Richmond Dispatch September 13, 1861

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Richmond Dispatch September 13, 1861


Confederate positions on Munson and Upton Hills.


A very detailed account of the Confederate positions near Falls Church. The correspondent discusses the strength of the Confederate defenses and the possibility of Union General McClellan attacking. Also discusses the possibility of the Confederates attacking Arlington Heights.


Richmond Dispatch


September 13, 1861


Public Domain

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Major Terrill's Official Report of Skirmishes near Alexandria
Fairfax Station, Army of the Potomac, August 31, 1861

To Col. A I. Mill, Commanding Thirteenth Regiment Virginia Volunteers: Colonel :—l have the honor to submit the following report of an engagement with the Federal troops in the vicinity of Bailey's Cross Roads: On Sunday morning, August 25th, at 2 o'clock. A. M.. I received from brigade head quarters an order from General A. Elzey, to take four companies of the Thirteenth Infantry;, accompanied by a section of Beckham's battery, to be commanded by Captain Beckham in person, the entire force to be under my command, and proceed to Anondale and there join Col. J.E.B. Stuart, of the First Cavalry, who would give me farther instructions. Upon arriving at Anondale I joined Col. Stuart with his cavalry, who conducted my command, composed and officered as follows; Company A, Capt. Nalle; 1st Lieut. Cullen*. Company B 1st Lieut. Stark Company D, 1st Lieut. Winston commanding. Lieut. Byrd, 3rd Lieut. Hibbs. Company G, Capt.Hill,
And one section of Beckham's battery, commanded by Capt. Beckham in person, to "Mason's Hill," an eminence six miles from Alexandria, commanding a view of the Federal Capitol and all the principal points along the Potomac. Almost immediately upon our arrival, a considerable force of Federal infantry and cavalry made their appearance in the road, about a quarter of a mile from the base of the hill. Col. Stuart directed me to attack them, and if possible cut off their retreat. I immediately proceeded with company G, Capt. Hill commanding. Not being familiar with the topography of the country, we unavoidably allowed ourselves to be discovered when within a few hundred yards of the enemy; the cavalry immediately fell back, the infantry retired to the woods. I ordered the company under my command to charge them on their right flank, which was promptly obeyed, ending in the loss of three killed and one prisoner on the side- of the enemy.

About three A. M. the following day my pickets were attacked—one horse shot in the knee being the only damage sustained on our aide. At daylight the enemy opened a heavy fire upon my front and left flank. I immediately caused Captain Hill's company to be deployed as skirmishers at the base of the hill, with orders not to tire until the nearer approach of the enemy. A few sharp-shooters posted in the woods succeeded in killing several of the enemy, who, failing to ascertain our strength by drawing out my command, retired.

About four P. M. the same day I attacked, with company B, "Culpeper Minute Men), Lieut. Starke commanding, a company of U. S. infantry, who were routed after heavy firing on both sides, with considerable loss, on the part of the Federals. The enemy appeared greatly confused and astonished at the position we had taken, being almost surrounded by their camps. On Tuesday morning my entire command was relieved, and with two additional companies of the 1st Maryland Regiment, commanded by Major B. J. Johnson, the entire force commanded by Col. J. E. B. Stuart, advanced ou Munson's hill, which was occupied by Federal troops, the attack on which as well as on Upton's hill, still further in advance, was a complete success. The field officer of the day on the Federal side and a number of men were killed—six prisoners were taken. East ot Upton's hill, near the Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad, whilst patrolling with a detachment of ten men from company I, 1st Maryland Regiment, commanded by Lt. Mitchell, I was attacked by about sixty of the enemy, who were under cover of the woods. By the first volley- delivered, Lieut. Mitchell was severely wounded and private Fountaine killed by my side. I took the dead man's piece, and directed the rest of the party to fall upon the bank of the road and avail themselves of the cover of a few stunted bushes, from which position we retained their fire with great effect. The firing was kept up until the enemy were compelled to cease in order to bear off their dead and wounded. Nothing except the coolness of the men under my command prevented the entire detachment from being killed or captured. Colonel Stuart, coming up at the close of the action, directed me to have the wounded conveyed to Falls Church. In my absence, he made an attach with our entire force upon the enemy, who had been largely reinforced, routing them after a desperate. fight, killing a large number. Colonel Stuart then ordered the entire command back to Munson's hill, where we were kept active night and day to hold the position.

The killed and wounded of this command are as follows: Company A. —Killed— Private Robinson; wounded —Private Sizer, thigh amputated. Company G. Corporal Arnold, mortally wounded; Private Hardigan, slightly wounded.

I cannot close this report without expressing to you my extreme gratification at the gallant ami soldier-like conduct of every officer and private of the command. Constantly exposed to the lire of a superior force, without rations, lying out in a drenching rain without blankets "or covering of any kind, they performed the most arduous and critical duties in a manner that argues well for the success of our cause. With great respect, your ob't serv't,

J. Barbour Terrill, Major 13th Infantry Va. Volunteers.
To Col. A. P. Hill, Commanding 13th Infantry .



“Richmond Dispatch September 13, 1861,” Mapping the Civil War in Arlington, accessed June 15, 2024,

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