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The great victory.

We have the inexpressible satisfaction of announcing this morning another victory of our arms; a decisive victory after the most hotly contested and most important battle ever fought on the American continent. The numbers engaged on each side was far beyond precedent in American history; and, fought as the battle was, under the gaze of two capitals of two powerful Confederacies, it possessed an interest and significance such as has attached to few battles ever before fought.

It is not ascertained how many of the enemy were actually engaged; though the number could not have been much less than seventy-five thousand. The number actually engaged on our own side was nearly fifty thousand.--The skirmishing is said to have begun as early as four o'clock yesterday morning; the heavy fighting between eight and nine o'clock. It continued all day with unabated vigor.--Night closed upon the scene with the enemy in full retreat, hotly pursued by our gallant men.

Our left was commanded by the brave Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, who had arrived on the field on the day before from Winchester with twenty thousand men. Patterson had, on Monday, marched down from Martinsburg to within a few miles of the entrenchments at Winchester, and had, on Wednesday, suddenly fallen back across the Potomac. Johnston at once determined to reinforce Beauregard, having no doubt that Patterson had been ordered to join Mcdowell. The result proved the correctness of this surmise, for Patterson's column constituted a part of the enemy's fighting force on yesterday.

The centre of our line was commanded by President Davis in person; the left by the glorious Beauregard. President Davis, with the energy and gallantry that belongs to his character, had no sooner delivered his Message to Congress in this city on Saturday, than he commenced his arrangements for sharing the fate of our army in the field. He accordingly left this city early yesterday morning, and arrived in time to take a decisive part in the battle.

The heaviest onset of the enemy was made upon our left, under Gen. Johnston, and it was this division that suffered the heaviest loss. --It continued to be pressed during the whole of the day, until about four o'clock in the afternoon, when President Davis advanced his centre, disengaged a portion of the enemy's forces and decided the fortune of the day.

The day is ours; but the victory, though glorious, has cost us dearly. Some of the casualties are stated in the telegraphic column. While we rejoice over the public success, we have to mourn the loss of some of the most gallant spirits and most valuable men of whom the South could boast. The events of to-day will be looked for with the deepest interest.

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