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[43] Beauregard to Ewell was not one to advance, but to retire from an advance already begun.

These mistakes, I am sure, are unintentional; but it is not easy to understand them, as General Beauregard has twice given a tolerably accurate, though meager, account of the matter—once in his official report and once in his biography published by Colonel Roman in 1884. Neither of these accounts can be reconciled with that in The Century.

Upon reading General Beauregard's article, I wrote to General Fitzhugh Lee, who was Ewell's assistant adjutant-general at Manassas, asking his recollection of what took place. I have liberty to make the following extracts from his reply. After stating what troops composed the brigade, he goes on:

These troops were all in position at daylight on the 21st of July, ready for any duty, and held the extreme right of General Beauregard's line of battle along Bull Run, at Union Mills. As hour after hour passed, General Ewell grew impatient at not receiving any orders (beyond those to be ready to advance, which came at sunrise), and sent me between nine and ten A. M. to see General D. R. Jones, who commanded the brigade next on his left at McLean's Ford, to ascertain if that officer had any news or had received any orders from army headquarters. I found General Jones making preparations to cross Bull Run, and was told by him that, in the order he had received to do so, it was stated that General Ewell had been sent similar instructions.

Upon my report of these facts, General Ewell at once issued the orders for his command to cross the run and move out on the road to Centreville.

General Lee then describes the recall across Bull Run and the second advance of the brigade to make a demonstration toward Centreville, and adds that the skirmishers of Rodes's Fifth Alabama Regiment, which was in advance, had actually become engaged, when we were again recalled and ordered to ‘move by the most direct route at once and as rapidly as possible, for the Lewis house,’ the field of battle on the left. Ewell moved rapidly, sending General Lee and another officer ahead to report and secure orders. On his arrival near the field, they brought instructions to halt, when he immediately rode forward with them to General Beauregard, ‘and General Ewell begged General Beauregard to be allowed to go in ’

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