f ground in our front.
Late in the night I was requested by General Stuart to bear him company in a little reconnaissance outside our lines, which came very near terminating disastrously, as on our return, in the thick darkness, we were received with a sharp but fortunately ill-aimed fire from our own men. The rest of the night we slept by the side of our guns, and as we could not unsaddle our horses, I had nothing for a pillow but a cartridge-box which I had picked up on the ground.
The two great armies were now in full force confronting each other.
Each numbered from 50,000 to 60,000 men, though Pope's may have a little exceeded the latter number, as he had been drawing reinforcements from Alexandria, where his reserves of 20,000 men had been collected.
The early morning and forenoon of this memorable day passed in comparative quiet, yet before set of sun was to be fought one of the most sanguinary conflicts of the war. From time to time the rattle of slight