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at 210,000 men in the field. Davis was just at this time; but the people, imauthorized to increase this number by patient and in general unreasoning, 400,000 more, and also to add to the were calling for action, the soldiers
An act respecting wished for action; action seemed one alien enemies was passed, ordering then of the easiest things in the world; the to depart out of the confederacy, and enemy was undervalued ; and a battle another sequestrating their property, must be fought, on such a scale and in intended as retaliatory for the confisca- such wise, as to prove the superiority of tion act of Congress (see p. 54). After our forces, and the insignificance of the a short session, the Confederate Con- rebel hosts. gress adjourned, September 2d, to meet As stated on a previous page (see p. again in November
35), General Patterson, at the beginAt this period of the contest, when ning of July, crossed the Potomac at the impression largely prevailed in the Williamsport, with a force of North, that the rebellion could be about 20,000 men. The rebels crushed by rapid, decided action, the retired on his appearance; and on the cry became quite prevalent, “ On to 15th of July, he moved forward to Richmond !" People, unacquainted Bunker Hill, nine miles from Wincheswith the science of war and its mani. ter, and occupied it without resistance. fold details, were incapable of fathom. On the 17th, instead of advancing on ing why it was, that, with so large a the direct road, he turned to the left force as that now in the field, nothing and marched to Charlestown, twelve apparently was being done, no victory miles eastward and near the Potomac; of moment was gained, the rebels were thus, as it turned out, leaving the road not at once put down, etc. In their open for Johnston, the rebel general at lack of acquaintance with this subject, Winchester, to carry his entire force to they cast aside all considerations of the Manassas, and do his share in the detime and drilling needed to make good feat of our army at Bull Run. The and efficient soldiers out of new recruits, reasons for this course are not at all and the complicated, weighty difficul. clear, and the testimony on this subties connected with furnishing military ject elicited by the committee on the stores and supplies, at proper times conduct of the war, is very damaging and places, for an army of 50,000 to to the character of General Patterson. 100,000 men. The pressure was urgent, Although urged by General Scott to and the troops were expected to make do something efficient, he remained at a brilliant campaign of three or six Charlestown under an idea that he months, and speedily reduce the rebels was checking Johnston's advance; in to submission. Military men, having a reality, it was to no purpose, and on clearer conception of what was to be the 22d, he fell back to Harper's Ferry done, and the material in hand to work where, on the 25th of July, Genera. with, were rather doubtful as to the Banks took his place. expediency of attempting a great battle General McDowell was in command
THE GRAND ARMY MOVES. of the department of North-eastern Vir- Gen. Tyler, having passed through Cen. ginia, an able and excellent officer, to treville, found the rebels strongly posted whom was committed the charge of at Blackburn's Ford on Bull Run, where, making an assault upon the enemy, under Gen. Longstreet, they resisted who were strongly entrenched, under the further advance of our troops. The Beauregard, at Manassas. His force conflict was mainly with artillery, and consisted of about forty-five regiments was well sustained ; it proved clearly of volunteers, chiefly from New York that the rebel army had taken position and the eastern states, with several between Centreville and Manassas Juncfrom the West, a large portion of the tion, and intended to remain there. whole being called out, under the re. The loss on the Union side was between quisition of the president, for three 80 and 90; the rebel loss was reported months only. The remainder were at somewhat less.* three years' volunteers; but, having Gen. McDowell was convinced, on excome into the field later, they had en- amination, that the strength and posijoyed but slightly the advantages of tion of the rebels rendered it unadvismilitary drill and discipline. With able, without a diversion, to risk the them were mixed a few of the regular main attack directly in front, or to make infantry, some companies of United the attempt to gain Manasses by an apStates cavalry, and several light bat- proach from the east. Above Stone teries of the United States artillery. Bridge, however, the ground appeared The general staff and field officers in- more practicable. The stream, Bull cluded a number of the most meritori- Run, might readily be forded, and ous officers of the regular army; the though there were no good roads leadcompany officers, being mostly taken ing from the camps in that direction, from civil life, were of course less ex- the country afforded no serious obstacle perienced, and much less able to discharge the duties imposed upon them. as breaking into empty houses, pillaging, and commit
ting other offensive acts; but this disgraceful conduct The Grand Army, as it was called, was immediately repressed and steps were taken to began its march from Washington, on prevent any recurrence of similar outbreaks. Gen. Mcthe 16th of July. Gen. Tyler's colúmn Dowell's stringent order on this subject
spirit and determination of the commanding officers of took the advance, and spent the night our army. Compare with this the vile insinuations at Vienna, a few miles from Fairfax and falsehoods of Beauregard's proclamation, quoted Court House. General Hunter march
* Beauregard, who, as he says, was “opportunely ined with the central column, on the di- formed,” i. e., by the numerous spies and traitors in
and about Washington, of McDowell's purpose to adrect road; and Gen. Miles advanced on
vance upon Manassas, claims it as a stroke of policy the extreme left. General McDowell, that his men retreated and thereby deceived McDowell who was with the centre, arrived at as to his ulterior designs at Bull Run. Major Barnard,
chief-engineer of the Army of the Potomac, has criticis noon, the next day, at Fairfax Court ed this costly reconnaissance by Gen. Tyler in severe House, the enemy retiring and evidently terms, and pronounces that the affair had a bad effect avoiding a conflict.* On the 18th, upon the morale of our raw forces. Swinton terms it
on p. 34.
silly ambition " on the part of Tyler to do as he did * Our troops were guilty of some excesses here, such
-Army of the Potomac," p. 47.
to the movement of troops. It was ac- general course of procedure and the recordingly resolved, by a flank move- sult sufficiently clear to our readers. ment, to turn the enemy's position on As events turned out, McDowell termtheir left with a sufficient force, which ed it "a great misfortune” that delays should co-operate with a direct attack occurred, as noted above. The wood on their position at Stone Bridge, and road from the Warrenton Turnpike was thus
open the turnpike road from Cen- longer than was expected, and the uptreville, and cut off the railroad commu- per ford was not reached as speedily as nication of Manassas with the army of was desired. General Tyler, in front Johnston in and about Winchester. of Stone Bridge, commenced with his McDowell intended to make the attack artillery, at half past six, A.M., but the on Saturday, July 20th, but was hin- enemy made no reply, rendering it
dered by delays in receiving doubtful as to his plans. Other brig.
proper supplies, which did not ades moved forward, and Tyler was direach him till Friday night, at Centre. rected to advance, as large bodies of the ville, about seven miles to the north-east enemy were passing in front of him to of Manassas. Rations were distributed attack the division which had crossed and issued; and in order as far as pos- over under Burnside. sible to avoid marching in the heat be- “The ground between the stream and fore the fight, orders were given to the road leading from Sudley Spring move at half-past two o'clock, on Sun- south, and over which Burnside's brigday morning, the 21st, expecting to ade marched, was for about a mile from open the battle at all points at six, A.M. the ford thickly wooded, whilst on the Delays occurred, owing to the inexperi- right of the road for about the same ence of the officers and men, so that it distance, the country was divided bewas some three hours later, in one of tween fields and woods. About a mile the hot July mornings in Virginia, that from the road the country on both sides the troops crossed at Sudley Spring, of the road is open, and for nearly a and soon after were engaged in battle.* mile further large rolling fields extend
Full details are beyond our limits; down to the Warrenton turnpike, which and we must content ourselves with an crosses what became the field of battle, extract or two from Gen. McDowell's through the valley of a small waterreport, which will suffice to render the course, a tributary of Bull Run.” The
* Gen. McDowell, speaking of his reasons for fight enemy opened fire upon our troops, , ing when he did, declared that he could not push on who stood the shock well, and on being faster, nor could he delay. The best part of his troops reinforced drove the ener y out of the were three months volunteers, whose term of service was just expiring. They refused to stay an hour be. wood and across the road ap the slopes yond their time. McDowell and the secretary of war on the other side. pleaded with them (volunteers from Pennsylvania and New York), but in vain. They insisted on their dis
“ While this was going on, Ileintzelcharge that Saturday night. It was granted of course ; man's division was moving down the "and the next morning, when the army moved forward field to the stream, and up the road into battle, these troops moved to the rear, to the sound of the enemy's cannon.”
beyond. Beyond the Warrenton road,
BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
and to the left of the road, down which much severe fighting. Some of the our troops had marched from Sudley regiments which had been driven from Spring, is a hill with a farm-house on the hill in the first two attempts of the it. Behind this hill the enemy had, enemy to keep possession of it had beearly in the day, some of his most come shaken, were unsteady, and bad annoying batteries planted. Across the many men out of the ranks. road from this hill was another hill, or “It was at this time that the enemy's rather elevated ridge, or table of land. reinforcements came to his aid from the The hottest part of the contest was for railroad train, understood to have just the possession of this hill with a house arrived from the valley with the residue on it. . . . . . Rickett's battery, which of Johnston's army.* They threw did such effective service and played themselves in the woods on our right so brilliant a part in this contest, was, and towards the rear of our right, and together with Griffin's battery, on the opened a fire of musketry on our men, side of the hill, and became the object which caused them to break and retire of the special attention of the enemy, down the hillside. This soon degenerwho succeeded-our officers mistaking ated into disorder, for which there was one of his regiments for one of our own, no remedy. Every effort was made to and allowing it to approach without rally them, even beyond the reach of firing upon it—in disabling the battery, the enemy's fire, but in vain. The reand then attempting to take it. Three treat soon became a rout, and this times was he repulsed by different soon degenerated still further into a corps in succession, and driven back, panic. Finding this state of affairs and the guns taken by hand, the horses was beyond the efforts of all those who being killed, and pulled away. * had assisted so faithfully during the
“The enemy was evidently disheart- long and hard day's work in gaining ened and broken. But we had been almost the object of our wishes, and fighting since half-past ten o'clock in that nothing remained on the field but the morning, and it was after three to recognize what we could no longer o'clock in the afternoon. The men had prevent, I gave the necessary orders to been up since two o'clock in the morn. protect their withdrawal, begging the ing, and had made what, to those un- men to form in line, and offer the apused to such things, seemed a long pearance at least of organization. They march before coming into action, and returned by the fords to the Warrenton were without food. They had done road, protected, by my order, by Col.
Porter's force of regulars. Once on
, service at this period of the battle. Coming up with Beauregard, in his elaborate report, made some his brigade of fresh troops, and displaying great considerable time later, states that the balance of steadiness, one enthusiastic South Carolina officer Johnston's force arrived under Kirby Smith, about shouted, “ Look, there is Jackson standing like a stone three P.M., having left Manassas by railroad at noon. wall !” This epithet was considered a happy one, and It was just at this critical moment that 4,000 fresh was very generally attached afterwards to Jackson's troops came to their help, and the rebels were enabled name.-See Cooke's “ Life if Jackson,” pp. 68, 77. I to gain the day.
the road, and the different corps coming asserting, that the Union army was together in small parties, many with beaten by a force less than half their out officers, they became intermingled, own number.* Davis was in favor of and all organization was lost.
immediate pursuit and a dash at the “By sundown," as General Mc capital, which course indeed was the Dowell states, in conclusion, “ most of natural one to be adopted in order to our men had gotten behind Centre- reap the fruits of victory; but it was ville Ridge, and it became a question evident that the rebels were in no conwhether we should or not endeavor to dition to avail themselves of their op make a stand there. The condition of portunity.t our artillery and its ammunition, and Beauregard, though boasting of his the want of food for our men, who had great success, gives as his excuse for generally abandoned or thrown away not following up and destroying the
all that had been issued the enemy, that his men were worn down
day before, and the utter dis- by a long fight in a July day, and organization and consequent demorali- were hungry and thirsty; also, that zation of the mass of the army, seemed the next day it rained steadily, and he to all who were near enough to be had no cavalry. Johnston accorded consulted-division and brigade com with this view of the subject, and manders and staff—to admit ‘of no said, in addition, that the certainty alternative but to fall back. On send that General Patterson, if needed, ing the officers of the staff to the differ- would reach Washington with his ent camps, they found, as they reported army of 30,000 men
sooner than to me, that our decision had been they could, prevented any serious anticipated by the troops, most of those thoughts of advancing against the who had come in from the front being capital. From all which, it may safely already on the road to the rear, the be inferred that the ability, not the panic with which they came in still will, was wanting, and that the rebels continuing and hurrying them along. acted judiciously in not making a futile At about ten o'clock, the rear guard attack upon Washington. (Blenker's brigade), moved, covering The losses at Bull Run were, accordthe retreat, which was effected during ing to General McDowell's report, 481 the night and next morning.” Jefferson Davis left Richmond by 30,000, and was fully equal in numbers to that under
* Beauregard's army numbered not less than railroad on this eventful Sunday morn. command of General McDowell, and yet Davis unde ing, and reached the field of battle took to say, as above, “our force was 15,000 ; that
of the enemy estimated at 35,000.” See Beauregard's about 4 P.M., when the contest was Report, and Pollard's “ First Year of the War," p. 101. virtually decided. He telegraphed the + See “ Stonewall Jackson ; a Military Biography," welcome news to the Confederate Con- (New York, 1866) by John Esten Cooke
, a profound
admirer of the man who had attained so singular a gress that same night, stating, truly sobriquet
. According to Mr. Cooke, Jackson, as he sat enough, that it had been “ a hard fought exclaimed, "Give me ten thousand men, and I will be
on his horse looking at the retreating Union troops, field.” but, with needless mendacity, in Washington to-night!”