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[108] woods, both to the right and in front. Captain Morgedant, of Gen. Schenck's staff, in a reconnoissance, discovered the enemy, in considerable numbers, bearing down upon them as if to turn our right, and such no doubt was their intention. Gen. Schenck, with his keen perception, at once discovers the enemy's intention, and frustrates his plans by an increased fire and by a steady advance. The Seventy-third Ohio, Col. Ford, is advanced two or three hundred yards, throwing out skirmishers and pressing the enemy before them.

Now let us turn to the left. Stahl, with his German regiments, had long since disappeared. Capt. Dilger's mountain howitzers had now opened fire; the cannonading was furious; the deep thunders of the artillery reverberated through the valleys; the sharp crash of musketry rang through the woods; shells went screaming on their errand of death; and the cloud of sulphurous smoke that hung like a funeral pall over the advancing and receding waves, told too well of the work of carnage and death then going on.

Gen. Stahl, with the Eighth New-York, Col. Wutschel, and Forty-first, Col. Von Gilsa, had penetrated the woods and passed over to the remote side of a clover-field that lay beyond. Here the ground gradually rose till it came to a belt of woods, when it descended. This declivity had been taken advantage of by the rebels, by posting behind a considerable force of infantry, which opened a murderous fire upon the columns of our men as they ascended. This, combined with the continued stream of shot and shell poured into them, produced sad havoc. Their ranks were terribly thinned. They fell on all sides. Col. Wutschel was wounded. A few moments more, an advance of a few feet, and the German regiments could have poured into the enemy a fire which would have driven him before them. This, with a combined movement of Schenck, Milroy having already penetrated the centre, would have swept the enemy along his whole line, and gained a most complete victory, putting him to rout and capturing his guns. But just at this juncture a most unfortunate mistake occurred. Two of Col. Bohlen's regiments were ordered up to relieve those in advance. By some means it appears that this order was construed into one to retire, and accordingly those decimated regiments withdrew from the scene of conflict, while the entire left of our forces retired in good order from the wood, and took a position in the rear.

The misfortune of this misunderstanding can scarcely be estimated. One more effort and these regiments, which had forced themselves right up to the enemy's guns, would have gained a splendid triumph. But the opportunity was lost, and “StonewallJackson again slipped through our fingers, after we had marched through mud and rain for fifteen days to cultivate a more intimate acquaintance with him. Truly, “there's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.” There was more than one who saw our forces come from the woods, but there was one whose eagle eye took in the whole field. How he watched those retiring columns. “See, Colonel,” said Fremont, “they retire in good order.” But now no time was to be lost. For four hours our men had been fighting. For them the roar of artillery had been incessant. With the left open, of course our centre, weak in numbers at best, must be exposed severely. The day was far spent, and it seemed best to have the centre fall back also. A messenger was accordingly sent to Milroy, telling him to retire in good order. But this man knows no such word as “retire,” and not having heard of the misfortune on the left, he replied: “What in the devil are you saying?” He had driven the enemy before him, and amid a shower of ball and shot, had almost reached their batteries. In a little while, he said, he would have had some of the enemy's guns. Schenck, too, having advanced, was ready to sweep around upon the rebels' left. Of course he was mortified at the necessity of leaving his position, and only did it when he knew the order to be imperative.

It was now half-past 3 o'clock. There was a lull in the storm. Each party seemed satisfied to take a rest. What had become of the enemy? All was quiet as the grave. As we were revolving this in our mind a puff of smoke rose up in a new position, and here came a shell screaming like a demon, and falling not far from the position occupied by Gen. Fremont's staff; another puff, and here came another of those grim messengers that sing so unlike anything else, and which a man will always recognise after he has heard the first. We were being shelled and no mistake, and the result was a kind of separation among those who occupied the hill. Our guns, however, soon opened a brisk fire upon the “dog” that had been barking so fiercely, and a few shot completely removed the troublesome visitor.

An occasional discharge of artillery reminded us that we were not yet free from the enemy. The wounded, with their quivering wounds, their lived countenances, their heart-rending groans, and their bloody clothes, were brought in, and as fast as possible their wants attended to. Cluseret, with the Sixtieth Ohio and Eighth Virginia, now fell back some two hundred yards behind the church, and thus our whole line had retired more or less. Night came on; the clouds which had obscured the sky disappeared, and the moon smiled down as peacefully upon the scene where carnage had held high carnival, as if no ghastly features, pale in death, were there.

Feeling that the early position of Col. Cluseret was exposed, and not knowing that he had removed, Gen. Schenck, after dark, sent out Sergt. John B. Morehouse and four privates of company D, Connecticut cavalry, in search of him. But in the mean time the Colonel had changed his forces. Morehouse did not return, and he is supposed to have been killed. He was a bachelor and a man of wealth, and came from California here, when the war broke out, to join a Connecticut company.

That night our troops, tired and drowsy, sank down to rest upon the ground which they had occupied before going into the thickest of the fight.

This morning we were up betimes. Another

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