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Doc. 111.-battle of Bull Run, Va.


Supplementary report of General Tyler.1

Headquarters, 1ST Division, Washington, July 27th, 1861.
General: I closed my report as to the fight at Bull Run at the time we left for Centreville; and it is due to me and my division that our subsequent movements be noted to the time the different brigades reached a stopping place. On reaching Centreville, I found Richardson's brigade in line, ready to support us, or cover the retreat. The brigade retired in good order on Arlington, covering the retreat. After the order was given to retreat, and each brigade was ordered “to proceed to the position from which it started, and by the route by which it advanced,” I communicated the order to the commanders of each brigade, and with Keyes' brigade proceeded at once to Falls Church, determined to save the camp equipage of the four regiments left standing there, which I knew, if we fell back on the fortifications in front of Washington, the enemy would at once seize. Col. Keyes, with the three Connecticut regiments, arrived at Falls Church about 5 o'clock A. M. of the 22d inst., and proceeded at once to strike their tents, and those of the Maine [367] regiment and send them to Fort Corcoran. This work, without rations, was continued the entire day, and during a severe rain storm, and by night the entire camp equipage was saved by removal. Col. Keyes then fell back to the camp of Schenck's brigade, which had been entirely deserted; and after using their tents for the night, struck them the next morning, and sent the other Government property to Fort Corcoran and Alexandria; and at 7 o'clock Tuesday morning I saw the three Connecticut regiments, with two thousand (2,000) bayonets, march under the guns of Fort Corcoran in good order after having saved us not only a large amount of public property, but the mortification of having our standing camps fall into the hands of the enemy. I hope, General, that you will appreciate this service on the part of a portion of my division, and give credit to whom credit is due.

All the brigades, except Schenck's, obeyed the order to return to their original positions. By some misunderstanding, which is not satisfactorily explained, this brigade proceeded direct to Washington, one regiment, as understood, passing directly through the camp they left on the 16th inst.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

Daniel Tyler, Brig.-Gen. 1st Division. To Brig.-Gen. I. Mcdowell, Commander Department N. E. Virginia, Arlington.


Official report of Colonel Pratt.

Headquarters Thirty-First regiment N. Y. V., camp near Alexandria, Va., July 22, 1861.
sir: In accordance with paragraph 723 of General Regulations for the United States Army, I have the honor to report the operations of my regiment during the engagement of yesterday.

In obedience to your order, the regiment was ready to march from camp, near Centreville, at 2.30 A. M. While proceeding to the field, I was detached from my regiment and ordered to take command of the Sixteenth and Thirty-second regiments New York Volunteers, to support Lieut. Pratt's battery. I turned over the command of the Thirty-first regiment to Lieut.-Col. Wm. H. Browne, and took command as directed, made a reconnoissance in company with Col. Mathewson of the Thirty-second, Lieut.-Col. Marsh of the Sixteenth, and Lieut. Pratt of the artillery, and placed said regiments in proper positions. I afterwards threw out as skirmishers of the Thirty-second a company under Captain Chalmers and a platoon under Lieut.--of the Sixteenth, and sent them about a mile to the front and left of our position, to guard a road leading from the enemy's right to our left and rear. In about an hour I was ordered by Col. Dixon S. Miles, the division commander, to proceed with the two regiments and the battery to the front, where I was relieved from command of them, and resumed charge of my own regiment. Soon afterward, by directions of Col. Miles, I proceeded to the extreme left of our division, and supported Maj. Hunt's battery. Having thrown out Capt. Heiss, with his company, as skirmishers in the defiles, about a quarter of a mile on our left, I rested the remainder of my regiment on the skirt of a wood, in rear of the artillery. Perceiving that the enemy was wary and shy, I sent Lieut.-Col. Browne, with two companies detailed by him, to reconnoitre a ravine and wood where it was suspected the enemy was concealed. After deploying and penetrating the ravine to a considerable distance, all at once a smart fire of rifles was opened upon him from a force concealed in the thick timber. He returned the fire, and continued skirmishing, assisted by a detachment of Massachusetts Volunteers, until his men were safely covered. The desired effect of compelling our adversaries to discover themselves having thus been attained, Richardson's battery opened upon them a destructive fire of case shot and shell. The skirmishers were recalled, and Lieut.-Col. Browne reported having discovered a masked battery and a force of about a thousand men.

Soon afterwards it was discovered that a force of infantry and cavalry, variously estimated at from 2,500 to 4,000 men, were marching on our left through the woods and defile to turn our flank. Pursuant to your order, the line of battle was changed to our left flank, and four companies were detailed from my regiment and thrown into the left and rear as skirmishers, under command of Frank Jones, Acting-Major, who held the enemy in check. We received a fire of 5 volleys of rifles, and retired from the woods, but they did not succeed in drawing our fire, which was reserved for the advance to take our batteries. At 6 1/2, o'clock P. M. the order was received to retire upon Centreville. My regiment remained to allow the battery to precede us, being the last, except the Sixteenth, to quit the field that had successfully been held against such tremendous odds.

I deem it my duty to give the names of the officers of my regiment who were engaged in the battle, and to whose coolness and judgment I am indebted for the success that attended my regiment.

Lieutenant-Colonel, William H. Browne; Acting-Major, Frank Jones; Volunteer Aids, A. L. Washburn, and Frank Hamilton, jr.; Acting-Adjutant, Edward Frossards; Major, Frank H. Hamilton, M. D., Surgeon; Lucier Damamville, M. D., Assistant-Surgeon; George Hanni, M. D., Acting Assistant-Surgeon; Edward A. Brown, M. D., Acting Assistant-Surgeon.

Co. A--Captain, J. J. S. Hassler; First Lieutenant, Robert R. Daniels; Acting Second Lieutenant. Wm. Smith. Co. B--Captain, L. C. Newman; First Lieutenant, D. E. Smith; Second Lieutenant, Eugene Frossard. Co. C--Capt., Alexander Raszevski; First Lieutenant, Louis Domanski. Co. D--Captain, M. O. McGarry; First Lieutenant, J. H. Bradley; Second [368] Lieutenant, R. L. Knight. Co. E--Captain, August Heiss; First Lieutenant, C. E. Kleine; Second Lieutenant, H. Scheikhaus. Co. F--First Lieutenant, F. Pross; Second Lieutenant, Louis H. Browne. Co. G--First Lieutenant, Oliver J. Rogers; Second Lieutenant, Wm. D. Prentice. Co. H--Captain, David Lamb; First Lieutenant, Asa B. Gardner; Second Lieutenant, Ferdinand F. Pfeiffer. Co. I--Captain, John A. Rice; Chaplain, L. W. Waldron, Acting First Lieutenant; Second Lieutenant, Hamilton Haire. Co. K--Captain, John H. Watts; First Lieutenant, Wm. Maitland; Second Lieutenant, T. E. Waldron.

Among those not soldiers who rendered effective and gallant service among the skirmishers was John M. Pierce, a servant to Lieut.-Col. Browne, who, with his rifle, killed a field-officer and one soldier of the advancing foe. To conclude, the non-commissioned officers and soldiers of my command behaved with such gallantry, it were invidious to make distinction until the time for promotion shall have actually arrived.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, &c.,

Calvin E. Pratt, Col. Com. 31st regiment N. Y. V. To Gen. Thomas A. Davies, commanding Second Brigade, Fifth Division, North-east Army, Virginia.


Beauregard's official report.

A correspondent of the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, Nov. 1, gives the following synopsis of Beauregard's official report of the battle of Bull Run.2

I have been favored with a brief synopsis of portions of Gen. Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas, which has been forwarded to the War Department, and which will doubtless be published in a short time. Beauregard opens with a statement of his position antecedent to the battle, and of the plan proposed by him to the Government of the junction of the armies of the Shenandoah and Potomac, with a view to the relief of Maryland, and the capture of the city of Washington, which plan was rejected by the President. Gen. Beauregard states that he telegraphed the War Department on the 13th of July of the contemplated attack by Gen. McDowell, urgently asking for a junction of Gen. Johnston's forces with his own, and continued to make urgent requests for the same until the 17th of July, when the President consented to order Gen. Johnston to his assistance. Gen. Beauregard goes on to state that his plan of battle assigned to Gen. Johnston an attack on the enemy on the left, at or near Centreville, while he himself would command in front; but the condition of the roads prevented this.

It was then decided to receive the attack of the enemy behind Bull Run. After the engagement at Blackburn's Ford, on the 18th, Gen. Beauregard was convinced that General McDowell's principal demonstration would be made on our left wing, and he then formed the idea of throwing forward a sufficient force, by converging roads, to attack the enemy's reserves at Centreville so soon as the main body of the latter became inextricably engaged on the left. Late in the day, finding that General Ewell, who was posted on the extreme right of our line, had not moved forward in accordance with the programme and the special order which had been sent him, General Beauregard despatched a courier to Gen. Ewell to inquire the reason why the latter had failed to advance, and received a reply from Gen. Ewell, stating that he had not received any such order. The enemy's attack having then become too strong on the left to warrant carrying out the original plan, as it would take three hours for General Ewell's brigade to reach Centreville, it became necessary to alter the plan, change front on the left, and bring up our reserves to that part of the field. This movement was superintended in person by General Johnston, General Beauregard remaining to direct the movements in front.

At the time when Gen. Kirby Smith and General Early came up with their divisions and appeared on the right of the enemy, our forces on the left occupied the chord of the are of a circle, of which the arc itself was occupied by the enemy — the extremes of their line flanking ours. The appearance of Smith's and Early's brigades, and their charge on the enemy's right, broke the lines of the latter and threw them into confusion, when shortly afterwards the rout became complete.

General Beauregard acknowledges the great generosity of General Johnston in fully according to him (Gen. Beauregard) the right to carry out the plans he had formed with relation to this campaign, in yielding the command of the field after examining and cordially, approving the plan of battle, and in the effective cooperation which General Johnston so chivalrously extended to him on that eventful day.

He remarks that the retreat of our forces from Fairfax, immediately previous to the engagement of the 18th, is the first instance on record of volunteers retiring before an engagement, and with the object of giving battle in another position. The number under his command on the 18th July is set down at 17,000 effective men, and on the 21st to 27,000, which includes 6,200 of Johnston's army, and 1,700 brought up by Gen. Holmes from Fredericksburg. The killed on our side in this evermemorable battle are stated in the report to have been in number 393, and the wounded 1,200. The enemy's killed, wounded, and prisoners are estimated by General Beauregard at 4,500, which does not include the missing.


[369]

New York times narrative: editorial correspondence.

Washington, Sunday night, July 22, 1861.
The battle yesterday was one of the most severe and sanguinary ever fought on this continent, and it ended in the failure of the Union troops to hold all the positions which they sought to carry, and which they actually did carry, and in their retreat to Centreville, where they have made a stand, and where Gen. McDowell believes that they are able to maintain themselves.

As I telegraphed you yesterday, the attack was made in three columns, two of which, however, were mainly feints, intended to amuse and occupy the enemy, while the substantial work was done by the third. It has been known for a long time that the range of hills which border the small swampy stream known as Bull Run, had been very thoroughly and extensively fortified by the rebels — that batteries had been planted at every available point, usually concealed in the woods and bushes which abound in that vicinity, and covering every way of approach to the region beyond. These are the advanced defences of Manassas Junction, which is some three miles further off. Until these were carried, no approach could be made to that place; and after they should be carried, others of a similar character would have to be overcome at every point where they could be erected. The utmost that military skill and ingenuity could accomplish for the defence of this point was done. Gen. McDowell was unwilling to make an attack directly in face of these batteries, as they would be of doubtful issue, and must inevitably result in a very serious loss of life. After an attack had been resolved upon, therefore, he endeavored to find some way of turning the position. His first intention was to do this on the southern side — to throw a strong column into the place from that direction, while a feigned attack should be made in front. On Thursday, when the troops were advanced to Centreville, it was found that the roads on the south side of these positions were almost impracticable — that they were narrow, crooked, and stony, and that it would be almost impossible to bring up enough artillery to be effective in the time required. This original plan was, therefore, abandoned; and Friday was devoted to an examination by the topographical engineers of the northern side of the position. Maj. Barnard and Capt. Whipple reconnoitred the place for miles around, and reported that the position could be entered by a path coming from the north, though it was somewhat long and circuitous. This was selected, therefore, as the mode and point of attack.

On Saturday the troops were all brought closely up to Centreville, and all needful preparations were made for the attack which was made this day. This morning, therefore, the army marched, by two roads, Col. Richardson with his command taking the southern, which leads to Bull Run, and Gen. Tyler the northern — running parallel to it at a distance of about a mile and a half. The movement commenced at about 3 o'clock. I got up at a little before 4, and found the long line of troops extended far out on either road. I took the road by which Colonel Hunter, with his command, and General McDowell and staff, had gone, and pushed on directly for the front. After going out about two miles, Colonel Hunter turned to the right — marching oblique toward the run, which he was to cross some four miles higher up, and then come down upon the intrenched positions of the enemy on the other side. Col. Miles was left at Centreville and on the road, with reserves which he was to bring up whenever they might be needed. Gen. Tyler went directly forward, to engage the enemy in front, and send reinforcements to Col. Hunter whenever it should be seen that he was engaged.

I went out, as I have already stated, upon what is marked as the northern road. It is hilly, like all the surface of this section. After going out about three miles, you come to a point down which the road, leading through a forest, descends; then it proceeds by a succession of rising and falling knolls for a quarter of a mile, when it crosses a stone bridge, and then rises by a steady slope to the heights beyond. At the top of that slope the rebels had planted heavy batteries, and the woods below were filled with their troops, and with concealed cannon. We advanced down the road to the first of the small knolls mentioned, when the whole column halted. The 30-pounder Parrott gun, which has a longer range than any other in the army, was planted directly in the road. Capt. Ayres' battery was stationed in the woods a little to the right. The First Ohio and Second New York regiments were thrown into the woods in advance on the left. The Sixty-ninth New York, the First, Second, and Third Connecticut regiments were ranged behind them, and the Second Wisconsin was thrown into the woods on the right. At about half-past 6 o'clock the 30-pounder threw two shells directly into the battery at the summit of the slope, on the opposite height, one of which, as I learned afterward, struck and exploded directly in the midst of the battery, and occasioned the utmost havoc and confusion. After about half an hour, Capt. Ayres threw ten or fifteen shot or shell from his battery into the same place. But both failed to elicit any reply. Men could be seen moving about the opposite slope, but the batteries were silent. An hour or so afterward we heard three or four guns from Col. Richardson's column at Bull Run, and these were continued at intervals for two or three hours, but they were not answered, even by a single gun. It was very clear that the enemy intended to take his own time for paying his respects to us, and that he meant, moreover, to do it in his own way. Meantime we could hear in the distance the sound of Co. [370] Hunter's axemen clearing his way, and awaited with some impatience the sound of his cannon on the opposite heights. Time wore along, with occasional shots from our guns, as well as those of Col. Richardson column, but without, in a single instance, receiving any reply.

At a little before 11 o'clock, the First Ohio and Second New York, which were lying in the wood on the left, were ordered to advance. They did so — passing out of the road and climbing a fence into a wood opposite, which they had barely approached, however, when they were met by a tremendous discharge of a four-gun battery, planted at the left in the woods, mainly for the purpose of sweeping the road perpendicularly and the open field on its right, by which alone troops could pass forward to the opposite bank. They were staggered for a moment, and received orders to retire. Capt. Ayres' battery (formerly Sherman's) was advanced a little, so as to command this battery, and, by twenty minutes of vigorous play upon it, silenced it completely.

At half-past 11 we heard Hunter's guns on the opposite height, over a mile to the right. He was answered by batteries there, and then followed the sharp, rattling volleys of musketry, as their infantry became engaged. The firing now became incessant. Hunter had come upon them suddenly, and formed his line of battle in an open field, at the right of the road. The enemy drew up to oppose him, but he speedily drove them to retreat, and followed them up with the greatest vigor and rapidity. Meantime, for some three hours previous, we had seen long lines of dense dust rising from the roads leading from Manassas, and, with the glass, we could very clearly perceive that they were raised by the constant and steady stream of reinforcements, which continued to pour in nearly the whole day. The Sixty-ninth, Seventy-ninth, Second, and Eighth New York; the First, Second, and Third Connecticut, and the Second Wisconsin were brought forward in advance of the wood and marched across the field to the right, to go to Col. Hunter's support. They crossed the intervening stream and drew up in a small open field, separated from Col. Hunter's column by a dense wood, which was filled with batteries and infantry. Our guns continued to play upon the woods which thus concealed the enemy, and aided materially in cleaning for the advance. Going down to the extreme front of the column, I could watch the progress of Col. Hunter, marked by the constant roar of artillery and the roll of musketry, as he pushed the rebels back from point to point. At 1 o'clock he had driven them out of the woods and across the road which was the prolongation of that on which we stood. Here, by the side of their batteries, the rebels made a stand. They planted their flag directly in the road, and twice charged across it upon our men, but without moving them an inch. They were met by a destructive fire, and were compelled to falls till further back. Gradually the point of fire passed further and further to the left, until the dense clouds of smoke which marked the progress of the combat were at least half a mile to the left of what had been the central position of the rebels.

It was now half-past 2 o'clock. I was at the advanced point of the front of our column, some hundred rods beyond the woods, in which the few troops then there were drawn up, when I decided to drive back to the town for the purpose of sending you my despatch. As I passed up the road, the balls and shells from the enemy began to fall with more rapidity. I did not see the point from which they came; but meeting Capt. Ayres, he said he was about to bring up his battery, supported by the Ohio brigade, under Gen. Schenck, to repel a rumored attempt of cavalry to outflank this column. As I passed forward he passed down. General Schenck's brigade was at once drawn up across the road, and Capt. Ayres' guns were planted in a knoll at the left, when a powerful body of rebels, with a heavy battery, came down from the direction of Bull Run, and engaged this force with tremendous effect. I went to Centreville, sent off my despatch, and started with all speed to return, intending to go with our troops upon what had been the hotly contested field, never doubting for a moment that it would remain in their hands. I had gone but a quarter of a mile when we met a great number of fugitives, and our carriage soon became entangled in a mass of baggage-wagons, the officer in charge of which told me it was useless to go in that direction, as our troops were retreating. Not crediting the story, which was utterly inconsistent with what I had seen but a little while before, I continued to push on. I soon met Quartermaster Stetson, of the Fire Zouaves, who told me, bursting into tears, that his regiment had been utterly cut to pieces, that the colonel and lieutenant-colonel were both killed, and that our troops had actually been repulsed. I still tried to go on, but the advancing columns rendered it impossible, and I turned about. Leaving my carriage, I went to a high point of ground, and saw, by the dense cloud of dust which rose over each of the three roads by which the three columus had advanced, that they were all on the retreat. Sharp discharges of cannon in their rear indicated that they were being pursued. I waited half an hour or so to observe the troops and batteries as they arrived, and then started for Washington, to send my despatch, and write this letter. As I came past the hill on which the secessionists had their intrenchments less than a week ago, I saw our forces taking up positions for a defence, if they should be assailed.

Such is a very rapid and general history of this day's engagement. I am unable to be precise or profuse in matters of detail, and must leave these to a future letter.

I hear nothing, on every side, but the warmest [371] and heartiest commendation of our troops. They fought like veterans. The rebels did not, in a single instance, stand before them in a charge, and were shaken by every volley of their musketry. I do not mean to praise any one at the expense of another. The 69th fought with splendid and tenacious courage. They charged batteries two or three times, and would have taken and held them but for the reinforcements which were constantly and steadily poured in. Indeed it was to this fact alone that the comparative success of the rebels is due. We had not over 26,000 men in action, the rest being held as reserves at Centreville; while the enemy must have numbered at least 60,000.

The Fire Zouaves, before they had fairly got into action, were terribly cut up by a battery and by musketry, which opened on their flank. They lost a great many of their officers and men. Col. Hunter, who led the main column of attack, received a severe wound in his throat. He was brought to this city, but I understand that he cannot recover, if indeed he is not already dead. I have heard the names of many others reported killed or wounded, but deem it best not to mention them now, as the rumors may prove to be unfounded. About a mile this side of Centreville a stampede took place among the teamsters and others, which threw every thing into the utmost confusion, and inflicted very serious injuries. Mr. Eaton, of Michigan, in trying to arrest the flight of some of these men, was shot by one of them, the ball taking effect in his hand. Quite a number of Senators and members of the House were present at the battle. I shall be able to ascertain to-morrow the cause of the retreat of Col. Hunter's column after the splendid success it achieved. I am quite inclined, though in the face of evidence undeniable, to believe what is rumored here, that the column did hold its ground, and that the retreat was confined to the other columns. I fear this will not prove to be the fact

H. J. J. R.


Atlanta “Confederacy” narrative.

The special correspondent of the Atlanta, Ga., Confederacy, furnishes the following direct description of the plans and progress of the great battle:

army of the Potomac, Manassas, July 22, 1861.
Yesterday, the 21st day of July, 1861, a great battle was fought, and a great victory won by the Confederate troops. Heaven smiled on our arms, and the God of battles crowned our banners with laurels of glory. Let every patriotic heart give thanks to the Lord of Hosts for the victory He has given His people on His own holy day, the blessed Sabbath.

Gen. Johnston had arrived the preceding day with about half of the force he had, detailed from Winchester, and was the senior officer in command. He magnanimously insisted, however, that Gen. Beauregard's previous plan should be carried out, and he was guided entirely by the judgment and superior local knowledge of the latter. While, therefore, Gen. Johnston was nominally in command, Beauregard was really the officer and hero of the day. You will be glad to learn that he was this day advanced from a Brigadier to the rank of a full General.

At half-past 6 in the morning, the enemy opened fire from a battery planted on a hill beyond Bull Run, and nearly opposite the centre of our lines. The battery was intended merely to “beat the bush,” and to occupy our attention, while he moved a heavy column toward the Stone Bridge, over the same creek, upon our left. At 10 o'clock, another battery was pushed forward, and opened fire a short distance to the left of the other, and near the road leading north to Centreville. This was a battery of rifled guns, and the object of its fire was the same as that of the other. They fired promiscuously into the woods and gorges on this, the southern side of Bull Run, seeking to create the impression thereby, that our centre would be attacked, and thus prevent us from sending reinforcements to our left, where the real attack was to be made. Beauregard was not deceived by the manoeuvre.

It might not be amiss to say, that Bull Run, or creek, is north of this place, and runs nearly due east, slightly curving around the Junction, the nearest part of which is about three and a half miles. The Stone Bridge is some seven miles distant, in a north-westerly direction, upon which our left wing rested. Mitchell's ford is directly north, and distant four miles, by the road leading to Centreville, which is seven miles from the Junction. On our right is Union Mills, on the same stream, where the Alexandria and Manassas railroad crosses the Run, and distant four miles. Proceeding from Fairfax Court House, by Centreville, to Stone Bridge, the enemy passed in front of our entire line, but a distance ranging from five to two miles.

At 9 o'clock, I reached an eminence nearly opposite the two batteries mentioned above, and which commanded a full view of the country for miles around, except on the right. From this point I could trace the movements of the approaching hosts by the clouds of dust that rose high above the surrounding hills. Our left, under Brigadier-Generals Evans, Jackson, and Cocke, and Col. Bartow, with the Georgia Brigade, composed of the Seventh and Eighth regiments, had been put in-motion, and was advancing upon the enemy with a force of about 15,000, while the enemy himself was advancing upon our left with a compact column of at least 50,000. His entire force on this side of the Potomac is estimated at 75,000. These approaching columns encountered each other at 11 o'clock.

Meanwhile, the two batteries in front kept up their fire upon the wooded hill where they supposed our centre lay. They sent occasional balls, from their rifled cannon, to the eminence [372] where your correspondent stood. Gens. Beauregard, Johnston, and Bonham reached this point at 12, and one of these balls passed directly over and very near them, and plunged into the ground a few paces from where I stood.

At a quarter past 12, Johnston and Beauregard galloped rapidly forward in the direction of Stone Bridge, where the ball had now fully opened.

The artillery were the first to open fire, precisely at 11 o'clock. By half-past 11, the infantry had engaged, and there it was that the battle began to rage. The dusky columns which had thus far marked the approach of the two armies, now mingled with great clouds of smoke, as it rose from flashing guns below, and the two shot up together like a huge pyramid of red and blue. The shock was as tremendous as were the odds between the two forces. With what anxious hearts did we watch that pyramid of smoke and dust! When it moved to the right, we knew the enemy were giving way; and when it moved to the left, we knew that our friends were receding. Twice the pyramid moved to the right, and as often returned. At last, about two o'clock, it began to move slowly to the left, and thus it continued to move for two mortal hours. The enemy was seeking to turn our left flank, and to reach the railroad leading hence in the direction of Winchester. To do this, he extended his lines, which he was enabled to do by reason of his great numbers. This was unfortunate for us, as it required a corresponding extension of our own lines to prevent his extreme right from outflanking us — a movement on our part which weakened the force of our resistance along the whole line of battle, which finally extended over a space of two miles. It also rendered it the more difficult to bring up reinforcements, as the further the enemy extended his right, the greater the distance our reserve forces had to travel to counteract the movement.

This effort to turn our flank was pressed with great determination for five long, weary hours, during which the tide of battle ebbed and flowed along the entire line with alternate fortunes. The enemy's column continued to stretch away to the left, like a huge anaconda, seeking to envelope us within its mighty folds and crush us to death; and at one time it really looked as if he would succeed.

The moment he discovered the enemy's order of battle, General Beauregard, it is said, despatched orders to Gen. Ewell, on our extreme right, to move forward and turn his left or rear. At the same time he ordered Generals Jones, Longstreet, and Bonham, occupying the centre of our lines, to cooperate in this movement, but not to move until Gen. Ewell had made the attack. The order to Gen. Ewell unfortunately miscarried. The others were delivered, but as the movements of the centre were to be regulated entirely by those on the right, nothing was done at all. Had the orders to Gen. Ewell been received and carried out, and our entire force brought upon the field, we should have destroyed the enemy's army almost literally. Attacked in front, on the flank and in the rear, he could not possibly have escaped, except at the loss of thousands of prisoners and all his batteries, while the field would have been strewed with his dead.

Finding that his orders had in some way failed to be executed, Gen. Beauregard at last ordered up a portion of the forces which were intended to cooperate with Gen. Ewell. It was late, however, before these reinforcements came up. Only one brigade reached the field before the battle was won. This was led by Gen. E. K. Smith, of Florida, formerly of the United States army, and was a part of Gen. Johnston's column from Winchester. They should have reached here the day before, but were prevented by an accident on the railroad. They dashed on the charge with loud shouts and in the most gallant style. About the same time Major Elzey coming down the railroad from Winchester with the last of Johnston's brigades, and hearing the firing, immediately quit the train and struck across the country, encountered the extreme right of the enemy as he was feeling his way around our flank, and with his brigade struck him like a thunderbolt, full in the face. Finding he was about to be outflanked himself, the enemy gave way after the second fire. Meanwhile Beauregard rallied the centre and dashed into the very thickest of the fight, and after him rushed our own brave boys, with a shout that seemed to shake the very earth. The result of this movement from three distinct points, was to force back the enemy, who began to retreat, first in good order and finally in much confusion. At this point the cavalry were ordered on the pursuit. The retreat now became a perfect rout, and it is reported that the flying legions rushed passed Centerville in the direction of Fairfax, as if the earth had been opening behind them. It was when Gen. Beauregard led the final charge, that his horse was killed by a shell.

We captured thirty-four guns, including Sherman's famous battery, a large number of small arms, thirty wagons loaded with provisions, &c., and about seven hundred prisoners. Among the latter were Gen. Burnside, of the Rhode Island brigade, Col. Corcoran, of the New York Irish 69th regiment, Hon. Mr. Ely, member of Congress from New York, Mr. Carrington,3 of this State, a nephew of the late William C. Preston, who had gone over to the enemy, and thirty-two captains, lieutenants, &c. We came near bagging the Hon. Mr. Foster, Senator from Connecticut.

The official reports of the casualties of the day have not yet come in, and consequently it is impossible to say what our loss is. I can only venture an opinion, and that is, that we lost in killed, wounded, and missing, about 1,500--of [373] which about four hundred were killed. The enemy's loss was terrible, being at the lowest calculation 3,000.

Thus far I have said but little of the part taken by particular officers and regiments; for the reason that I desire first to obtain all the facts. Nor have I said any thing of the gallant Seventh and Eighth regiments from Georgia. This part of my duty is most melancholy. It may be enough to say, that they were the only Georgia regiments here at the time, that they were among the earliest in the field, and in the thickest of the fight, and that their praise is upon the lips of the whole army, from Gen. Beauregard down. Col. Gartrell led the Seventh regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Gardner the Eighth, the whole under the command of Col. Bartow, who led them with a gallantry that was never excelled. It was when the brigade was ordered to take one of the enemy's strongest batteries, that it suffered most. It was a most desperate undertaking, and followed by the bloodiest results. The battery occupied the top of a hill, on the opposite side of Bull Run, with a small piece of woods on the left. Descending the valley along the Run, he proceeded under cover of the hill to gain the woods alluded to, and from which he proposed to make a dash at the battery and capture it. On reaching the woods, he discovered that the battery was supported by a heavy infantry force, estimated at 4,000 men. This whole force, together with the battery, was turned upon the Eighth regiment, which was in the van, with terrific effect. Indeed, he was exposed on the flank and in front to a fire that the oldest veterans could not have stood. The balls and shells from the battery, and the bullets from the small arms literally riddled the woods. Trees six inches in diameter, and great limbs were cut off, and the ground strewn with the wreck. It became necessary to retire the Eighth regiment, in order to reform it. Meanwhile, Col. Bartow's horse had been shot from under him. It was observed that the forces with which his movement was to be supported had not come up. But it was enough that he had been ordered to storm the battery; so, placing himself at the head of the Seventh regiment, he again led the charge, this time on foot, and gallantly encouraging his men as they rushed on. The first discharge from the enemy's guns killed the regimental color-bearer. Bartow immediately seized the flag, and again putting himself in the front, dashed on, flag in hand, his voice ringing clear over the battle-fields, and saying, “On, my boys, we will die rather than yield or retreat.” And on the brave boys did go, and faster flew the enemy's bullets. The fire was awful. Not less than 4,000 muskets were pouring their fatal contents upon them, while the battery itself was dealing death on every side.

The gallant Eighth regiment, which had already passed through the distressing ordeal, again rallied, determined to stand by their chivalric Colonel to the last. The more furious the fire, the quicker became the advancing step of the two regiments. At last, and just when they were nearing the goal of their hopes, and almost in the arms of victory, the brave and noble Bartow was shot down, the ball striking him in the left breast, just above the heart. Col. Bartow died soon after he was borne from the field. His last words, as repeated to me, were: “They have killed me, my brave boys, but never give up the ship — we'll whip them yet.” And so we did!

The regiments that suffered most and were in the thickest of the fight, were the 7th and 8th Georgia, the 4th Alabama, Fourth South Carolina, Hampton's Legion, and 4th Virginia. The New Orleans Washington Artillery did great execution.



Charleston Mercury account.

battle field of Bull Run, July 22.
After the repulse of the 18th inst., the enemy withdrew towards Centreville, and, except in burying the dead, appeared to be inactive during the 19th and 20th, until about midnight. At that hour, the rumbling of artillery over the stony roads, the barking of dogs, etc., etc., told that vast preparations for the attack of the morrow were going forward. To the ears of the Kershaw's detachment, who were thrown out half mile to the left, and in advance of our centre, Mitchell's Ford, those sounds were quite distinct. At 5 1/2 o'clock A. M., a cannonading, on the right, begun, apparently from the point of attack of the 18th inst. A few minutes later, the firing of heavy guns was heard on the left, also, in the direction of the Stone Bridge. The calibre of the pieces was, evidently, from the sound, greater than that of those used on the 18th, and together with the peculiar whirr of the shells, and stunning detonation of the mortars, gave ample proof that the Northern generals were determined to use every effort to annihilate us that day, the memorable 21st, as they had promised to do on the first fair occasion. Gradually the cannonading on the left increased, whilst that on the right grew less. The post of the picket guard of the 2d Palmetto regiment was upon a hill overlooking all the country to the north and westward. And from this point, curling up over the tree tops, which hid the battle field, could be seen the smoke, but nothing more. About 10 o'clock there rose a great shout, and a rumor soon came down to us that our boys were driving back the enemy. This seemed to be confirmed by the smoke, which receded to the northwest. The Confederate cavalry, too, were seen galloping in that direction, perhaps to cut up the flying columns of the Yankees. More than an hour passed on, and nothing of the strife is heard but the roar of ordnance and the rattle of musketry.

Suddenly an order comes, borne, I believe, by Gen. McGowan, for the 2d and 8th Palmetto regiments to hasten to the assistance of the left wing. Couriers are despatched to Capt. Perryman, [374] out scouting, and Capt. Rhett, on picket guard, to march across the fields to the left, and join their regiment, the 2d, which is on the march to aid the left wing. This regiment, to which was attached Kemper's battery, followed by the 8th, Col. Cash, hurried to the scene of action. It was met along the way by numbers of the wounded, dying, and retiring, who declared that the day had gone against us; that Sloan's regiment, the 4th, was cut to pieces; that Hampton's Legion, coming to the rescue, and the Louisiana battalion, were annihilated; that Gen. Bee and Col. Hampton were mortally wounded, and Col. Ben. Johnson killed; and that the Confederate forces were out-flanked and routed, and the day lost. This was the unvarying tenor of the words that greeted us from the wounded and dying and the fugitives who met us during the last mile of our approach to the field of battle. To the sharp cry of the officers of the 2d regiment, “On, men, on! these fellows are whipped, and think that everybody else is,” the troops responded nobly, and closing up their columns marched rapidly and boldly forward.

The fast flying cannon shot now cut down several of our number before we got sight of the foe. Presently they became visible, with banners insolently flaunting, and driving before them the remains of our shattered forces. But the 2d, undaunted by the sight, ployed column, and, with a shout, charged up the hill at the double quick. The Yankees could not stand the shock, and fell back into the wood on the west of the hill, pouring into us a galling fire. Driven through this wood, they again formed a brigade of their men in a field beyond, and for half an hour a severe struggle took place between this regiment, with Kemper's battery attached, unsupported, and an immense force of United States troops. We poured in a steady and deadly fire upon their ranks. While the battle raged, the 8th South Carolina regiment came up, and Col. Cash, pointing to the enemy, says, “Col. Kershaw, are those the d----d scoundrels that you wish driven off the field? I'll do it in five minutes, by God!” “Yes, Colonel,” says Kershaw, “form on our left, and do it if you can.” In a few moments the 8th got close up on the left, and poured in a murderous fire, under which the enemy reeled and broke.

Again they formed on a hill, and new legions covering the hills around rushed to their support, but the terrific fire of Kemper's battery was too much for them. They reeled again and broke. “Forward, Second Palmetto regiment!” says Kershaw. “Now is the time!” The Second and Eighth now dashed forward, fast but steadily, and the victory was won. Throwing down their arms and abandoning their cannon, the United States troops fled precipitately. The Second and Eighth pursued them to the Stone Bridge, about a mile, and there for the first time Kershaw received an order, since leaving the entrenchments. He had retrieved the lost battle and gained the victory of “Stone Bridge,” with two regiments and a battery of four pieces.

Now we halted under an order from Gen. Beauregard, not to engage the enemy, should he form again, without reinforcements. Such as could be had were now hurried up. He inspected the division, thus increased, consisting of the 2d and 8th South Carolina regiments, the shattered remnants of Hampton's Legion, about 150 strong, whom we had rescued, (what with the killed, wounded, and those attending them, few were left in the field,) and one company — partly of Marylanders, and partly of Crescent Blues of New Orleans. Kemper's battery had not been able to keep up with us in the flight of the enemy and our. rapid pursuit, for want of horses. Ten minutes we halted, until joined by another small regiment — Preston's Virginians, I believe — and then moved on in the chase. Two miles further on, the cavalry joined us; but, finding the enemy posted on a hill, with artillery covering the road, we threw out skirmishers, and formed in line of battle. But the Yankees, after firing a few cannon shot and Minie balls, again fell back. On we went, and Kemper having now overtaken us, we deployed, and allowed him to unlimber and give them two or three good rounds, which completely routed the Yankee column again. Their artillery, which was in rear, now plunged wildly forward upon the wagon train, overturning and jamming them in mad disorder. Sauve qui pent. Devil take the hindmost, became the order of the day, and the setting sun saw the grand army of the North flying for dear life upon wagon and artillery horses cut loose. They left in our hands thirty-odd pieces of cannon, many wagons, an immense number of small arms, and plunder of every kind and description. To-day we can hardly recognize the members of our own company, by reason of their changed exterior. New habiliments and accoutrements abound. Truly, these fellows are well provided.

Thus you see that, on the right wing of the enemy, their chief force, the 2d and 8th South Carolina regiments, assisted by Kemper's battery, maintained the day, and upheld the ancient honor of the State. As Jeff. Davis, at a late hour yesterday, said, in urging forward the Mississippi and Louisiana regiments, “The 2d and 8th South Carolina regiments have saved the day, and are now gaining a glorious victory.”

During the action, the lion-hearted Kershaw received no orders and saw none of our Generals, but fought it out on his own plan — driving the enemy in immense numbers before him. Too much honor cannot be given to Capt. Kemper. His coolness and presence of mind was unshaken at any moment, and his rapidity and accuracy of fire was astonishing. At one time surrounded and taken prisoner, he owed his escape to his cleverness. As soon as he found resistance useless, he cast his eyes round, and, [375] seeing a regiment of Virginians near, said, pointing to them, “Take me to your Colonel.” His captors ignorantly did as he suggested, and actually carried him into the midst of the Virginians before they saw their mistake. In a few moments he was rid of them, and again at the head of his battery, hurling destruction into the ranks of the foe. Kershaw and Kemper both deserve to be made Brigadier-Generals, as this great victory is undoubtedly due to their commands.

Hampton's Legion and Sloan's regiment displayed the utmost gallantry, but, in the face of superior artillery and great odds, were not sufficiently sustained. We hear that our troops succeeded in capturing cannon from the enemy's left wing, also, to the amount of ten or twelve pieces. If that be so, we have captured forty odd pieces, amongst which is Sherman's celebrated battery. The Palmetto Guard have taken a flag and one or two drums. The Brooks Guard have captured a flag-staff and two kettle drums. The other companies have various articles. I have written the above in great haste, but the facts are correctly stated. I will give you some other incidents at another time.


--Charleston Mercury, July 29.


Louisville Courier account.

Manassas, Va., Monday, July 22.
Sunday, July 21, will ever be a memorable day in the annals of America. Next to the sacred Sabbath of our Independence, it will be the eventful era in the history of Republican Governments. The military despotism of the North, proud, arrogant, and confident, has been met in the open field, and the true chivalry of the South, relying upon the justness of their cause, though comparatively weak in numbers, have gained a victory that in completeness has never been paralleled in history since the American continent first dawned from its ocean-girt womb upon the eye of the longing discoverer. But the victory has been dearly won — purchased, indeed, with the hearts' blood of thousands of the bravest and truest men of the Confederate States. But this blood will not only cry aloud to the heavens for vengeance, but so fructify the soil of the South that here more than elsewhere will ever bloom and blossom the glorious tree of liberty.

It was not the good fortune of your correspondent to be in the engagement, that portion of Gen. Johnston's army to which the Kentucky battalion is attached having been detained at Piedmont by a railroad accident. We reached the field of battle just as the victory had been gained, and only had the mingled satisfaction and sorrow of joining in the huzzas and uniting in the sad lamentations.

The battle opened on Sunday morning, about 5 o'clock, near Bull Run, some four miles from Manassas Junction, the Nationals advancing with an immense column 54,000 strong, under Gen. McDowell. The engagement was not general, the artillery only playing at intervals, until 7 o'clock, when the firing of cannon and musketry became very hot and the action was fairly opened. Here an unfortunate mistake for a time threw our lines into confusion. The Yankees, infamous in their tricks of war as well as trade, advanced a large column headed by the Confederate flag, and when within fifty yards opened a deadly fire upon the Fourth Alabama regiment. This caused a retreat, which the South Carolinians observing, they opened upon the Alabamians, thinking them enemies, and nearly decimating their ranks.

About the same time, Gen. Beauregard heard heavy firing several miles to the right, and immediately went with our main body to the scene of supposed conflict. But this was another decoy. The Yankees had sent a large quantity of ordnance with only men sufficient to man the guns, so as to distract the attention of our forces from the main point of attack. Quickly discovering the ruse, Beauregard double-quicked his troops to the former battlefield from which we had been driven back some two miles. Now came the tug of war.

The fortunes of the day were evidently against us. Some of our best officers had been slain and the flower of our army lay strewn upon the field, ghastly in death or gaping with wounds. At noon the cannonading is described as terrific. It was an incessant roar for more than two hours, the havoc and devastation at this time being fearful. McDowell, with the aid of Patterson's division of twenty thousand men, had nearly outflanked us, and were just in the act of possessing themselves of the railway to Richmond. Then all would have been lost. But most opportunely, I may say providentially, at this juncture, Gen. Johnston, with the remnant of his division-our army as we fondly call it, for we have been friends and brothers in camp and field for three months--reappeared and made one other desperate struggle to obtain the vantage ground. Elsey's brigade of Marylanders and Virginians led the charge, and right manfully did they execute the work. Gen. Johnston himself led the advance, and wild with delirium, his ten thousand advanced in hot haste upon three times their number. Twice was Sherman's battery, that all day long had proven so destructive, charged and taken, and our men driven back. The third time, Virginians, Carolinians, Mississippians, and Louisianians, captured the great guns and maintained their position.

About the pieces the dead and wounded lay five deep, so protracted and deadly had been the struggle. Now hope again dawned upon us, and just as the tide seemed turning in our favor, another good omen illuminated the fortunes of the day that at times seemed so illstarred. Riding in a half column along our lines was a single horseman with hat in hand, waving to the men and speaking brief words of encouragement. By intuition all knew it was President Davis, and such a shout as made the welkin ring arose — a shout of joy and defiance. [376] The President had just arrived by special train from Richmond, and Providence seemed to be with us again. The contest was no longer doubtful. As I heard one of the officers say, our men could have whipped legions of devils. The word “Onward!” was given, Davis bareheaded in the van. No more lingering or dallying. It was a grand and sublime onset of a few determined sons of liberty against the legions of despotism. The lines of the enemy were broken, their columns put to flight, and until after dark the pursuit was continued. The rout was complete. Off scampered the Yankees, throwing away guns, knapsacks, clothing, and every thing that could retard their progress. Thus was the day won, and the long bright Sabbath closed, a lovely full moon looking down calmly and peacefully upon the bloodiest field that the continent of America ever witnessed.

Our loss is fully two thousand killed and wounded. Among the killed are Gen. Bee, of South Carolina; Gen. E. K. Smith, Gen. Bartow, of Georgia; Col. Moore and all the Alabama field officers; Col. Fisher and the North Carolina field officers; Adjutant Branch of Georgia, and a host of other leading men.

Thomas G. Duncan, of Nelson County, Ky., was in the fight, and shot through the left shoulder. His wound is not dangerous.

Col. Barbour, of Louisville; Capt. Menifee and Shelby Coffee, of Kentucky, were in the hottest of the fight.

We took thirteen hundred prisoners, sixty pieces of artillery, ten thousand stand of arms, and an immense amount of baggage.

This is a sad day. The rain is pouring in torrents. The killed and wounded are being brought in by hundreds, and a gloom pervades all hearts, that even the sense of our great victory cannot relieve.



The retreat from Centreville.

Washington, July 22, 1861.
There is no use. of concealing the fact, however terrible it may be to realize, that the army of the Union, under command of General McDowell, has been completely routed. I endeavored to intimate the sad intelligence in my letter of yesterday; I had hoped, however, that subsequent advices would have enabled me to say that the gallant, the superhuman conduct of our troops had met the rewards of bravery. Every account that comes, comes filled with disaster. Every eye is sad, and the exultation of yesterday has given place to the gloom and apprehension of to-day. The present is one of sorrow, the future has but few gleams of hope. We have sent into Virginia the best appointed division of our grand army, we have fought the greatest battle ever fought on the continent, and we have been not only beaten, but our army has been routed, and many of its best regiments wholly demoralized. The narrative of this disaster will be my duty; you may make your own conclusions, and solve the terrible political problem it presents to the American people.

It was impossible for me, in the heat of a terrible engagement, exactly to locate the position of our forces during the battle; but I find my conjecture of yesterday verified, that it was not at Bull Run, but at Manassas Gap. In other words, that General McDowell, with an army which, including the reserves at Centreville, did not number more than forty thousand, actually attacked the rebel forces at Manassas Gap, where Beauregard has been for months preparing his fortifications, and where he had lined the hills with elaborate and carefully-constructed intrenchments, behind which were rifled cannon of large calibre, properly manned and supported by an army which subsequent information leads me to estimate at nearly a hundred thousand men. Behind these batteries the Southern troops fought. They were constructed in a manner calculated to deceive the most experienced eye. The breastworks were in the shape of a gently sloping hill, neatly sodded, with here and there a tree left growing, to more thoroughly deceive our troops as to their existence. Their line of batteries covered two or three miles. The whole region seemed literally to be one masked battery. What appeared to be a natural declivity, would in a moment bellow forth a most fearful charge of grape-shot, shell, and cannister; and from every clump of bushes or shrubbery, the terrible messengers of death would come at the most unexpected moment.

I mention this in order that you may more properly understand the details of this great battle, and more properly appreciate the gallantry of our men. Notwithstanding they had slept on their arms, and had marched ten miles to the place of engagement, they rushed into the contest weary, wanting food and water; they drove the enemy from battery and battery; slowly and slowly pushing them from their position. From nine o'clock till three, the battle was a victory, and if at three o'clock there had been ten thousand fresh men to assist them; if General Patterson had only come from Martinsburg, or McClellan over the Blue Ridge from Western Virginia--or if even Miles' division of reserves could have been marched from Centreville, we could have driven them from the field and won the day. Our men were weary, and in many cases inefficiently commanded, The enemy was being constantly reinforced. So rapidly did they arrive, that many of their regiments rushed into the field with their knapsacks on their shoulders, and I could distinctly see with a strong spy-glass, even from the hills beyond Centreville, regiment after regiment of the rebels coming from the neighboring districts, and passing over the roads to Manassas. In many cases the colors of their flags could be easily distinguished.

The causes of our defeat appear to be these: A premature advance on the enemy without a [377] sufficient force, which may be attributed to the clamors of politicians, and newspapers like the New York Tribune; the negligence of General Patterson in not intercepting General Johnston at Winchester, and preventing him from joining Beauregard at Manassas; the want of an efficient force of artillery to answer their masked batteries; the inefficiency of many of the officers; the want of proper discipline among the volunteers, and the general panic which seized upon our forces in the latter part of the action.

I have heard many stories of the bravery of some regiments and the inefficiency of others. But if we can make any such distinction, it is with the officers who commanded, and not with the men who obeyed. The material of our army is of an extraordinary character, and this disastrous battle has shown it; for the men who could fight double their numbers behind masked batteries for ten hours, in a country where water could not be found, under the torrid rays of a Southern summer sun, and make that fight a victory until their endurance had been overtasked, and the ranks of the enemy had been filled up by fresh men, are capable of any thing which may be demanded of the soldier. And this is the story of the battle of Manassas; this is the substance of every rumor — the logical result from every fact the contest furnishes.

The general panic took place about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. There are a number of stories told as to the apparent reason for the precipitate flight of our troops; but, without stopping to relate them, or even to consider their manifest absurdity, I would simply say that it was caused by their utter exhaustion, and the terrible fire of masked batteries, which were taken by them, again and again, at the point of the bayonet, only to find, when taken, that others would open upon them. The reinforcements vastly strengthened the enemy, their fire was increased, and, before that fire, our men retreated. If they had been properly commanded, they might have retreated in good order, like the regulars under Major Sykes; but this, and the want of experience, gave rise to a panic, which soon swept every thing before it, and carried our army, like a tumultuous mob, from Manassas to Washington.

The day was so closely contested, that when I arrived at Centreville from the field of battle, at five o'clock in the evening, it was with the impression that the conflict had either resulted in a drawn battle or in a dearly-bought victory. It was important that I should go to Fairfax in order to forward you my despatches, no communication existing between Washington city and Centreville. I had taken rooms in the only hotel of the place, and intended to have returned the same evening in order to complete my observations of the battle and follow the army in its further progress. At that time there were five regiments of volunteers as a reserve, and among them Colonel Max Einstein's Pennsylvania volunteers, the only distinctively Pennsylvania regiment any way concerned in the action. This body had been intended as a part of the advance, and with that impression its soldiers had left their quarters at the early hour of the morning when the movement commenced. There was a change in the programme, however, and they were instructed to remain at Centreville as a reserve regiment. They were stationed in a large field on the north of the town, and below the hill which commanded a view of the distant field of battle. I had the opportunity of paying them a few moments' visit. There was the greatest dissatisfaction among the men because of their inaction. The cannonading and musketry could be distinctly heard, couriers were constantly going to and from the field, the various reports of victory were constantly being repeated, but the day passed on into the afternoon, and no signal of advance was given. Some of the men were sleeping under the shade of the trees, a few were cleaning and preparing their muskets, others were writing letters home, and some, anxious and mortified, were actually weeping at the want of an opportunity to join in the fight. Col. Einstein was galloping hither and thither, anxiously awaiting the orders to march, and every minute scanning the horizon with his opera glass, in the hope of seeing the courier, which would signal him to victory. During the time of my brief stay, an aide arrived with an order to prepare for action. The command was given, and received with the most intense enthusiasm on the part of the men, who rent the air with repeated shouts. In less time than it takes to write these ten lines, they were in line, every man at his position, expecting the order to march. As I witnessed this spectacle, and recollected that in this regiment alone Pennsylvania was represented, I could not but feel proud of my State, and regret that her soldiers could not have taken part in the great events of this momentous day.

As I have said, it was necessary that I should reach Fairfax at an early hour in the evening. Fairfax is about eight miles from Centreville, and is approached by a devious and rugged road running through a woody country, and traversing a succession of hills. It is a small sleepy town of the old Virginia style, and will be remembered as the scene of Lieut. Tompkins' brilliant cavalry charge in the early part of this campaign. It is situated in a valley, or rather on the brow of a gradually sloping hill, surrounded by a scenery which is somewhat monotonous, but certainly romantic and beautiful. The houses are small, and built like Virginia houses generally, with a view to comfort and aristocratic display. It was intended as the advanced post of governmental communication with Washington, wires having been extended that far to a telegraph station, which was operated by an officer of the Government. The tone of the people was certainly not one of friendship to the Union, although the presence of a fine regiment of Western volunteers [378] neutralized any attempt at open hostility. The people were sullen, or reluctantly civil, and the hotel keepers extended their hospitality in a most niggardly spirit. I put up at a small inn, which was filled with soldiers, senators, officers of the army, members of the House of Representatives, and citizens, who had visited the scene of battle much after the manner in which we are accustomed in the North to patronize trotting matches and agricultural fairs.

It was the impression at Fairfax, where I arrived about dusk, that we had obtained a victory, but in about an hour the news of a retreat was obtained in a despatch from General Tyler. The receipt of the news created a commotion among the temporary residents of the place, although the hope was expressed and entertained that the brigade of Colonel Miles would make a stand at Centreville, and hold that position as an advanced post for future operations, or as a stand-point around which to rally our retreating forces. Numerous bodies of troops, however, began to come into Fairfax, some of them mounted on artillery horses, some in transportation wagons, and a few in ambulances, having been wounded. A rumor obtained currency that a body of the rebels had taken one of the roads leading to a point below Fairfax, with the intention of cutting off the retreat of our army and capturing the town. This announcement created a panic among the Union men, and a rush was made for Washington by all who could, for either love or money, obtain the means of conveyance to the capital. A number of distinguished representatives of the New York press took this occasion to leave the scene of danger, and they left at an early hour. So anxious were some of them to leave, that I saw one offer a traveller his gold watch and his purse if he would drive him to Arlington. The offer was refused, and the anxious and excited civilian remained.

Finding it impracticable to return to Centreville, I determined to remain at Fairfax until morning, in the hope of learning that our forces had occupied Centreville, and maintained the communications open by which we could return. The only accommodations to be found was a small mattress in the corner of a parlor, where I soon fell into a deep sleep. The floor was covered with mattresses, and my bed companions were soldiers weary from the field, and civilians of all conditions. About 1 o'clock in the morning, I was awakened by a soldier of a New York regiment, who informed me that there was a regular retreat of the army; that our forces had been completely routed; that Beauregard was in full pursuit, and that our army was falling back upon Washington. I arose at the alarming intelligence, and on looking from the window saw that, so far as our army being in retreat was concerned, his information was correct. The broad street was filled with large bodies of troops, many of them on foot, and trains for the transportation of the wounded and weary. I hastily dressed, and in company with those who had been our companions of the night, took up the line of march.

As we left the inn and joined in the line the scene was most exciting. The night was gloomy. Large black clouds rolled over the sky, while big drops of rain were occasionally falling. The weary soldiers had just come from the field, with torn uniforms, empty canteens, and many of them without either muskets or haversacks. The utmost confusion existed. No dozen of the soldiers seemed to belong to the same regiment. There were men from Rhode Island, from New York, from Ohio, and from Michigan. Every soldier had a dozen rumors; every rumor was of the most conflicting and animating character. There were tales of death and daring; of havoc and desolation. Each particular act of bravery was recorded, and every soldier had a tale to tell of a comrade who had fought bravely and died gallantly. In one thing they were agreed, and that was, that a regiment of rebels had outflanked the army in retreat, and intended to intercept the march at a point below Fairfax. There were the most gloomy and desperate speculations upon the result of any such a conflict. About one-half of our men were armed, and it was the determination to oppose any attempt at capture by a fierce resistance. I am confident, if we had met the enemy at the point anticipated, there would have been a fearful conflict and terrible slaughter.

The road from Fairfax was hard and rough. On each side there were deep gulleys or ravines, and for a great portion of the way our path was between woods, which would have afforded a splendid opportunity for an ambuscade, and through hills where, on either side, a company of soldiers with a battery could have repulsed almost any body of men. Many of the volunteers fell away from sheer exhaustion. Along the sides of the road small bodies of men might be seen lying, wrapped in the deep sleep which answers the demand of exhausted nature. Some of the soldiers endeavored to march by regiment, and for a mile or two I could see a dozen or a score of men seated at different points of the road, and hear such cries as “This way, Ninth!” “Come over here, Rhode Island!” “Here you are, Seventy-Ninth!” “All together, Zouaves!” “Fall in, Ohio!” “This way, Massachusetts!” and so on, as the different regiments happened to be designated. The attempt, however, was not very successful, and the men marched wearily onward, sad and silent.

We passed the point of danger, and no signs of the enemy were manifest. There was a constant cry for water. “For God's sake, give us a drink!” “Can't you help a sick man?” “I'm thirsty and almost dead,” were the cries we heard constantly and appealingly from the weary soldiers as they lay on the roadside. [379] Once or twice a well was reached, and it was instantly surrounded by bodies of thirsty soldiers, clamoring for the merest drop of the refreshing beverage. Men were constantly falling from sheer exhaustion. In one case a lieutenant came along on horseback, carrying behind him a wounded soldier. The horse had been cut from a battery, and it still had on its military harness. The animal could go no farther, the men were almost fainting, and could not dismount. A soldier of the same regiment came along and tenderly lifted his commander from the weary animal, placed him on the roadside, and, in answer to the appeal of a comrade to continue his journey, replied that he could not go, for his place of duty was by the side of his officer. And by his side, carefully bathing his brow, anxiously binding up a severe wound upon his shoulder, we left him, and passed on.

We passed on, and in silence. Few words were spoken, for there was a deep grief in every heart, and the few sentences which occasionally fell upon my ear, expressed not so much the mere mortification of defeat, as the deep and bitter determination to cover that defeat by a future of glorious victory and fearful retribution. About six miles from Fairfax a body of regular cavalry came up to us and passed on, having retreated in good order. From them we learned that our army was in full retreat, even from Centreville, and that the retreat was being covered by the Third Infantry, under Major Sykes, of whose bravery I may have occasion to speak, and that a detachment of the enemy were in pursuit, harassing them with shell. With the Third Infantry were the reserve regiments, including that of Col. Einstein, whose men were ordered to fall in with the retreating troops without having fired a musket. Trains of baggage wagons were constantly passing us, many of them being filled with wounded men. There were numerous horses which passed, nearly every animal having two riders. On arriving at the road leading to Alexandria, a great part of the retreating column proceeded to that town. We took the road which leads to Arlington, and continued our march.

The morning came, but it was very gloomy — the sky was a mass of heaving and rolling clouds, and the sun arose in all his purple golden, and, as it seemed to us, bloody splendor. Our path was a small, narrow one, leading from the main turnpike, and approaching Washington by a more direct road than that generally travelled. The country was even more hilly and densely wooded than that we had just traversed. The ambulances, wagons, and horsemen having gone forward, we were left behind, and to the number of about a thousand, in mere straggling groups, and covering some three or four miles of ground, we continued our march. The only evidence of hospitality we received was at the house of a farmer, about five miles from Washington, who stood on the roadside and furnished the troops with water.

At about six o'clock in the morning we came in view of Washington city and Georgetown; of Fort Corcoran, with its frowning black guns, and patrolled by solitary sentinels; and of the long rows of white tents where the New Jersey brigade was encamped. And above the hills of Arlington, in the gray hour of that gloomy dawn, and amid a shower of quickly-falling rain, we saw our dear old flag--God bless it — still streaming to the breeze — the type of liberty, and law, and constitutional freedom; the emblem of a glorious past; the harbinger of a more glorious future; and, though covered to-day with temporary disaster, soon to float again over rebellion crushed, a Constitution defended, a Union restored, and the majesty of a mighty and invincible Republic.

J. R. Y.

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 [380] assistance. Major Sykes brought his men up at a run, and, with a deafening shout, they charged upon the enemy's skirmishers, who fled before them several hundred yards. Forming in column of divisions Sykes' battalion advanced a considerable distance, until they drew upon themselves an intensely hot fire of musketry and artillery. This was a trying moment. The volunteers expected much of the regulars, and gazed upon them as they stood in unbroken line, receiving the fire, and returning it with fatal precision. Impressions and resolutions are formed on the battle-field in an instant. The impression at this moment was a happy one, and Heintzelman's brigade coming up into line, our forces steadily advanced upon the retreating rebels. The batteries, which had been meanwhile recruited with men and horses, renewed their fire with increased effect, and our supremacy upon the field was apparent. The enemy's fire was now terrific. Shell, round-shot, and grape from their batteries covered the field with clouds of dust, and many a gallant fellow fell in that brief time. At this juncture the volunteers, who hitherto had behaved nobly, seeing their ranks thinned out, many losing their field and company officers, lost confidence, and in a panic fell back. Three fresh regiments coming on the field at this time would have formed a nucleus upon which a general rally could have been effected; but while the enemy had reinforcements pouring in upon them momentarily, our entire force was in the field, and badly cut up. Thus was our action maintained for hours. The panic was momentarily increasing. Regiments were observed to march up in good order, discharge one volley, and then fall back in confusion. But there was no lack of gallantry, generally speaking, and not a great many manifestations of cowardice. Our artillery, which made sad havoc upon the rebels, had spent their ammunition, or been otherwise disabled by this time, and in the absence of reinforcements a retreat was inevitable. The time for the last attack had now come. Nearly all of the rebel batteries were in place, though silent. There was a calm — an indescribable calm. Every man on the field felt it. I doubt if any one could describe it. Gen. McDowell was near the front of our lines, mounted on his gray charger. And here let me say emphatically, that, whatever may be the criticisms upon his conduct by the military or the abominable stay-at-home newspaper scribblers and politicians, no braver man trod that turf at Manassas than Gen. McDowell. Major Sykes' battalion of eight companies, five of Third Infantry, two of the Second, and one of the Eighth, were marched several hundred yards to the right, and formed the right flank of the line. Several volunteer regiments were deployed as skirmishers on the centre and left. Thus they advanced to the crest of the hill. The enemy met them with batteries and musketry in front, and two batteries and a thousand cavalry on the right. The fire was terrific. We maintained our position for a half hour. Then it was discovered that the rebel cavalry were attempting to outflank our right. We had no force to resist them, and the bugle of the regulars sounded the march in retreat. This, so far as they were concerned, was conducted in good order. On Major Sykes was imposed the responsible duty of covering the retreat of the army. In this he was assisted on part of the route by the United States cavalry under Major Palmer. The enemy followed us with their artillery and cavalry, shelling us constantly, until we reached Centreville. Here we bivouacked for an hour, and then again took up the line of march. But of the retreat let me say a word, and pardon, my dear fellow, this incoherent letter, written in an excited Centreville bivouac, on my sound knee, the other severely scratched. As I said, Major Sykes, with his Third, Second, and Eighth Infantry, in all but eight companies, and they decimated, conducted the retreat. Three of his officers had been wounded, and one killed or captured. Several of them were detached, endeavoring to rally the volunteers in front, and have them march off in some sort of order, so as to protect themselves against the enemy's cavalry, known to be in rapid pursuit. On this duty, I recognized his special aid, Lieutenant McCook, of our State, I believe, and another infantry officer, who was also mounted. The road by which the retreat was conducted, the same as that by which we advanced, had been, I think, discovered by the rebels a day or two since. The engineers, in reconnoitring the enemy's position, had been accompanied by a body of troops, who caused such a dust to rise from the road as to make their march easily observable from the heights at Manassas. Retreating by this route, no difficulty occurred in ranging their guns directly upon our line. Major Sykes quickly discovering this, and the cavalry advancing to reconnoitre the pass near Centreville, and charge it if necessary, obliqued the column, getting them upon the turf perfectly protected from the enemy's shell, which were continued to be fired upon the line of dust which was raised in the wake of the galloping cavalry. It was an admirable piece of strategy, reflecting great credit upon the gallant Major, whose conduct in the entire action, to my knowledge, drew forth the most enthusiastic expressions of admiration from both volunteer and regular officers. Were the infantry my arm, I could ask no braver or more capable commander than he. But we are about to renew our march towards Washington, and entrusting this note to the driver of an ambulance in front of our line, in the expectation that it will reach you early, let me say that if we halt near Alexandria or Arlington, and my horse can stand the pressure, I will not be long in grasping your hand. Till then, my dear fellow, believe me your disgusted and worn-out friend, * * * *

--Philadelphia Press, July 24.


[381]

Northern press on the battle.

Upon the receipt of the first exaggerated reports of the retreat from Bull Run, many weak-backed and nervous individuals began to cry out that it was all over with us; that our inferiority, and the superiority of the rebels as soldiers had been so fully established as to render it expedient for us to be thinking as to what terms we would make with tile enemy.

Ever since the receipt of the corrected accounts — by which it appears that the disgraceful panic and flight, which constitute, so far as we are concerned, the only alarming part of the affair at Bull Run, and were limited to a comparatively few frightened individuals, a large part of them teamsters and spectators, who, not content with running away themselves, sought, by their false and scandalous reports, to involve the whole army in the disgrace — ever since the receipt of these corrected accounts, there still remain those upon whom this first disaster casts a shade of sadness and alarm, and who see in it a malign omen as to our future success. For the benefit of these doubting Thomases, we propose, by a brief retrospect of some occurrences in the wars of the Revolution and of 1812, to show that panic, flight, disaster, and a certain proportion of cowards, are to be looked for in all armies and all wars, and that they furnish no presumption at all unfavorable to ultimate success.

Even at the world-renowned battle of Bunker Hill, every common soldier present at which, in the ranks of the United Colonies, has been exalted by a grateful posterity and an, admiring world to the rank of a mythical hero — even in that famous battle, cowardice had its representatives in the colonial ranks. The conduct of several officers on that day was investigated by court-martial, and one, at least, was cashiered for cowardice — a precedent which, if all rumors are true, ought to be followed out in the case of the late fight or panic. An American historian who, in his account of the battle of Bunker Hill, saw fit to state the above fact, was very severely handled for so doing by certain patriotic critics, as if he had cast a shadow over the glories of the day. But history is written, or should be, not so much to exalt the fathers as to instruct the sons, and the above incident in the battle of Bunker Hill may now, for that purpose, be put to good use. Even the heroes of Bunker Hill, it seems, had among them a portion of the same leaven which worked so malignantly at Bull Run.

About the whole early history of the Revolutionary War is a series of disasters, interspersed with a few splendid successes. One of these last was the capture of Montreal and the occupation of nearly the whole of Canada by the forces under Montgomery and Arnold. But this success was only short-lived. Sullivan, though sent with large reinforcements, and aided by the intrepid valor of Wayne, found it impossible to hold the province against the superior force which the opening of the spring enabled the British to throw into the St. Lawrence, and the American army retreated out of Canada, in the emphatic words of John Adams, “disgraced, defeated, discontented, dispirited, diseased, undisciplined, eaten up with vermin, no clothes, beds, blankets, nor medicines, and no victuals but salt pork and flour,” and a scanty supply of those.

The disastrous defeat at Brooklyn, three months later, made a most alarming impression on Washington's army assembled for the defence of New York. When the van of the British crossed from Long Island and landed at Kip's Bay, the troops posted to guard that landing, panic-struck by the late disasters, fled without firing a gun. Two New England brigades, brought up to support them, seized with a like panic, ran away in the most shameful manner, leaving Washington, who had ridden up to view the ground, exposed to capture within eighty paces of the enemy. Then occurred a scene which we wonder that some one of our numerous and gifted artists has not made the subject of a picture. Greatly exasperated at the dastardly conduct of the panic-struck and flying troops, Washington dashed his hat to the ground, exclaiming, “Are these the men with whom I am to defend America?” His attendants turned his horse's head, and hurried him from the field. The occurrence will be found described at length in the Memoirs of Graydon, a Pennsylvania officer, who seems to have been present at it. Yet the very next day these same men sturdily repulsed the enemy, being spurred up to do their duty, by the example of Colonel Knowlton and other brave officers, who sacrificed themselves in their eagerness to show the soldiers how to fight. Afterwards, in the disastrous retreat through the Jerseys, on the victorious day of Trenton, these very regiments covered themselves with glory, and gained the right of standing by Washington and their country through the worst extremes of defeat and danger.

So also upon the occasion of Burgoyne's invasion of New York, a year or two later. At first, his approach spread everywhere terror and dismay. St. Clair fled from Ticonderoga in haste and disorder, and the British, pursuing, captured all his baggage and stores. Of three regiments attacked at Hubbardton, one fled disgracefully, leaving most of their officers to be taken prisoners. The other two, though they made a stout resistance, were broken and dispersed, and a large number of them captured. After a disastrous retreat, or rather flight, Schuyler collected the troops of the Northern army to the number of 5,000 men at Fort Edward, on the Hudson. But he could not make a stand even there, and was obliged to continue his retreat to the mouth of the Mohawk.

The loss of Ticonderoga with its numerous artillery, and the subsequent rapid disasters, came like a thunderbolt on Congress and the [382] Northern States. “We shall never be able to defend a post!” --so wrote John Adams in a private letter. He was at that time President of the Board of War--would to heaven our Board of War had such a head!--“we shall never be able to defend a post till we shoot a general.” Disasters, the unavoidable result of weakness, were ascribed to the incapacity or cowardice of the officers. Suggestions of treachery were even whispered, and the prejudices of the New Englanders against Schuyler — for even the North, at that time, was divided and distracted by bitter sectional prejudices, of which now, fortunately, hardly a trace remains — broke out with new violence. But all this disaster and confusion did not prevent, within two or three months after, the glorious days of Bennington and Bemis Heights, and the total capture of all Burgoyne's invading army.

Not to dwell any further upon the disasters of the war of the Revolution, of which it would be easy to multiply instances, let us now cast a cursory glance at some of the occurrences of the war of 1812.

Let us note, by the way, a curious circumstance with respect to that war — a circumstance eminently instructive as to the total change which has taken place of late years in the objects, ends, and aims of leading Southern politicians. That war, as everybody knows, was preeminently a Southern measure, of which the great object, and leading end and aim, by which it was alone justified as an expedient undertaking, was the conquest and annexation of Canada. That attempt, had it been successful, would have added so much to the strength and population of the free States as effectually to have curbed all the slaveholding pretensions of the last forty years to govern the nation, and now, failing that, to sectionalize and divide it. Nor is it unreasonable to suppose that such men as Clay, Calhoun, Cheves, Lowndes, and Grundy, who urged the conquest of Canada as the means within our reach to punish the maritime aggressions of England, could have failed to foresee the inevitable consequences of that enterprise had we succeeded in it. They were patriots who sought the glory, welfare, and greatness of the united nation, not the base and selfish aggrandisement of a section and a faction. Unfortunately they failed to conquer Canada, but in the impulse which the war gave to our domestic manufactures, and to the growth of our navy, they aided greatly to create the means which will now enable the nation to put down speedily with a strong hand the insolent traitors who have fallen away so rashly from the spirit and example of their noble fathers, and, deserting the altars of republican liberty at which they worshipped, have hastened to pass themselves, and are attempting to compel us and our children to pass through the fires of the Moloch of slavery.

The first efforts of land warfare in the war of 1812 were signally unsuccessful, due, as is now universally admitted, to the incapacity of the Government, and the want of spirit and enterprise on the part of the general in command. Hull was sent to Detroit with a very inadequate force, under order to invade and conquer Upper Canada. Hull's troops were eager for action, and had Amherstburg — the post of the enemy nearest to Detroit, and held by a weak garrison — been attacked immediately, it might have been taken; but, ignorant of the weakness of the enemy, though fully conscious of his own, and discouraged by his isolation from means of succor — for he was 200 miles distant from the nearest frontier settlements, and 500 from any source of effectual support, much worse off in that respect than any of our present generals — Hull wished to fortify his camp, to get his cannon mounted, to give time for the operation of a formidable proclamation which he had issued. While he was thus employed, the British General, Proctor — for Proctor we might read Johnston — arrived at Amherstburg with reinforcements, followed, first by General Brock, and then by Tecumseh, a noble Indian, any parallel for whom we should seek in vain in the ranks of our rebels. Hull thereupon gave over the invasion of Canada and retired to Detroit, where he shortly after ingloriously surrendered to the approaching British and Indians, whereby not only Detroit, but the whole peninsula of Michigan, passed into the hands of the British.

Great was the astonishment and anger of President and Cabinet — though they themselves, by the inadequacy of the forces which they had placed at Hull's disposal, were greatly to blame for it — great the astonishment and anger of the people at the mortifying termination of the first attempt to conquer Canada. But, so far from checking the ardor of the western people, it stimulated them to fresh exertions, and before long a force was placed at the disposal of Gen. Harrison, who succeeded to Hull's command, by which, in the course of the next year, Michigan was recovered, the battle of the Thames was fought, and Upper Canada temporarily occupied.

We might cite other incidents of this war, including the conquest of Washington itself by the enemy, the burning of the national capitol — then, as now, in an unfinished condition — and the coming together of Congress, the blackened ruins of the capitol still smouldering, in the patent office, the sole remaining public building, hastily and scantily fitted up for the reception of the national legislature. Worse and more alarming than all, we might picture the fierce contentions and embittered spirit of party by which the national legislature was divided when thus assembled in this hour of disaster to quarrel over the past, and with specie payments suspended, and national credit at the lowest ebb, to provide as well as they could for the future. We prefer, rather, to quote a few extracts from Madison's message sent to Congress at that meeting, and which are not without [383] a certain applicability to the present moment: “Availing himself of fortuitous advantages, our enemy is aiming with his undivided force a deadly blow at our growing prosperity, perhaps at our national existence.” “He has avowed his purpose of trampling on the usages of civilized warfare, and given earnest of it in the plunder and wanton destruction of private property.” “He strikes with peculiar animosity at the progress of our navigation and our manufactures.” “From such an adversary, hostility in its greatest force and worst forms may be looked for. The American people will face it with the undaunted spirit which, in our revolutionary struggle, defeated all the unrighteous projects aimed at them. His threats and his barbarities will kindle in every bosom, instead of dismay, an indignation not to be extinguished but by his disaster and expulsion.” “In providing the means necessary, the national Legislature will not distrust the heroic and enlightend patriotism of its constituents. They will cheerfully and proudly bear every burden of every kind which the safety and honor of the nation demand. We see them rushing with enthusiasm to the scenes where danger and duty call. In offering their blood, they give the surest pledge that no other tribute will be withheld.”

There is as much patriotism in the country now as in the Revolution, or in 1814. The traitors of the South are no more formidable than were the tories of the Revolution, who, at one time, aided by the British, had complete possession of the States of Georgia and the Carolinas, with an invading army in Virginia; while, in contrast to the war of 1812, the people of the North, and we may say of the Union, are united as one man.--N. Y. Tribune.

So far as the late reverses by the Federal troops in Virginia may give one an idea of the actual damage done the cause of the Union, perhaps Wall street affords as good an index as any thing else — when it is summed up at about “four per cent.,” as indicated in our last issue. The material losses, the arms and munitions of war uselessly sacrificed, are, of course, but a mere trifle when we take into consideration the immense resources of the Government. That it will have a bad effect on the prestige gained previously by the prompt action of the Government, cannot be doubted. But then, one battle gained, with whatever brilliant results, will not cause the great powers of Europe to take sides with the Confederates; nor will it cause any fears of such a result on the part of those sustaining the Government. That it will vastly inspirit the secession States is perfectly certain. Previous to the battle, the utterances of such papers as the Charleston Courier and Mercury, and the Delta of New Orleans, prove that they entertained gloomy apprehensions in view of the mighty preparations for the campaign put forth by the Government, and, naturally more excitable than their opponents, their losses will prove to be terrible indeed if they do not shout over their successes to the very echo; and if, inspired by fresh hopes, they do not put forth renewed exertions to sustain their cause.

But, as we have already said, this one battle will settle nothing. The closely-populated communities in the great States north of us are becoming newly stimulated by the pressure of events, and are pouring their thousands upon thousands toward the seat of war, so that probably in ten days or thereabouts an overwhelming force will be at the capital, and prepared anew to try the chances of the battle-field. How far the new general ordered to the command may be able to gain their confidence and inspirit them with fresh enthusiasm, remains to be seen; but it is evident enough, from proofs afforded on all hands, that in the late contest, the Federal troops may be said to have been without a general, in fact. One newspaper correspondent tells his readers that in the heat of one of the desperate conflicts, he met the ostensible general of the forces “three miles” from the scene of the combat, in a carriage, and that he had the honor of reporting to him how affairs were going. Another statement is made that in a whole day's conflict the general in command was not able to communicate with one brigade at all — of course, did not know where it was.

Without assuming any of that profound knowledge of strategy, and of military matters generally, which has made the New York major-generals of the printing-offices so famous, it strikes us that such leadership as has thus been exhibited is not what soldiers would expect who are sent under the fire of masked batteries, each corps to act, in truth, as a forlorn hope; nor is it such as the country will hold the Government responsible for when a deliberate verdict has to be rendered in the solemn inquest over the slain.

Disclaiming, as we have said, all knowledge, as a military critic, that knowledge so abundant now amongst that numerous class who, as Byron says, are “the prophets of the past,” we yet should be glad to know wherein is the great necessity of leading men, except they were made of wrought iron — cast-iron would not do — right up to the front of a net-work or checquer-board of masked batteries, constructed months before, and awaiting the advance of the simple-hearted but brave thousands who were expected to present themselves as victims? With the whole of Virginia to outflank these batteries in, with a shorter base of operations by Fredericksburg or Yorktown to Richmond, why were the gallant thousands precipitated on this deadly trap, so carefully laid for them at Manassas? A sacred proverb says: “Vainly is the snare laid in the sight of any bird,” but it was not so in this case.

Again: There is an incident in the life of the great Napoleon, that life so fruitful of suggestions, that would seem to have a bearing upon the matter in question. It is long since [384] we saw the account alluded to, but we do remember that in his first essay with the army of Egypt he was invited by the Turks to walk up to a deliberately constructed range of batteries and be slaughtered; but that — in a cowardly sort of manner, perhaps — he chose to go around the spot where they were planted with so much care, and the result was, that he slew some thousands of the Turks, and broke their power completely for all time. Valor is a very good thing, doubtless, but we greatly prefer the “Rich Mountain” sort — the McClellan and Rosecranz school of tacticians — to that which is in vogue lower down on the Potomac, especially where the purpose of those on the line of the advance is to disorganize and conquer — not slay — with the remembrance that those who are opposed to them are people of the same country.

That a more overwhelming disaster has not been the consequence of all this management — this helter-skelter rush to “Richmond” --is rather remarkable than otherwise. Nearly two hundred miles to advance through hostile territory is an exceedingly long distance, comparatively, as those have found, doubtless, who have penetrated about one-eighth as far, to retrace their footsteps under these untoward results. And suppose — here comes a lesson from history again — suppose, we say, that Beauregard and his advisers had adopted the tactics of the Parthians toward the Roman consul, Crassus — suppose they had coaxed along toward Richmond the brave but inadequate force lately defeated, and then turned upon and suddenly and completely destroyed them, what then would have been the condition of the questions at issue to-day? They might have done it. “Onward to Richmond!” has been the senseless battle-cry which has stunned the ears of the nation for weeks past, and the authorities at Washington may consider themselves fortunate that the case for them is no worse.

It is not our special business either to censure or defend those attempting, with varied success, to preserve those free institutions, that unequalled fabric of free government so nearly suffered to go to ruin mainly by default of the head of the late Administration. We cannot defend the palpable blunders of our present rulers, but when we behold them reeling under the heavy burdens cast upon them by the faults of others, we would be as charitable as possible toward their shortcomings. Not their partisans, we yet hope they may, with as little suffering to the nation as possible, restore the country to its wonted condition of prosperity; but to do this, that terrible evil — political brawling — must not be recognized as a qualification for military position, or for the places of military counsellors. If there is one rock which more than any other endangers the safety of the Government in this frightful crisis it is this. And if the Government does not remorselessly, and at once, throw overboard the whole phalanx of these insane brawlers — some of them members of Congress, sitting in grand council, and yet commanders of regiments in the field — if it does not likewise silence in some way the newspaper school, who cause impatience, and consequent insubordination in the camp, as well as untimely precipitancy at Headquarters, it will prolong a struggle awful to contemplate in the far future. Some steps, it is true, have been taken toward reforms in high places, in view of the lesson of the other day; but there must be a clean sweep of the blundering and incompetent civilians, in the new levies especially, if the country at large is to expect success in the reconstruction of the Government.--Baltimore American, July 26.

Washington, July 26, 1861.--The public mind, painfully but reasonably excited, is entitled to be informed of what so deeply and vitally concerns the general welfare. When the rebellion broke out into open war upon Fort Sumter, the people rose with a unanimity unexampled in the world's history, offering themselves and their possessions to the Government, asking only in return that a war thus wantonly and wickedly provoked, should be vigorously prosecuted.

Passing over an interval of three months, we come to the disastrous battle of Manassas. Who is responsible for this great national disaster? Officials cannot answer — individuals may speak — their answers passing for what they are worth, according to the estimate which the public put upon the judgment and means of information.

Lieutenant-General Scott, in the discharge of his duty as commander-in-chief of the army, conceived and perfected a plan or programme, by means of which he confidently, as the results of a summer and fall campaign, anticipated the overthrow of the Confederate army, and thus virtually to end the rebellion.

This plan, primarily, contemplated camps of instruction, where raw levies might, during the months of June, July, and August, be subject to discipline and inured to service, sending the regiments as they became fit for duty, into the field, making room, as they departed, for green organizations.

With this disposable force (after the safety of the Capital was assured) Gen. Scott commenced operations at Fortress Monroe, near Harper's Ferry, and in Western Virginia, the latter point being most favorable, profiting, as no other section did, by the cooperation and sympathies of loyal inhabitants. With Washington for his base of operations, the western wings of his army were to feel and fight their way southward; until at the appointed time, having reached their designated positions, all his columns were to move simultaneously, Richmond falling as Mexico fell, before an irresistible army.

But this plan did not accord with the popular idea. Prominent individuals, whose counsels and clamors precipitated the outbreak, demanded precipitate action. These demands were [385] more and more clamorous. Exciting appeals to popular feeling were soon followed by open aspersions and denunciations of Gen. Scott. And finally, with a presumption and insolence unheard of, a leading journal, assuming command of the army, issued and reiterated the order, “On to Richmond.”

While widely spread newspapers were thus weakening the Administration by assaults upon its Commanding-General, his embarrassments were aggravated by the persistent hostility and every-day aspersions of the Postmaster General, whose brother, a prominent member of Congress, assailed him from the stump.

Meanwhile Congress assembled. Senators and representatives, with more zeal than knowledge, caught up and reiterated the cry, “On to Richmond.” The impatient Congressmen were leading and influential. They waited upon the President to complain of the inactivity of the army, and upon General Scott, urging him “On to Richmond.” Army bills, prepared with deliberation by Senator Wilson, (in accordance with the views of the Government,) were emasculated by the House Military Committee, of which Mr. Blair is Chairman. The President and his Cabinet had reason to apprehend — if not the censures of Congress — the failure of measures essential to the prosecution of the war, unless the Tribune order of “On to Richmond” was obeyed.

And now the sensation journals began to disparage the strength and courage of the rebel army. “The rebels will not fight!” “The cowards will run!” &c., &c., appeared in flaming capitals over flash paragraphs. The whole popular mind was swayed by these frenzied appeals. A movement upon Manassas was universally and blindly demanded. Passions and animosities, kindred to those which once deluged France in blood, were being excited. The tyranny of the press, the denunciations of a Cabinet minister, and the impetuosity of a dozen members of Congress excited the masses, “moved” Gen. Scott “from his proprieties.” For once in his life his purposes were thwarted — for once “his mind became the mind of other men.”

The result has shown that it was a fatal weakness. And yet who knows what would have been the effect of an adherence to his plan? The New York Tribune was educating millions to distrust the wisdom of the Administration and the fidelity of the commanding generals. Every day emboldened its audacity — every rail and wire disseminated its treason — and every hour augmented the popular discontent. Congress, though its session opened auspiciously, began to falter. The Blairs, one in the Cabinet and the other in Congress, were organizing the “On to Richmond” faction. To have resisted these demands would have overthrown the Administration, and might have destroyed the Government. “Madness ruled the hour,” and a battle at Manassas, right or wrong, became not a military but a political “necessity.”

It is not true, however, as has been averred, that General Scott was constrained to hazard this battle by the President. Between the President and, with one exception, the Cabinet and General Scott, there have been a mutual regard and confidence.

I will not now stop to consider details or criticize acts. The major blunder includes all the minor ones. There should have been no general engagement until we were in the field with an army strong enough to overwhelm and crush out rebellion. There are other points at which we could be advantageously and successfully occupied.

But even if it were excusable to assault an army equal in numbers to our own, in its chosen position behind its intrenchments, the purpose should have been abandoned when the army of Manassas was reinforced by that from Winchester. Then, surely, the conflict was too unequal. With all the conditions and circumstances so changed, General McDowell should have taken the responsibility of disobeying his orders. The reason would have justified him in the judgment of the Government and people.

But the order of “On to Richmond” was obeyed, and where does it leave us? Where we were three months ago, with a harder conflict on our hands, and a dismal, if not doubtful future. The “On to Richmond” dictators have added another year to the war, an hundred millions of dollars to its cost, and opened graves for fifteen or twenty thousand more soldiers.

And what have we gained? Alas, too little for such a fearful expenditure of time, treasure, blood, and reputation. We have learned, what few doubted, that our army is all that is expected of it; that our men fought with the courage of veterans; that we may always, and under all circumstances, rely on them. We have learned, what was also too well known, that the army was in many instances indifferently officered. We have learned, too, the importance and necessity of discipline. Effective troops, however excellent the material, cannot be found in workshops, the cornfields, or the cities. They must have military training, without which every “On to Richmond” movement will prove a failure.

Though we have encountered a great and disastrous check — though we are pained and humiliated — we possess the means and the energy to retrieve all, if these means henceforth are wisely employed. I may in a future letter indicate how, in my judgment, these means should be employed.--Albany Evening Journal.


Southern press on the battle.

It would be a very difficult task to review the various accounts current in this city and along the railroad to Manassas, of the great battle which was fought on the 21st inst., in the vicinity of Manassas Junction and Centreville, [386] and to reduce them to an orderly and consistent shape. Indeed, the rationale of few of the world's memorable battles has been fully comprehended or stated, except after years of calm reflection and diligent investigation by the historian, the statesman, and the strategist. It was sixteen years before the Romans acquired a wholesome knowledge of the strategy of Hannibal. The same period was scarcely adequate to instruct the Generals of Austria, Russia, England, and Prussia in regard to the secret of Napoleon's success. It need not be surprising then if the Confederate victory of the 21st long remain a dark, dreadful mystery to our enemies, and if numbers of our own people shall for some time entertain most fantastic and illogical notions concerning it. To one, however, who has been closely observing military operations on the Potomac for two months past, there is no reason why such a result, though so full of glory and so profoundly gratifying, should appear either surprising or mysterious.

I will not here recapitulate details which have been given you by telegraphic correspondents. I possess no facts of importance touching the actual battle beyond those which have been communicated to you through the telegraph. But information from that source is confined almost exclusively to a brief statement of results, leaving the reader to get at causes and consequences as best he may. The preliminaries of the present battle as well as its probable consequences are of the utmost interest, and to them I shall mainly address myself.

Two weeks ago it was evident that both Johnston and Patterson were influenced, in their manoeuvres, by considerations connected with the line of Manassas. Johnston desired to occupy Patterson in the Shenandoah valley, and Patterson desired to occupy Johnston in the same region. Each aimed to force the other into a position from which it would be impossible to extricate himself and participate in operations between Washington and Manassas Junction. In this game Patterson was out-generalled. Johnston excelled his antagonist alike in boldness and caution, in vigilance and activity. Keeping his communication with the Manassas line intact, he could not be deceived by Patterson's feint demonstrations, but just so soon as the latter had fallen back toward the Potomac, he set out at once, from Winchester, to join Gen. Beauregard's column near Manassas Junction, marching 18 miles to Strasburg, and proceeding thence, about 50 miles, by railroad. He arrived not an hour too soon, with 20 regiments. His men had one night to rest before waking to meet the bloodiest fury of the battle on the left of Stone Bridge.

I will not say that Gen. Johnston's presence was absolutely necessary to turn the scale in our favor. I firmly believe that General Beauregard's force was considerable enough, its disposition skilful enough, its defences strong enough, its men and officers determined enough, to administer a signal repulse to the entire mass of the largest army which General Scott was able to send against him from Washington. But it would have been by a victory bought at a terrible sacrifice of what the South should most assiduously economize, the precious lives of her noble defenders. As it was, one of the most brilliant victories of the age was achieved with a loss of life almost incredible, when the weight of the enemy's column and the length of the battle are considered. The enemy seemed to stake the issue of the day on turning shall our flank on the left. It was then that Johnston, after having baffled Patterson, as Blucher baffled Grouchy, did more than was done by Blucher at Waterloo. The centre led by Davis, the right commanded by Beauregard, did the rest. The enemy was exhausted, appalled, tumultuously routed by the inflexible resistance, the deadly fire, the terrible charges with which their attack was met. And yet but a small portion of our forces at and near Manassas Junction were actually engaged. Perhaps there were at no time as many as twenty thousand of them under fire or in sight of the enemy, while it is possible that double that number of the enemy's total army of about seventy thousand were brought into action.

It is rumored, and believed by many persons, that General Patterson and General Scott were on the field of battle. But neither, in my opinion, was present. It would certainly have been very strange in General Patterson to come upon the field without any portion of his command, and there is no reason for believing that any portion of his command was engaged in the battle or near at hand. As for General Scott, though the movement against General Beauregard may have been made according to his order, I doubt whether that order was given in accordance with his deliberate views of policy. Precipitated into the measure, as I believe, by the clamor of the politicians at Washington, and by the blood-thirsty rage of the Black Republican Press, he was quite willing to remain at a distance, and leave the immediate responsibility of failure, if the measure should fail, with his subordinate officers, while ready to appropriate the credit of success to himself if the measure should succeed.

It is not easy to believe that General Scott, if left to pursue his own plans, would stake the issue of a campaign on a battle fought under the circumstances of that of the 21st. Two months ago he committed a mistake in halting at Alexandria, after crossing the Potomac, instead of pushing forward briskly toward Richmond. But that mistake sprang from excess of prudence, and it is not reasonable to deduce from such a mistake another arising from the opposite fault of rashness. For rash it certainly was to attack General Beauregard on ground which he himself had selected and elaborately fortified. Political considerations must have prevailed over military considerations when General Scott consented to the attack, without [387] the support of McClellan from the West and of Patterson from the North. It was a fatal departure from the anaconda policy which he had previously been pursuing. The consequence is the backbone of the serpent is broken. The advance of McClellan's column in Western Virginia is rendered inconsequential, and if it advance far into the mountains its destruction is inevitable; while Butler at Fort Monroe is constrained to moderate his exorbitant military ambition to the humble office of performing garrison duty.

Opinions differ here materially as to what will or should be the war policy of the Confederate Government after the Manassas victory. Many think that the victory should be instantly followed up by a dash upon Washington and a rush into Maryland. They say that we have forborne from the aggressive long enough to convince the most stupid and most deluded of the Northern people that we did not aim at conquest; that we had no wish to destroy the National Capital, or to overturn the Government which they were supporting, but that our only desire was to be let alone and to live under a government of our own choice. It is time now, they think, to set about conquering a peace by carrying the war into the enemy's country, since it is evident we cannot secure peace by scrupulously remaining within our own. There are others, however, who argue that it is best to prove at once our forbearance and our invincibility, by pausing after every victory and giving the enemy an opportunity to profit by the “sober second thought.” These last are for letting Washington alone, and advancing no further than the Potomac, from the belief that an attack upon the National Capital and an invasion of territory beyond the limits of the Confederate States would cause the same universal outburst and uprising in the North as was witnessed on the capture of Sumter. Such views are plausible, but they are totally without practical value.

The North has explicitly, in word and act, challenged to a fight to the death, and forced us to the deadly issue. It has shown no repentance under frequent failures to overpower us in battle; and much less has it exhibited magnanimity under the encouragement of partial success. We must disable it from harm, or put our power to do so beyond question, before it will be ready either to tender or accept the olive branch. The enemy's people, in my opinion, will be far from satisfied with their trial of strength on the 21st. They will impute the defeat to any thing but intrinsic superiority in our army. They call Scott a dotard, McDowell an incapable, Patterson a coward, and distributing the responsibility for the defeat among the three, confidently predict a different result under the generalship of McClellan. Be it so. Let them bring their highest military genius, their choicest soldierly prowess against us, and we need have no misgivings of the final event. Yesterday thousands of our soldiers were but striplings; on the 21st thousands of them were heroes; and another battle will find thousands of them hardy and invincible veterans. Nor need we fear that our Generals will fail us. Davis, Beauregard, Johnston — it cannot be said of them, to-morrow or the next day, that their spirit has abated and their vision dulled — that they have

hearts worn out with many wars,
And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot stars.

--New Orleans Delta, July 28.

The moral of Manassas.

There is a danger we fear that the Southern mind, intoxicated with its exultations over the recent great victory of our arms at Manassas, may over-estimate the present advantage as well as the ultimate consequences of that brilliant achievement.

Certainly there can be no difference of opinion as to its having proved a God-send to the cause of Southern independence and true constitutional liberty. It has greatly strengthened the confidence of our people in the ability of their government to maintain itself, even at the point of the bayonet, against the marauding legions of Hessian soldiery who have been precipitated by the enemy upon our sacred soil. It has impaired the energies of the “old wreck” of the Federal Government, and has so far annihilated the confidence of its subjects in the final success of its boasted scheme of subjugation, as to work the most serious detriment to the national credit — which, according to the recent acknowledgment of a congressman, has already failed. It has given a prestige to the young republic of the South, just emerging, like Venus, in all the perfection of her beauty, from the foaming sea of political convulsion, which will put to naught the vaunting assertion of Northern superiority, and perhaps decide the question of foreign recognition which now trembles in the hesitating balance held by the hands of European powers. In addition to these there may be even other, though less important results flowing from it.

But to suppose that our independence is an accomplished fact, without other like desperate struggles, is palpable absurdity, the entertainment of which will prove a delusion and a snare. It is true that the forces of the enemy, outnumbering our own more than two to one, were utterly routed, and driven into a retreat styled by themselves both disgraceful and cowardly. But the defeat is not such as to turn the reckless politicians, who manage this movement, from the attempted execution of their direful purpose. Their pride has been sorely wounded, and their passion of revenge stimulated to the performance of new deeds of infamy. At any sacrifice of life or of the people's money, they will rally their routed forces and attempt with still greater desperation to retrieve their lost fortunes. Relying upon the brute force of mere numbers, the enemy are evidently determined to risk other engagements, perhaps of greater magnitude, if for [388] nothing else than the gratification of their malignity, or the palliation of their disgrace now so manifest to the eyes of foreign powers. The vast preparations that are now being made, and the great caution taken in the efficient organization of the army for the future, with the unceremonious dismissal of incompetents, are but a few of the indications to foreshadow their increased, yet fruitless determination.

It may be that the half million of men voted Mr. Lincoln by his obsequious parliament may not all be obtained, and certain it is that the five hundred millions of money will come in very tardily, and at great sacrifices on the part of the Government, if at all. But it is quite as evident that men and money will be secured for the prosecution of this atrocious war, even though the one be obtained by drafting, and the other by direct taxation and forced loans. We may expect, and must be prepared to encounter, an army of at least four hundred thousand men, who will be gathered at various points upon the borders of our Confederacy, seeking to force an entrance with the bayonet in less than ninety days. Our preparations for the vast campaign, unequalled by any of modern times, and scarcely overshadowed by Bonaparte's into Russia, must be commensurate with its magnitude and the importance of confronting it with successful resistance.

The population of the eleven States, comprising the Confederate Government, according to the census of 1860, is just 5,581,649. A levy of ten per cent. of this amount, which has always been regarded as not only practicable but extremely light for military purposes, would give us an army of five hundred and fifty-eight thousand men. Leaving out the disaffected portions of the country, where recruiting might prove somewhat difficult, we may safely calculate on raising 400,000 men with the greatest facility, for it is estimated that we have more than 200,000 armed and equipped in the field. The Confederate Government should at once exercise its energies in this work. While we can readily whip the enemy in an open field and fair fight, where they do not outnumber us in a proportion greater than three to two, we must not place ourselves in such a condition as to render the result the least doubtful. To make assurance doubly sure, it is our bounden duty to meet the invaders man for man, and by the adoption of a vigorous and aggressive policy make this war a brief one. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, is the maxim that should guide us through this revolution.

But, to resume: The point which we most desire to impress upon the minds of the people is the necessity of being prepared yet for the worst. No delusive hope need be entertained for a solitary moment that a peace has been conquered by the result at Manassas. It is only the entering wedge to such a consummation. We may still with propriety advise with Patrick Henry, when he eloquently exclaimed, “we must fight! I repeat it, Sirs, we must fight!” --Memphis Appeal, July 30.

1 see page 7 Documents, ante,

2 When Beauregard's report of this battle in full is made public, it will be given in the “Record.” --Ed. R. R.

3 These are errors. Gen. Burnside and Mr. Carrington were not captured.--Ed. R. R.

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