Chronological History of the American Civil War

P a g e | 74

every morning. The men are put of the breastworks and the worthless in the guard house. The latter are generally given up to owners so soon as called for. I am worn out by the War & presence of troops day & night. The rattle of Army Wagons, tramping of horses, and presence of common soldiers; with Evil Counsel upon our colored people is unendurable, as if we could help it.” Friday, August 29, 1862 : In Virginia, in what would now be called the Second Manassas or Second Bull Run, the fighting continued with neither side gaining a clear advantage over the other. Again, only the night darkness stopped the fighting. Near Bolivar, Tennessee, Col. Frank C. Armstrong (CSA) was leading a Confederate force of 3,000 cavalry towards Bolivar. He was conducting a raid into West Tennessee. When they were 5 miles from Bolivar, the Confederates came into contact with a Union force of 900 cavalry, commanded by Col. Mortimer Leggett, (U.S.) on the Van Buren Road. During the fight, Leggett spotted a Confederate force coming to the area. Even though he knew, he was outnumbered, Leggett decided to stay and fight. Both sides had reinforcements come and bolster their numbers. The battle would last for 7 hours. Leggett had thought that he was the victor of the battle, since he held the ground at the end of the fight. Armstrong thought that he had won the battle. The federals suffered 5 killed, 18 wounded and 64 missing. The confederates suffered 71 casualties. Armstrong (CSA) then bypasses Bolivar and heads north toward Medon, Tennessee, near Jackson. Saturday, August 30, 1862 : The fighting at Bull Run continued for a third day. Stonewall Jackson’s (CSA) men started to run out of ammunition. Jackson responded to this by ordering an all-or-nothing counterattack. The attack would either win or lose the battle for Jackson. It worked and Pope (U.S.) had to withdraw his forces and ordered a withdrawal to Washington, D.C.. The South lost about 8,500 men killed and wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run, while the North lost 12,000 men killed, wounded or taken prisoner. In Bolivar, the Federals drew back at nightfall and prepared for a renewed attack the next day. Sunday, August 31, 1862 : Colonel Frank C. Armstrong (CSA) (pictured) and his 3,300 cavalry troops

were on a mission along the Mississippi and Tennessee Central Railroad to harass the enemy, stir-up the Federal detachments, interdict and disrupt the enemy's supply line. After a 7 hour battle near Bolivar, he leads his men northward to Medon. Just as he was preparing for a fight at the depot there, Union reinforcements arrived by train. Believing he couldn't defeat the Union garrison without a major battle, Armstrong drew off to the west of Medon Station and camped that night on the Casey Savage farm. ( Casey Savage, was my great, great grandfather, but in another division acting as a lieutenant in the Confederacy.) In a dispatch to his boss, General Price Armstrong (CSA)

seems to suggest that his mission has been accomplished. . . . “I have crossed the Hatchie [river]; passed between Jackson and Bolivar; destroyed the bridges and one mile of trestle work between the two places, holding for more than thirty hours the road.” Meanwhile in Virginia, Lee (CSA) was pushing General Pope’s (U.S.) army back toward Washington. They were now within 25 miles of the Capital. Monday, September 1, 1862 : Colonel Elisa S. Dennis' (U.S.) command had set out along the most direct route to Medon, a fourteen-foot wide, dusty country lane named for the wealthy farmer Thomas Britton, who owned property along the road. Dennis expected no battle until he reached Medon. Armstrong anticipated no fight at all; the advanced guard of both elements ran into each other where the Steam Mill Ferry Road intersects Collins Road and Britton's Lane, today. A four hour battle began that still have scholars questioning the results. The Confederate cavalry had clearly and decisively driven the Federals from their position, captured their artillery, and had many of them demoralized and looking for an end to the fight. Armstrong believed, he was being drawn into a trap, and decided to not pursue the Federals and broke off the fighting not wanting to add more to his Confederates lost of 100 men killed in action (as compared to Federal casualties of 8 killed, approximately 50 wounded and more than 50 captured). Since leaving Holly Springs, Mississippi, they had marched some 300 miles in less than ten days, fought two battles and three skirmishes, and took 350-400 prisoners. In Virginia, “The Second Battle of Bull Run” ended when sections from both sides clashed at Ox Hill. They came across one

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter