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[252] Manassas, which was a series of battles for three days. Pender's Brigade took possession of the bridge across Bull Run and engaged the enemy across the river. His brigade finally crossed over to the east side, but the enemy withdrew. The loss was very slight. On Friday, the 29th, the enemy changed position and was attempting to interpose his arms between General Jackson and Alexandria. Jackson's troops were arranged along the Manassas Gap railroad, Jackson's Division under Brigadier General Stark being on the right, Ewell's, under Lawton, in the centre, and A. P. Hill's on the left. The brigades of Thomas, Pender, Archer, and Gregg, were on the extreme left. After Longstreet arrived the enemy changed position and began to concentrate all its force opposite Hill's division. The attack was received with great steadiness, and the battle raged with great fury; the enemy was frequently repulsed, but on account of having so many fresh troops the attack was renewed. They succeeded in penetrating an interval between Gregg's and Thomas' divisions. Pender's brigade was placed in the rear of Thomas' with orders to support it. General Pender in his report says:

‘Finally, it seemed to me to be the time to go to his (Thomas') assistance. I ordered my brigade forward, moving just to the right of Colonel Thomas. My men moved forward very gallantly, driving the enemy back across the railroad cut, through the woods on the opposite side and beyond their batteries in the adjoining field. A battery of the enemy which was on the right of the woods as we advanced was flanked by my command, and the cannoneers deserted their pieces. My line was halted on the edge of the field in front of the enemy, where I remained some time, when, being promised support from one of the staff in some of Jackson's brigades, I crossed the field to attack the batteries. My men advanced well, receiving grape from the batteries; but support being waited for in vain and seeing columns on my left and right manoeuvering to flank me, I withdrew and marched back to the railroad cut, a little to the right of the position previously held by General Gregg. General Archer very kindly came forward and relieved me until I could march to the rear and rest my men. I was ordered to the right to support some one of General Jackson's brigades. I marched across the railroad embankment, moving obliquely to the left until I had reached the large field again in which the enemy were found. Finding nothing to do, unless it was to attack an overwhelming force of the enemy, supported very strongly by artillery, I withdrew, after receiving heavy fire of grape and shell. Getting back to the railroad cut about ’

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William M. Thomas (5)
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