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[456] our left flank, namely: Holmes's two regiments, and battery of artillery, under Captain Lindsey Walker, of six guns, and Early's brigade. Two regiments from Bonham's brigade, with Kemper's four 6-pounders, were also called for; and with the sanction of General Johnston, Generals Ewell, Jones (D. R.), Longstreet, and Bonham were directed to make a demonstration to their several fronts, to retain and engross the enemy's reserves, and any forces in their flank, and at and around Centreville. Previously our respective Chiefs of Staff, Major Rhett and Colonel Jordan, had been left at my headquarters to hasten up and give directions to any troops that might arrive at Manassas.

These orders having been duly despatched by staff officers, at 11.30 A. M., General Johnston and myself set out for the immediate field of action, which we reached, in rear of Robinson's and Widow Henry's houses, at about 12 meridian, and just as the commands of Bee, Bartow, and Evans had taken shelter in a wooded ravine behind the former, stoutly held, at the time, by Hampton, with his Legion, which had made a stand there after having previously been as far forward as the turnpike, where Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, an officer of brilliant promise, was killed, and other severe losses were sustained.

Before our arrival on the scene, General Jackson had moved forward with his brigade of five Virginia regiments, from his position in reserve, and had judiciously taken post below the brim of the plateau, nearly east of the Henry house, and to the left of the ravine and woods occupied by the mingled remnants of Bee's, Bartow's, and Evans's command, with Imboden's battery and two of Stanard's pieces placed so as to play upon the oncoming enemy, supported in the immediate rear by Colonel J. F. Preston's and Lieutenant-Colonel Echoll's regiments, on the right by Harper's, and on the left by Allen's and Cummings's regiments.

As soon as General Johnston and myself reached the field we were occupied with the organization of the heroic troops, whose previous stand, with scarce a parallel, has nothing more valiant in all the pages of history, and whose losses fitly tell why at length their ranks had lost their cohesion. It was now that General Johnston impressively and gallantly charged to the front, with the colors of the 4th Alabama regiment by his side, all the field-officers of the regiment having been previously disabled. Shortly afterwards I placed S. R. Gist, Adjutant and Inspector-General of South Carolina, a Volunteer Aid of General Bee, in command of this regiment, and who led it again to the front, as became its previous behavior, and remained with it for the rest of the day.

As soon as we had thus rallied and disposed our forces, I urged General Johnston to leave the immediate conduct of the field to me, while he, repairing to Portici (the Lewis house), should urge reinforcements forward. At first he was unwilling, but, reminded that one of us must do so, and that properly it was his place, he reluctantly, but fortunately, complied; fortunately, because from that position, by his energy and sagacity, his keen perception and anticipations of my needs, he so directed the reserves as to insure the success of the day.

As General Johnston departed for Portici, Colonel Bartow reported to me with the remains of the 7th Georgia Volunteers, Gartrell's, which I ordered him to post on the left of Jackson's lines, in the edge of the belt of pines bordering

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