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ne of the most remarkable instances in military history, of an order providing fully and precisely, nearly a month in advance, for all the exigencies of a strategic movement, remotely contingent upon the operations of an enemy. General Bonham, upon the near approach of the forces confronting him, was to retire slowly on Centreville, by the turnpike, then to Mitchell's Ford, drawing the enemy after him to that point, which was the only portion of General Beauregard's line yet fortified. General Ewell, from Sangster's Crossroads and vicinity, was to follow the line of the railroad over a rather rough and difficult country road to Union Mills Ford, where the position was naturally strong and offered good cover to his men. The intermediate fords, McLean's and Blackburn's, were at that time occupied by Jones's and Longstreet's brigades. Early's brigade, which had been watching the fords of the Occoquan and the approaches on the right, was now held in reserve, a short distance in rear of
ged, though issued nearly a month previously. Colonel Rhodes, at Fairfax Station, received like instructions through General Ewell, his brigade commander; and, in view of the exigency, Colonel J. L. Kemper, whose energy and efficiency had already binstructions of the general commanding. Rhodes, after a sharp brush with the enemy, fell back to Union Mills Ford, where Ewell was in command of the heaviest brigade of the army. The enemy had no sooner attacked General Bonham's line, than Gener some five miles, from Union Mills Ford, on the right, to the stone bridge, on the left, as follows: at Union Mills Ford, Ewell's brigade, with four 12-pounder howitzers and three companies of Virginia cavalry; at McLean's Ford, D. R. Jones's brigad, held the left flank, and protected the stone-bridge crossing. Early's brigade stood in the rear of, and as support to, Ewell's. Bull Run is a small stream running in this locality, nearly from west to east. Its banks, for the most part, are r
1st Arkansas regiments were placed in rear of Ewell. Early's brigade was shifted from the rear of Ewell to the rear of Jones's brigade; Longstreet was supported by Bee's and Bartow's brigades (of McLean's Ford and place himself on the left of Ewell, awaiting in that position communication from his own left by Bonham, from Mitchell's Ford. Ewell, having the longest march, was to begin the mo were forthwith issued for its execution. General Ewell was to lead the movement, followed by Jone half-past 10 A. M., a messenger came from General Ewell, with the disappointing news that General ing on the left, while it would have taken Generals Ewell and Holmes from two to three hours to reacnd, with the sanction of General Johnston, Generals Ewell, Jones (D. R.), Longstreet, and Bonham wernt reported to be threatened, ordering thither Ewell's and Holmes's brigades, which had just come uever, that the commands of Generals Holmes and Ewell, aggregating at least 3000 men, though mention[1 more...]
n the 9th and 10th, Longstreet's brigade was moved to Fairfax Court-House, and D. R. Jones's to Germantown. Bonham was drawn back from Vienna to Flint Hill, leaving a strong mounted guard at the former place. Cocke was stationed at Centreville; Ewell at Sangster's Crossroads; Early and Hampton at the intersection of the Occoquan with the Wolf Run Shoals road; and the Louisiana brigade at Mitchell's Ford. Elzey's brigade, of General Johnston's forces, was placed in the immediate vicinity of Fch. 1 brigade (Longstreet's) at or about Munson's Hill. 1 brigade (Johnston's forces) half-way between Mason's and Munson's Hills. 1 brigade (Johnston's forces) at Mason's Hill. 2 brigades (Walker's and Early's) at or about Annandale. 1 brigade (Ewell's) at or about Springfield. Some of General Johnston's other brigades were to be placed at Centreville, Fairfax Court-House, and Fairfax Station, and they might occasionally be moved towards the Potomac above, to alarm the enemy and keep him
ll the more strange, inasmuch as he was then in possession, not only of Colonel Chestnut's report, sent him by General Beauregard at his own request, but also of General Sam. Jones's letter, which bore witness that the plan referred to in the report of the battle of Manassas was substantially the same as the one proposed by him through the medium of Colonel Chestnut. Early in the month of June, Bonham's brigade of four South Carolina regiments had been advanced to Fairfax Court-House, and Ewell's brigade posted in front of Bull Run, at Union Mills Ford; all of which had been duly announced, and was well known to the Confederate War Department, as the correspondence of the period will show. This, however, is not at all material to the issue made by Mr. Davis's endorsement with reference to General Beauregard's plan of concentration and aggression, communicated to him through Colonel Chestnut. We mention it here, that our silence may not be construed as an acquiescence in Mr. Davis
nd the whole of General McDowell's army— not a small portion of it only—would have been captured or annihilated. The use of the phrase perhaps fortunately is, therefore, logically and truthfully speaking, without any justification whatever. Towards the end of his report, alluding to the fact of his orders having failed to reach the brigade commanders to whom they were forwarded, General Beauregard says: In connection with the miscarriage of the orders sent by courier to Generals Holmes and Ewell, to attack the enemy in flank and reverse at Centreville, through which the triumph of our arms was prevented from being still more decisive, I regard it in place to say, etc. And he here recommends a divisional organization, which, he thinks, would greatly reduce the risk of such mis. haps in the future. All things considered, we feel justified in saying that the phrase perhaps fortunately, though necessarily void of any effect, would mean more if applied to what might have happened to
close a brief note just received from Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell, commanding our advanced forces at Faut eight (8) miles, were posted as follows: Ewell's brigade occupied a position in vicinity of Uhanks are due to Brigadier-Generals Bonham and Ewell, and to Colonel Cocke, and the officers under ollowing was the disposition of our forces: Ewell's brigade, constituted as on the 18th of July,r Camp Wigfall. D. R. Jones's brigade, from Ewell's left in front of McLean's Ford, and along thand with the sanction of General Johnston, Generals Ewell, Jones (D. R.), Longstreet, and Bonham werls had been left with but a slender guard, General Ewell was at once ordered to retrace his steps a orders sent by courier to Generals Holmes and Ewell, to attack the enemy in flank and reverse at Cr about Vienna. Cocke goes to Centreville. Ewell to Sangster's Cross-roads. Early and Hamptoarly's) to or about Annandale. One brigade (Ewell's) to Springfield. Some of your other briga[11 more...]