been previously sent to the rear by Gen. Longstreet. This infantry was at once placed in position to the left of the ford, in a space unoccupied by Hays, and the artillery was unlimbered n battery to the right of the road in a line with the two guns already in action. A scattering fire of musketry was still kept up by the enemy for a short time, but that was soon silenced. It was at this stage of the affair that a remarkable artillery duel was commenced and maintained on our side with a long-trained professional opponent superior in character as well as in the number of his weapons, provided with improved munitions and every artillery appliance, and at the same time occupying the commanding position. The results were marvellous, and fitting precursors to the artillery achievements of the twenty-first of July. In the outset our fire was directed against the enemy's infantry, whose bayonets, gleaming above the tree-tops, alone indicated their presence and force. This drew the attention of a battery placed on a high, commanding ridge, and a duel began in earnest. For a time the aim of the adversary was inaccurate, but this was quickly corrected, and shot fell and shells burst thick and fast in the midst of our battery, wounding in the course of the combat Capt. Eschelman, five privates, and the horse of Lieut. Richardson. From the position of our pieces and the nature of the ground, their aim could only be directed at the smoke of the enemy's artillery; how skilfully and with what execution this was done can only be realized by an eye-witness. For a few moments, their guns were silenced, but were soon re-opened. By direction of Gen. Longstreet his battery was then advanced by hand out of the range now ascertained by the enemy, and a shower of spherical case, shell, and round shot flew over the heads of our gunners; but one of our pieces had become hors de combat from an enlarged vent. From the new position our guns fired as before, with no other aim than the smoke and flash of their adversaries' pieces — renewed and urged the conflict with such signal vigor and effect, that gradually the fire of the enemy slackened, the intervals between their discharges grew longer and longer, finally to cease, and we fired a last gun at a baffled, flying foe, whose heavy masses in the distance were plainly seen to break and scatter, in wild confusion and utter rout, strewing the ground with cast-away guns, hats, blankets, and knapsacks, as our parting shells were thrown among them. In their retreat one of their pieces was abandoned, but from the nature of the ground it was not sent for that night, and under cover of darkness the enemy recovered it. The guns engaged in this singular conflict on our side were three 6-pounder rifle pieces and four ordinary 6-pounders, all of Walton's battery — the Washington Artillery, of New Orleans. The officers immediately attached were, Cap. Eschelman, Lieuts. C. W. Squires, Richardson, Garnett, and Whittington. At the sam time, our infantry held the bank of the stream in advance of our guns, and the missiles flew to and fro above them, as, cool and veteranlike, for more than an hour they steadily awaited the moment and signal for the advance. While the conflict was at its height before Blackburn's Ford, about 4 o'clock P. M., the enemy again displayed himself in force before Bonham's position. At this, Colonel Kershaw with four companies of his regiment, Second South Carolina, and one piece of Kemper's battery, were thrown across Mitchell's Ford to the ridge which Kemper had occupied that morning. Two solid shot, and three spherical case thrown among them — with a precision inaugurated by that artillerist at Vienna — effected their discomfiture and disappearance, and our troops in the quarters were again withdrawn within our lines, having discharged the duty assigned. At the close of the engagement before Blackburn Ford, I directed Gen. Longstreet to withdraw the 1st and 17th regiments, which had borne the brunt of the action, to a position in reserve, leaving Col. Early to occupy the field with his brigade and Garland's regiment. As a part of the history of this engagement, I desire to place on record, that on the 18th of July not one yard of intrenchment nor one rifle-pit sheltered the men at Blackburn's Ford, who, officers and men, with rare exceptions, were on that day for the first time under fire, and who, taking and maintaining every position ordered, cannot be too much commended for their soldierly behavior. Our artillery were manned and officered by those who but yesterday were called from the civil avocations of a busy city. They were matched with the picked artillery of the Federal regular army--Company E, 3d artillery, under Capt. Ayres, with an armament, as their own chief of artillery admits, of two 10-pounder Parrott rifle guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 6-pounder pieces, aided by two 20-pounder Parrott rifle guns of Company G, 5th artillery, under Lieut. Benjamin; thus matched they drove their veteran adversaries from the field, giving confidence in and promise of the coming efficiency of that brilliant arm of our service. Having thus related the main or general results and events of the action of Bull Run, in conclusion, it is proper to signalize some of those who contributed most to the satisfactory results of that day. Thanks are due to Brig.-Gens. Bonham and Ewell, and to Col. Cocke and the officers under them, for the ability shown in conducting and executing the retrograde movements on Bull Run, directed in my orders of the 18th of July--movements on which hung the fortunes of this army. Brig.-Gen. Longstreet, who commanded immediately the troops engaged at Blackburn's Ford on the 18th, equalled my confident expectations,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Bull Run .
Doc . 4 .- N. Y. Tribune narrative.
Doc . 59 : a Virginian who is not a traitor: response of Lieut. Mayo , U. S. N. , to the proclamation of Gov. Letcher .
Doc . 65 -speech of Galusha A. Grow , on taking the Chair of the House of Representatives of the United States , July 4 .
Doc . 135 .- Virginia ordinance, prohibiting citizens of Virginia from holding office under the United States , passed July , 1861 .
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