previous next

[289] departed in hastened alarm at the sudden approach of our army. Never was an evacuation more complete.

II. Gen. Jackson has escaped from Shenandoah Valley, burning bridges between himself and Gen. Banks. This is positively stated by escaped contrabands coming in to night.

III. The number of camps and barracks scattered far and wide would afford, even as they stand now, accommodation for near seventy thousand men, and this only refers to those within eight miles of Centreville.

IV. A large portion of this evacuation must have been gradually accomplished during the past two months. But nearly fifty thousand rebels were here and at Manassas within the last week, of whom ten thousand went off by the Warrenton turnpike and forty thousand by railroad to Warrenton Junction and beyond. Trains were running day and night. Gen. Johnston left on Thursday night; Gen. Smith on Saturday, and Gen. Stuart on Sunday evening. I am now writing in the room lately occupied by all these worthies in succession.

V. We believe that the enemy has now fallen back to Warrenton, but will make his stand at Gordonsville, and give us battle there, or not at all. Echo: Not at all.

The battle-field of Bull Run.

Centreville, Va., March 12, 1862.
A correspondent gives the following account of the appearance of the battle-field of Bull Run after the occupation of Manassas:

I have been rambling this glorious afternoon over the fatal field of Bull Run, and roaming through the country hereabouts. The weather has all the sweetness and temper of a pleasant summer-day, and the coy and bracing breeze that comes down from the mountains sends new life into the veins, and buoyancy into every nerve. Those mountains! distant, dim and blue, they trace their rugged and ragged peaks along the horizon, and seem nature's type of calm sublimity. Who does not love these cloud-wrapped homes of freedom? In all ages of the world, the mountains and the mountaineers have preserved independence and civilisation and religious liberty, and wherever, in this glorious Republic, these majestic peaks exist, liberty and loyalty exist among them. The heights of Centreville are but the commencement of a series of hills, which roll and swell until they reach the high mountain-ridges. The view is comprehensive and magnificent, until it abruptly terminates in the forests and fastnesses near Manassas. We pass down the old road, along which the centre of McDowell's columns advanced, and by which the retreat of the panic-stricken teamsters took place. On the left, at the top of the hill, are Beauregard's old Headquarters — deserted and lonely. A little further on is a small frame house, where a negro family resides. The father beckons smilingly from his door, as we pass along; the children gambol and romp over the grass, shouting heedlessly. Most of the fences have been demolished. The race of fences, in this part of Virginia, seems to have expired — some are in a primary state of decay, some are in a secondary state, while most of them have passed away, and left no token.

We ride along the ascending and descending road. It is covered with evidences of the haste and waste attending the retreating rebel army. Shattered pots and kettles, half-burned-out equipages, torn cartridge-boxes and haversacks, remnants of old clothing, hats, shoes, pipe-heads and stems, bones and biscuit, horse-shoes and tattered harness, strew the road in great profusion. There are long lines of rebel encampments. Whatever may be said of the rebel soldiers, it must be admitted that they passed the winter in a very comfortable manner. Their quarters are commodious and compact, and consist of log-walls and partitions, densely plastered with mud and mortar.

Inside berths were erected, and furnaces were buried in the earth. Large chimneys projected from the roof, and in most of the buildings there were one or two windows. Many of the encampments are in the middle of a forest, occupying picturesque positions. They were left in great haste, but, with the exception of those around Manassas, none were burned. I should think, from my own hasty observation, that there are buildings enough now standing, and in good order, to accommodate fifty thousand men. Indeed, from Centreville to Bull Run, the line of encampments was continuous. I expressed some surprise to a Virginian, with whom I rode part of the way, at the huts being left unharmed. He replied by saying, that when the retreat was ordered, on Saturday, express orders were given by Gen. Johnston, not to destroy anything, as he intended to return again very soon. “But I guess he changed his mind when he got to Manassas,” said my companion, very quietly; “for then he commenced burning, and he keeps it up all the way along.” It was painful to see the number of dead horses lying around. In every field they were festering away. They had died from over-work, from a want of food and attention, and from brutality. The sight was extremely painful, and it was always present.

I stopped at the hospital-cottage. It was here where the dead and wounded were brought during the battle. The former owner had moved away, and it was now occupied by a family of negroes. A number of our soldiers were sitting on the porch, sunning themselves, and eating a lunch of biscuit and bacon. The well, whose waters soothed the thirsty agony of many of our brave soldiers, in their dying hours, was still there, but very much dilapidated. At Cub Run the bridge had been destroyed by fire, and we were compelled to ford the water to reach the other side. Cub Run is a narrow, shallow and insignificant stream, which empties into Bull Run. Beyond this, the Ohio troops had held a position on the day of the fight. To the right Sherman's battery was planted. When we came to Bull Run, we found the massive stone bridge, which had been the scene of a fierce conflict in the early

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Albert Sidney Johnston (2)
David Stuart (1)
Gustavus A. Smith (1)
I. McDowell (1)
W. H. Jackson (1)
G. T. Beauregard (1)
N. P. Banks (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 12th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: