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[403] whether of clothing, food, or what not. For my part, I got a tooth-brush, a box of candles, a quantity of lobster salad, a barrel of coffee, and other things which I forget. But I must hurry on, for I have not time to tell the hundredth part, and the scene utterly beggars description.

A part of us hunted that New-Jersey brigade like scattered partridges over the hills just to the right of the battle-field of the eighteenth of July, 1861, while the rest were partly plundering, partly fighting the forces coming on us from Warrenton. Our men had been living on roasted corn since crossing the Rapphannock, and we had brought no wagons, so we could carry little away of the riches before us. But the men could eat for one meal at least. So they were marched up, and as much of every thing eatable served out as they could carry. To see a starving man eating lobster-salad and drinking Rhine wine, bare-footed and in tatters, was curious; the whole thing was incredible.

Our situation now was very critical. We were between Alexandria and Warrenton — between the hosts of McClellan and Pope with over eighteen thousand jaded men, for the corps had not more than that. At nightfall, fire was set to the depot, store-houses, the loaded trains, several long, empty trains, sutlers' houses, restaurants, every thing. As the magnificent conflagration began to subside, the Stonewall or First division of Jackson's corps moved off toward the battlefield of Manassas, the other two divisions to Centreville, six miles distant.

As day broke, we came in sight of Centreville, rested a few hours, and toward evening the rear-guard of the corps crossed Bull Run at Stone Bridge — the scene of the great slaughter of last year — closely pursued by the enemy. A part of the force came up the Warrenton turnpike, and in a furious action of two hours--the last two daylight hours of Thursday, August twenty-eighth--disputed the possession of a ridge running from Sudley Church Ford to the Warrenton turnpike. We drove them off, and on Friday morning we held the ridge, in front of which runs an incomplete railroad — cut and embankment. Now, we had made a circuit from the Gap in Bull Run Mountains around to the Junction and Centreville, breaking up the railroad and destroying their stores, and returned to within six miles of the Gap, through which Longstreet must come. The enemy disputed his passage and delayed him till late in the day, and, meanwhile, they threw against our corps, all day long, vast masses of troops — Sigel's, Banks's, and Pope's own division. We got out of ammunition; we collected more from cartridge-boxes of fallen friend and foe; that gave out, and we charged with never-failing yell and steel. All day long they threw their masses on us; all day they fell back shattered and shrieking. When the sun went down, their dead were heaped in front of the incomplete railway, and we sighed with relief, for Longstreet could be seen coming into position on our right. The crisis was over; Longstreet never failed yet; but the sun went down so slowly.

Friday, Hill's division took, perhaps, the most prominent part in the fight; on Thursday, Ewell's and Jackson's, though all were engaged on Friday.

Saturday morning--day ever memorable! for it broke the back of the great lying nation — our corps still held that ridge, and Longstreet formed on our right, obtuse-angled to us, so that if they attacked, upon forcing us back, their flank would be exposed to Longstreet; and if they forced him back, their flank would be exposed to us. This arrangement was concealed from them so far that they suspected our strength to be to our left. Skirmishing and distant cannonading lasted till one P. M., when the action commenced, and soon grew infinitely furious. But they were outgeneralled and beaten from the start, and at half-past 4 or five P. M. it was plain that they were terribly whipped. The fight was by far the most horrible and deadly that I have seen. Just at sunset our wings swept round in pursuit; Jackson swinging his left on the right as a pivot, and Longstreet in the reverse method. Their dead on the field were in such numbers as to sicken even the veterans of Richmond and the Shenandoah Valley; they left two thousand dead, rotting clay, and almost innumerable wounded. Their discipline and night saved them from a rout. They retreated in tolerable order to Centreville. 'Twas decisive; their whole army engaged — only two corps of ours, and their loss, I think, ten to one on our side.

Starke's Louisiana brigade and the Second brigade of Jackson's division (their ammunition being out) fought with the stones from the ground. This I know to be a fact. Lewis Randolph, it is said, was seen to kill one man with a stone. We lost many valuable men. V---- was shot early in the breast. I found him at the hospital, very dirty in dust and blood, but in good hands. I took off my shirt and gave it to him, and sent him on his way rejoicing toward Middleburgh. I happened to have on a clean shirt, having bathed in Bull Run on Friday morning, and changed my clothing. On Saturday I had the narrowest escape yet; two cannon-balls, within a minute of each other, passed so near me as almost to take away my breath. Strange to tell, it put me in the wildest spirits.

On Monday our corps moved to Ox Hill, between Chantilly and Fairfax Court-House, where, in the afternoon, we had, under a driving thunder-storm, a smart but undecisive fight with three divisions of the enemy. In it were killed Generals Kearny and Stevens, valuable officers, both worth the battle.

Thus the corps fought six days out of seven, after enormous marches. On Wednesday, the third instant, we marched to Dranesville; on Thursday to Leesburgh, where we met D. H. Hill's corps, Ripley's division, and perhaps others. On yesterday the army crossed the Potomac, D. H. Hill a little earlier in the day than we, and at a different ford. We marched till half-past 12 last night; started to-day before day, and reached this town by one P. M., or earlier. It

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James Longstreet (12)
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