previous next
[99] orders, by daybreak, to every command in the lines, to be ready to move at a moment's notice.

At a very early hour in the morning of the 21st, Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions of McDowell's army, over sixteen thousand strong, moved forward from Centreville by the Warrenton turnpike. Striking off to the right, about half-way between Centreville and the stone bridge, they made a circuit through a difficult forest, guided by the trace of an old road, to the Sudley Springs Ford, two miles above the stone bridge, with the design of flanking the Confederate left and taking possession of the Manassas Gap Railroad, so as to cut off the advent of General Johnston, most of whose troops, it was known, had not yet arrived. Meanwhile, Tyler moved his division down the Warrenton turnpike against the stone bridge, held by the Confederate extreme left, under Colonel Evans, in front of whom he immediately deployed a portion of his force.

About 5.30 A. M., report of this latter demonstration reached General Beauregard, who thereupon immediately ordered Colonel Evans, and, with him, General Cocke, to watch most vigilantly the movements of the forces confronting them, and, if attacked, to maintain their position at all hazards.

The surest and most effective method of relieving our left, General Beauregard thought, was by a rapid, vigorous attack of our right wing and centre on the enemy's flank and rear, at Centreville, all due precautions being first taken against the advance of any reserves from the direction of Washington. This proposed movement he submitted to General Johnston, who fully approved of it, and orders were forthwith issued for its execution. General Ewell was to lead the movement, followed by Jones, Longstreet, and Bonham, with their respective reserves. Colonels Stuart and Radford to be held in hand and brought forward whenever their assistance might be deemed necessary.

The enemy's extended line of skirmishers was now visible in front of Evans, who threw forward the two flank companies of the 4th South Carolina, and one company of Wheat's Louisiana battalion, which were deployed as skirmishers to cover his front. An occasional scattering fire resulted, and for more than an hour did the two confronting forces thus face one another; the main body of the enemy, meanwhile, cautiously advancing through the forest, to take our forces in flank and rear.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Centreville (Virginia, United States) (3)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
21st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: