should have a good night's rest the coming night.
Accordingly, when the sentinels were posted, they were charged not, under any circumstances, to permit the men to be disturbed.
On the morning of the 21st July, 1861, I was ordered to take position on Bull Run
, north of the Lewis house
; and Captain Harris
, an engineer officer of much note, was ordered to accompany and post us. We were placed on the edge of the run, under a bluff, on which a section of Rogers
's battery, under Lieutenant Heaton
, was posted, and temporarily attached to my command.
Riding up on the bluff, I found but one gun. Surprised, I asked the Lieutenant
where his other was. Pointing to it, near the Lewis house
, he said, “there it is, and put there by order of General Cocke
Putting spurs to my horse, as I passed the gun, I gave orders for every man to be in the saddle, ready to move on my signal to do so, on my return.
Dashing up to General Cocke
, who was some two hundred yards west — after saluting him — I said, General, permit me to suggest that the gun I have just passed would be more likely to render effective service along side of its mate on yonder bluff than where it is now; and I beg you will permit me to so order.
Receiving his consent, and touching my hat in salute, I moved rapidly in return, giving the expected signal, so that the gun with all its equipments was promptly in motion, and moved with such celerity, that it reached the bluff before I could, with all my dash, overtake it. It was a happy reunion, and under the exhilarating circumstances, gave assurance of a splendid fight, should the exigency require it; but a few shots from our guns and from Latham
's battery, near by, on my right, induced the enemy, who had shown himself in the pines, on the northern side of the run to abandon his purpose which, obviously, was to reach, in this direction, our line of inter-communication with Manassas
As far as I can learn, the enemy's force referred to was under the command of General Schenck
He was easily checked.
About this time the peals of musketry, apparently about the Robinson
and the Henry houses
was incessant and fascinating.
While thus absorbed, and sitting on my horse, surrounded with Colonel Murray
, Captain Harris
and others on the bluff, near Heaton
's guns, Lieutenant-Colonel Murray
called to me, “Look there, Colonel
Following the direction of his finger, I saw two regiments in line of battle, moving at quick time, apparently from the field of battle.
I know not how to account for my conduct, but giving way to the impulse of the moment, I put spurs to my horse, threw myself in their front and brought them to a halt, simply remarking, “Gentlemen, I must inform you that you have taken the wrong direction.”