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ed rapidly back in three columns. I directed McDowell, with his own and Sigel's corps, to march upon Gainesville by the Warrenton and Alexandria turnpike; Reno and one division of Heintzelman to march on Greenwich, and with Porter's corps and Hooker's division, I marched back to Manassas Junction. McDowell was ordered to interpose between the forces of the enemy which had passed down to Manassas through Gainesville, and his main body moving down from White Plains through Thoroughfare Gap This was completely accomplished, Longstreet, who had passed through the Gap, being driven back to the west side (!!!) The forces to Greenwich were designed to support McDowell in case he met too large a force of the enemy. The division of Hooker, marching towards Manassas, came upon the enemy near Kettle Run, on the afternoon of the twenty-seventh, and after a sharp action, routed them completely, killing and wounding three hundred, capturing camps, baggage, and many stand of arms (!)
paled, our men were awakened and fell into line without drums or bugles. Outposts in the woods below Williamsburgh were strengthened, and ordered to fall back in good order should the enemy attack in force. The foe, under Generals Heintzelman, Hooker, and Kearny, were not long in approaching: long lines of blue coats were reported coming up the roads, with strong bodies of skirmishers on the flanks. The popping of pickets and outposts soon changed into the distant pattering volleys of men inat is like. They have lied, however, so often and so unblushingly, that we can but laugh at their overweening vanity and unscrupulous falsehoods; words — are thrown away on the subject. From prisoners we ascertained that Heintzelman, Sumner, Hooker, Kearny, and other divisional commanders, had directed the Federals, from which it was easy to infer that their force numbered forty thousand strong. Longstreet commanded on our side, and I know did not handle more than twenty-five thousand men.
nces with immense slaughter, night was gradually approaching, and couriers from Longstreet brought the joyful news that he had successfully beaten the enemy at Thoroughfare Gap, This was subsequently verified. We learned from some of General Reno's forces, after the second battle of Bull Run, that they were the troops intrusted with the defence of Thoroughfare Gap, but being hard pushed by the Confederates, had retired upon General Porter's corps, with which they had subsequently acted. Hooker was also with Pope. and would form a junction with us in a few hours. Although still hard pressed by the heavy forces of the enemy, and obliged to give ground from physical weakness alone, this news was passed from brigade to brigade, and from regiment to regiment, with such rapidity that, although completely exhausted, they rent the air with such an outburst of enthusiasm as to drown almost the fearful din of battle. Until night did this unequal contest last; but although we were force
ous day many of us had heard heavy cannonading going on eastward, and couriers, hot, dusty, and jaded, brought word that a fierce engagement had taken place at the several passes in the South Mountains. It was understood that D. H. Hill had been particularly pressed at Turner's Gap, and was forced to relinquish his position at nightfall, after having sustained severe loss, and inflicted much punishment upon the enemy. No one doubted that Hill had fought heroically; but from the moment that Hooker and Reno's corps attacked him at three P. M. the previous day, it was evident he was greatly outnumbered, and unable to extend his line of defence over many points of the mountain, which commanded and overlooked the Gap. Hood, who had been fighting higher up the mountain-chain, and defending the pass at Boonesborough, rapidly gathered his men and marched to Hill's relief; and it was doubtless the headlong, reckless valor of these reenforcements which saved Hill from total discomfiture. Th
he foe was safely screened in their original position of the morning. This first attack had been opened on our left by Hooker's corps. Fighting on the left had now lasted several hours-our men were thoroughly exhausted, and unable to advance fe shock of short duration: beaten again and again, they were at last driven beyond the position originally occupied, when Hooker's attack began the previous afternoon. Through woods and copse, across corn-fields and ploughed fields, grassy slopesoth attacks of the enemy upon our wings had failed, and they had been repulsed with fearful slaughter. Franklin, Sumner, Hooker, Mansfield, and other corps commanders on their right, had been fought to a stand-still. They were exhausted and powerlelled were Generals Mansfield, Richardson, Hartsuff, and others; and among a fearful list of generals wounded were Sumner, Hooker, Meagher, Duryea, Max Weber, Dana, Sedgwick, French, Ricketts, Rodman, and others. It is almost unnecessary for me to
us getting into the rear of Marye's Hill; but they were received so coolly, and with such a destructive fire, that they retreated with the utmost expedition and in the greatest confusion. Thus the slaughter at Fredericksburgh closed. Sumner, Hooker, Wilcox, Meagher, French, and a host of other leaders, had been routed on our centre and left — Franklin, Meade, Jackson, Bayard, and Stoneman, had met with a fearful repulse on the right; for miles their dead and wounded lined the front of our ral Kimball, and others. This defeat and slaughter sent such a thrill of horror through all classes at the North, that official inquiry was demanded, when it appeared that General Sumner, of the right wing, General Franklin, of the left, and General Hooker, of the centre, had decided against the movement in a council of war, but that Burnside did not heed their advice, but resolved on crossing; thinking that through feints made lower down the river he had deceived Lee as to his true designs, an