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letter by James Vanderhoef, July 21, 1861
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Letter by James W. Vanderhoef, July 21, 1861

First Bull Run

Transcription of letter written by James W. Vanderhoef, from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, who fought in the Union Army from 1861 through 1865. Please note spelling variations and errors are his.

"July 21 61
Bull Run

Commenced March 2 oclock Sunday morning March till about 10 o clock when we saw the enemy commenced fighting and fought until 4 o Clock when we was forced to retreat. leaving all our dead and most of our wounded behind and God only knows how they will fare

PS Left [HQ?] and Tuesday 2 o clock marched 10 miles that night and encamped (Fort? Beaureguard) 71 Regt flag floating over it next day marched on Fairfax with roads obstructed with trees fence rails etc routing the enemy from there they burnt bales of blankets left arms knopsacks watches and burgnt? camp we camped there all night Wednesday night Thursday marched about two miles and encamped until they--deleted) rested until 4 pm hearing? of a fight at Sentervill (Centreville) we marched force march double quick half of the time something like 6 miles we heard that the enemy had retreated and fell back to the junction we then encamp (all night, all day Friday & night awaiting orders-deleted) being some two miles from Centrevill remained there until Sunday morning 2 am when we again took up line of march through Centervill found every thing quiet at that place, we continued our march endevoring to flank the enemies batteries some three or 4 miles above Bulls run, when we came on the enemy some 1 or two from the latter place when we commenced fighting it being about 10 o clock Sunday morning and stood a raking fire of infantry and cannon for 20 minutes before our Regt receaved any support when the rhode Island Regt came up and we gave the secession rebells fitts, advancing and silencing their batteries several times, but was at last compelled to retreat leaving our dead and most of our wounded on the field and what has become of them we cant say we have a great many killed & wounded including some of our officers"

Citation - Document 29
Letters of Captain James W. Vanderhoef
July 21, 1861
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection

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