Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/73

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Second Battle of Manassas—Reply to General Longstreet.

had reported their position to General Lee, and he sent word "you are just where I wanted you—stay there." Now, as to official facts to substantiate the above, the following official report of Colonel S. D. Lee, made to Colonel R. H. Chilton, General Lee's Adjutant-General, is offered. This report was made to General Lee, because Colonel Lee commanded a battalion of reserve artillery, reporting directly to General Lee, and in no way connected with either Generals Longstreet or Jackson, both of whom had their own artillery with their respective commands. The report reads thus, and is copied freely, as it gives an artillerist's description of ground, distances, &c.:

Headquarters Battalion of Light Artillery,
Camp near Winchester, Va., October 2, 1862.

Lieutenant-Colonel R. H. Chilton, Adjutant-General, A. N. V.:

Colonel—I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the battalion of artillery under my command in the battle of Manassas Plains, August 30, 1862.

The battalion received orders on the evening of the 29th near Thoroughfare Gap to march to the front during the night, and after a tedious march, encamped about dawn on the morning of the 30th on the pike leading from Gainesville to Stone bridge, and about two miles from Gainesville. Soon after daylight, I found that our bivouac was on the battle field of the previous evening, and near an advanced division on picket. The enemy showing every disposition to attack us, upon consultation with Brigadier-General J. B. Hood, and at his suggestion I placed my batteries (four) on a commanding ridge immediately to his left and rear. In the general line of battle this ridge was about the center; Jackson's corps being immediately on my left and Longstreet's on my right. It was an admirable ridge of over a quarter of a mile, generally over-looking the ground in front of it for two thousand yards. This ground was occupied by several farms, with corn-fields, orchards, fences, &c., making it much desired by the enemy for their skirmishers, the ground being quite undulating. Opposite the left of the ridge, and distant about one thousand three hundred yards, was a strip of timber with quite a fall of ground behind it. Between this strip and General Jackson's right (along an old railroad excavation) was an open field.


During the morning the enemy had massed his infantry behind the timber before mentioned, with a view to turn our left, and about 4 P. M. marched from out these woods in heavy lines of attack on General Jackson's position. The left of the ridge was held by Eubank's battery of four smooth bores, who opened on the enemy as soon as he discerned their advance. At the same time I shifted to his assistance with two howitzers of Parker's battery, two of