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[85] to us at the onset. It was hard for our noble fellows to withstand these incessant reinforcements, but some of our regiments whipped several corps opposed to them in quick succession, and whenever our forces, fresh or tired, met the enemy in open field, they made short work of his opposition.

At 10 1/2 A. M. Hunter was heard from on the extreme right. he had previously sent a courier to General McDowell, reporting that he had safely crossed the run. The general was lying on the ground, having been ill during the night, but at once mounted his horse and rode on to join the column on which so much depended. From the neighborhood of Sudley Church he saw the enemy's left in battle array, and at once advanced upon them with the Fourteenth New York and a battalion of regular infantry--Colonel Hunter ordering up the stalwart Rhode Island regiments, (one led by that model of the American volunteer, Burnside,) the Second New Hampshire, and our own finely-disciplined Seventy-first. Gov. Sprague himself directed the movements of the Rhode Island brigade, and was conspicuous through the day for gallantry. The enemy were found in heavy numbers opposite this unexcelled division of our army, and greeted it with shall and long volleys of battalion firing as it advanced. But on it went, and a fierce conflict ensued in the northern battle ground. As soon as Hunter was thus discovered to be making his way on the flank, Gen. Tyler sent forward the right wing of his column to co-operate, and a grand force was thus brought to bear most effectually on the enemy's left and centre.

The famous Irish regiment, 1,600 strong, who have had so much of the hard digging to perform, claimed the honor of a share in the hard fighting, and led the van of Tyler's attack, followed by the Seventy-ninth (Highlanders) and Thirteenth New York and Second Wisconsin.

It was a brave sight — that rush of the Sixty-ninth into the death-struggle! With such cheers as those which won the battles in the peninsula, with a quick step at first, and then a double quick, and at last a run, they dashed forward, and along the edge of the extended forest. Coats and knapsacks were thrown to either side, that nothing might impede their work, but we knew that no guns would slip from the hands of those determined fellows, oven if dying agonies were needed to close them with a firmer grasp. As the line swept along, Meagher galloped towards the head, crying “Come on, boys! You've got your chance at last!” I have not since seen him, but hear that he fought magnificently, and is wounded.

Tyler's forces thus moved forward for half a mile, describing quite one-fourth of a circle on the right, until they met a division of the enemy, and of course a battery of the enemy's most approved pattern.

The heat of the Contest.

It was noon, and now the battle commenced in the fierceness of its most extended fury. The batteries on the distant hill began to play upon our own, and upon our advancing troops, with hot and thunderous effects. Carlisle answered for us, and Sherman for Hunter's division, while the great 32-pounder addressed itself resistlessly to the alternate defences of the foe. The noise of the cannonading was deafening and continuous. Conversely to the circumstance of the former engagement, it completely drowed, at this period, the volleys of the musketry and riflemen. It blanched the cheeks of the villagers at Centreville, to the main street of which place some of the enemy's rifled shell were thrown. It was heard at Fairfax, at Alexandria, at Washington itself. Five or six heavy batteries were in operation at once, and to their clamor was added the lesser roll of twenty thousand small-arms. What could we civilians see of the fight at this time? Little: yet perhaps more than any who were engaged in it. How anxiously we strained our eyes to catch the various movements, thoughtless of every thing but the spectacle, and the successes or reverses of the Federal army. Our infantry were engaged in woods and meadows beyond our view. We knew not the nature or position of the force they were fighting. But now and then there would be a fierce rush into the open propsect, a gallant charge on one side and a retreat on the other, and we saw plainly that our columns were gaining ground, and steadily pursuing their advantage by their gradual movement, which continued towards the distance and the enemy's centre.

We indeed heard continuous tidings of heroism and victory; and those in the trees above us told us of more than we could discover with our field glasses from below. We heard that Hunter had fairly rounded the enemy's flank, and then we listened for ourselves to the sound of his charges in the northern woods, and saw for ourselves the air gathering up smoke from their branches, and the wavering column of the Mississippians as they fled from their first battery, and were forced into the open field. Then we saw our own Sixty-ninth and Seventy-ninth, corps animated by a chivalrous national rivalry, press on to the support of the more distant column. We could catch glimpses of the continual advances and retreats; could hear occasionally the guns of a battery before undiscovered; could guess how terribly all this accumulation of death upon death must tell upon those undaunted men, but could also see — and our cheers continually followed the knowledge — that our forces were gradually driving the right of the enemy around the second quarter of a circle, until by one o'clock the main battle was raging at a point almost directly opposite our standing-place — the road at the edge of the woods — where it had commenced six hours before.

There was a hill at the distance of a mile and a half, to which I have heretofore alluded. From its height overlooking the whole plain, a

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