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P. S.--I attach to this letter a copy of a letter addressed by an officer of the regular army to a friend, who has kindly consented that I may use it. It is graphically written, and will tell you many things which only an officer can tell: The march from our bivouac, near Centreville, was taken up at 2 1/2 A. M. on Sunday. Among officers and men the impression prevailed that the action would occur at Bull Run, the scene of Gen. Tyler's repulse a day or two previously. In this they were disappointed. Tyler's brigade posted themselves at the bridge over Bull Run, where they were ordered to feign an attack as soon as Col. Hunter's division was known to be in position. This order was partially obeyed. Hunter's division, composed of Burnside's brigade and Porter's brigade, after proceeding a mile beyond Centreville, made a detour to the right, and proceeded over a wood road, well covered from observation, to the left flank of the enemy, at Manassas, a distance of about eight miles. At six o'clock firing was heard on the heights at Bull Run, from a battery in Tyler's brigade, which was promptly answered by the enemy's batteries. Their position thus revealed, the advance division (Hunter's) ascended a hill at double quick, and almost immediately the Rhode Island battery and Griffin's West Point battery were in brisk action. The former was supported by the First regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, who maintained their ground nobly for a half hour. At this moment Porter's brigade, composed of the Fourteenth, Seventh, and Twenty-seventh New York, with a battalion of U. S. Marines, under Major Reynolds, and a battalion of U. S. Third, Second, and Eighth Infantry, under Major Sykes, took their position in line of battle upon a hill, within range of the enemy's fire. Burnside's battery being sorely pressed, the enemy having charged closely upon it, the gallant Colonel galloped to Major Sykes and implored him to come to his
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