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An English Combatant, Lieutenant of Artillery of the Field Staff., Battlefields of the South from Bull Run to Fredericksburgh; with sketches of Confederate commanders, and gossip of the camps. 31 1 Browse Search
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ear roundly, and threaten to kick them out of his office. It cannot be denied that our position was a critical one, and required great caution. The enemy at length became aware that we did not meditate crossing, and massed their troops at different points to dislodge us, if possible, from the fertile region of which we had possessed ourselves. Banks at Harper's Ferry, Geary at the Sugar Loaf and Point of Rocks, Stone at Poolesville and Edwards's Ferry, were encompassing us north and east; McCall was at Drainsville, sixteen miles farther east on the south bank, and could cut off our retreat across Goose Creek to the south by a bold and dashing movement; Centreville and Manassas were thirty miles distant, and from the state of the country it was impossible to bring up supplies or receive reenforcements; yet Evans was told to hold the place at all hazards ; and such instructions to a fighting general were likely to be fulfilled to the letter. The possession of Leesburgh was, in tru
Chapter 10: Position at Manassas Ashby at Harper's Ferry his preparations for attack our artillery co-operate incidents of the fight General McCall leaves Drainsville, and threatens our retreat our alarming position to Goose Creek and back again. During the month of October there was no change in affairs at Manassas or Centreville. At the latter place, fortifications had been erected under the superintendence of Generals Gustavus Smith and Beauregard, and were generally c a determined stand. The enemy perceived that we had taken up a strong position, and over-estimating our force, retired without firing a shot. While bivouacked that night, a courier came dashing towards us, and brought the stirring news that McCall, with a heavy force, was marching from Drainsville to cut off Evans at Leesburgh. The latter, therefore, had hastily retreated to Goose Creek, ten miles nearer Centreville, and we were ordered to follow in his track, and if the enemy had really
st, however; all the baggage had moved many miles to the rear, and we marched across Goose Creek bridge and along the Drainsville road to meet the enemy under General McCall. As the sun had not yet risen we approached the mouth of Goose Creek, crossed it, and passed near the guns of the enemy commanding these points without being bivouacked in the woods. Presently two of our mounted troopers came up with a Federal courier, who had been captured proceeding on his way with despatches from McCall to Stone. His papers betrayed little, yet sufficient to reveal that it was designed to draw us from Leesburgh along the Drainsville road, while Stone crossed-andoose Creek, where a South-Carolina regiment, a Louisiana regiment, and four guns of the Washington Artillery, reenforced us. Here we anxiously awaited battle from McCall, or any one else who dared to approach. Our reenforcements were eager for the strife, and could a hundred thousand dollars have purchased a battle, they would wi
de would have been reversed. As we anticipated, McClellan had been heavily reenforced after the battle of Seven pines. Among the first prisoners I encountered were the Bucktail rifles and Pennsylvania reserve corps, which formed part of General McCall's division hurriedly sent from McDowell's army round Fredericksburgh! McCall, then twelve thousand strong, together with parts of Fremont's and Shields's Valley troops, had reached McClellan, and had augmented his force by at least twenty thMcCall, then twelve thousand strong, together with parts of Fremont's and Shields's Valley troops, had reached McClellan, and had augmented his force by at least twenty thousand men. We were evidently outnumbered, but this news came too late. The prisoners, numerous as they were, spoke confidently of McClellan's success, and seemed to pity us for daring to attack him. They did not know where he intended to make his big fight, but as heavy forces were posted at Gaines's Mills, (his centre on both banks,) it was possible our overthrow would be consummated there. I never saw such impudent and bombastic fellows as these Pennsylvanians were-always excepting New-Engl
Fremont's, McDowell's, and Banks's command are to be consolidated under General Pope, and sent to reenforce McClellan. A division of McDowell's troops under General McCall is stated, on the same authority, to have already joined McClellan at that date; and this was doubtless true, for McCall has arrived. Our generals fully sMcCall has arrived. Our generals fully share the universal desire to put final victory beyond the reach of contingency, by securing it at once, and have put forth their utmost diligence to accomplish this result. Those who murmur at the delay do but murmur at the wilderness of the Chickahominy and its bogs and swamps. If the deferring of our hopes shall, however, resul our toil was in vain; for even had we overtaken him, many thought it a dangerous undertaking to attack his masses with one or two exhausted divisions, as it was certain he would open the fight with his extreme left-troops that had marched but little and were entirely fresh, under the immediate command of Heintzelman and McCall.
an continued battle of Frazier's Farm, June thirtieth terrific fighting total rout of the enemy capture of Major General McCall precarious position of General Hill his genius and daring Gossip with a Contraband. It was now about half-past re of a heavy force, and suffered much. Wilcox and Pryor performed prodigies of valor with their exhausted brigades, yet McCall's resources seemed to have no limit, for as soon as one regiment was vanquished another was pushed forward in its place, mistake they had made, fired and killed them; the third person, whom they arrested, proved to be no other than Major-General James McCall, United States Army, one of those who had commanded in the engagement. Though late in the night, the enemy e firing at Frazier's, the Federal commander retreated, after delaying Huger more than five hours, and joined forces with McCall against the heroic Hill. Had not Hill's division been made of steel, rather than flesh and blood, they could not have
began moving towards the James River on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday, and the torch was applied to their stores. When, added to this, our advance moved down the railroad, and routed their chosen rear-guard at Savage station and other places, then the men began to think McClellan was fooling them, and that on to Richmond was a hoax! The consequence of this conviction spreading among the troops may be imagined. There were heavy forces stationed at Frazier's to retard our advance, and McCall, Heintzelman, and others, thinking them sufficient, McClellan and the rest pushed forward into the swamp; but when these generals were defeated, McClellan, fearful for the safety of the remainder, detached a whole corps at nine P. M. to arrest our further advance. Their troops, these prisoners informed us, had been on the move night and day since Thursday: the entire army was demoralized, and only kept under subjection by large forces of artillery and cavalry hovering in the rear. The cava