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[99] army while he pressed him offensively in front. This proposition of a divided instead of a combined cooper-ation did not meet the approval of Johnston.

The Federal army, in light marching order, began its march toward Manassas in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 16th, and its advance, in well-disposed parallel columns, but little opposed, encamped that night in front of Fairfax. Advancing again on the 17th, the cavalry moving along the right of the Federal army had a skirmish with the Confederate cavalry at Vienna, on the Alexandria & Loudoun railroad, and the column on the Centreville road with the Confederate pickets in front of Fairfax as they retired, leaving the way open for the Federals to reach the vicinity of Centreville and the front of Bull run late in the evening of that day, after having covered 20 miles from the Potomac in two days.

By morning of Thursday, July 18th, McDowell's army was massed around Centreville, with the exception of a division which had been left at Fairfax Court House to guard the right of the advance and watch the roads leading to the northwest The Confederate line south of Bull run, at Mitchell's ford, on the direct road from Centreville to Manassas Junction, was but 3 miles from Centreville. On this road the Federal forces advanced on the morning of the 18th, the leading division, under Tyler, making infantry demonstrations before Mitchell's ford and Blackburn's ford (about a mile further east), opening with artillery from the fine positions on the north side of Bull run in front of each of these fords. Beauregard had placed Longstreet's brigade, with Early's in reserve, to cover these two fords. These repulsed the Federal attacks and efforts to force a passage, and the enemy's infantry retired about 1 p. m., but an artillery duel continued the contest.

Federal authorities deny that an attempt was made to force a passage of Bull run on the 18th, and that this engagement, which has been called the ‘battle of Bull Run’ (that of the 21st being known as the ‘battle of Manassas’), was only a demonstration to engage the attention of the Confederates while McDowell reconnoitered to decide upon his plan of attack. Beauregard claims that his success in this first encounter was of especial advantage to his army of raw troops; that it made McDowell cautious and hesitating in forming his

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