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[99] dying lay about. The masses of horse lay under cover of the hills for the occasion that should invoke their action. Men stood to their arms along that bloody line, and looked a strange interest on the enemy. Was he to return and continue a fight of eight hours duration? was he to change the point of his attack, and force them, wearied and broken as they were, to another field? or, were they, broken and outdone, about to retire from a field in which they had become assured by experience there was no harvest of power or glory to be won, but where they were, indeed, welcomed by bloody hands to hospitable graves? That this was their purpose, at length appeared. A shout arose upon the conviction, from 10,000 throbbing and exultant hearts. The cavalry poured down upon them. The dust, as from the crater of a volcano, marked the point of contact. With a singular propriety of occurrence, the honored Chief Magistrate of the Confederacy arrived upon the ground almost as the shouts of victory died upon the distance.

They rose again for him, and again and again for the gallant military chieftains under whose able leadership the action had been won. And there was not one who looked upon that field, strewn with the fragments of war, and glittering in the beams of sunset, and upon those long lines of begrimed and bloody men, and upon the dark columns of the insolent invader, as crushed and cowed, he crawled from the field, who did not feel that he stood upon another historic point in human history. We stood upon one some six months since when we proclaimed the truths of our political faith; we stood upon another when we witnessed the solemnities of their vindication. There was no unbecoming demonstration — no heartless exultation. The common feeling was of sadness, rather that right and liberty, in the inscrutable ways of an overruling Providence, should only be purchased at so dear a price. But there was gratitude and trust, and an honest confidence of a future, which we had not scrupled to purchase at the sacrifices the God above us had seen proper to exact.

The movement on the right wing of our army upon the batteries in front, which seemed to have been resolved on early in the action, was at length made. About the time of our final charge upon the enemy's right, which drove them from the field, Gen. Jones, with the Fifth South Carolina regiment, Col. Jenkins, and the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Mississippi regiments, Cols. Featherston and Burt moved round to gain the rear of the batteries over the hill. above Mitchell's Ford. Gen. Bonham, with the Third and Seventh South Carolina regiments, Cols. Williams and Bacon, moved up the hill in front. The enemy, though in considerable force, at once recoiled from the encounter; and, unlimbering their artillery, they made their way with the utmost rapidity in the direction of Centreville. It was too late for pursuit — too late to intercept the retreating columns from the west, already under rapid headway; and, with no serious loss, and after but a short and spirited engagement on the enemy's left, in which the Fifth Carolina regiment suffered to some extent, they returned to their positions.

Of the many personal incidents of the battle, I have not time to speak to-night. My estimable friend, R. McKay, of Greenville, separated from his company, Capt. Hokes, came upon four of the enemy in charge of three of our prisoners whom they had taken, and was uncomfortably conscious he was about to add to their number; to be certain of the fact, however, he exclaimed interrogatively, “Prisoners, boys?” A Zouave answered, “We don't know exactly who are prisoners here.” “Oh, you, of course,” said our ready friend; whereupon demanding their arms, they laid them down, and were marched off to the rear.

Six horsemen, detached from their company, dashed forward and came upon a company of the enemy all armed, forty-five in number, demanding a surrender as the best means of avoiding their own capture. The enemy complied, and the six men with sabres only marched them in.


army of the Potomac, near Manassas, Tuesday, July 23.
I have visited again to-day the scene of conflict, and am able to add still other particulars of that most memorable action. Your readers will remember that the battle was begun by a feint at Mitchell's Ford, on the road from Centreville to Warrenton. This, however, was only true in part. To that point the mass of the enemy's immense columns was indeed directed, but that also was another feint. Planting batteries against the forces guarding that bridge he exhibited a purpose to force a crossing; but, while seeking to induce that impression, he in fact made a detour of more than a mile above, and further to the west; and when our attention was directed to the bridge, they sought to come upon our rear. To Gen. Evans, as I have said, the task of defending the bridge had been committed. He soon detected the enemy's purposes, and advanced to counteract them. Under him, as I have said, were the Fourth South Carolina regiment, Col. Sloan, Wheat's battalion, two guns of Latham's battery, (not the Washington Artillery, as I was at first informed,) and two companies of Radford's Cavalry. These he advanced to Sudley's Ford, but had hardly placed them in position before he saw the enemy in overwhelming masses on his flank, having already crossed. To resist them successfully was beyond a reasonable hope. A portion of his small force had already been detached to defend the bridge, and with the rest, not more than 1,100, he could not hope to stand against the accumulated thousands on his left; but he knew that victory or death was the determination for the day; he could at least arrest them, and ordering round his two pieces of artillery, and rapidly throwing forward his forces to the left, in the face of the enemy's


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