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[350] have risen above fifty men. The regiments, excepting the New York 12th, retired in good order, leaving the valley free from troops. No attempt whatever was made by the other side to pursue or harass them, although much injury might have been inflicted at that time. The business was then taken up by the artillery, and a heavy cannonading was opened by both our batteries, which was briskly responded to by the enemy. The shots, however, went--four of ours to one of theirs. Some injury was done to our troops by the balls as they plunged through the woods and tore away limbs of trees, and in one or two cases limbs of men. For ten minutes the ugly whirr and hum of their flight through the air were almost incessant. The shriller whistle of the rifle ball filled all intervals in its own unmelodious way. At last our batteries were called upon to cease firing, and the cessation on our side was the instantaneous signal for silence with them.

Our position was then abandoned. The regiments marched slowly back toward Centreville, their rear protected by Lieut. Drummond's cavalry company. On the way, large reinforcements met us, and other divisions of the corps d'armee were seen pouring down by the northern roads. They joined us at Centreville, where all rested for the night, excepting the picket-guards, which were thrown out far toward Bull Run, and a single troop of cavalry, which encamped about two miles from the scene of the contest. Thus the skirmish ended, not creditably to our leaders, but in a manner reflecting no dishonor upon our soldiers, (excepting those of the New York 12th.) Truer valor has never been seen among men than that which was gladly shown a hundred times during the day. Our Generals, too, seemed utterly indifferent to any peril. Col. Richardson commanding the brigade rode through storms of shot unconcerned, and Gen. Tyler with his staff stood for an hour in the most exposed situations, while rifled cannon balls tore through the trees and shattered the walls of houses beside him, and the bullets dropped into the ground about him like cherries shaken from a ripe tree. In some places, thick puffs of dust covered the open field, shaken up by the plunging of the bullets in the loose soil.

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