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[545] Run they dared not, fight they could not, and the only alternative left them was to surrender at discretion, which they did by creeping out upon all fours without their guns, and piteously asking our boys, like Crockett's coon, “not to fire, as they would come in.” The captured of this brigade numbered about five hundred, and General Heth will have to recruit before taking it into action again.

When the enemy found that the Second corps was ready and able to hold its ground, and had no notion of leaving, a fact they discovered after about five hours hard fighting, they withdrew to the cover of the dense wood in their rear, only firing with their artillery when they could work themselves up to the fighting point sufficiently to enable them to thrust a gun out of the edge of the wood. Then they would fire, and the flame and smoke would act as a target for our gunners; so the firing would be irregular and inconstant; now chiming in, peal on peal, like the reverberations of a thunder-clap, then only a shot or two for several minutes.

The brunt of the fighting was done by General Webb's and General Hayes's division, with the artillery; but it was only so because General Caldwell, who was on the left, was employed in watching a heavy force of rebels which was massed in the woods across the railroad immediately in his front. At dark the fighting ceased, and darkness found us in full possession of the field, the rebels having fallen back to and beyond the woods, having suffered the loss of six pieces of artillery, two battle-flags, two colonels killed and one taken prisoner; probably five hundred killed and wounded, whom they left upon the field, and about seven hundred and fifty prisoners.

Among the rebel slain and left were Colonel Ruffin of the First, and Colonel Thompson of the Fifth North-Carolina cavalry. The battle-flags captured were that of the Twenty-sixth North-Carolina infantry, captured by the Nineteenth Maine, and that of the Twenty-eighth North-Carolina, taken by the Eighty-second New-York. The battery captured consisted of one large Whitworth gun, two fine Rodmans, and three brass field-pieces. One of these, however, was so badly broken up as to be worthless, and was left upon the field. The others were brought away, and to-day have been sent to Washington.

I ought not to pass over the capture of these guns without mentioning an incident which illustrates the valor of our men to a remarkable degree. After the enemy had been driven from their guns by the artillery and infantry combined, General Warren ordered a detail to be made of ten men from each regiment of the corps to bring off the pieces. This was done in order to debar any one regiment, brigade, or division from arrogating to itself the particular honor of their capture. The work to be done was a hazardous one; but the boys shouted as they started at a double-quick. The woods in the rear of the battery were full of graybacks, who, in all probability, would attempt to prevent their pets from falling into the hands of the Yankee mudsills. Our infantry and artillery would be powerless to help, as a shot from either would be as likely to kill one of our own as one of the rebel troops. But the selected men went off in the direction of the prizes, reached them, seized them, turned them toward the foe, fired a parting salute, from such as the enemy, in his haste, had left loaded, then commenced dragging them away by.hand.

They had not gone far, however, when the rebels flocked out of the woods, and came down at a charge toward them, seeing which the boys dropped the artillery, grasped their smaller arms and drove the Butternuts back to the pines. They then came back and dragged off their captures in safety.

I have heard some cheering on election nights, but I never heard such a yell of exultation as rent the air when the rebels' guns, caissons, and equipments were brought across the railroad track to the line of our infantry.

During the afternoon, while the heavy cannonading was going on, General Meade sent the Fifth corps, under General Sykes, to reenforce the Second, but they did not reach the field before dark, and then the fortunes of the day were closed and they could be of no service. General Warren had won his victory and vindicated the wisdom of the power which made him a Major-General. The victory was signal and complete.

I am reliably informed that the rebel Colonel Thompson stated that General Lee's object was to head us off before reaching Centreville, and supposed that when he made the attack upon Warrren he was at the head of the entire army with his corps. Consequently he only threw forward one portion of A. P. Hill's corps, numbering in all about twelve thousand men, with four batteries of artillery, in order to hold us in check until the other. corps of Ewell, together with the two remaining divisions of Longstreet's corps, could come up. I presume the story is true; but they have found out their mistake.

After the fight had closed, we buried all our dead, brought off all our wounded, and came over Broad Run in perfect order and safety.

We have not lost a dollar's worth of property by capture. Our forces are now safely and securely posted; our trains all parked in convenient and safe retreats, and the army is in excellent spirits.

Among the casualties in the above described battles were the following on the Union side.

In battery B, Second Rhode Island artillery, Chester Hunt, killed; Martin V. B. Eaton, leg shot off; John Kelley, wounded slight; Lieutenant Perrin, slight; Edward Howard, slight.

Captain Ball of the Third Minnesota was wounded in three places and under the most aggravating circumstances. When the enemy charged up the railroad, finding themselves in a dangerous place, they waved their hands in token of surrender. At this instant Captain Ball sprang to the top of the embankment, and a volley was fired at him, three shots taking effect. The Minnesotians


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