Gen. Evans was on the extreme left, and above the Stone Bridge; Col. Cocke was next; Col. Jackson, with his brigade from Gen. Johnston's forces, I think, was next; Bartow was next; Gen. Bonham next; Gen. Jones was next, and Gen. Ewell and Col. Easley, with their respective brigades, completed the display to the right at the Union Mills. These forces covered Bull Run from above the Stone Bridge to the point of crossing by the railroad, a distance of about six miles. Bull Run, as I have had occasion to remark in former letters, is one of the branches of the Occoquan. They hold the Manassas Junction in the fork, and about three miles from either. From Centreville, as one may see from looking at the map, all the roads cross the run. That by Mitchell's Ford, being the most direct, is seven miles, and all the others longer. The fight occurring on the extreme right, all the reinforcements were necessarily thrown from along this line, and time was necessary; and as a considerable time elapsed after the engagement at the Stone Bridge, before the precise character of the enemy's movement appeared, it was late and long before all the movements could be made to meet it. When it was ascertained what was the full meaning of the enemy to the left, I have reason to believe it was at once determined to throw a column from Mitchell's Ford upon the batteries above, and taking them, to fall upon the enemy's rear. Why it was not done I am not able to state, but it was not. And standing near Generals Beauregard, Johnston, and Bonham, on the hill of which I spoke yesterday, in the beginning of my report, I heard Gen. Beauregard remark, pointing to the fight to the west, “There is the battle-ground.” Soon after orders were despatched, and the generals, with their aids and attendants, dashed on to enter on the scene of conflict. The apparent retreat of the enemy was, in fact, his extension to the right, to gain our flank, and sorely was that point contested. The fight began nearly in front of a house owned by a man named Lewes. Against the hill on which that house is situated, the enemy had planted his battery, and it was against that that many of our brave men fell. There the Fourth South Carolina and Wheat's battalion were slaughtered; there the gallant Bartow fell; and that for many of the bloody hours of the contest was the corner-stone of the structure. From this it extended on by successive efforts to outflank for two miles to the west. Brigade after brigade, as they successively fell in, took new ground. The Washington Louisiana Artillery, as the other sections of it came, took ground still to the left, and Shield's and Pendleton's each took its hill for special thunder, and each contributed its contingent to the mass of slaughter. When I entered on the field at 2 o'clock, the fortunes of the day were dark. The remnants of the regiments, so badly injured, or wounded and worn, as they staggered out, gave gloomy pictures of the scene, and as, up to this time, after four hours of almost unprecedented valor and exertion, no point had been given, as each addition but seemed to stem the current of the enemy, but could not turn it back, as our forces were not exhaustless, as the distances to be traversed were continually greater, and as the enemy stood in possession of almost unlimited military power, and even the event was doubtful. We could not be routed, perhaps, but it is doubtful whether we were destined to a victory. But at this point the fortunes of the day were changed. The God of Battles seemed to stoop to our relief. By an order of Gen. Beauregard, Gen. Bonham sent Col. Kershaw's regiment, with Kemper's battery of four guns annexed, and Col. Cash's regiment, to the rescue. On they came from four miles below, at a rapid march, driving great masses of the enemy before them, and making fearful execution in their ranks. Hill after hill was passed with the same result, until they reached the Stone Bridge. Here Gen. Beauregard halted them, reinforced them with a Virginia regiment, Hampton's Legion, what .of it was in condition for service, some Marylanders and Louisianians, and started them again after the retreating foe, who fought and broke until the retreat became a rout. Cavalry came in now to finish. They were pursued by our forces to Centreville, some seven miles, leaving the road filled with plunder. The cavalry followed, cut down and captured, until late in the night. While this was transpiring at one point, other events took place further on in another part of the field. I mentioned that two brigades of Gen. Johnston's forces were behind, having been delayed by a collision on the Manassas railroad. The brigade of Gen. Smith, consisting of 1,80.0 men, arrived at Manassas after the fight began and hurried to the field. And at the instant when the regiments of the Fourth Carolina, Fourth Georgia, Fourth Alabama, Hampton's Legion, and others were struggling back for a moment's relief, and to fire again, they rushed with deafening shouts to the field of action. Col. Elzey, another portion of Gen. Johnston's force detained upon the railroad, was coming down. As he neared Manassas he heard the firing; he saw from the direction he could reach the scene of action sooner, and stopping the cars he ordered out the men, pushed directly on a distance of but a few miles, for the enemy's object, doubtless, was to reach the Manassas railroad in our rear. His line of travel brought him directly to the point where there was the effort to outflank again. The enemy, again and again defeated, and met by superior numbers, seemed at once to lose the spur of the contest when driven back. They did not face again over the rising grounds — beyond lines of dirt arose. What was their purpose did not appear. The sinking sun threw his sunlight over the magnificent landscape. The dead and
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Bull Run .
Doc . 4 .- N. Y. Tribune narrative.
Doc . 59 : a Virginian who is not a traitor: response of Lieut. Mayo , U. S. N. , to the proclamation of Gov. Letcher .
Doc . 65 -speech of Galusha A. Grow , on taking the Chair of the House of Representatives of the United States , July 4 .
Doc . 135 .- Virginia ordinance, prohibiting citizens of Virginia from holding office under the United States , passed July , 1861 .
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