The 13th at First Manassas

Arriving on the Confederate left, after 3 p.m. Gen. Early directed his brigade into line: the 7th Virginia on the right, the 13th Mississippi in the middle, and the 7th Louisiana on the left. To their left was Col. J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry and a battery of artillery under a Lieutenant Beckman.

Early: “…a body of the enemy approached on the crest of the ridge immediately in my front, preceded by a line of skirmishers. This ridge was the one on which is situated Chinn’s house…The formation of my troops was in full view of the enemy, and his skirmishers, which were about four hundred yards in front of us, opened on my men, while forming, with long range rifles or minie muskets.”

After some initial confusion, in which an officer of an adjacent Rebel regiment on the right tried to stop them from advancing, and Early himself confused the Union flag with the new Confederate First National one, the three regiments charged up and over the ridge. They were lucky. The hardest fighting, earlier in the day, was over…

Henley of The Pettus Guards: “We soon reached the summit of a hill from which the scattered enemy could be plainly seen hurrying off as fast as their feet could carry them…the enemy’s dead lay scattered in heaps…Guns, swords, knapsacks, blankets…covered the ground for miles…”

Wallace of The Winston Guards: “They ran like turkeys…Our artillery still firing on them as they ran…We followed them about three miles and we had to stop for we were tired down. We stacked our guns and lay down without anything to eat or any blankets…”

Five of the 13th had been wounded: two seriously and one mortally. According to McLean, they were: Sergeant Major John Benjamin Daniels, slight; Pvt. George W. Gordon, of The Spartan Band, serious thigh wound; Pvt. John C. Whitten, The Kemper Legion, serious leg wound; Pvt. John D. Poole, The Lauderdale Zouaves, mortally wounded, shot through both knees; and Pvt. J. Henry Revell, The Pettus Guards, wound unspecified.

“Compared to later battles, casualties at First Bull Run had not been especially heavy. Both Union and Confederate killed, wounded, and missing were a little over one thousand seven hundred each.”—U.S. Army Center for Military History (also the source of the map).

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About Dick Stanley

Retired daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Albert Wymer Henley Diary, Battles: First Manassas, Gen. Jubal Early, Gen. William Barksdale, Jess N. McLean, The Kemper Legion, The Lauderdale Zouaves, The Pettus Guards, The Spartan Band, The Winston Guards, Thomas David Wallace Diary, William H. Hill Diary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The 13th at First Manassas

  1. Pingback: The 13th after First Manassas | 13TH MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY REGIMENT

  2. Pingback: The 13th’s part in the birth of the battle flag | 13TH MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY REGIMENT

  3. Hi,
    I’ve been researching the first battle of Manassas for over 20 years and as I’m based in Oxford, UK, I find it difficult to access information on certain regiments. Your site is an excellent source of information on the Mississippi units and would like to know when the 13th Mississippi Infantry was mustered in Confederate service and any information on the 12th movements etc prior to first Manassas would also be good.
    Thanks, Jonathan

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