Capt. John Ashford, 38th NC.

      Account of Captain John Ashford, Thirty-eight North Carolina Troops, of operations July 29-August 30, 1862, including the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia.

       Sir:   I will give you a short history of the Thirty-eighth Regiment of North Carolina Troops from July 29 to August 30, 1862.

       The regiment left Camp Randolph near Richmond on July 29 and marched to Richmond, thence by rail to Gordonsville on the morning of July 30, where we bivouacked until the next morning. We then marched some two miles where we bivouacked for two days and nights. We then marched some five miles southeast of Gordonsville where we remained in camp until the evening of August 6, when we received orders to cook three days’ rations and be ready to march by daylight next morning.

       We took up the line of march about 8 o’clock on the morning of August 7 [and] arrived at Orange Court-House on the night of August 7, where we bivouacked until the morning of August 9. We then marched in the direction of Culpeper Court-House and encountered the enemy at Cedar Run, completely routing them, taking several prisoners. Our loss was four wounded, none killed or taken prisoner. We slept on the advance line during the night (Saturday).

       Sunday morning we fell back some six miles, where we bivouacked for two nights and a day. We then fell back five miles south of Orange Court-House, where we bivouacked until about August 18.

       We then marched I the direction of the Rappahannock and lay under heavy artillery fire on Sunday, August 24, late Sunday evening, while Lieutenant-General [James] Longstreet made a feint attack, when we marched up the river some ten miles and crossed at Hinson’s Mills.

       [We] reached Manassas Junction on the morning of August 27, attacked the enemy and drove them across Bull Run. We slept at the Junction (Manassas) until 2 o’clock that night, then marched to Centreville [and] remained at Centreville until about 10 o’clock Thursday, August 28.

       We then marched to Manassas Plains but were not engaged during the day, though we were ordered to attack them, but they were driven from the field before we could reach it. We slept upon the field Thursday night; [we] marched forward some half-mile Friday morning, where we remained until 2 o’clock, when we attacked the enemy and put them to flight. Our loss was on killed, some twenty wounded.

       We then fell back, where we remained until 12 o’clock Saturday morning when we were ordered forward to attack the enemy who had engaged a portion of the Light Division on our right, where I received a wound from a shell and was forced to leave the regiment.

       Yours truly,

Captain, Commanding Thirty-eighth Regiment
North Carolina Troops.

       Killed and Wounded at Cedar Run, August 9, 1862:

                  Company A – Wounded, Thomas J. Armstrong, Thomas Kennedy.
                  Company I – Wounded, Private Thomas [S.] Costner.
                  James F. Landing, Company A, wounded accidentally whole on picket.

[From William James Hoke Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]

       Hewett, Janet B., Trudeau, Noah Andre, Suderow, Bryce, A., eds., Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Part 1 – Reports, Volume 2, Serial No. 2., Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1994, 711-713.

       Transcribed by Michael Block.

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