g oppressed by the lengthening shadow of the great national tragedy which had already begun.
Already two deadly engagements had claimed their victims, and many a hearth was desolate.
The Federal army, disorganized and routed at Manassas on the 21st of the preceding July, had retreated to the defense of Washington.
A line, stretching from the Chain Bridge to Alexandria, along the south bank of the Potomac, formed a living bulwark between the capital and the victorious Confederates encamped al of Reynolds, he would have found himself confronted by at least 10,000 troops, and his situation would have been extremely hazardous.
Ord and Reynolds, gathering their dead and wounded, returned to Camp Pierpont at night.
On the morning of the 21st, Stuart, reinforced by the 9th Georgia and the 8th Virginia, returned to Dranesville, but, finding the Federals gone, he gathered those of his wounded and dead that remained and returned to Centreville.
The same uncertainty that attaches to th