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[83] not the armies of the aliens to us, but, with the dress, the colors, the officers, of every regiment, we were so familiar that those of each had for us their own interest, and a different charm. We knew the men, their discipline, their respective heroes; what corps were most relied on; whose voice was to be that of Hector or Agamemnon in the coming fray. How another day would change all this! How some long-vaunted battalions would perhaps lose their, as yet, unearned prestige, while accident or heroism should gild the standards of many before undistinguished! Then, as I followed along that procession of rumbling cannon-carriages and caissons, standards and banners, the gleaming infantry with their thousands of shining bayonets, and the mounted officers of every staff, what fine excitement was added to the occasion by the salutations and last assurances of the many comrades dearer than the rest! The spirit of the soldiery was magnificent. They were all smarting under the reproach of Thursday, and longing for the opportunity to wipe it out. There was glowing rivalry between the men of different States. “Old Massachusetts will not be ashamed of us to-night.” “Wait till the Ohio boys get at them.” “We'll fight for New York to-day,” and a hundred similar utterances, were shouted from the different ranks. The officers were as glad of the task assigned then as their men. I rode a few moments with Lieut.-Col. Haggerty, of the Sixty-ninth. He mentioned the newspaper statement that he was killed at the former battle, and laughingly said that he felt very warlike for a dead man, and good for at least one battle more. This brave officer was almost the first victim of the day. The cheery voice of Meagher, late the Irish, now the American patriot, rang out more heartily than ever. Then there were Corcoran, and Burnside, and Keyes, and Speidel, and many another skilled and gallant officer, all pushing forward to the first fruition of their three months patient preparation. In the ranks of the Connecticut and other regiments, were old classmates and fellow-townsmen, with whom it was a privilege to exchange a word on this so different occasion from any anticipated in those days when all the States were loyal, and the word “disunion” was a portion of an unknown tongue.

General McDowell's carriage halted at the junction of the two roads, a place most favorable for the quick reception of despatches from all portions of the field. The column assigned to Colonel Hunter here divided from the main body and went on its unknown, perilous journey around the enemy's flank.

A mile along — and by this time the white morning twilight gave us a clearer prospect than the fading radiance which had thus far illumed the march-we could look across an open country on the left to the farm-house, where we knew Col. Richardson was stationed, and to the blood-stained valley beyond, whose upper reaches were now to be the arena of a larger conflict. But it was after sunrise when the van of General Tyler's column came to the edge of the wooded hill overlooking those reaches. The sun had risen as splendid as the sun of Austerlitz. Was it an auspicious omen for us, or for the foe? Who could foretell? The scenery was too beautiful and full of nature's own peace, for one to believe in the possibility of the tumult and carnage just at hand, or that among those green oak forests lurked every engine of destruction which human contrivance has produced, with hosts of an enemy more dangerous and subtle than the wild beasts which had once here made their hiding-places. Then, too, it was Sunday morning. Even in the wilderness, the sacred day seems purer and more hushed than any other. It was ours to first jar upon the stillness of the morning, and becloud the clearness of that serene atmosphere with the rude clangor of the avant messenger that heralded our challenge to a disloyal foe.

The Battle.

From the point I mention, where the road slopes down to a protected ravine, we caught the first glimpse of the enemy. A line of infantry were drawn up across a meadow in the extreme distance, resting close upon woods behind them. We could see the reflection of their bayonets, and their regular disposition showed them expectant of an attack. After a moment's inspection, General Tyler ordered Carlisle to advance with his battery to the front, and here one could think of nothing but Milton's line:

Vanguard! to right and left the front unfold.

The ancient order for the disposition of advance ranks is still in military usage; for the second and third Tyler brigades under Schenck, were at once formed in line of battle, in the woods on either side — the First Ohio, Second Wisconsin, Seventy-ninth, Thirteenth, and Six. ty-ninth New York regiments succeeding each other on the right, and the Second Ohio, and Second New York being similarly placed on the left, while the artillery came down the road between.

A great 32-pound rifled Parrott gun — the only one of its calibre in our field service — was brought forward, made to bear on the point where we had just seen the enemy, (for the bayonets suddenly disappeared in the woods behind,) and a shell was fired at fifteen minutes past 6 A. M., which burst in the air; but the report of the piece awoke the country, for leagues around, to a sense of what was to be the order of the day. The reverberation was tremendous, shaking through the hills like the volley of a dozen plebeian cannon, and the roar of the revolving shell indescribable. Throughout the battle that gun, whenever it was fired, seemed to hush and overpower every thing else. We waited a moment for an answering salute, but receiving none,

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