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[187] back in confusion; the Confederates pursuing eagerly and joining battle along the entire front, but struggling especially to overwhelm and turn our left, where Schenck, Milroy, and Reynolds, soon reenforced by Ricketts, maintained the unequal contest throughout the afternoon; while Porter's weakened corps was rallied, reformed, and pushed up to their support; rendering good service, especially the brigade of regulars under Col. Buchanan. Gen. Tower led his brigade, of Ricketts's division, into action, in support of Reynolds, with eminent skill and gallantry; its conduct being such as to elicit enthusiastic cheers from our entire left wing. Reno's corps, also, being withdrawn from our right center, was thrown into action on our left, and displayed conspicuous gallantry.

But the fates were against us. The enemy was aware of his advantage, and resolved to press it to the utmost. Our attack on his left, under Jackson, for a time promised success; until our advancing troops were mowed down by the cross-fire of 4 batteries from Longstreet's left, which decimated and drove them back in confusion. Jackson, seeing them recoil, immediately ordered an advance; which Longstreet supported by pushing forward his whole command against our center and left. Hood's two brigades again led the charge, followed by the divisions of Evans, R. H. Anderson, and Wilcox, sustained by those of Kemper and D. R. Jones; the Rebel artillery doing fearful execution on our disordered and recoiling infantry. At dark, our left had been forced back considerably, but still stood firm and unbroken, and still covered the turn-pike which was our only safe line of retreat. At 8 P. M., Pope sent written instructions to his corps commanders to withdraw deliberately toward Centerville, designating the route of each, and the position he was to take; while Reno was ordered to cover the retreat; which was made slowly, quietly, and in good order: no pursuit across Bull Run being attempted.1

Franklin's corps, from McClellan's army, reported 8,000 strong, was, unknown to Pope, throughout this mournful day, a little east of Centerville.2 Pope reached that point between 9 and 10 P. M., and at once made his dispositions for resisting a Rebel attack. But none was attempted. Sumner, as well as Franklin, from McClellan's army, joined him here, raising his total force to fully 60,000 men; which was probably more than the enemy could now bring against him.

Pope evidently expected to be attacked

1 Lee, in his official report, says:

The obscurity of night and the uncertainty of the fords of Bull Run rendered it necessary to suspend operations until morning; when the cavalry, being pushed forward, discovered that the enemy had escaped to the strong position of Centerville, about four miles beyond Bull Run. The prevalence of a heavy rain, which began during the night, threatened to render Bull Run impassable, and impeded our movements. Longstreet remained on the battle-field to engage the attention of the enemy, and cover the burial of the dead and the removal of the wounded; while Jackson proceeded by Sudley's Ford to the Little River turnpike, to turn the enemy's right and intercept his retreat to Washington. Jackson's progress was retarded by the inclemency of the weather and the fatigue of his troops; who, in addition to their arduous marches, had fought three severe engagements in as many days. He reached Little River turn-pike in the evening, and the next day, September 1st, advanced by that road toward Fairfax Court House.

2 Pope, in his official report, says:

About 6 P. M., I heard accidentally that Franklin's corps had arrived at a point about four miles east of Centerville, and 12 miles in our rear, and that it was only about 8,000 strong.

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