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    [Civil War-Battle of Bull Run]. Facts Relative to the Battle of Bull Run. Report of the 8th Regiment of New York. Six-pages (in pen; half of last page in pencil); 7.75" x 9.75", circa 1861. This extraordinary report, by an unidentified officer or soldier, is a scathing indictment of Colonel George Lyons, accusing him of cowardice and of being unfit to command. The first page, entitled "Facts," precedes the full five-page report and provides a summary of what follows:

    "The following language was made use of by Colonel Lyons in addressing Maj. Wadsworth of Genl. McDowells Staff (on the Evening of the 20th. of July) relative to the action of the Artillery Corps attached to the Eighth Regt., Which shows distinctly by the feelings with which he was prompted, as well as his ignorance in making use of the language, that he was wholly incapable of leading a platoon (much less a Regiment into action[)].

    "The simple fact is Sir that my Regiment and Battery should have been consulted before the movement was made,["] as our time had so nearly Expired. Major Wadsworth looked down upon the man with apparent contempt and simply said "What Sir Consult Soldiers before taking them into battle [."].

    Colonel Lyons from ignorance of the qualities of a gentleman as well as by his arbitrary taunting and insulting manners had gained the bitter enmity of nearly every Officer and private in the Regiment. Never did he allow an opportunity to pass to Exercise his brief authority in an undignified and unsoldierlike manner.

    This as well as Evidence of Cowardice which at times were manifested rendered him unfit to command, as the majority of his regiment entertained not the slightest degree of respect for him nor confidence in him.

    George Lyons (1810-1878) served as colonel of the 8th New York Regiment from 1854 to 1861. He enlisted as its colonel on April 23, 1861 and mustered out three months later on August 2. After the completion of his military service, Lyons pursued a career as a merchant in Morrisania, New York.

    The 8th Regiment of the New York State Militia, comprised primarily of mechanics, was one of the eleven units called during the first days of the Civil War to defend the nation's capital from Confederate attack. It departed from New York City for Washington on the April 23, 1861 amid great fanfare and mustered into the United States Army at Annapolis, Maryland, on April 25. The field officers were Colonel George Lyons, Lieutenant Colonel Charles G. Waterbury, and Major Obediah F. Wentworth. Before the regiment participated in the Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, it was attached to Colonel Andrew Porter's First Brigade, Colonel David Hunter's 2nd Division, in General Irvin McDowell's Army of Northeastern Virginia. At Bull Run the regiment suffered 8 deaths, 17 wounded, and 4 officers and 9 enlisted men captured. Colonel Porter made honorable mention of the services of the 8th New York Regiment in his report. The regiment's three-month term of service expired on July 23 (two days after Bull Run). The arrived in New York City on July 26, where they were welcomed home with an enthusiastic reception. The regiment was mustered out in New York City on August 2, 1861. It was reorganized for extended service until July of 1863.

    Condition: The document has three horizontal folds, rough edges on the left side of the last two pages, and several stains along bottom margin of first page. Otherwise document is in good condition.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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