Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

August 31, 2012

War diary and letters of Stephen Minot Weld

Centreville, Aug. 31, 1862.

Dear Father, — We had a severe battle at Bull Run yesterday, and were obliged to retire to this place. The retreat was conducted in good order, and without the loss of wagons, etc. General Porter’s corps did most of the fighting. Pope made a complete muddle of the whole affair and ordered us into a place where we were hit hard. I can only thank God that I got out safe. We were under a very severe fire of musketry, round shot, shell and case-shot. My horse was slightly wounded in the leg by a musket shot. If we ever reach Washington in safety, it will be more than I expect.

Pope has blundered terribly. He let Jackson get between him and Washington, destroy any number of cars and the railroad track at Manassas Junction and the telegraph. Jackson then went to Centreville, then to Bull Run. Ewell[1] is killed on the rebel side. Lee commanded the rebel centre where we attacked. Pope knows he is dead if he retreats to Washington and so he keeps us here, where the enemy may cut off our supplies. The place itself is very strong and we occupy the enemy’s old works. . . .

[1] This was a mistake. Ewell lost a leg on August 28, but was not killed.

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