he fell back hastily to Harper's Ferry
where, on the 25th, he was superseded by Gen. N. P. Banks
The movement of the Union Grand Army
, commanded in the field by Gen. Irwin McDowell
, but directed from Washington
by Lieut. Gen. Scott
, commenced on Tuesday, July 16th. Gen. Tyler
's column, in the advance, bivouacked that night at Vienna
, four and a half miles from Fairfax Court House.
It rested next night at Germantown
, two miles beyond Fairfax
; and, on Thursday, at 9 o'clock A. M., pushed on to and through Centerville
, the Rebels
retiring quietly before it. Three miles beyond that village, however, the Rebels
were found strongly posted at Blackburn's ford, on Bull Run
, and, on being pressed, showed fight.
This was at 1 1/2 o'clock P. M. A spirited conflict, mainly with artillery, resulted — the Rebels
being in heavy force, under the immediate command of Gen. James Longstreet
, more exposed, as well as outnumbered, finally drew back, leaving the Rebel
The losses were nearly equal: 83 on our side; 68 on the other.
's battery, Capt. Ayres
, did most of the actual fighting, supported by Col. Richardson
's brigade, consisting of the 1st Massachusetts, 12th New-York, and 2d and 3d Michigan.
Regarded as a reconnoissance in force, the attack might be termed a success; since the result demonstrated that the main Rebel army was in position along the wooded valley of Bull Run
, half-way between Centerville
and Manassas Junction
, and purposed to remain.
's army was moved up to and concentrated around the ridge on which Centerville
is situated during the 18th and 19th, with intent to advance and attack the Rebels
along Bull Run
and between that stream and Manassas Junction
, on Saturday, the 20th.
But delay was encountered in the reception of adequate subsistence, which did not arrive till Friday night. During Saturday, three days rations were distributed and issued, and every preparation made for moving punctually at 2 o'clock next morning.
, maintaining an absolute quiet and inoffensiveness on his front, and fully informed by spies and traitors of every movement between him and Washington
, had hastily gathered from every side all the available forces of the Confederacy
, including 15,000, or nearly the