Baltimore exchange narrative.
The following account comes through our occasional correspondent at Washington
, on whom we have great reliance:
The following account of the battle at Bull Run
is given by the Hons.
Wm. A. Richardson
, John A. McClernand
, of Ill.
, and John W. Noel
, of Missouri
, (all members of the House
,) who were eye-witnesses of the battle, and aided in several instances in bearing from the field members of the New York 12th, who were wounded.
The action commenced under the direction of Gen. Tyler
, of Connecticut
, at 1 1/2 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, at Bull Run
, three miles from Centreville
, between several companies of skirmishers attached to the Massachusetts 1st, and a masked battery situated on a slight eminence.
The skirmishers retreated rapidly, and were succeeded in the engagement by Sherman
's battery and two companies of regular cavalry, which, after continuing the contest for some time, were supported by the New York 12th, 1st Maine, 2d Michigan, 1st Massachusetts, and a Wisconsin regiment, when the battle was waged with great earnestness, continuing until 5 o'clock. The Federal troops were then drawn back in great confusion beyond the range of the Confederate batteries, where they bivouacked for the night.
During the conflict the Michigan
, Maine, and Wisconsin
regiments held their ground with a fortitude which, in view of the galling fire to which they were exposed, was most remarkable, but the New York 12th and the Massachusetts 1st regiments retired in great disorder from the field, a portion of them throwing away knapsacks and even their arms, in their flight.
A number of the members of the former regiments openly asserted that their confused retreat was the fault of their officers, who evinced a total lack of courage, and were the first to flee.
After the retreat had been commenced, Corcoran
's New York 69th (Irish
) and Cameron
's New York 79th (Scotch) regiments were ordered up to the support, but arrived too late to take part in the action.
There were three batteries in all. The first to open fire which was the smallest, was situated on the top of an eminence; the second, and most destructive, in a ravine.
The latter was totally concealed from view by brushwood, &c.; and it was in attempting to take the first by assault that the Federal
troops stumbled upon it. The battle occurred at a point in the declivity of the road, where it makes a turn, forming an obtuse angle, and the third battery was so placed as to enfilade with its fire the approaches towards the Junction
Much jealousy, it is stated by the same authority, existed between the regular officers and those of the volunteer corps, each appearing desirous of shifting to the other side the responsibility of any movement not advised by themselves, and the jealousy, it is feared, will seriously affect the efficiency of the “grand army.”
Thus, Gen. McDowell
expressly states that the battle was not his own, but that of Gen. Tyler
The former officer said he would not advance further until he had thoroughly and carefully reconnoitred the position of the batteries, their capabilities, &c.; and the inference derived by my informants from his remarks is, that he deems his present force entirely insufficient to carry the position before him.
One of the gentlemen mentioned at the commencement of this account gives it as his opinion that Manassas Junction
cannot be carried by 50,000 men in two months, and all agreed in saying that the force under Beauregard
has been entirely underrated numerically, and that their fighting qualities are superior.
The cheers with which they rushed to the fight frequently rang above the din of the battle.
Their numbers were not ascertained, but it is estimated at upwards of 5,000 South Carolinians, under command of Gen. M. L. Bonham
, of South Carolina
Their artillery was of the best kind.
A shot from one of their batteries severed a bough from a tree quite two miles distant, and but a few feet from where the vehicles of two Congressmen