Susan Bradford Eppes. – Joy! Joy!! There has been a great victory for our side. Yesterday the Battle of Manassas was fought in Virginia and it was a complete victory for the Confederates. Our army chased the Yankees almost to Washington city. – read more: Through Some Eventful Years.
Mary Boykin Chesnut. – Mrs. Davis came in so softly that I did not know she was here until she leaned over me and said: “A great battle has been fought. Joe Johnston led the right wing, and Beauregard the left wing of the army. Your husband is all right. Wade Hampton is wounded. Colonel Johnston of the Legion killed; so are Colonel Bee and Colonel Bartow. Kirby Smith is wounded or killed.” – A Diary from Dixie.
John B. Jones. – Both Col. B. and I were in a passion this morning upon finding that the papers had published a dispatch from their own agent at Manassas, stating that the President did not arrive upon the field until the victory was won; and therefore did not participate in the battle at all. – read more: A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital.
Judith White McQuire. – They are evidently deserters. They only concur in one statement—that there was a battle yesterday. – read more: Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War.
Jane Eliza Woolsey. – We were all undressed, but waited with anxiety till the sound approached nearer and nearer; but made up our minds not to rush down and buy one, as it might be a hoax—till at last a tremendous howl of three boys through 10th street gave us the news of a “great battle at Bull’s Run.” “Rebels defeated! Batteries all taken!” – read more: Letters of a Family During the War for the Union.
Dora Richards Miller. – What a day! I feel like one who has been out in a high wind, and cannot get my breath. The news-boys are still shouting with their extras, “Battle of Bull’s Run! List of the killed! Battle of Manassas! List of the wounded!” Tender-hearted Mrs. F. was sobbing so she could not serve the tea; but nobody cared for tea. “O G.!” she said, “three thousand of our own, dear Southern boys are lying out there.” – read more: War Diary of a Union Woman in the South.
Rutherford B. Hayes. – Just received news of a dreadful defeat at Manassas, or beyond Centreville. General McDowell’s column pushed on after some successes, were met apparently by fresh troops, checked, driven back, utterly routed! What a calamity! – read more: Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes.
Horatio Nelson Taft. – The two RI, the NH 2nd, the 71st NY, and the NY 27th are here again, having lost at least 1/4 of their numbers. The Ellsworth Zuaves are all cut to pieces, only about 250 left out of 1100. My nephew Saml Androus of the Michigan 1st is said to be killed. That Regt suffered terribly. – read more: Diary of a Clerk in the U. S. Patent Office.
Abby Howland Woolsey. – At noon we got the first extra with the despatch announcing the defeat and retreat of our troops—defeat, because retreat, or vice versa, whichever it was. It is a total rout of our grand army of the Union. All guns gone, etc.; but the saddest is the vast number of wounded and half dead. I have no doubt your hands are full, at some one of the hospitals. – read more: Letters of a Family During the War for the Union.
William Howard Russell. – I awoke from a deep sleep this morning, about six o’clock. The rain was falling in torrents and beat with a dull, thudding sound on the leads outside my window; but, louder than all, came a strange sound, as if of the tread of men, a confused tramp and splashing, and a murmuring of voices. I got up and ran to the front room, the windows of which looked on the street, and there, to my intense surprise, I saw a steady stream of men covered with mud, soaked through with rain, who were pouring irregularly, without any semblance of order, up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol. A dense stream of vapour rose from the multitude; but looking closely at the men, I perceived they belonged to different regiments, New Yorkers, Michiganders, Rhode Islanders, Massachusetters, Minnesotians, mingled pellmell together. – read more: My Diary North and South.