reached the Manassas Gap Railroad, was marching toward us, and was then but three or four miles from our left flank.
Although it seemed to me impossible that General Patterson
could have come up so soon, and from that direction, I fixed on a new field upon which to concentrate our whole force should the report prove to be true-one nearly equidistant from Manassas Junction
, the troops engaged, and those on the right-and sent orders to the commanders of the latter to gather their respective brigades south of the stream, that they might be ready to move to it promptly.
On the appearance of Fisher
's (Sixth North Carolina) regiment soon after (at half-past 2 o'clock), approaching from the direction of Manassas Junction
, Colonel Cocke
was desired to lead his brigade into action on the right; which he did with alacrity.
's regiment came up, the Federal
general seemed to be strengthening his right.
It was ordered to the left, therefore.
's and Cash
's regiments of Bonham
's brigade, then in sight, received similar orders on arriving.
Soon after three o'clock, while General McDowell
seemed to be striving, by strengthening his right, to drive back our left, and thus separate us from Manassas Junction
, Brigadier-General Kirby Smith
, hastening with Elzey
's brigade from that railroad-station, arrived by the route Fisher
He was instructed, by a staff-officer sent forward to meet him, to form on the left of the line, with his left thrown forward, and to assail the enemy's right flank.
At his request I joined him, directed his march, and gave these instructions in person.