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John G. Nicolay, The Outbreak of Rebellion, Chapter 13: Patterson's campaign. (search)
ought to have warmed the sluggish blood of even sixty-nine years to action. Do not let the enemy amuse and delay you with a small force in front, he telegraphed July 17th, whilst he reinforces the Manassas] Junction with his main body. McDowell's first day's work has driven the enemy beyond Fairfax Court House. The Junction willd after half an hour they dissuaded him from it. With his intentions thus changed, Patterson late that night ordered a retrograde movement; and the next day, July 17th, his army marched to Charlestown-nominally as a flank movement, but practically in retreat, since it about doubled the distance between himself and the enemy. I Union cause the first important battle of the war. Johnston was at Winchester, in daily anticipation of Patterson's attack, when, a little after midnight of July 17th, he received orders from the Confederate authorities to go at once to the help of Beauregard. Just twenty-four hours had elapsed since Patterson's order to retr