supposed to be in strong force. The three brigades under my command — my own, Generals Featherston's and Pryor's — were, together with two batteries of artillery, mostly rifled pieces, detached from the main command, and moved off to the left, over a rough and hilly road, in the direction of Hopewell Gap, with orders to force our way through it should the enemy be found to hold it. After a tedious, fatiguing, and rather difficult march, the gap was reached at ten o'clock P. M. Halting the column, a regiment was detached, preceded by a company, both under the direction of Brigadier-General Pryor, with instructions to approach the pass cautiously, with the view of ascertaining if it was held by the enemy, and if so, as to his probable strength. In a half or three quarters of an hour, General Pryor reported that he had threaded his way through the pass as far as Antioch Church, near one mile beyond. The troops were then moved forward through the pass, and, after posting pickets on the various roads and mountain paths that diverged from the gap, the command at twelve o'clock bivouacked for the night. Hopewell Gap is about three miles from Thoroughfare Gap, being connected with the latter on the east side by two roads, one of which is impracticable for wagons. The enemy had been at this pass during the day, but retired before night, thus giving us a free passage. Early the following morning our march was resumed, and the command rejoined, at half past 9 A. M., the remainder of the division, at the intersection of the two roads leading from the gaps above mentioned. Pursuing our line of march, together with the division, we passed by Gainesville, and, advancing some three miles beyond, my three brigades were formed in line of battle on the left and at right angles to the turnpike. Having advanced near three quarters of a mile, we were then halted. The enemy was in our front, and not far distant. Several of our batteries were placed in position on a commanding eminence to the left of the turnpike. A cannonading ensued, and continued for an hour or two, to which the enemy's artillery replied. At half past 4 or five P. M., the three brigades were moved across to the right of the turnpike, a mile or more, to the Manassas Gap Railroad. While here musketry was heard to our left on the turnpike. This firing continued with more or less vivacity until sundown. Now the command was ordered back to the turnpike, and forward on this to the support of General Hood, who had become engaged with the enemy, and had driven him back some distance, inflicting severe loss upon him, being checked in his successes by the darkness of the night. After reaching General Hood's position, but little musketry was heard. All soon became quiet. Our pickets were thrown out to the front. The enemy's camp-fires soon became visible, extending far off to our left, front, and right. Remaining in this position until twelve o'clock at night, the troops were withdrawn three quarters of a mile to the rear, and bivouacked, pickets being left to guard our front. Before sunrise the next morning, August thirtieth, the pickets began to fire. At times it became quite rapid. The enemy could be seen relieving their skirmishers. The firing between the skirmishers continued with but little intermission throughout the day. Batteries were placed in position on the left of the turnpike on commanding heights where they had been the day before. They soon attracted the fire of the enemy's artillery. Before seven A. M., Pryor's brigade was placed in position in line at right angles to the turnpike, in rear of a fence, in woods — an open field extending to the front more than a mile, the surface of which was varied with a succession of valleys and hills — Featherston's brigade in line on his left, and extending so far to the left as to be in contact with the extreme right of General Jackson's command. My brigade was in the woods to the rear of the centre of the line occupied by the other two brigades. In front of General Pryor, in the open field, was Colonel Law's brigade, (Hood's division;) on the right of the road was General Hood's brigade, in the woods ; extending far to the right of Hood were other brigades of the division. The infantry and artillery fire continued most of the day. At times the enemy's infantry and artillery were plainly visible, moving in different directions, both to the right and left of the road. Wagons could be seen moving off in the direction of Bull Run, and clouds of dust farther off in that direction. About half past 3 P. M., the enemy's infantry were seen emerging from a wood upon an open field, in line of battle, the woods and field being in front of Jackson's extreme right, and to the left and near Featherston's brigade. This field was about five hundred yards wide, and terminated about one hundred and fifty yards from Jackson's line — the ground here rising rather steeply for a short distance, and then level to the railroad, behind the embankment of which, at this point, were Jackson's men. Seeing this advance of the enemy, I repaired at once to the interval between Pryor's and Featherston's brigades. From this point there was an excellent view of the field, and not more than four hundred yards distant. The first line of the enemy advanced in fine style across the open field. There was but little to oppose them. They were fired upon by our pickets and skirmishers; but they continued to advance, and, ascending the rise above referred to, came within full view of Jackson's line, and were here received with a terrific fire of musketry, at short range. They hesitated for an instant, recoiling slightly, and then advanced to near the embankment. Twice did I see this line advance and retire, exposed to a close and deadly fire of musketry. Seeing a second line issuing from the woods upon the field, I was in the act of ordering a battery to be placed in a position to fire upon them, when a battery was directed by the Major-General commanding to fire upon them; this battery being near the turnpike, in an excellent and commanding position. The fire of this battery was most opportunely delivered upon this
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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