HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ALEXANDRIA,
Camp Pickens, Va., June 2, 1861.
SIR: The reports of the attack on Fairfax Court-House by the enemy’s cavalry, on the 1st instant, from Colonels Ewell and Gregg, already transmitted, should have been a companies by this report, but a pressure of urgent business has hitherto prevented my sending it forward. Accompanying this is a fuller report from Colonel Ewell. Having taken and advanced position at Centreville, with Gregg’s regiment of infantry, and at Bull Run with Kershaw’s regiment, I had directed Colonel Ewell, commanding the cavalry of this department, with one company of light infantry (Captain Marr), and two companies of cavalry (Captains Thornton and Green), to take position at Germantown, or at Fairfax Court-House, one and a half miles in advance of Germantown whichever he might deem best, upon examining the positions. I had also ordered Captains, Cabell and Ball, whit their troops of cavalry, to report to Colonel Ewell the evening preceding the attack; but unavoidable circumstances prevented their reaching the place that evening. The reports of Colonel Ewell being full, I do not deem it necessary to add a great deal to what he has said. Unfortunately the two companies of cavalry were poorly armed, which prevented their taking so active a parts as they would, doubtless, otherwise have done.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell was wounded in the shoulder. Not only on this occasion, in the face of the enemy, but at all other times he has exhibited promptness, energy, and gallantry in the discharge of his duties. Captain Marr fell early in the action, deeply lamented by all who knew him. His loss to the service will be sensibly felt. His corps of light infantry (the Warrenton Rifles) bore themselves like veterans, twice repulsing the enemy, and finally compelling them to fly across the fields, after fruitless efforts to return through the village by the streets through which they had entered. By Colonel Ewell and others present the bearing and usefulness of Ex-Governor Smith on the occasion are spoken of in the highest terms.
Killed, Captain Marr; wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell; missing (taken prisoners), five. One of the enemy known to have been killed; wounded, not known-several reported; prisoners, three, each of whom I saw and examined.
The enemy was eighty to eighty-five strong, well armed, and commanded by Lieutenant Tompkins, Second U. S. Cavalry.
I again respectfully urge the thorough arming of Green’s Thorton’s, and Powells troops of cavalry with double-barreled shot-guns, musketoons, or lances and pistols.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. L. BONHAM,
Brigadier General, C. S. A., Commanding First Brigade,
Dept. of Alexandria.
Colonel R. S. GARNETT, Adjutant-General Virginia Forces.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.