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Re: June 18, 1861 Vienna, VA
In Response To: Re: June 18, 1861 Vienna, VA ()

There are several articles on the fight. One official report states one South Carolina Regiment. All notes I can find state it was the 1st South Carolina.

I found the article you posted ...published June 21, 1861, from the New York Times archives.


Published: June 21, 1861


On further examination, the alarm of last night can be traced to no substantial source, and the butchery of the Ohio men was incurred apparently without adequate object. The Ohio men are not under good discipline, and Col. McCOOKE, an excellent officer, found difficulty in rallying them after the first round of grape. Owing to this, he could not charge on the gun or guns which had been fired, and could obtain no accurate information as to the number of men defending them. Some of the Ohio men pretend to say that there were 800 South Carolinians present, subsequently reinforced by 600 Virginians from Falls Church. It is added, moreover, that the Palmettoans had two flank companies of picked negroes, armed with muskets and sabre-bayonets-these sable soldiers acting as servants and pack-horses in time of peace, and as soldiers whenever fighting is the business immediately on hand. These stories, I may add, are not confirmed by any evidence; and there are many of the more incredulous order, who maintain that there never was any larger rebel force near the train than fifty Virginians, using a single field piece under cover of the woods. I confess that the weight of evidence at present would seem to be in favor of this theory.

The doctors of the Ohio Regiment bad forgotten their instruments, and so the poor wounded men lay until about 4 o'clock this morning, having been wounded at 4 yesterday afternoon, without medical attendance. Finally, Drs. SMITH, [???] and NOLAN, of the Sixty-ninth, got to work [???], and several severe amputations were [???] with great skill and promptness-one man dying, however, from loss of blood just before reaching the temporary hospital of the Sixty-ninth, erected under the shade of a large chestnut tree. The Ohio doctors explain the matter, I believe, by saying that their instruments were carried away accidentally on the car sent back to Alexandria with news of the attack. On this point there are various versions current, so I only state the facts, leaving the matter to be properly investigated in due course.

The Sixty-ninth marched three miles up the railroad this morning, having been on their feet all last night; and just now (5 1/2 P.M.) the welcome order has reached them to return to camp at Fort Corcoran. This pretty substantial evidence that Gen. MODOWELL does not agree with Brig.-Gen. SCHENCK (Ohio State Militia) as, to the formidable nature of this attack. There are how four thousand men at the railroad track-or rather, there were half an hour ago; the probabilities being that all will be ordered back for to-night, leaving only the ordinary pickets and companies to guard the bridges.

Every thing is peaceful here-the country naturally fertile, but wretchedly farmed.

The Regiment is this moment taking up its line of march to return. If anything of further interest should happen, I will manage either to writer or telegraphs. H.


Published: June 19, 1861

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, June 18.

The following dispatch was received in this city at a late hour last night by telegraph, from the Telegraphic camp:

To Lieut.-Gen. Scott:

I left camp with 668 rank and file and 29 field and company officers, in pursuance of General MCDOWELL's orders to go upon this expedition with the available force of one of my regiments. The regiment selected was the First Ohio Volunteers. I left two companies, Company I and Company H, in the aggregate 135 men at the crossing of the road. I sent Lieut.-Col. PARROTT, with two companies of one hundred and seventeen men to Falls Church, and to patrol the woods in that direction. I stationed two companies, Company D and Company F, one hundred and thirty men, to guard the railroad and the bridge between the crossing and Vienna. I then proceeded slowly to Vienna with four companies, Company E, Capt. PADDOCK; Company C, Lieut. WOOPWARD, (afterwards joined by Capt. PEASE;) Company G, Capt. BAILEY; and Company H, Capt. HAZLETT -- total, two hundred and seventy-five men. On turning the curve slowly, within one-quarter of a mile from Vienna, were fired upon by raking masked batteries, of I think three guns, with shells, round-shot and grape, killing and wounding the men on the platform and in the cars, before the train could be stopped. When the train stopped the engine could not, on account of damage to some part of the running machinery, draw the train out of the fire. The engine being in the rear, we left the cars and retired to the right and left of the train through the woods. Finding that the enemy's batteries were sustained by what appeared about a regiment of infantry and cavalry, which force we have since understood to have been some fifteen hundred South Carolinians, we fell back along the railroad, throwing out skirmishers on both flanks, and this was about 7 P.M. Thus we retired slowly, bearing off our wounded five miles to this point, which we reached at 10 o'clock.

The following is a list of the casualties:

Capt. HAZLETT's Company, H -- Two known to be killed, three wounded, live missing.

Capt. BAILEY's Company, G -- Three killed, two wounded, two missing.

Capt. PADDOCK's Company. E -- One officer slightly wounded.

Company C -- Capt. PEASE, and two missing.

The Engineer, when the men left the cars, instead of retiring slowly, as I ordered, detached his engine; with one passenger car, from the rest of the disabled train, and abandoned us, running to Alexandria, and we have heard nothing from him since. Thus we were deprived of a rallying point, and of all means of conveying the wounded, who had to be carried on litters and in blankets. We wait here holding the road for reinforcements. The enemy did not pursue.

I have ascertained that the enemy's force at Fairfax Court House, four miles from Vienna, is now about, four thousand.

When all the enemy's batteries opened upon us Major HUGHEY was at his station on the foremost platform car. Col. MCCOOK was with me in one of the passenger cars. Both these officers, with others of the commissioned officers, and many of the men, behaved most coolly under this galling the, which we could not return, and from batteries which we could not flank or turn, from the nature of the ground. The approach to Vienna is through a deep cut in the railway. In leaving the cars and before they could rally, many of my men lost their haversacks or blankets, but brought of all their muskets, except it may be a few that were destroyed by the enemy's first fire, or lost with the killed. (Signed,) ROBERT C. SCHENCK,


Accounts from Arlington to-day say that Gen. SCHENCK is now there, and that the attack was from troops from Centreville, with, it is confidently thought, no ulterior object.

David Upton

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June 18, 1861 Vienna, VA
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