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[49] a closer inspection the marks of genius and military skill were unmistakable. Their uniform was what I took to be plain undress. Not the least sign of excitement was to be seen on the countenances of either as they coolly rode forward into the storm of iron hail. Beauregard's eyes glistened with expectation, no doubt, when he afterwards threw himself into the very heart of the action, appearing then, as was afterwards most expressively said of him, to be the very impersonation of the “god of war.” General Johnston, too, looked every inch a commander, and proved himself to be the worthy inheritor of the prowess and virtues of his ancestors. On reaching the top of the hill, where was a white house, owned, I believe, by a Mr. Lewis, they were again discovered by the enemy, as the rifled shot and shell whizzed through the air and lodged in the hollow behind. The aim was not so good at this time, the accurate artillerists three miles below not having yet come up with the enemy's main body. At about 12 o'clock Beauregard and Johnston assumed the command of our main body at the Stone Bridge. The line of battle extended some seven miles up and down the creek, and during the day there were some minor engagements at other fords.

At Blackburn's Ford, General Jones's brigade made an attack upon the left flank of the enemy, who had two strong batteries in a commanding position, which it was important to capture. The Fifth South Carolina regiment led the attack, but our troops were compelled to retire for a while under the heavy fire of the batteries and musketry, and the enemy immediately retreated. Up to the time of this attack, these batteries had been bombarding all the morning Gen. Longstreet's position in his intrenchments on this side of the run.

General Evans, of South Carolina, was the first to lead his brigade into action at Stone Bridge. It consisted of the Fourth South Carolina regiment and Wheat's Louisiana battalion. Sustaining them was General Cocke's brigade, consisting of the 17th, 19th, and 28th Virginia regiments, commanded respectively by Colonels Cocke, Withers, and Robert T. Preston. These brigades were the first to bear the brunt of the action, as they were exposed to a concentric fire, the object of the enemy being to turn our left flank while we were endeavoring to turn his right. These regiments of infantry were sustaining the famous Washington Artillery, of New Orleans, who had two of their guns at this point, which made terrible havoc in the ranks of the enemy. The Federal troops leading the action consisted of 10,000 regulars, sustaining the celebrated Sherman's battery, these regulars being in their turn sustained by immense masses of volunteers, the New York Zouaves among the number. General Beauregard estimated the enemy's numbers in the action to be not less than 35,000 men.

Their artillery far outnumbered ours. We have captured 67 pieces of cannon, while we had only 18 guns on that part of the field.1 It has been stated to me by so many of our soldiers I cannot but believe it, that the enemy by some means had obtained our signal for the day — they also used our red badge, which fortunately was discovered in time, and they carried into action the flags of the Palmetto State and the Confederate States. It has been asserted, too, by numerous individuals engaged in the battle, that there was great confusion and slaughter among our own men, who mistook them for the enemy. This was less to be wondered at from the similarity of uniform and the mean advantages above referred to taken by our unscrupulous foes. They pressed our left flank for several hours with terrible effect, but our men flinched not until their number had been so diminished by the well-aimed and steady volleys that they were compelled to give way for new regiments. The 7th and 8th Georgia regiments, commanded by the gallant and lamented Bartow, are said to have suffered heavily during the early part of the battle. Kemper's, Shields', and Pendleton's batteries were in this part of the field, and did fearful execution. I regret to be unable to name all the regiments engaged, in their order, not having succeeded in ascertaining their position. I am inclined to believe there was some mistake during the day in the delivery or execution of an order of Gen. Beauregard's respecting an attack on the enemy's rear, which was not effected.

Between 2 and 3 o'clock large numbers of men were leaving the field, some of them wounded, others exhausted by the long struggle, who gave us gloomy reports; but as the fire on both sides continued steadily, we felt sure that our brave Southerners had not been conquered by the overwhelming hordes of the North. It is, however, due to truth to say that the result of this hour hung trembling in the balance. We had lost numbers of our most distinguished officers. Gens. Bartow and Bee had been stricken down; Lieut-Col. Johnson, of the Hampton Legion, had been killed; Col. Hampton had been wounded; but there was at hand the fearless general whose reputation as a commander was staked on this battle: Gen. Beauregard promptly offered to lead the Hampton Legion into action, which he executed in a style unsurpassed and unsurpassable. Gen. Beauregard rode up and down our lines between the enemy and his own men, regardless of the heavy fire, cheering and encouraging our troops. About this time a shell struck his horse, taking its head off, and killing the horses of his aids, Messrs. Ferguson and Hayward. Gen. Beauregard's aids deserve honorable mention, particularly those just named, and Cols. W. Porcher Miles, James Chesnut, John L. Manning, and A. R. Chisolm. Gen. Johnston also threw himself into the thickest of the fight, seizing the colors of a Georgia regiment, and rallying

1 The Federal forces had but 22 pieces on the field. The remainder of their artillery was in reserve.--W. F. B.

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