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white tops--the dark looking ambulances—winding columns of cavalry now bursting into view, and now lost in deep shadows-combined to form a scene of thrilling interest. Not a drum or bugle cheered the march-a deep silence, broken only by the heavy rumbling of artillery carriages, or the muffled tread of the advancing host, rested on forest and valley. The divisions, separating like the rays of a fan, moved off to their respective positions. Hunter and Heintzelman took the same road until they came to the turn off to the ford where the latter was to be dropped. Hunter then kept on alone. It was evident that the battle was to be lost or won by these two divisions, fourteen thousand strong. The rest of the army was only to keep the enemy in front occupied till they were seen coming down the opposite bank, then the general advance was to take place, for the battle was assuredly won. The Sabbath morning broke warm and pleasant, and at six o'clock Tyler was in front of the enemy's centre, and soon a thirty pound rifled Parrott gun--the signal agreed on-y which he was to announce he was in positionawoke the morning echoes, and the shell bursting in mid air announced to the chemy that the decisive hour had come. The duty assigned him was to threaten the bridge which here crossed the stream till the appearance of Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions on the other side coming down the stream, when he was to move across to their support. He had reached his position at half-past five, and hence had ample time to survey that of the enemy on the farther side. The latter was posted on hights that rose in regular slopes from the shore, broken into knolls and terraces, crowned here and there by earthworks. The woods that interfered with his cannon ranges had all been cut away, and his guns had a clean sweep of every approach. On our side the descent was more gradual, and covered with a dense forest. A lookout was stationed in a tree that overlooked the surrounding country, from which
THE FLANKING DIVISIONS.
he could observe the progress of the flanking columns under Hunter and Heintzelman. Hour after hour this division stood thus on the ridge that overlooked Bull Run and the bridge, doing nothing except now and then sending a shell from its thirty-two pound Parrott gun at bodies of infantry and cavalry that far inland could be detected moving in the direction of Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions.
Colonel Richardson, with his brigade (detached for the time-being from the fifth division in reserve under Miles) took the position at Blackburn ford, still farther down the stream, to threaten a passage there. While Tyler was to wait the appearance of Hunter and Heintzelman across the stream before commencing his attack, Richardson, below him, was to wait the thunder of Tyler's artillery as the signal for him to move on the ford. It will thus be seen that but one division (Tyler's) and one brigade (Richardson's) were on the stream, while the two divisions of Hunter and Heintzelman were to open the battle—the other two being out of the fight-Miles' in reserve at Centreville, and Runyon's protecting the communications with Vienna. The whole interest, therefore, centred on the two former divisions, and from little after sunrise every eye was strained in the direction they were expected to appear, and every ear open to hear the thunder of their artillery. These two columns, as before remarked, moved steadily along the same road, on their unknown journey up the stream and back of it, until they came to the place designated for Heintzelman to turn off to the left to the ford where he was to cross.
But the road laid down on the map,
and which he was to take was found to have no existence in fact, and so he kept on after Hunter; and about eleven o'clock came to Sudley's Springs ford, where the latter had just crossed with the exception of one brigade which was then entering the water. It was ten miles from Centreville to this place and the soldiers before reaching it
THE ENEMY'S FLANK TURNED
had become much exhausted. The enemy had got information of this movement, and from high points of observation large masses of troops could be seen moving rapidly towards the threatened point. The roar of artillery soon announced that Hunter was engaged with the enemy. Heintzelman immediately pushed forward his division, but finding it slow work to get it over in a body, he ordered the regiments to break off and cross separately. The men, however, suffering from thirst, stopped to drink and fill their canteens which delayed the march. McDowell, having stationed himself where he could the most quickly receive reports from the different divisions, had at length flung himself on the ground to get a little rest, as he was suffering from illness. At half-past ten a courier dashed up to him, and announced that Hunter was across Bull Run. He immediately sprang to the saddle, and galloped off to accompany the column on which the fate of the day depended. The brave Porter, the gallant Burnside, and the chivalrous Sprague were in the advance of Hunter, driving the enemy steadily before them. Soon Heintzelman appeared also on their left, and the amazed enemy saw their position turned. The advancing columns were at last seen from the lookouts at Tyler's position, and huge columns of smoke rising in the summer air and waving to and fro in the sunlight showed where the encountering hosts were struggling for victory. Then all along that sluggish stream, for five miles in extent, the artillery opened, and the columns were put in motion. Tyler's left wing swept forward, the famous Irish regiment, sixteen hundred strong, leading the van. With the quick-step at first, then the double-quick, they, with shouts that shook the field, flung themselves forward, skirting with their glittering steel the edge of the forest. Coats, haversacks, everything that could impede their progress were cast loose. Meagher galloped at their head, and shouting, "Come on, boys; you have got
your chance at last,” led them fiercely on the foe. The Seventy-ninth Highlanders, the Thirteenth New York, and Second Wisconsin, followed. It was now high noon, and the battle began to rage with terrible fury. Hunter had been wounded, but his and Heintzelman's divisions kept on their terrible way, steadily pushing the enemy before them. Rickett's battery, after losing nearly every man at the guns, fell into the hands of the enemy. Out of the woods volumes of smoke writhed fiercely upwards, telling where bodies of infantry struggled for the mastery-regiments on the doublequick streamed across the open meadows, and the next moment, like two thunder clouds charged with lightning, burst in flame on each other, while the incessant roar of cannon shook the earth. The surrounding inhabitants grew pale with affright, and the deafening reverberations rolled sullenly away, till they broke with a muffled sound over Fairfax and Alexandria, and even Washington itself, blanching the cheeks of listeners, and filling their hearts with yague fears. Those stationed near Tyler's position listened with intense eagerness to Hunter's and Heintzelman's charges in the northern woods, and ever and anon cheers were heard mingling with the roar of artillery. Some regiments flinched through want of proper officers, and Rickett's battery was lost by the cowardly flight of the Fire Zouaves who had boasted of the deeds they would perform beforehand. Others came gallantly into the fight for a while, but soon broke and fled in dismay; a few stood firm until all was lost. The Second Minnesota, ordered to the extreme right, moved for a mile across the field of battle at the quick and double-quick, and drew
up within close pistol shot of a superior foe. Heintzelman was everywhere present—now in talking distance of the foe, and now dashing amid the wavering battalions to steady them. Where such men as he, and Porter, and Burnside, and Sprague led, there could not but be deeds of heroism;
and where such batteries as Griffin's, and Rickett's, and the Rhode Island, were directed by their respective commanders, the harvest of death was reaped fast. By little after noon these two flanking divisions had worked their desperate way down the farther banks of Bull Run until they were opposite Tyler's position at the Stone bridge. The enemy hurried up regiment after regiment to arrest the reversed tide of battle, but all in vain. Tyler, sending forward reinforcements across the stream, brought help io the exhausted, thirsty troops which had been marching and fighting ever since two o'clock in the morning of this hot July day. Sherman and Keyes led their brigades gallantly forward, and by two o'clock the battle was to human view won. Many of the enemy were already in full flight—the whole army borne back a mile and a half—and Beauregard was preparing to retreat to his lines at Manassas Junction, when clouds of dust, rising in the distance, told him that reinforcements were hurrying to his relief. As Blucher stole away from Grouchy at Wavres, to decide the fate of the battle of Waterloo, so had Johnston beguiled Patterson, and pushing his troops forward by railroad, had now come to make a Waterloo defeat to the Federal arms. Hunter and Heintzelman, after their long march and long fight without rest or food, and part of the time without water, now found a fresh enemy approaching on their right flank, and partly in their rear. It matters not whether this was the cause of the panic that followed or not, it made the loss of the battle certain. Ten thousand fresh troops thrown suddenly on these two divisions, that had been marching and fighting without any respite for thirteen hours, could have but one result. It must be remembered that those thirteen hours told heavier on our raw troops, fresh from the counting house and workshops, than twenty-four would have done on old soldiers. An orderly retreat might have been effected but for the panic, nothing more.