We found their pots and kettles over the fire, with food cooking; quarters of beef hanging on the trees, and wagons by the roadside loaded, some with bread and general provisions, others with ammunition. When within artillery range of the retreating column passing through Centreville, the infantry was deployed on the sides of the road, under cover of the forests, so as to give room for the batteries ordered into action in the open, Bonham's brigade on the left, Longstreet's on the right. As the guns were about to open, there came a message that the enemy, instead of being in precipitate retreat, was marching around to attack the Confederate right. With this report came orders, or report of orders, for the brigades to return to their positions behind the run. I denounced the report as absurd, claimed to know a retreat, such as was before me, and ordered the batteries to open fire.At that moment one of Johnston's aides peremptorily ordered that the batteries should not open, and when
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