1862 August 31 Centreville, Va.

[from the diary of Samuel Johnson, 1st Massachusetts Independent Light Battery]

                        Aug 31st
Lay in the stream all day of the 25th.  On the
26th the steammer Herald, took us in tow
and started for Aquia Creek.  Passed Fort
Monroe.  On the 27thwe entered the
Potomac, again arrived at Aquia Creek at
three P. M;  from this place we were ordered to Alexandria,
where we dropped our anchor at six P. M.  To day
the 1st N. J. brigade of our div. (who had arrived
here before the remainder of the div. and had been
pushed on to Manassas.) had an engagement with
a vastly superior force at the Junction, and
after an obstinate fight were badly whipped.
Gen Taylor lost a leg, and soon after died from
his wound.  On the 28ththe remainder of the div.
arrived and disembarked, and at [ 2?] P. M we
were once more encamped out side of the city.
Gen Pope who has fallen back from the
Rapidan has made a stand at Manassas and
if all thing continue as they commenced, we will
doubtless annihilate the rebs this time.  At. 9. A. M
the next morning we hitched up (the 29th) and
started to reinforce Gen Pope:  arrived at
Annandale at noon where we went into position
and remained for the night.  Harnessed up at
8. A. M on the next morning, and were soon
after on the move again.  Passed through the
village of Fairfax Ct. House;  at noon we
halted for a rest, at three P. M we again
started on, passed through Centreville and
kept on for the battle field, upon which we
arrived just in time to witness another
disgraceful retreat, fortunately in time to prevent
prevent a perfect panic.  Our forces had again,
owing to the mismanagement of Mc Dowell,
and Porter, been defeated on this fatal
field, when victory and the capture of the rebel
Army of Va. was in our grasp.  The army
fell back to Centreville, and encamped
in a confused mob.  Sunday the 31st the
army was got in order and into position,
and a new line of battle was formed.  The
sick, wounded, and all the trains are being
sent to Washington and Alexandria.  Our
battery took a position in a fort which
the rebs built when they occupied this place.
In the evening were relieved by battery A.
Md. Artillery.  Cool and unpleasant.
[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 8493

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