It was on the field of Manassas
, a bright Sunday afternoon, the 21st of July, 1861.
The armies of McDowell
had been grappling with each other since early morning,and, in their mutual slaughter, took no note of the sacredness of the day, nor its brightness.
In Washington General Scott
was anxiously awaiting the result of his skilful plan of battle, and General Johnston
had come down from the Valley of Virginia
, in response to Beauregard
's appeal-“If you will help me, now is the time.”
Hotly had the field been contested, and the hours passed slowly to men who had never tasted of battle before.
Wavering had been the fortunes of the day, but it was evident the advantage was with the Federal
army, and, before our brigade went into action, it seemed to us the day was lost.
After changing position several times, without fighting, General Jackson
learned that Bee
was hard pressed, and he moved to his assistance, marching through the wounded and the stragglers, who were hurrying to the rear.
It was then after two o'clock, and the General
formed his brigade along the crest of the hill near the Henry House
, the men lying down behind the brow of it, in support of the two pieces of artillery placed in position to play upon the advancing foe.
, his brigade being crushed and scattered, rode up to General Jackson
; and, with the excitement and mortification of an untried but heroic soldier, reported that the enemy were beating him back.