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[331] into which the army of Pope was preparing to move, unconscious of the fate that awaited it when these jaws should close and crush it in defeat.

Noticing that the nearby skirmishers of the previous day had disappeared, Pope again rashly concluded that the Confederate army had been defeated, by his assaults of the day before, and was now in full retreat, seeking safety behind the Bull Run mountains; therefore he ordered a prompt pursuit along the Warrenton road to Gainesville, and then toward the Thoroughfare gap. He had brought up Porter's corps, which had been holding the line of Dawkin's branch on the road from Manassas Junction to Gainesville, and placed it in his center; so it fell to that brave and skillful officer to lead in the supposed pursuit. Recalling Cold Harbor, Porter did not believe, as Pope did, that Lee and Jackson had given up the contest and were retreating, so he formed his men into a triple line of battle, across the turnpike, and placed King's division to support his right and Reynolds' his left; in his rear followed Sigel's corps and half of Reno's. These dispositions were made in the dense forest along the turnpike and to the east of the Sudley road, and thence Porter was ready to advance on Lee's center.

Pope, having had, on the previous day, bitter experience of the sharp temper of Jackson's left, massed the whole of Heintzelman's and the half of each of the corps of McDowell and Reno, ready to throw them against Jackson with the advance of Porter. In the morning, Heintzelman moved against A. P. Hill with Ricketts' division, but soon drew back from the hot reception he met. The skirmishers of Reynolds met the same fate, from S. D. Lee's guns, when they advanced to feel Lee's center. It was three in the afternoon when Pope was good and ready, with his entire army in hand, for his grand assault. The signal was given and Porter's men rushed forward, wheeling on their left, and struck the Stonewall brigade, now in command of Starke, and Lawton's division. The contest was as fierce and earnest as brave men could make it; the lines, for some minutes, were almost within touch, and the dead and dying on both sides strewed the ground. As Porter closed in, across the open field, his left was exposed to S. D. Lee's masked batteries, which now swept through his lines their shot and shell and aided to stagger Porter's attack, while Longstreet

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