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[20] command could be got ready, it was started on the road towards Mitchell's Ford.

This movement commenced about or very shortly after 1 o'clock P. M. On the way I met Captain Gardner returning with the information that General Beauregard's headquarters would be at the Lewis house, in the direction of the firing on our extreme left, and that I was to go there. On reaching General Bonham's position in rear of Mitchell's Ford, he informed me that I would have to move through the fields towards the left to find the Lewis house, and he pointed out the direction; but he did not know the exact location of the house. I moved in the direction pointed out, and continued to pass on to our left, through the fields, towards the firing in the distance, endeavoring, as I advanced, to find out where the Lewis house was.

While moving on, Captain Smith, an assistant in the adjutant general's office at General Beauregard's headquarters, passed us in a great hurry, also looking for General Beauregard and the Lewis house. He told me that information had been received at the Junction that 6,000 of the enemy had passed the Manassas Gap railroad, and it was this information (which subsequently proved to be false) that he was going to communicate to the General.

The day was excessively hot and dry. Hays' regiment was a good deal exhausted by the marching and the counter-marching about Blackburn's and McLean's Fords. Barksdale's regiment, an entirely new one, had just arrived from the south over the railroad, and was unused to marching. Our progress was therefore not as rapid as I could have wished, but we passed on with all possible speed in the direction of the firing, which was our only guide. Towards 3 o'clock P. M. we reached the field of battle and began to perceive the scenes usual in rear of an army engaged in action. On entering the road leading from the Lewis house towards Manassas, we met quite a stream of stragglers going

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GeneraMl Beauregard (3)
William Smith (1)
Harry T. Hays (1)
Fleming Gardner (1)
Bonham (1)
Barksdale (1)
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