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[84] sent the second shell at a hill-top, two miles off, where we suspected that a battery had been planted by the rebels. The bomb burst like an echo close at the intended point, but still no answer came, and Gen. Tyler ordered Carlisle to cease firing, and bring the rest of his battery to the front of the woods and our column, ready for instant action. It was now about 7 o'clock. For half an hour but little more was done; then skirmishers were deployed into the forest on each side, in order to discover the whereabouts of our nearest foes. Before us lay a rolling and comparatively open country, but with several hills and groves cutting off any extended view. In the western distance on the left we could see the outskirts of Manassas Junction. The woods at whose edge our line of battle formed, extended half around the open fields in a kind of semicircle, and it was into the arms of this crescent that our skirmishers advanced. Soon we began to hear random shots exchanged in the thicket on the left, which proved the. existence of an enemy in that direction. (What can be done against men who, to all the science and discipline of European warfare, add more than the meanness and cowardly treachery of the Indian? We had, all through the day, to hunt for the foe, though he numbered his myriads of men.) At the same time, a scout on the right captured a negro native, who was led to the general, shaking with fear, and anxious to impart such information as he had. Through him we learned that the rebels were quartered among the woods on the right and left, and in the groves in the open country; that they had erected a battery on the distant hill, and had kept him at work for three days, assisting to fell trees, so that a clear range of the road we occupied could be obtained.

By this time our scouts reported the enemy in some force on the left. Two or three Ohio skirmishers had been killed. Carlisle's battery was sent to the front of the woods on the right, where it could be brought to play where needed. A few shell were thrown into the opposite thicket, and then the Second Ohio and Second New York marched down to rout out the enemy. In ten minutes the musketry was heard, and then a heavy cannonade answer. They had, without doubt, fallen upon a battery in the bushes. For a quarter of an hour their firing continued, when they came out in good order, confirming our surmises. After advancing a furlong they saw the enemy, who exchanged their fire and retired through the forest. Suddenly from a different direction a voice was heard, exclaiming, “Now, you Yankee devils, we've got you where we want you!” and several heavy guns were opened upon them with such effect that Schenck finally ordered them to retire, which they did in perfect order. The boys came out indignant at the practices of the rebels, and swearing they would rather fight three times their force in the open field than encounter the deadly mystery of those thickets. No soldiers are willing to have their fighting entirely confined to storming infernal earthworks at the point of the bayonet. Every regiment, yesterday, was at times a “forlorn hope.”

A few dead and wounded began to be brought in, and the battle of Manassas had commenced. Carlisle's howitzers and the great rifled gun were opened in the direction of the battery, which answered promptly, and a brief, but terrific cannonading ensued. In less than half an hour the enemy's guns were silenced, two of Carlisle's howitzers advancing through the woods to gain a closer position. But a fatal error was here made, as I thought, by General Tyler, in not ordering in a division to drive out the four rebel regiments stationed behind the battery, and to seize its eight guns. Through some inexplicable fatuity he seemed to assume that when a battery was silenced it was convinced, and there it remained, with its defenders, unheard from and unthought of until the latter portion of the day, when it formed one cause of our final defeat. It is actually a fact, that while our whole forces were pushed along the right to a co-operation with Hunter's flanking column, and a distance of miles in advance, this position on the left, close to the scene of the commencement of the fight, and just in front of all our trains and ammunition wagons — a position chosen by all spectators as the most secure — was, through the day, within five minutes reach of a concealed force of infantry, and a battery which had only been “silenced.” No force was stationed to guard the rear of our left flank. It was near this very point, and with the assistance of this very infantry, that the enemy's final charge was made, which created such irretrievable confusion and dismay. And after the first few hours no officer could be found in this vicinity to pay any attention to its security. All had gone forward to follow the line of the contest.

Meantime, Richardson, on the extreme left, could not content himself with “maintaining his position,” for we heard occasional discharges from two of his guns. However, he took no other part in the action than by shelling the forces of the enemy which were sent rapidly from his vicinity to the immediate point of contest. From the hill behind we could see long columns advancing, and at first thought they were Richardson's men moving on Bull Run; but soon discovered their true character. Indeed, from every southward point the enemy's reinforcements began to pour in by thousands. Great clouds of dust arose from the distant roads. A person who ascended a lofty tree could see the continual arrival of cars at the nearest point on the Manassas railroad, with hosts of soldiers, who formed in solid squares and moved swiftly forward to join in the contest. The whistle of the locomotive was plainly audible to those in our advance. It is believed that at least fifty thousand were added during the day to the thirty thousand rebels opposed

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