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[440] my advanced brigades, on the night of the 16th of July, were made aware, from these headquarters, of the impending movement; and in exact accordance with my instructions, a copy of which is appended, marked ‘A,’ their withdrawal within the lines of Bull Run was effected with complete success during the day and night of the 17th ultimo, in face of, and in immediate proximity to, a largely superior force, despite a well-planned, well-executed effort to cut off the retreat of Bonham's brigade, first at Germantown, and subsequently at Centreville, whence he withdrew by my direction, after midnight, without collision, although enveloped on three sides by their lines. This movement had the intended effect of deceiving the enemy as to my ulterior designs, and led him to anticipate an unresisted passage of Bull Run.

As prescribed in the first and second sections of the paper herewith, marked ‘A,’ on the morning of the 18th of July, my troops, resting on Bull Run from Union Mills Ford to the stone bridge, a distance of about eight (8) miles, were posted as follows:

Ewell's brigade occupied a position in vicinity of Union Mills Ford. It consisted of Rodes's 5th and Seibel's 6th regiments of Alabama, and Seymour's 6th regiment Louisiana Volunteers, with four 12-pounder howitzers, of Walton's battery; and Harrison's, Cabell's, and Green's companies of Virginia cavalry.

D. R. Jones's brigade was in position in rear of McLean's Ford, and consisted of Jenkins's 5th South Carolina and Burt's 17th and Featherstone's 18th regiments of Mississippi Volunteers, with two brass 6-pounder guns of Walton's battery, and one company of cavalry.

Longstreet's brigade covered Blackburn's Ford, and consisted of Moore's 1st, Garland's 11th, and Corse's 17th regiments Virginia Volunteers, with two 6-pounder brass guns of Walton's battery.

Bonham's brigade held the approaches to Mitchell's Ford. It was composed of Kershaw's 2d, Williams's 3d, Bacon's 7th, and Cash's 8th regiments South Carolina Volunteers; of Shields's and Del. Kemper's batteries, and of Flood's, Radford's, Payne's, Ball's, Wickham's, and Powell's companies of Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel Radford.

Cocke's brigade held the fords below and in vicinity of the stone bridge, and consisted of Withers's 18th, Lieutenant-Colonel Strange's 19th, and R. T. Preston's 28th regiments, with Latham's battery, and one company of cavalry, Virginia Volunteers.

Evans held my left flank and protected the stone bridge crossing, with Sloan's 4th regiment South Carolina Volunteers, Wheat's special battalion Louisiana Volunteers, four 6-pounder guns, and two companies of Virginia cavalry.

Early's brigade, consisting of Kemper's 7th, six companies of Early's 24th regiments of Virginia Volunteers, Hays's 7th regiment Louisiana Volunteers, and three rifled pieces of Walton's battery, Lieutenant Squires, at first were held in position in the rear of, and as a support to, Ewell's brigade, until after the development of the enemy, in heavy offensive force, in front of Mitchell's and Blackburn's fords, when it was placed in rear of, and nearly equidistant between, McLean's, Blackburn's, and Mitchell's fords.

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