before sunset, just as several trains were approaching from the direction of Warrenton Junction. There being no force at this place except a small detachment of cavalry, which was soon dispersed, Colonel Forno succeeded in arresting and capturing two trains of empty cars, the first which approached making good its escape by forcing its way over the obstructions placed on the road toward Manassas Junction. General Trimble, as soon as he arrived, was detached with two regiments of his brigade to Manassas Junction, and the other brigades as they arrived, and Hays's brigade, were placed in position by Major-General Ewell, so as to prevent surprise and any approach on the railroad. As soon as it was light next morning, the three brigades of the division left at Bristoe were placed in position as follows: Lawton's brigade was posted on the left of the railroad, Hays's brigade on the right of it, and my own brigade to the right of Hays's, in a pine wood, our line of battle being fronted toward Warrenton Junction, and occupying a ridge a short distance from Bristoe in the direction of that junction. Colonel Forno, with four regiments of Hays's brigade and one of Lawton's, and one piece of artillery from D'Aquin's battery, was then ordered to the front to reconnoitre and destroy the bridge over Kettle Run, and tear up the track of the railroad. He found the enemy had brought up on a train of cars a body of infantry sufficient to fill nine cars; but, having doubtless discovered our force to be larger than was thought, was reembarking it. A few shots from the piece of artillery were fired at the train, and it made its way back again after receiving some damage. The Sixth Louisiana, under Colonel Strong, was left on picket two miles in front on the railroad, and the Eighth Louisiana was put to work destroying the railroad bridge and tearing up the track, and Colonel Forno returned with the rest of the force. In the mean time, the Fifteenth Alabama, of Trimble's brigade, and the Twelfth Georgia regiment, of my own brigade, were sent to join General Trimble at Manassas Junction, an order having been received for the transfer of the latter regiment. Under orders from General Ewell, later in the day, the Forty-ninth Virginia, of my brigade, was moved to the right, on a road leading to Greenwich, across a ridge that was to the right of our position. Brown's battery, from the artillery battalion, was posted on a hill in rear of the position of my brigade, and several pieces from two other batteries were posted farther to the right, on a ridge over which the road from Gainesville runs, supported by two regiments from Lawton's brigade, the whole being so posted as to command the open ground in front of the right of our position. A regiment from Lawton's brigade, (the Sixtieth Georgia,) with one piece of artillery, was advanced on the left of the railroad so as to support Colonel Forno's two regiments that were in front, and Johnson's battery, of my brigade, was posted on the ridge between the position of Hays's brigade and my own, and the rest of the batteries were posted on the left of the station. In the afternoon, indications were seen of the approach of heavy columns of the enemy from the direction of Warrenton Junction, and all the baggage wagons were ordered to move toward Manassas Junction. In a short time the enemy was seen approaching on the right of the railroad and in front of Hays's brigade, the Sixth and Eighth Louisiana regiments falling back and taking position in a wood three hundred or four hundred yards in front of the brigade. The enemy's force consisted of heavy columns of infantry, with artillery. As soon as the enemy came in range, our artillery, from its several positions, opened on him, as did the Sixth and Eighth Louisiana and Sixtieth Georgia regiments. By this combined fire, two columns of the enemy, of not less than a brigade each, were driven back, and the Fifth Louisiana regiment was sent forward to reenforce the Sixth and Eighth. Fresh columns of the enemy were, however, seen advancing, and it became apparent that his force was much larger than ours, and the nature of the ground was such that by a movement to our right, which he was evidently making, he could obtain a position which commanded the rear of our line and the crossing of Broad Run. General Ewell then informed me that he had received orders from General Jackson to retire toward Manassas Junction if the enemy came in large force; and he gave the orders for the withdrawal of our force across Broad Run. At this time the Louisiana regiments were actively engaged, and a large body of the enemy was moving up, and the experiment had to be tried whether our troops could be with-drawn in good order. General Ewell directed me to cover the retiring of the troops with my brigade. Lawton's brigade was first withdrawn across the ford at the railroad bridge, and then Hays's brigade followed, the regiments engaged in front having fallen back in good order. My own brigade was withdrawn from the pine woods in which it was, and formed in successive lines of battle so as to cover the ford at the bridge. All of the artillery was successfully crossed over, a part having crossed at Millford, several hundred yards above the bridge, at which also the Forty-ninth Virginia regiment crossed. In the mean time, the enemy advanced in line of battle on both sides of the railroad, preceded by skirmishers, and keeping up a constant artillery fire. Lawton's brigade was formed in line of battle on the north bank of Broad Run, and some batteries were placed in position, and Hays's brigade was ordered to proceed to Manassas. After all the other brigades and the artillery had crossed, my own brigade was crossed over by regiments successively, the Thirteenth Virginia, under Colonel Walker, being retained until the last, and skirmishers sent out from it to keep the enemy's skirmishers in check. I then crossed over the Thirteenth regiment, and moved back about three fourths of a mile from the run, and formed my brigade in line of battle on a high hill on the road toward Manassas, and in full view of the enemy, who had halted on the ridges
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Foreign accounts of the fight.
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.