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[394] him with great rapidity. He received them in two different positions, at short-range, with a shower of grape-shot, obliged them twice to fall back, and then followed our column unmolested. His conduct cannot be praised too highly.

When ascending the hill you indicated to me as a rallying-point, we found that the troops who, after the first repulse, had formed immediately behind us, had disappeared; that the whole left wing of our army had given way, and that the enemy was rolling heavy masses of infantry after the retreating columns toward our second position. The enemy's artillery was commanding almost the whole battle-field. Behind the ridge where I was to form again, and which was the natural position of the general reserve, I expected to find an intact reserve of several brigades, ready to pounce upon the enemy as he was attempting to ascend the slope of the range of hills we were then occupying, but nothing of the kind seemed to be there. I found Major-General McDowell with his staff, and around him troops of several different corps, and of all arms, in full retreat. I succeeded in inducing the captain of a battery, the name of which I do not know, to place his pieces upon the crest of the hill, and to resume the contest with the enemy's batteries immediately opposite us. My attempts to form compact bodies out of straggling soldiers met with very small success.

It was nearly six o'clock when you ordered me to send a brigade to the support of Gen. Milroy, who was on our left, below the farm-house used as a hospital, which two days before had been our headquarters. I brought forward Colonel Schimmelfennig's brigade, which advanced in excellent order, but did not find General Milroy, whose command had gone further to the left and rear. Col. Schimmelfennig, however, went forward, and finding Generals Sykes and Reno near the place which had been indicated to him, formed on the right of Gen. Sykes, ready to take part in the action whenever it should become advisable. The brigades of Colonels Krzyzanowski and Koltes had suffered so severely that I deemed it best to send them to the rear in reserve, only the Fifty-fourth New-York I kept with me to cover Dilyer's battery, which was placed on the heights immediately commanding the Warrenton road, and protecting the bridge across Young's Branch.

We had been under a continual shower of shot and shell until it grew dark, when the infantry fire on our left, as well as the artillery fire of the enemy, suddenly ceased, only now and then a projectile dropping among us. The fight on our left had evidently come to a stand. It is probable that the force of the enemy, when arriving at the foot of the heights we were occupying, were so exhausted that a vigorous offensive attack on our front would have had an excellent chance of success. You remember, General, that this matter was earnestly discussed among us on the battle-field. But General Pope's order to retreat, and the fact that the main body of our army was already on its way to Centreville, put an end to this question.

About eight o'clock you ordered me to withdraw Col. Schimmelfennig's brigade, and to march with my whole command across Young's Branch, two pieces of Captain Dilyer's battery and one of my regiments forming the rear-guard of the corps. For this office the Sixty-first Ohio was selected, a regiment which throughout the whole campaign had exhibited the most commendable spirit. According to your order, I passed the bridge across Young's Branch about nine o'clock, and took position with your whole corps on the hilly ground between Young's Branch and Bull Run. Col. Schimmelfennig furnished from his command the necessary guards and outposts along Young's Branch and in the direction of the Bull Run ford.

There we remained over two hours, and after all other troops had passed Bull Run, and the road was clear of wagons for several miles, you ordered your corps to resume its march toward Centreville. We crossed the stone bridge between eleven and twelve o'clock. You ordered me to take position on the left of the road, front toward the creek, while General Stahl did the same on the right, throwing out our outposts on the other side of the creek and placing Capt. Dilyer's two pieces so as to command the bridge. Some time afterward one of Gen. McDowell's officers informed you that we were threatened by the enemy in our rear. About one o'clock A. M. you ordered your corps to resume its march. My first brigade, under Colonel Schimmelfennig, was to form the rear-guard, and was instructed to destroy the bridge. Colonel Kane of the Pennsylvania Bucktail Rifles reported himself to you with a battalion of his men and several pieces of artillery which he had picked up on the road. The bridge was destroyed some time after half-past 1, and I marched toward Centreville, taking with us Colonel Kane's promiscuous pieces of artillery behind the first regiment of Col. Schimmelfennig's brigade.

I rejoined you about three o'clock A. M., two miles from Centreville, where we bivouacked until five. About seven we arrived at Centreville, and in the course of the day a position was assigned to my division in the intrenchments.

My loss in the battles of the twenty-ninth and thirtieth, as will appear from the regimental reports, was extremely heavy, exceeding twenty per cent of my whole effective force. Beside the brave and noble Colonel Koltes, I have to deplore the death of a great many able and gallant officers. The number of “missing” was very small in proportion to the killed and wounded. Comparatively few of them have since rejoined their regiments, and the information I have received leads me to believe that a majority either remained dead on the battle-field or fell wounded into the hands of the enemy.

The commanders of my brigades and the officers of my staff behaved on all occasions, under the most trying circumstances, with their accustomed gallantry. As to the regimental officers and privates who distinguished themselves, as well as an exact list of the killed and wounded, I

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Schimmelfennig (12)
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