Facts and Events
The following provided by Bob Mitchell:
Dear Pa, It is with pleasure I write you again, after a great and desperate battle, which you have heard of before this reaches you. I do not intend writing the whole particulars which would take up pages to give a historical description. On the17th inst. The enemy marched on us at Fairfax Court House, which place we retreated from without firing a gun. We halted at Centerville (six miles from the above named place) a short while, finding out the enemys scheme, which was to surround us. We proceeded to Bull Run four miles from Centerville, arriving there just at the dawn of day where we met other troops. The enemy, still marching on, came in sight and commenced a bombardment at twelve oclock, which lasted some time without success; they advanced nearer and began a fire which was promptly returned by our side from the Washington Artillery, from New Orleans. The infantry trying to surround us on the left was met by out troops and was repulsed with a tolerable loss, losing three pieces of Artillery, which we got, also a quantity of muskets, and we only had 27 killed and wounded - the loss of the enemy was not ascertained. We then throwed up breastworks on the bank of the creek and lay in them until Sunday the 21st when they began a cannonading early in the morning on the right and left wings some three miles apart. About one oclock we were ordered out of our entrenchments, for the left wing where there was continual fire of musketry. We marched on in double quick time, many falling out of ranks from fatigue. We formed on the ring wing of the enemy and marched through a thicket; on arriving near an opening we received a desperate fire from the enemy on a fence side which was returned by our men promptly, which took considerable effect. We remained there for some time, the balls falling as thick as hail stones in our midst. The enemy began a retreat about a half hour after we arrived and was kept up by Kershaws Regiment and ours following them with Kempers Battery, taking many prisoners and fifty-five pieces of Artillery, a hundred or two of baggage wagons, and several hundred stacks of guns of different kinds. We pressed them so close that they even throwed down their blankets, haversacks which contained their provisions, some of their coats and cartridge boxes. Quite a number of horses also, with many other valuable things such as ammunition, provisions, cooking utensils etc. Our gains was a considerable amount but will be exaggerated or has been already by some of the papers which put it down at Five Millions of dollars. I do not think it will over go one million, though I am a bad hand to make estimation of such articles. President Davis in his speech after he returned to Richmond said the property taken was more than the amount carried in the Field by the Southern troops. Uncle Ben (Benjamin Alexander Jackson) sent home a record of one of the Sergeants in Lincolns Army from the time he left home up to the 18th inst., which gives some account of the troops engaged or the troops that marched on us - this he picked up on the battle field. There are (10) ten of the US. Your son, H. A. Jackson.