As General Beauregard
reached the vicinity of Union Mills Ford, towards dark, he ascertained, with mingled feelings of joy and regret, that the troops which had been seen advancing from that direction were none other than those belonging to the command of General Jones
, originally posted near McLean's Ford. General Jones
had crossed Bull Run
at that point, in the morning, as already stated, to aid in the projected attack by our right and centre on the enemy, at Centreville
; but had been ordered back, in consequence of the movements against our left.
In obedience to new instructions, he was again thrown across Bull Run
, to make demonstrations against the enemy from a quarter supposed by him to be unguarded.
His advance was most gallantly effected; and not only did the brisk firing of his brigade drive the enemy's infantry to cover, but the bold, unexpected movement was greatly instrumental in spreading the panic which finally disbanded the Federal
His command was on the march to resume its former position, behind Bull Run
, when thus mistaken for the enemy.
It should here be added, in explanation of this unfortunate error, that the uniforms of General Jones
's men differed very slightly from those of the Northern
troops—a fact of no small significance, which had already embarrassed many a Confederate officer, during the day, particularly on the arrival of General Early
's forces on the field.
After this mishap and the causes leading to it had been fully explained, it was too late to resume the pursuit, as night had then set in. It must not be forgotten, besides, that our troops had been marching and counter-marching since early morning-‘most of the time,’ says General Beauregard
, ‘without water and without food, except a hastily snatched meal at dawn’—and that, when not thus marching, they had been fighting against a determined foe, at some points more than three times their superior in number.
Well, therefore, were the Confederate
troops of Manassas
entitled to rest, that evening, on the laurels they had so gallantly yet so dearly won. Few, however, enjoyed the privilege afforded them; so wakeful had success made both officers and men, so carried away were they by the glorious victory achieved.
While retracing his steps towards the Lewis House
, General Beauregard
was informed that President Davis
and General Johnston
had both gone to Manassas
He repaired thither and found them, between half-past 9 and ten o'clock, at his headquarters.