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[458] from the degrading yoke which these ruthless invaders had come to impose and render perpetual, and the day's issue has assured me that such emotions must have also animated all under my command.

In the meantime the enemy had seized upon the plateau on which Robinson's and the Henry houses are situated, the position first occupied in the morning by General Bee, before advancing to the support of Evans. Ricketts's battery of six rifled guns—the pride of the Federalists, the object of their unstinted expenditure in outfit—and the equally powerful Regular light battery of Griffin were brought forward and placed in immediate action, after having, conjointly with the batteries already mentioned, played from former positions with destructive effect upon our forward battalions.

The topographical features of the plateau, now become the stage of the contending armies, must be described in outline.

A glance at the map will show that it is enclosed on three sides by two small watercourses, which empty into Bull Run within a few yards of each other, a half mile to the south of the stone bridge. Rising to an elevation of quite one hundred feet above the level of Bull Run, at the bridge, it falls off on three sides to the level of the enclosing streams, in gentle slopes, but which are furrowed by ravines of irregular directions and length, and studded with clumps and patches of young pines and oaks. The general direction of the crest of the plateau is oblique to the course of Bull Run in that quarter, and to the Brentsville and turnpike roads, which intersect each other at right angles. Immediately surrounding the two houses before mentioned are small, open fields of irregular outline, not exceeding one hundred and fifty acres in extent. The houses, occupied at the time, the one by the Widow Henry, and the other by the free negro, Robinson, are small wooden buildings, the latter densely embowered in trees, and environed by a double row of fences on two sides. Around the eastern and southern brow of the plateau an almost unbroken fringe of second-growth pines gave excellent shelter for our marksmen, who availed themselves of it with the most satisfactory skill. To the west, adjoining the fields, a broad belt of oaks extends directly across the crest on both sides of the Sudley Road, in which, during the battle, regiments of both armies met and contended for the mastery.

From the open ground of this plateau the view embraces a wide expanse of woods, and gently undulating, open country, of broad grass and grain fields, in all directions, including the scene of Evans's and Bee's recent encounter with the enemy, some twelve hundred yards to the northward.

In reply to the play of the enemy's batteries, our own artillery had not been either idle or unskilful. The ground occupied by our guns, on a level with that held by the batteries of the enemy, was an open space of limited extent, behind a low undulation, just at the eastern verge of the plateau, some five or six hundred yards from the Henry house. Here, as before said, thirteen pieces, mostly 6-pounders, were maintained in action. The several batteries of Imboden, Stanard, Pendleton (Rockbridge Artillery), and Alburtis, of the Army of the Shenandoah, and five guns of Walton's and Heaton's section of Rogers's battery, of the Army of the Potomac, alternating, to some extent, with each other, and taking

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N. G. Evans (2)
Barnard E. Bee (2)
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Robinson (1)
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