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right, (for though the message, as I have before stated, was sent at noon, it was not received until past two,) and was instantly sent to our extreme left, while Kirby Smith was ordered to assail the enemy's right and rear, which his advance through the fields enabled him to do easily. Other reenforcements were coming from Bonham, Cocke, and Long, street, and as they arrived were placed in position for a general advance. On the side of the enemy, Colonels Hunter, Heintzelman, Sherman, Burnside, Keyes, and others, saw the storm approaching, and made every effort to meet it. They had re-formed their line, and endeavored to outflank our left; but at the very moment when Major Elzey with Kirby Smith's brigade of seventeen hundred men and four guns, and Early's brigade, (Seventeenth Virginia, Seventh Louisiana, and Thirteenth Mississippi,) attacked them on the right flank and rear, Beauregard and Johnston, also, threw forward their whole line, and with loud shouts advanced to the atta
ally, that when the enemy marched up the Peninsula, their progress was suddenly arrested by a long line of powerful fortifications belting the country, from York River to James River, and completely stopping further invasion. 'Tis true, that McClellan's force was well handled, and fox the most part lay before Yorktown before our troops were there in strength to oppose them. For ten days, indeed, Magruder displayed his ten thousand men and few guns to such advantage that both McClellan and Burnside believed that Lee and Johnston were there before them. The whole army, however, arrived within a few days, and the breastworks frowned with real cannon. But while both armies are resting along their extensive lines, let me say a few words regarding General Lee and the various fortifications on this peninsula from Yorktown to Richmond. When the war broke out, Robert E. Lee was a lieutenant-colonel of cavalry in the United States army, but was generally considered to be the first eng
n's forces south of the James River, and the threatened advance of Burnside from Suffolk and Norfolk, as if to form a junction and cooperate ws possible that conflicting opinions existed between McClellan and Burnside, as was also known to be the case between the first-named and Pope. Burnside was ambitious-he was considered a successful man, from his capture of Roanoke Island, and full of promise; McClellan had yet to wirs, and was now bullied by a brutal press for being unsuccessful. Burnside was politically allied to the Government; McClellan was not. BurnsBurnside was desirous of superseding McClellan in command of the Grand army, or what remained of it, while the latter was actuated by pure militaryf their forces might ensue, McClellan's desires were thwarted, and Burnside was ordered round to reenforce Pope. Finding that the expected reenforcement of Burnside was hopeless, McClellan withdrew his troops from the south side, and quietly prepared to leave the peninsula, whic
n of the enemy's retreat to Centreville loss of baggage bivouac on the field conversation of officers with prisoners Burnside and McClellan's reenforcements how their destination was changed from point to point by the rapidity of Lee's movements? That is very plain; for if Pope had been able to maintain his position south of the Rappahannock, all McClellan's and Burnside's forces would have reenforced him at Fredericksburgh; instead of that, our men were ordered to Aquia Creek. It was thosuch willing men should have been sent to wholesale slaughter under the orders of such a cabbage-head as Pope. Parts of Burnside's and Hunter's troops which had been long in the field and had been hurried on to Pope, were expected to work wonders, b from that place. On the morning of the twelfth few troops were there save two or three squadrons of Stuart's cavalry. Burnside's forces were rapidly advancing upon the town, and his cavalry were not more than two miles distant. Leave-takings were
red to make any decided advance in their centre or left. It would appear that McClellan was as totally unaware of our position as of our strength, for he instantly opened a furious cannonade along our whole front, and on his left (commanded by Burnside) the storm of shot and shell was so fierce and incessant that numerous missiles passed harmlessly over our heads, and fell within the village or town of Sharpsburgh, causing much destruction of property. Perhaps it was the desire of McClellan tks 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 powerless. Burnside, on their left, had been fearfully handled by Longstreet, and was driven in confusion upon the bridge, which he held with a few cannon, and suffered every moment from our batteries on rising ground. We did not desire the bridge, or it might hav
lellan's dismissal, and of the appointment of Burnside as chief in command, adding, that their forcearters, were matters of some speculation. Burnside's movements, however, were no secret to our lorps at Manassas, and had not moved nearer to Burnside, Jackson sent a strong force of cavalry to rerching on Washington! On the twenty-first, Burnside personally demanded a surrender of the town, a tardiness which very much surprised us, as Burnside's sudden and rapid change of base from Warrenorama below. Northern accounts stated that Burnside sat on the heights round the Phillips House, he sky, and must have been plainly audible to Burnside's forces across the river; but whether these ounded, Generals Hood, Cobb, and Jenkins. Burnside's forces, according to Washington reports, amaded at the North, before the slaughter, that Burnside commanded the finest army ever raised, and thst the movement in a council of war, but that Burnside did not heed their advice, but resolved on cr[3 more...]