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[188] next morning in this strong position; but Lee, not unmindful of the still recent and sore experience of Malvern Heights, was too good a General to repeat his own blunders. Aware that a demoralized army under an inapt commander may be most safely and surely assailed on its flank and rear — by blows that threaten to cut off its line of supply and retreat — he started Jackson northward, with his own and Ewell's divisions, at an early hour next morning,1 with instructions to turn and assail our right. Crossing Bull Run at Sudley Ford, Jackson took a country road thence to Little River turn-pike, on which, turning sharply to the right, he moved down toward Fairfax C. H.; and, toward evening of the next day,2 when nearing the little village of Germantown, a mile or two from Fairfax C. H., he found his advance resisted. Pope, not even threatened with a front attack, had ere this suspected the Rebels of a fresh attempt to flank his right, and had directed Gen. Sumner to push forward two brigades toward the turnpike, while Gen. Hooker was that afternoon dispatched to Fairfax C. H. to support the movement.

Skirmishing commenced at 5 P. M. Gen. Reno, near Chantilly, with the remains of two divisions, poorly supplied with ammunition, found himself confronted by Jackson's far superior numbers, but composed wholly of infantry; the rapidity of his march having left his artillery behind on the road. Gen. Isaac J. Stevens, commanding Reno's 2d or left division, at once ordered a charge, and was shot dead while leading it, by a bullet through his head. His command thereupon fell back in disorder, uncovering the flank of Reno's other division, which thereupon fell back also.

Gen. Phil. Kearny, with his division of Heintzelman's corps, now advanced and renewed the action, in the midst of a thunder-storm so furious that ammunition could with great difficulty be kept serviceable; while the roar of cannon was utterly unheard at Centerville, barely three miles distant. Riding forward too recklessly, Kearny, about sunset, was shot dead, when almost within the Rebel lines, and the command of his division devolved on Gen. Birney, who promptly ordered a bayonetcharge by his own brigade, consisting of the 1st, 38th, and 40th New York. The order was executed by Col. Egan with great gallantry, and the enemy's advance driven back considerably; Gen. Birney holding the field of conflict through the night, burying our dead and removing our wounded. Our total loss here cannot have exceeded 500 men; but among them were Gens. Kearny and Stevens, and Maj. Tilden, 38th New York, who fell in the closing bayonet-charge.

Jackson's flanking movement and attack, though wisely conceived and vigorously made, had failed to achieve any material results. His report claims no prisoners nor arms captured.3

Pope's retreat from Centerville

1 August 31.

2 Sept. 1.

3 He says:

Early next morning, Sept. 1st, we moved forward; and, late in the evening, after reaching Ox Hill, came in contact with the enemy, who were in position on our right and front, covering his line of retreat from Centerville to Fairfax Court House. Our line of battle was formed-Gen. Hill's division on the right; Ewell's division, Gen. Lawton commanding, in the center, and Jackson's division, Gen. Starke commanding, on the left — all on the right of the turnpike road. Artillery was posted on an eminence to the left of the road. The brigades of Branch and Field, Col. Brockenbrough commanding the latter, were sent forward to feel and engage the enemy. A cold and drenching thunder-shower swept over the field at this time, striking directly into the faces of our troops. These two brigades gallantly engaged the enemy; but so severe was the fire in front and flank of Branch's brigade as to produce in it some disorder and falling back. The brigades of Gregg, Thomas, and Pender were then thrown into the fight. Soon, a portion of Ewell's division became engaged. The conflict now raged with great fury; the enemy obstinately and desperately contesting the ground until their Gens. Kearny and Stevens fell in front of Thomas's brigade; after which, they retired from the field. By the following morning, the Federal army had entirely disappeared from our view; and it soon appeared, by a report from Gen. Stuart, that it had passed Fairfax Court House and had moved in the direction of Washington city.

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