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‘ [208] his battalion until he was desperately wounded,1 hastened up three other regiments of the brigade and two Dahlgren howitzers—making in all quite 3,000 men and 8 pieces of artillery, opposed to less than 800 men and two 6-pounder guns.’

Though the hours by the battle clock look to the afternoon, victory for us was still lost in the smoke.2 For the Federals had been the forenoon with its gains. Now came to the Confederates the afternoon with its promise. The fate of First Manassas was operating. It was the hour after noon. The hands of the battle clock were pointing to Confederate success. The enemy, bewildered by the skill and precision with which our guns were fired, wildly threw forward regiment after regiment to dislodge the Confederates, only to fall back in added confusion. Still always in dense columns, they were vainly essaying to outflank our left. Victory, hovering undecided in the thick air since noon, proudly revealed herself at 4:30 p. m. It was the hour of First Manassas! The road to Washington was already filling up with fleeing men and the wrecks of luxurious belongings—a great army utterly despoiled.

In a work on Louisiana, three points for the greater honor of the soldiers at their first battle find a proper place (bearing in mind his compliments to the other Louisiana commands already quoted):

1 Though badly beaten Maj. Robert Wheat left his mark on the memories of the beaten army. In Washington, on the morning of the 22d, the soldiers explained the rout by gasping—‘D—n those Louisiana Tigers—born devils, every one of them!’

2 Near the Henry house, on the plateau around which the battle flowed for hours in the forenoon to ebb in the afternoon — the Washington artillery, with Colonel Walton in command, was doing excellent service. Whilst the fire was at its hottest, General Beauregard and staff rode up. He called out: ‘Colonel Walton, do you see the enemy?’ ‘Yes!’ was the reply. ‘Then hold this position and the day is ours. Three cheers for Louisiana!’ Cheers were given with the voice of many-throated men.

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