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A correspondent of the Charleston Mercury, writing from Richmond, Va., says:--It is settled, without question, that at one time during the fight, our army was on the eve of being defeated. This was in the early part of the afternoon. Scattered and exhausted as were our men, victory, for a time, inclined to favor the overwhelming army of the enemy, and its General, believing he had gained a victory, despatched the news to Washington. Happily, at this critical juncture, Kershaw, Cash, and Kemper stemmed and turned the adverse tide, driving the frightened foe before their accurate fire and rapid charges. Both Beauregard and Johnston rallied their forces, and led them in person to the attack. Soon after, Elzey's and Smith's brigades, of about four thousand men, came up opportunely and reinforced our army. This reinforcement, with the heroic rally made by the Generals, after Kershaw turned the tide of battle in our favor, decided the fortunes of the field. A member of the Palme
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Poetry and Incidents., Volume 2. (ed. Frank Moore), A member of the Palmetto guard writes to the Charleston Mercury:--(no. 32) (search)
A member of the Palmetto guard writes to the Charleston Mercury:--(no. 32) Stone Bridge, Bull Run, July 23, 1861. Since writing you, we have had a terrible, though glorious fight — this makes the second. The fight commenced on the left flank of our line, and we in the centre (Cash's and Kershaw's regiments) received orders to march. When you were. in church, we were in the bloodiest fight recorded that has ever transpired in North America. The day was lost when our two regiments came up. Our troops were falling back, and had retired some distance. Col. Kershaw gave the command Forward! and after some ten or twelve rounds, away went the Yankees. I understand Beauregard said our regiments saved the day --a second battle of Waterloo. * * * * No regiment ever entered a battle under more depressing circumstances than we did. All along our line of march men were retreating, and saying to us, We are defeated. But we went forward, and the day was wo
outing, and Capt. Rhett, on picket guard, to march across the fields to the left, and join their regiment, the Second, which is on the march, to aid the left wing. This regiment, to which was attached Kemper's battery, followed by the Seventh, Col. Cash, hurried to the scene of action. It was met along the way by numbers of the wounded, dying, and retiring, who declared the day had gone against us; that Sloan's regiment, the Fourth, were cut to pieces; that Hampton's Legion, coming to the res between this regiment, with Kemper's battery attached, unsupported, and an immense force of United States troops. We poured in a steady and deadly fire upon their ranks. While the battle raged, the Eighth South Carolina regiment came up, and Col. Cash, pointing to the enemy, says, Col. Kershaw, are those the d — d scoundrels that you wish driven off the field? I'll do it in five minutes, by God! Yes, Colonel, says Kershaw; form on our left, and do it if you can. In a few moments the Eight