had engaged the enemy on the evening before, still remained on the front line; some brigades having bivouacked where they found themselves when the fight was over, while others had gone into camp parked by regiments, and not even the pretense of a line of battle had been formed.
One brigade rested with its naked flank perpendicular to the enemy's line.
All this was done, or neglected, within a few hundred yards of the foe. No works had been thrown up, and when the Federal
force broke the lines, there was no expectation of battle or danger.
The men hastily aroused, thought of nothing but safety in flight, and “sauve qui peut” was the order of the day.
The conditions were reversed, but the stampede exactly recalled the day when Jackson
's right at Chancellorsville
, and sent his Eleventh Corps with great speed to the rear.
time, however, we were not the pursuers, but the pursued.
The enemy made good use of his opportunity, and as the panic-stricken Confederates fled in great confusion before his advance, it was apparent that all organized fighting by Heth
was at an end for that time.
The day seemed irretrievably lost, and so it would have been except for the arrival of other troops.
Moving rapidly through the entwining trees and matted undergrowth, in all haste to find the rear, we caught the gleam of bayonets in front of our disordered and plunging mass, and soon saw the dauntless mien and heard the steady tread of Longstreet
's Corps, marching up to the relief, under the composed direction of “Old Pete” himself.
, he arrived just in time “to win a victory.”
While some of the broken troops of Heth
joined in the advance with Longstreet
's column, others straggled back to the point at which they were first engaged the night before.
The sharpshooters moved across the road, near by certain batteries of Poague
's artillery, which had been planted on a slight plateau on the left of the road, and was at this time crowded with troops.
and General Lee
both occupied this position; the latter appearing intensely disgusted at the turn which affairs had taken.
The ridiculous procedure of the ambulance corps, the teamsters, and the camp-followers generally, was singularly well calculated to aggravate this irritated feeling; for these people, supposing the day to have been lost, sought the rear with keen ardor, leaving the road so blockaded with sporadic plunder, and wagons turned upside-down, as to render difficult the movement of the supports.
The “old man” was in no good humor, and had a business look about the eyes as he ordered the guns to be loaded with canister, and trained down the road.
For five hundred yards in front