Aftermath of Leesburg/Ball’s Bluff

The Seventh Brigade was reinforced on Oct. 23, the day the Yankees withdrew their thousands of soldiers from the Virginia shore at Edwards Ferry.

The Second Virginia, Fifth South Carolina and Eighth Louisiana regiments came up from Manassas, as well as two companies of the Washington Artillery.

The 13th remained camped at Fort Evans, sending out companies on rotation to picket the shoreline at Edwards Ferry in case of renewed Union crossings. On the 25th, the Winston Guards were sent to tear up and burn the old enemy breastworks on the Virginia shore.

Quartermaster clerk Hill wrote in his diary on Saturday, the 26th:

“The citizens of Loudon County sent into our camp this morning a large supply of cooked provisions, including delicacies of every description. It was a very acceptable present to the Regiment after excessive fatigue of the past week and especially since rations are short at present.”

Hill, a sergeant, joined a few other officers of the brigade in crossing the river at the Bluff to Harrison’s Island, which Gen. Stone’s division had abandoned:

“I crossed to the island and went through the enemy’s old camp and from the appearances they certainly left in great haste, for large numbers of small arms, ammunition and equipment of every description were laying around. A detail of our men was gathering them up. In a house nearby we discovered a large number of amputated limbs and several unburied bodies. In back of the house was nearly 100 graves.”

Col. Evans was promoted to brigadier general, his date of rank Oct. 21st, the day of the Ball’s Bluff battle. Silverman’s biography reports that Evans’s wife, Anne Victoria, was present at Fort Evans during the battles and provided water and other aid to the wounded.

Her presence didn’t soften Evans’s mood much. On Oct. 31, Minutemen Pvt. Mike Hubbert recorded the general’s refusal to treat with the Yankees:

“A flag of truce came over this morning to search for the bodies of some of their captains who were killed on the 21st, but the request was refused by Gen. Evans. They also wanted to bring some medicine to their wounded [who had been sent on to Richmond]. Gen. Evans told them that he wanted none of their assistance.”

Three days later, the brigade moved back to their old camp at Carter’s Mill on the Oatlands Plantation. All excepting the 13th and one section (two guns) of the Richmond Howitzers. They were still picketing Edwards Ferry to prevent the enemy from crossing over from Maryland again.

Meanwhile, many of the 13th and the rest of the brigade were down sick from the hard marching and exposure to the cold and rain of the past several weeks—and the weather was about to get colder still. Much colder than they were used to in the Deep South.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Battles: Leesburg, Gen. Nathan G. Evans, Mike M. Hubbert Diary, The Winston Guards, William H. Hill Diary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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