Monday, July 18, 2011

1861 July 18

My dear little Nannie:
It is eight o’clock at Night
and after standing at the Post Office for nearly
an hour awaiting the opening of a detained mail
to get a letter from you I learned that it would
not be ready for delivery under two hours & determined
to come home & write to you at once with nothing
to communicate save the fact that about four
thousand of our troops were attacked this mor-
-ning at eight o’clock by a large Yankee force
estimated at from 20,000 to 40,000 at Bulls Run which
is quite a large fordable Creek three & a half miles
from this place – Our men repulsed them three times
during the day & now both forces are camped within
about a mile & a half of each other – All I can
gather is not satisfactorily definite to me but leads
me to believe that our loss in killed & wounded does
not exceed 75 & it is thought that the loss of the
enemy will reach from 150 to 300 men in killed &
wounded – We took some 15 or 20 prisoners who
with our wounded are in this camp to night.

[page 2]
Bulls Run is almost a second Saragossa in
topography with our troops stationed here & there
on this side of it for several miles – I suppose
we will have daily engagements for several days
& if at last the enemy does crop all that
is necessary for their demolition will be for
our forces to fall back to this place where
we are ready to meet & whip (in my
humble opinion) 100,000 of them – The troops
were all ordered forward this morning from
here except one regiment & the men con-
-nected with the Batteries – My men & I
were all day in readiness at my Battery
that commands the Centreville road, on which
the fight occurred & we could distinctly see
the flash, & smoke & hear the roar of Artillery –
John Williams has volunteered to fight in my
detachment & could scarcely be held at his
post when the fight was progressing in our
view – Our Army here is confident of ultimate
complete victory & Richmond ought to be
willing to trust it rather than suffer from
the consternation that I hear prevails there

[page 3]
I understand that Col Moon of Richmond
is slightly wounded & that one Captain of
the New Orleans Artillery was killed – All
the Lynchburg boys were present at the fight
except Lathams Battery which is stationed
with Genl Cocke four or five miles above
on Bulls Run – I have not heard that any
of them were either killed or wounded –

Please don’t make statements from
this as coming from me for the reason that
I have not taken the pains to gather full
& correct details –

Give my love to all my friends
& connexions & write as often as you can
to my address as of the Naval Batteries
at Manassas Junction
Your own

Confederate artillery captain William King of Lynchburg, Va., to his wife Annie K. Leftwich King.

Battle of Blackburn's Ford, Virginia

MSS 6682

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