of war. Arrived at Centreville
, we breakfasted on such of the supplies as we had brought away with us from the junction, and rested there awhile from our night's watch
Then again we were up and on the march; now back in the direction of the old battle-field, we moved down the Warrenton turnpike
After crossing Bull Run
, at the stone bridge, we filed to the right and made our way across the country to Sudley's ford, and were placed in position behind the railroad cut, which was to be our rampart and defence the next day. It was now late in the afternoon.
was hurrying up his troops ‘in pursuit of Jackson
,’ as he had telegraphed to Washington
; and King
's Division of McDowell
's corps, without a thought of their proximity to us, were marching quietly along the Warrenton turnpike
, which we had just left and by which we had just come from Centreville
, when, without note of warning, a quick and rapid fire of artillery sent bursting shells within their ranks.
So far from retreating, Jackson
had thrown his corps directly upon the flank of the columns Pope
had ordered to press forward in our ‘pursuit.’
was fully aware of Pope
's movements, and to meet King
he had at noon sent forward Taliaferro
through the woods along the deep cuts and steep embankments of the unfinished railway towards the Centreville pike
Here he formed his line in a wood on the brow of a hill, with Groveton
on his left, and awaited King
's approach, and King
, all unconscious, marched to his destruction.
You recollect, my comrades, how the noise of this battle on our right burst upon us:
—death shots falling thick and fast
As lightnings from the mountain cloud.
Our brigade was hurried to the scene of action, and ordered to report to General Ewell
, who was directing the battle; but we were not engaged that afternoon, and as I have much to say of the next day's work, which concerns us so much more nearly, I must hasten on without dwelling upon the brilliant commencement of the three days struggle.
Suffice it to say, that it was a short but most terrific contest, in which both sides suffered very heavily, the Federals
leaving more than one-third of their forces engaged dead or wounded on the field, while we suffered heavily, and lost both of the division commanders engaged—Generals Ewell
—who were wounded.
We lay that night on the hard and rocky sides of the railroad cut,