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[382] movements. They encamped for the night near Mrs. Harvey's farm--one regiment having taken possession of the Centreville-Gainesville turnpike, the main force fronting toward Sudley's Spring and Groveton.

Battle at Groveton, near Bull Run, on Friday, August 29, 1862.

On Thursday night, August 28, when the First corps was encamped on the heights, south of Young's Branch, near Bull Run, I received orders to “attack the enemy vigorously” the next morning. I accordingly made the necessary preparations at night, and formed in order of battle at daybreak, having ascertained that the enemy was in considerable force beyond Young's Branch, in sight of the hills we occupied. His left wing rested on Catharine Creek-front toward Centreville; with his centre he occupied a long stretch of woods parallel with the Sudley Spring-New-Market road; and his right was posted on the hills on both sides of the Centreville-Gainesville road. I therefore directed General Schurz to deploy his division on the right of the Gainesville road, and by a change of direction to the left, to come into position parallel with the Sudley Spring road. Gen. Milroy, with his brigade and one battery, was directed to form the centre, and to take possession of an elevation in front of the so-called “Stone House,” at the junction of the Gainesville and Sudley Spring road. General Schenck, with his division forming our left, was ordered to advance quickly to an adjoining range of hills, and to plant his batteries on these hills, at an excellent range from the enemy's position.

In this order our whole line advanced from point to point, taking advantage of the ground before us, until our whole line was involved in a most vehement artillery and infantry contest. In the course of about four hours--from half-past 6 to half-past 10 o'clock in the morning — our whole infantry and nearly all our batteries were engaged with the enemy, Generals Milroy and Schurz advancing one mile, and General Schenck two miles from their original positions.

At this time (half-past 10 o'clock) the enemy threw forward large masses of infantry against our right, but was resisted firmly, and driven back three times by the troops of Generals Milroy and Schurz.

To assist these troops, so hard pressed by overpowering numbers, exhausted by fatigue and weakened by losses, I ordered one battery of reserve to take position on their left, and posted two pieces of artillery under Lieutenant Blum, of Schirmer's battery, supported by the Forty-first New-York volunteers, beyond their line, and opposite the right flank of the enemy, who was advacing in the woods. These pieces opened fire with canister most effectively, and checked the enemy's advance on that point.

I now directed General Schenck to draw his lines nearer to us and to attack the enemy's right flank and rear by a change of front to the right, thereby assisting our troops in the centre. This movement could not be executed by Gen. Schenck with his whole division, as he became briskly engaged with the enemy, who tried to turn our extreme left. At this critical moment, when the enemy had almost outflanked us on both wings, and was preparing a new attack against our centre, General Kearny arrived on the field of battle and deployed by the Sudley Spring road on our right, while General Reno's troops came to our support by the Gainesville turnpike. With the consent of General Reno, I directed two regiments and one battery under Brig.-General Stevens to take position on the right of General Schenck--the battery on an eminence in front and centre of our line, where it did excellent work during the rest of the day, and where it relieved Captain Dilyer's battery, which held this position the whole morning. Three regiments were posted between General Milroy and General Schenck, and two others with two mounted batteries were sent to the assistance of General Schurz.

Scarcely were these troops in position when the contest began with renewed vigor and vehemence, the enemy attacking furiously along our whole line, from the extreme right to the extreme left. The infantry brigade of General Steinwehr, commanded by Colonel Koltes, was then sent forward to the assistance of Generals Schenck and Schurz, and one regiment was detailed for the protection of a battery posted in reserve near our centre. The troops of Brig.-Gen. Reynolds had meanwhile (twelve o'clock,) taken position on our left.

In order to defend our right, I sent a letter to General Kearny, saying that Longstreet was not able to bring his troops in line of battle that day, and requesting him (Kearny) to change his front to the left and to advance, if possible, against the enemy's left flank. To assist him in this movement, I ordered two long-range, rifled guns to report to him, as his own battery had remained in reserve behind his lines.

At two o'clock in the afternoon Gen. Hooker's troops arrived on the field of battle, and were immediately ordered forward by their noble commander to participate in the battle. One brigade, under Col. Carr, received orders, by my request, to relieve the regiments of Gen. Schurz's division, which had maintained their ground against repeated attacks, but were now worn out and nearly without ammunition. Other regiments were sent forward to relieve Brig.-Gen. Milroy, whose brigade had valiantly disputed the ground against greatly superior numbers for eight hours.

To check the enemy if he should attempt to advance, and for the purpose of preparing and supporting an attack from our site, I placed four batteries of different commands on a range of hills on our centre, and behind the woods, which had been the most hotly-contested part of the battle-field during the day.

I had previously received a letter from Major-Gen. Pope, saying that Fitz-John Porter's corps and Brig.-Gen. King's division, numbering twenty thousand men, would come in on our left. I therefore did not think it prudent to give the enemy

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