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[35] had been firing; that he had also ordered the Eighteenth regiment back out of the open field into the woods on the Centreville road as a reserve. The Thirty-second regiment, by Col. Miles's order, remained as a reserve, in column, on the Centreville road, about three-quarters of a mile in rear; Col. Miles then ordered me to continue the firing, without regard to ammunition, which I did, until I received an order to stop, about two hours later.

As soon as Col. Miles left me again in command, I sent back the brigade corps of pioneers to the back road whence the two regiments had been moved, with instructions to fell trees and to completely block the road, which they effectually did.

We had, during the afternoon, unmistakable evidences that a large body of cavalry and infantry had attempted to take us in the rear by means of the road, for when they were returning, having been stopped by the fallen trees, Maj. Hunt, with his howitzers, Lieut. Green and Lieut. Edwards, with the rifled guns, poured a heavy fire into their column, the effect of which we could not ascertain, but it must have been destructive, as the distance was only from half to three-quarters of a mile.

In the course of the day two companies, and later four companies, of the Thirty-first, and two of the Sixteenth were, by Colonel Miles' order, thrown forward to feel the enemy's strength, to the front and left in the direction of Bull Run. They found the enemy posted in the woods, and were recalled. They reported having killed several of the rebel scouts.

The afternoon, until about four o'clock, was passed inactively, except firing rifled cannon at moving columns of the enemy at great distances. I had seen unmistakable evidences in the afternoon, by clouds of dust, &c., of the concentration of the enemy's troops on our left, but peremptory orders from Colonel Miles to hold the position, and remain there all night, were received. He then left me in command for the night, and I immediately began to prepare for an attack. I threw out two companies of skirmishers to our rear, and ordered the Thirty-second forward to support them. About four o'clock we saw the enemy approaching down a gorge, leading into a valley, which lay directly to our left, about 500 yards distant. The.field in which I was ordered to remain was enclosed. on two sides by dense woods, and covered by light bushes on the side toward the said valley on the left.

After the enemy were discovered filing into the valley, no movement was made for some time. When it was supposed, from the appearance of things, that the last of the column was entering the valley, I ordered all the artillery (six pieces) to charge front to the left, but not to fire until the rear of the column was seen. I placed the artillery, with a company of infantry with each piece, and charged the battle front of the two regiments (the 16th and 31st) supporting the artillery to the left, and on a line with them, and ordered every man to lie down and reserve his fire.

During the whole time that this order was being carried out, the enemy's troops were still advancing down the hill, four abreast, and at “right shoulder shift.” I gave orders to Lieut. Edwards, when I saw the rear of the column, to give it a solid twenty-pound shot, which he did, knocking a horse and his rider into the air, and starting into a double-quick the rear of the column into the valley. I then ordered the whole artillery to pours grape and canister into the valley, and at every fire there went up a tremendous howl from the enemy. During all this time the enemy poured volleys of musketry over the heads of our prostrate men. This firing continued for twenty-five or thirty minutes. A portion of the enemy rushed into a barn, from which well-directed shots brought some out in great haste.

The whole force of the enemy consisted, as near as I could estimate, from the time of their passing one point, and from what I can find out, of 3,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry. They were utterly dispersed. A small number of them came up into the edge of the field, to the number of about 50, and fired five volleys at our prostrate men, but did not succeed in drawing shot from them in return.

It has been ascertained that the enemy had left the field, from their having ceased firing, and from seeing them run through the bushes in every direction, and hearing at the same time that our troops were falling back on Centreville, I received orders by an aid from Col. Miles, who was in Centreville, to fall back also on that place and encamp.

I immediately went over to give the same order to Richardson's brigade on the Centreville road, and also to Green's battery, but found they had left some time before, by Col. Miles's orders through an aid.

The Thirty-first regiment, under Col. Pratt, filed out of the field in rear of the artillery, and the Sixteenth followed, under Lieut.-Col. Marsh, each in perfect order, not having fired a gun at the enemy. The Eighteenth and Thirty-second regiments were ordered by me to fall back on Centreville, which they did in good order, and my entire brigade, together with Hunt's battery, fell back on Centreville Heights, without the least confusion, and assumed position under the direct command of Gen. McDowell, who sent a major (an aid) to me, directing that my regiments should fall in, in accordance with his expressed orders. The entire left wing was then in complete order, and every man in his place. Having received this order from Gen. McDowell, I left my command and went to Centreville Centre, to look after the sick and wounded, and my own baggage train. I returned immediately to my command and found that Col. Miles had been superseded, and received an order from General McDowell to take command of the left wing, which I did, encamping on the ground. Soon after the order

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