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[548] the best manner possible. Ransom's division had been engaged and routed. Cameron's division was in the thickest of the fight. General Franklin had arrived on the field, and a division of his magnificent corps, under General Emory, was pushing along rapidly. General Banks personally directed the fight. Every thing that man could do he did. Occupying a position so exposed that nearly every horse ridden by his staff was wounded, and many killed, he constantly disregarded the entreaties of those around, who begged that he would retire to some less exposed position. General Stone, his chief of staff, with his sad, earnest face, that seemed to wear an unusual expression, was constantly at the front, and by his reckless bravery did much to encourage the men. And so the fight raged. The enemy were pushing a temporary advantage. Our army was merely forming into position to make a sure battle.

Then came one of those unaccountable events that no genius or courage can control. I find it impossible to describe a scene so sudden and bewildering, although I was present, partly an actor, partly a spectator, and saw plainly every thing that took place. The battle was progressing vigorously. The musketry-firing was loud and continuous, and having recovered from the danger experienced by Ransom's division, we felt secure of the position. I was slowly riding along the edge of a wood, conversing with a friend who had just ridden up about the events and prospects of the day. We had drawn into the side of the wood to allow an ammunition-wagon to pass, and although many were observed going to the rear, some on foot and some on horseback, we regarded it as an occurrence familiar to every battle, and it occasioned nothing but a passing remark.

I noticed that most of those thus wildly riding to the rear were negroes, hangers — on and servingmen, for now that we have gone so deeply into this slaveholding country. every non-commissioned officer has a servant, and every servant a mule. These people were the first to show any panic, but their scamper along the road only gave amusement to the soldiers, who pelted them with stones, and whipped their flying animals with sticks to increase their speed. Suddenly there was a rush, a shout, the crashing of trees, the breaking down of rails, the rush and scamper of men. It was as sudden as though a thunderbolt had fallen among us and set the pines on fire. What caused it, or when it commenced, no one knew. I turned to my companion to inquire the reason of this extraordinary proceeding, but before he had the chance to reply, we found ourselves swallowed up, as it were, in a hissing, seething, bubbling whirlpool of agitated men. We could not avoid the current; we could not stem it, and if we hoped to live in that mad company, we must ride with the rest of them. Our line of battle had given away. General Banks took off his hat and implored his men to remain; his staff-officers did the same, but it was of no avail. Then the General drew his sabre and endeavored to rally his men, but they would not listen. Behind him the rebels were shouting and advancing. Their musket-balls filled the air with that strange file-rasping sound that war has made familiar to our fighting men. The teams were abandoned by the drivers, the traces cut, and the animals ridden off by the frightened men. Bareheaded riders rode with agony in their faces, and for at least ten minutes it seemed as if we were going to destruction together. It was my fortune to see the first battle of Bull Run, and to be among those who made that celebrated midnight retreat toward Washington. The retreat of the Fourth division was as much a rout as that of the first Federal army, with the exception that fewer men were engaged, and our men fought here with a valor that was not shown on that serious, sad, mock-heroic day in July. We rode nearly two miles in this madcap way, until on the edge of a ravine, which might formerly have been a bayou, we found Emory's division drawn up in line. Our retreating men fell beyond this line, and Emory prepared to meet the rebels. They came with a rush, and, as the shades of night crept over the tree-tops, they encountered our men. Emory fired three rounds, and the rebels retreated. This ended the fight, leaving the Federals masters. Night, and the paralyzing effect of the stampede upon our army, made pursuit impossible. The enemy fell back, taking with them some of the wagons that were left, and a number of the guns that were abandoned.

Although its results might seem to be more unfortunate than the real events of the day would justify us in believing, this battle convinced us of the strength of the rebels in our front, and their determination to resist our advance. It became necessary to fight a battle, and, as we could not do so on ground so disadvantageous, General Banks ordered the army to occupy Pleasant Hills, the position in our rear, that had been held by General Franklin on the morning of the fight. The division of General Emory remained on the field, picketing the front. The headquarter trains were removed back to Pleasant Hill, and the divisions of General Smith were formed in line of battle, in which position they remained the whole night. The divisions of Ransom and Cameron, which had suffered so much in the engagement, were withdrawn from the field. When this had been done, Emory slowly withdrew his line to a point about two miles beyond Pleasant Hill. General Banks made his headquarters on the left of the elevation, and shortly before daybreak he arrived in camp, accompanied by his staff. The tents were pitched, and a hasty cup of coffee served for breakfast.

Having described as faithfully as possible the events of this bloody day, it now becomes my duty to describe one of the most brilliant and successful battles of the war. The first day's engagement was an accident. Nothing but the discipline of the troops, and the presence of mind displayed by the Commanding General, prevented


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