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[3] two o'clock A. M., so as to arrive on the ground early in the day, and thus avoid the heat which is to be expected at this season. There was delay in the first division getting out of its camp on the road, and the other divisions were in consequence between two and three hours behind the time appointed — a great misfortune, as events turned out. The wood road leading from the Warrenton turnpike to the upper ford was much longer than we counted upon, the general direction of the stream being oblique to the road, and we having the obtuse angle on our side.

General Tyler commenced with his artillery at half-past 6 A. M., but the enemy did not reply, and after some time it became a question whether he was in any force in our front, and if he did not intend himself to make an attack, and make it by Blackburn's Ford. After firing several times, and obtaining no response, I held one of Heintzelman's brigades in reserve, in case we should have to send any troops back to reinforce Miles's division. The other brigades moved forward as directed in the general orders. On reaching the ford, at Sudley's Spring, I found part of the leading brigade of Hunter's division (Burnside's) had crossed, but the men were slow in getting over, stopping to drink. As at this time the clouds of dust from the direction of Manassas indicated the immediate approach of a large force, and fearing it might come down on the head of the column before the division could all get over and sustain it, orders were sent back to the heads of regiments to break from the column and come forward separately as fast as possible. Orders were sent by an officer to the reserve brigade of Heintzelman's division to come by a nearer road across the fields, and an aide-de-camp was sent to Brigadier-General Tyler to direct him to press forward his attack, as large bodies of the enemy were passing in front of him to attack the division which had crossed over. The ground between the stream and the road leading from Sudley's Spring south and over which Burnside's brigade marched, was for about a mile from the ford thickly wooded, whilst on the right of the road for about the same distance the country was divided between fields and woods. About a mile from the road the country on both sides of the road is open, and for nearly a mile further large rolling fields extend down to the Warrenton turnpike, which crosses what became the field of battle through the valley of a small water course, a tributary of Bull Run.

Shortly after the leading regiment of the first brigade reached the open space, and whilst others and the second brigade were crossing to the front and right, the enemy opened his fire, beginning with artillery and following up with infantry. The leading brigade (Burnside's) had to sustain this shock for a short time without support, and did it well. The battalion of regular infantry was sent to sustain it, and shortly afterwards the other corps of Porter's brigade, and a regiment detached from Heintzelman's division to the left, forced the enemy back far enough to allow Sherman's and Keyes's brigades of Tyler's division to cross from their position on the Warrenton road. These drove the right of the enemy, understood to have been commanded by Beauregard, from the front of the field, and out of the detached woods, and down to the road, and across it up the slopes on .the other side. Whilst this was going on, Heintzelman's division was moving down the field to the stream, and up the road beyond. Beyond the Warrenton road, and to the left of the road, down which our troops had marched from Sudley's Spring, is a hill with a farmhouse on it. Behind this hill the enemy had, early in the day, some of his most annoying batteries planted. Across the road from this hill was another hill, or rather elevated ridge, or table of land. The hottest part of the contest was for the possession of this hill with a house on it. The force engaged here was Heintzelman's division, Wilcox's and Howard's brigades on the right, supported by part of Porter's brigade and the cavalry under Palmer, and Franklin's brigade of Heintzelman's division, Sherman's brigade of Tyler's division in the centre and up the road, whilst Keyes's brigade of Tyler's division was on the left, attacking the batteries near the stone bridge. The Rhode Island battery of Burnside's brigade also participated in this attack by its fire from the north of the turnpike. The enemy was understood to have been commanded by J. E. Johnston. Rickett's battery, which did such effective service and played so brilliant a part in this contest, was, together with Griffin's battery, on the side of the hill, and became the object of the special attention of the enemy, who succeeded — our officers mistaking one of his regiments for one of our own, and allowing it to approach without firing upon it — in disabling the battery, and then attempted to take it. Three times was he repulsed by different corps in succession, and driven back, and the guns taken by hand, the horses being killed, and pulled away. The third time it was supposed by us all that the repulse was final, for he was driven entirely from the hill, and so far beyond it as not to be in sight, and all were certain the day was ours. He had before this been driven nearly a mile and a half, and was beyond the Warrenton road, which was entirely in our possession from the stone bridge westward, and our engineers were just completing the removal of the abatis across the road, to allow our reinforcements (Schenck's brigade and Ayers's battery) to join us.

The enemy was evidently disheartened and broken. But we had been fighting since half-past 10 o'clock in the morning, and it was after three o'clock in the afternoon. The men had been up since two o'clock in the morning, and had made what to those unused to such things seemed a long march before coming into action, though the longest distance gone over


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