August 16, 1862

Volunteering for the War - The way Jefferson County has been turning out volunteers recently is astonishing. Several companies have been recruited, and some have gone into camp; and as those not yet full have permission to receive volunteers until the 22nd instant, we hope there will be plenty of men to fill all up to the required number without necessary splicing...We would suggest that those who fail to get in this company, if they are anxious to serve as volunteers rather than to be drafted into the service, should enroll themselves without delay in the other companies organizing in Madison and vicinity.

August 18, 1862

Great and Bloody Battle at Baton Rouge.

Repulse of Rebels Under Gen. Breckinridge.

Destruction of the Famous rebel Ram "Arkansas."

Death of Gen. Williams.

New York; Aug. 18

The steamers North Star and Roanoke, from New Orleans on the 10th, have arrived, bringing particulars of the defeat of the rebels at Baton Rouge, and the destruction of the Arkansas.

A letter from Baton Rouge says Nim's battery thrice repulsed the rebels. Breckinridge lost his right arm by a cannon ball. The fight took place on the edge of town, Gen. Williams being unwilling to expose the women and children. We captured a large number of prisoners, including Capt. Blunt, Breckinridge's aid. Gen Williams, who was killed, behaved like a hero. The enemy's loss must have been severe. Our men charged upon them. We have taken three guns ... The ram Arkansas was just above Baton Rouge...later accounts state the Arkansas was aground when the Essex and other gunboats went to her and set her on fire and blew her up.

August 19, 1862

Patriotic Family - Mrs. Rebecca Rogers, a widow lady living in Hanover, has five sons, one grandson, one son-in-law and two nephews in the army. How proud and happy the lady must be. Nine noble and brave boys fighting for their country's existence as a nation!

August 31, 1862

Heavy Fighting in Virginia.

Headquarters Field of Battle, Groveton, Near Gainesville, Aug. 30.

Maj. Gen. Halleck, General-in Chief: We fought a terrific battle here yesterday, with the combined forces of the enemy, which lasted with unabated fury from daylight until after dark, by which time the enemy was driven from the field, which we now occupy. Our troops are too much exhausted to push matters, but we shall do so in the course of the morning, as soon as Fitz John Porter's corps comes up from Manassas.

The enemy is still in our front, but badly used up. We have lost not less than 8,000 men killed and wounded; and from the appearance of the field, the enemy has lost at least two to our one...Our troops have behaved splendidly. The battle was fought on the identical battlefield of Bull Run, which greatly increased the enthusiasm of our men. News just reached me from the front that the enemy is retreating towards the mountain. I go forward at once to see. We have made great captures, but I am not able yet to form any idea of their extent.

[Signed] John D. Pope,

Maj.-Gen. Commanding



Note: When Gen. Pope wrote this dispatch he did not realize that Confederate General Longstreet's Corp had arrived on the scene on the afternoon of the 29th. On August 30 Pope renewed the attacks. When massed Confederate artillery devastated a Union assault by Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter's V Corps, Longstreet's wing of 25,000 men counterattacked in the largest, simultaneous mass assault of the war. Pope's effective rearguard action as he retreated to Centerville prevented the defeat from becoming a total disaster.



Research conducted by the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable.