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About 8.30 A. M. General Johnston and myself transferred our headquarters to a central position, about half a mile in rear of Mitchell's Ford, whence we might watch the course of events.

Previously, as early as 5.30, the Federalists in front of Evans's position, Stone Bridge, had opened with a large 30-pounder Parrott rifled gun, and, thirty minutes later, with a moderate, apparently tentative, fire from a battery of rifled pieces, directed, first in front, at Evans, and then in the direction of Cocke's position, but without drawing a return fire and discovery of our positions; chiefly because, in that quarter, we had nothing but eight 6-pounder pieces, which could not reach the distant enemy.

As the Federalists had advanced with an extended line of skirmishers in front of Evans, that officer promptly threw forward the two flank companies of the 4th South Carolina regiment, and one company of Wheat's Louisiana battalion, deployed as skirmishers to cover his small front. An occasional scattering fire resulted, and thus stood the two armies in that quarter for more than an hour, while the main body of the enemy was marching his devious way through the ‘Big Forest’ to take our forces in flank and rear.

By 8.30 A. M., Colonel Evans having become satisfied of the counterfeit character of the movement on his front, and persuaded of an attempt to turn his left flank, decided to change his position to meet the enemy, and, for this purpose, immediately put in motion to his left and rear six companies of Sloan's 4th South Carolina regiment, Wheat's Louisiana battalion (five companies), and two 6-pounders of Latham's battery, leaving four companies of Sloan's regiment under cover, as the sole, immediate defence of the stone bridge, but giving information to General Cocke of his change of position and the reasons that impelled it.

Following a road leading to the old Pittsylvania (Carter) Mansion, Colonel Evans formed in line of battle, some four hundred yards in rear, as he advanced, of that house, his guns to the front and in position, properly supported to its immediate right. Finding, however, that the enemy did not appear on that road, which was a branch of one leading by Sudley's Springs Ford to Brentsville and Dumfries, he turned abruptly to the left, and, marching across the fields for three quarters of a mile, about 9.30 A. M. took position in line of battle, his left, Sloan's companies, resting on the main Brentsville road, in a shallow ravine, the Louisiana battalion to the right, in advance two hundred yards, a rectangular copse of wood separating them—one piece of his artillery planted on an eminence some seven hundred yards to the rear of Wheat's battalion, and the other on a ridge near, and in rear of Sloan's position, commanding a reach of the road just in front of the line of battle. In this order he awaited the coming of the masses of the enemy, now drawing near.

In the meantime, about 7 o'clock A. M., Jackson's brigade, with Imboden's and five pieces of Walton's battery, had been sent to take up a position along Bull Run, to guard the interval between Cocke's right and Bonham's left, with orders to support either in case of need, the character and topographical features of the ground having been shown to General Jackson by Captain D. B. Harris of the Engineers of this army corps.

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J. E. B. Sloan (4)
N. G. Evans (4)
C. R. Wheat (3)
Philip St. George Cocke (3)
James B. Walton (1)
Parrott (1)
Latham (1)
Joseph E. Johnston (1)
J. R. Jackson (1)
Imboden (1)
D. B. Harris (1)
Ford (1)
Carter (1)
M. L. Bonham (1)
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