Hillsborough (NC) Recorder
June 26, 1861
SKIRMISH—THE FEDERALISTS AGAIN ROUTED
Hancock, Esq., of Chesterfield Co., who returned to this city yesterday from
Fairfax C. H., gives us the following narrative of a skirmish which took place
on Monday evening, a few miles from that locality. Mr. H. was himself a participant in the
affair, and his statement may therefore be relied on:
Sunday morning, Col. Gregg received orders to go out on a reconnoitering
expedition. He took with him 600 South Carolinians, a company of Artillery and two
companies of cavalry. Col. Gregg went 45
miles down to the Potomac river to make
observations. They distinctly saw tents
and men on the Maryland
side. They judged there were about 300
Gregg returned to Dranesville, and marched to a place
called Vienna. Here they remained probably about an
hour—after which they started to return to Dranesville. The troops had proceeded about half a mile
when the whistle of the locomotive was heard, whereupon Col. Gregg wheeled his
column, and marched rapidly back to Vienna.
They had scarcely time to place two cannon in position when a train of
cars, consisting of six flats and a baggage car, came slowly around the curve,
pushed by a locomotive. Each flat was
crowded with armed men, whose bayonets glistened in the sun, and gave our men
an impression that a severe contest was at hand. This, however, was not realized, as the
result will show.
as the train was about to stop, the artillery fired a well-directed shot from
one of their guns, which raked the Hessians fore and aft. Consternation and dismay were distinctly
visible, and, after another fire, the enemy were seen hastily leaving the cars
and taking to the woods. The engineer
was smart enough to uncouple the locomotive and take the engine back to Alexandria, leaving the
entire train to be captured by our troops.
Col. Gregg’s infantry and cavalry pursued the fugitives a short distance
through the woods, but were unable to overtake them. A few of the party exhibited some bravery,
and endeavored, by shouts, to rally their flying comrades, but it was
impossible. They then turned and
discharged their pieces at our men without effect. Six of the enemy were left dead upon the
twelve rounds were fired by our artillery, but the enemy scattered after the
second. Neither the infantry nor cavalry
fired a shot.
troops burnt the cars and captured a considerable quantity of carpenter’s
tools, blankets, and other baggage, with about 20 muskets and a number of
fire of our artillerists was most effective.
One man was found with his hand shot completely off, another with his
arm shot off at the shoulder, and other ghastly objects proved the destructive
effect of the shots.
the engagement, Col. Gregg retired with his command to Fairfax C. H.
above is confirmed by a dispatch from D. G. Duncan, Esq., form Manassas.