The Army of the Potomac, including the garrison at Camp Pickens, Manassas||21,833 & 29 guns.|
The Army of the Shenandoah||6,000 & 20 guns.|
|3. General Holmes's forces||1,355 & 6 guns.|
|In all, 29,188 & 65 guns.|
One peculiar feature of the theatre of operations was a direct road running in front of the Confederate
positions, from the extreme right at Union Mills Ford, and trending off to Centreville
This was seized upon, and entered prominently into the Confederate
plan of battle, as drawn up on the night of the 20th.
That is to say, Ewell
, from the extreme right, at Union Mills Ford, was to advance towards Centreville
by that road, and, halting about half-way, await communication from Jones
, who was to move from McLean's Ford and place himself on the left of Ewell
, awaiting in that position communication from Longstreet
, who, by a similar advance from Blackburn's Ford, was to take position on the left of Jones
, and be joined on his own left by Bonham
, from Mitchell's Ford.
, having the longest march, was to begin the movement, and each brigade was to be followed by its reserves.
The several commanders were instructed in the object of the movement, which was to pivot the line on Mitchell's Ford, and by a rapid and vigorous attack on McDowell
's left flank and rear, at Centreville
, rout him and cut off his retreat on Washington
’—of good omen—was given as a watchword to the troops.
In the night, scouts posted by General Beauregard
's orders in front of Evans
's lines brought in the report that McDowell
was concentrating at Centreville
and on the Warrenton turnpike
, leading thence to the stone bridge.
As General Beauregard
believed that the repulse of the 18th would deter the Federal
general from another attack on the centre, these facts, in his opinion, pointed to a movement against the left flank.
In reality, Mc-Dowell had, at first, intended to move on the Confederate
right, in anticipation of which, as the most probable operation, the strongest Confederate brigades were posted in that quarter; but the result of further reconnoissances, made with more minuteness by the enemy, the day after the engagement of Bull Run
, caused an alteration of his plans, as originally adopted.
As this apparent new disposition of McDowell
's forces rather favored the execution of the Confederate
plan of battle, no change was made by General Beauregard
; but, in view of contingencies, he despatched