unshaken, pushed on within thirty yards of the cannon's mouth, shouting, “Bull Run! Bull Run!” as the Swiss used to shout, “Granson! Granson!” There, however, they wavered, and the Federal General Hancock, seizing the moment, cried to his soldiers, as he waved his cap, “Now, gentlemen the bayonet!” and charged with his brigade. The enemy could not withstand the shock, broke and fled, strewing the field with his dead. At this very moment General McClellan, who had been detained at Yorktown, appeared on the field. It was dusk: the night was coming on, the rain still falling in torrents. On three sides of the plateau on which the general was, the cannon and the musketry were rattling uninterruptedly. The success of Hancock had been decisive, and the reserves brought up by the general-in-chief, charging upon the field, settled the affair. Then it was that I saw General McClellan, passing in front of the Sixth Cavalry, give his hand to Major Williams, with a few words on his brilliant charge of the day before. The regiment did not hear what he said; but it knew what he meant, and from every heart went up one of those masculine, terrible shouts which are only to be heard on tho field of battle.1 These shouts, taken up along the whole
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1 Suddenly a shout of a thousand voices broke upon the air, like the rushing of a mighty wind from the wood. What did this portend? There was little time left for us to speculate. Charge after charge was made upon our men, and the news then spread that General McClellan, with the main body of his army, had arrived on the field of battle. This explained the loud cheers from the wood. Our men could no longer stand their ground. McClellan, in person, led on his troops into the midst of the fire. Magruder now, finding that the battle was lost, ordered a retreat to be sounded, and directed Hill's division, which had just come up, to cover the movement. All the wounded and a great portion of the baggage were left in the enemy's hands. The shades of night put an end to the fight; a heavy rain, too, began to fall; and these circumstances, fortunately, prevented the enemy from completely over-whelming us. Tired and worn out, our troops returned to Williamsburg, where the excitement had become intense. --Estvan's War-Pictures from the South, p. 279.
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