen. McGowan was
honored by his state In many ways,
he was many years a member of the
State Supreme 'Court, and he was con
sidered one of the best judges that ev
ci served the State.
It may be of interest to know what
became of my boy comrades, the
videttes. James Cadle was killed at
Gettysburg; Benjamin Sharpton was
killed at Second Cold Harbor; Smith
fleld Radford died soon after the war
or sickness contracted In the army;
Calloway Kirksey Ienderson lives toe
write this letter on his 71st birthday,
with best wishes for The Sunday
C. K. Henderson.
Alken, S. C.
e ee..e e eeee . *e . e
* Honor Roll of Watts MfIll School *
00****.ee ee *****ee ee..*
First Grade: Gladys Afoore, Nora
Landers, Howard Landers, Louise
Mlontjoy, Owens B~obo, Ethel Brownhee,
Mforris Page, Lofton Holsbrook, Mlay
Pucket, Lilly Jones, Nora Spoon, Mla
bel Snoddy, Paul Gosnell, Furman
Kelly, M\ary Tinsley.
Second Grade: Jay Clarke, Kirk
Taylor, Edwiln Thomas, Paul Thomas,
Roy Page, Samuel C'ollIer, Roy Alc
D~owell, .larion Pulley, Earl Camp
bell, Roy Gwiln, TJhad PrIce, Sam
iSnoddy, Mlaud lirownlec, Chlora Flhem
Ing, Idla PrIce, OlIe Pilce, LilliIan
ThlirdI Gradle: Roy Mlimmns, (hrace
Fouthl Grde: Marie Gosnell, Clyde
Golight ly, Andrella lc'ee, Gladys
Tumlin, Emmet JTessie, H er-man TPay
lor-, Charlie Weeks.
FIfth Grade: Bulb Oxnier.
SI. ixth Orade : Na nn I Lee Snlodd~y,
Seven thi irad(I: Ilorace (Ioligh tly,
Elthel CVolIIi-. Pa 11110Cn a ik.,
(.0* -NF, 'jI
Dvi - o e o.,"r t:
N o E h t wtn B a Whertiau, col etions oigned by-aolegae
Was Skrs Pal Be ac Sknmbrfthe luiled Shectoriss andSaeofouh(rln,
free-h older rd Da in .k Cola
isrolia akngr aneeto.n
.. Coutding te n West unsn frst las an \ swayso
DAVS-R PE Co.H
Nowsowin aot cletin said new up-aito-date
as., Skres, Palmed Beach Skits, "S lk Shirtosof Waits andit
a rbe f wth thmente onty Coarsd
Davlic-Rdpo rein Iher c o.- Cun ,f , dels
ta in held Lo th 1frt la oune, the I lwaovystate eas, I lela
C Only asi lecors asl eturn r n e
keal Estate Bargains ~ ~theeea eletions shage' alowed :iS F OMO
on, west Main Stre at a* bargiaainskin for oe antctan n h o~"e"i
DtH Couo t aee a balo of voting a 3 mll tax up- t. S. alley & Soa s and kailey aros.,
S. R. od urens .e l g, lo at t o r tv nil "ibe ,""fo Schoo l i str Plaiffs. n e1samt
barid andstiontofouses,,athe5abovefotate;;;case, I'will-sell at
200 he ome placeofusteese sha i eprt rlisna
an mani upr ngeent o f edca- re
acres ofialef s well improve d od, o peroal rrt3' fodaainad~ sc adrn thleahor
nea reeneiptsasoabeapics ad ne foloin (esr, w
dwelig a d uth uss e~llic~iinc p ure, e to t:s ntr
Hos ems.to M s n a C.V~s t oe Al thath trchar lnt ate ine
aunwerein rusIopay KEND iBROS. s oe rlss ooddb Iatd
J. S. Machen Sec'y.-Trea. *iUndertaers and Embamerma. Hid
quicksale.l thsere any mills ax r a dight *In .Adir I. .1 . ir an
MaeRs reoi ++e4+<.ttractieLARN,.C.ad, ayr ,
The 2 in I Shine Brings the Smile of Satisfactioni Quick. Brilliant,1
Lasting. In the 'ai LOpening" Box. AM.NA
THR F. P. DALLgY'0O@.,Li*,,# NUFFALO, N.Y., HAMILTON, CAN. IO eGA