Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/214

This page needs to be proofread.


210 Souflnrn J/i.xfori'rn!. Society Papers.

Magruder, one brigade (Ransom's) was sent back; but, so far as we can learn from these reports, there was no interruption to the march of the other brigades down the Charles City road, until they reached Fisher's run, within three miles of the cross roads at Glen Dale. The enemy had blocked the road for a mile with felled trees, and planted their guns on the south side of the stream, and succeeded in detaining Mahone at that point all day. A flank movement of his infantry through the woods to his right would have turned the po- sition and placed him in easy reach of General Longstreet's left. Longstreet, in his report, complains of both Generals Jackson and Huger, saying that 50,000 were in easy hearing of the battle, yet none came in to co-operate with him. "Jackson should have done more for me than he did. When he wanted me at Second Manassas I marched two columns by night to clear the way at Thoroughfare Gap, and joined him in due season. ' ' We have seen why General Magruder did not reach him, and no blame can attach to that commander. That Franklin was able to hold Mahone and Armistead so long at Fisher's Run, or that those ambitious and enterprising brigadiers had not found a way to flank his position, will always be a mystery to the student of these detached fights made in thick woods and swamps, with raw troops, who were than only volunteer associations of men, without the drill and discipline necessary to make even of the very best material good and efficient soldiers. The detention of Gen. Jackson at White Oak Swamp, three miles in rear of Glen Dale, and only two miles to the left of Huger, was as unfortunate (though more easily accounted for), as the delay at Fisher's Run. General Jackson's troops reached White Oak Swamp at noon Sunday. The bridge was destroyed and the crossing commanded by the enemy's batteries. Jackson, in his report, says: "A heavy cannonading in front announced the engagement of General Longstreet at Frazier's Farm, and made me eager to press forward, but the strong position of the enemy for defending the passage, prevented my advancing until the following morning."

Major Dabney, in his life of Jackson, says: "On this occasion it would appear, if the vast interests dependent upon General Jackson's co-operation with the proposed attack upon the centre were con- sidered, that he came short of the efficiency in action for which he was everywhere else noted." Then, after showing how the crossing might have been effected, Dabney adds: The list of casualties would have been larger than that presented on the ^oth, of one can- noneer wounded; but how much shorter would have been the bloody