Thursday, July 21, 2011

5:30 pm: Attempt to bag up the Union from Blackburn Ford

Blackburn Ford
The final action of the battle took place where it began July 18, with Longstreet at Blackburn Ford. As he and Bonham prepared to attack Richardson outside of Centreville and cut off a third of what had been McDowell’s army, a report came that a massive Union attack was about to be unleashed at Union Mills Ford.
I denounced the report as absurd, claimed to know a retreat, such as was before me, and ordered that the batteries open fire, when Major Whiting of General Johnston’s staff, raising in his stirrups said, “In the name of General Johnston I order that the batteries shall not open.”
Furiously, Longstreet confronted Whiting, demanding to know if the order was directly from Johnston, and when he found it wasn’t, refusing to obey. Bonham rode up and took Whiting’s side, ending the matter as Longstreet’s superior officer. But he let Longstreet stay in position, even while returning his own brigade to Bull Run. Longstreet’s hopes were not realized and at 10:00 pm, when it was fully dark, he gave up.

Key to People and Sources

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