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THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
That night there was hardly a breath of air in the The night of Bull vale of Bull Run. The misty, yellowish haze, which so often pervades the summer nocturnal atmosphere for many thousand miles, deprived the sky of its purity, and rendered gray or invisible the western mountains, which by daytime, from the heights of Centreville, seem of a purple tint. At intervals a cloud passed across the moon, casting on the forests of Manassas a slowly-moving shadow. It needed.but little imagination to give life to the dusky phantom. Over those woods the arch-fiend Slavery, poised on his ŝailbroad vans, was glaring on the Genius of Freedom, and making ready for a death-clutch with her on the morrow. Tyler delayed his movement long after the appointed hour, and thus prevented Hunter and Heintzelman, who had to follow him some distance down the road, from commencing their march. On leaving the turnpike their course lay through an unfrequented country path, made undistinguishable by the moonshine and twilight shadows of the trees. Heintzelman was to follow Hunter for a couple of miles, and then, turning to the left, was to cross the Run below him. The head of the column led the rustling way through the dark green woods on either hand, dipping down into the gloomy hollows of the road, and not without some confusion ascending the slopes of the hills. Hunter's soldiers lingered for a while on reaching the Sudley's Spring Ford, some filling their canteens, and some bathing their feet in the stream.
Delays in the march.
It was half past six instead of four when Tyler reached Turning of the Con- the stone bridge and fired his signal gun. federate left. It was nearly ten instead of six when Hunter had moved through his semicircular detour, and was coming down toward the Warrenton Turnpike. After crossing Sudley's Ford, he had turned directly down the
west side of the Run, and marched about a mile through the woods; he was then ready to pass into the rolling and open fields, which would bring him to the rear of the bridge. The tardiness of the movement had so exhausted McDowell's patience, that, though very ill, he mounted his horse, rode through the troops, and showed them the way to their battle-field.
the front attack.
Colonel Evans, who, with only a regiment and a half, Commencement of Was holding the stone bridge for the Confederates, believed at first that Tyler's at tack on his front was the real one; but, perceiving that a large force was passing through the woods on his left and toward his rear, he discovered what was about to take place, and changed his front, so as to become parallel to the Warrenton Road, making ready to receive the enemy as soon as he should emerge. At about ten, Burnside's brigade, of Hunter's division, had gained the open fields. Porter's came out on his right, and Griffin's battery was quickly got into position.
As soon as Burnside emerged from the woods the conflict began. Evans, unexpectedly pressed by the national troops, was compelled to call for re-enforcements. Accordingly, Bee, who was next in what had now become his rear, descended the hill-side toward the turnpike. With him came six guns of Imboden and Richardson. It was necessary for Burnside to be re-enforced at once, and Sykes's regulars were sent to him from Porter on the right. At this time Hunter was wounded, and Burnside had to take command in his stead. In the sharp contest that ensued, every thing proved favorable for the national army.
By midday McDowell had completely carried out the first part of his plan. He had turned his antagonist's left; he had pressed him from the Warrenton Turnpike; he had uncovered the stone
Commencement of the main battle.
THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
The Confederates recoil.
bridge. Sherman's brigade, of Tyler's division, had crossed the river at a ford just above the stone bridge. On the other wing, Porter was coming down the Sudley Road. The Southern troops were flying in the utmost disorder up the slope in their rear. They had been resisting Sherman on their right, Burnside and Sykes at their centre, and Porter on their left, and these were all now converging upon them.
The left wing of the Confederates had thus been turned and routed. This constitutes the first phase of the battle.
Close of the first
THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
During the early morning Johnston and Beauregard had been occupied in preparing the attack they were intending to make on the nationarmy, which they supposed was still encamped at Centreville. At about half past ten they had, however, discovered McDowell's movement. It therefore became necessary for them at once to abandon their intention. The heavy sound of guns informed them too clearly that their antagonist had seized the initiative, and that there was serious work on their left. Their line, which had been parallel to Bull Run from Union Mills Ford to the stone bridge, must be broken, to send re-enforcements to the endangered point. The issue was, that it was eventually brought round nearly to a right angle, and stood concentrated and parallel to the Warrenton Turnpike.
They make a stand
Bull Run, a little below the stone bridge, receives a creek-Young's Creek-coming from the on the plateau. west. It was down the northern slope of the valley in which this creek flows that the national troops had descended; it was up the opposite, or southern slope, that the Confederates had been driven. Between these slopes Young's Creek runs in a curve concave to the south, and on that side the slope, furrowed by ravines, and rising for a hundred feet or thereabouts, leads to a flat space or
THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
plateau. This plateau is of an oblong form, a mile in length from northeast to southwest, and about half a mile in width. On its eastern and southern brow is a wood of pines; on its west the Sudley Road runs through a broad belt of oaks. There were three houses upon it, the most northerly being that of Robinson; the most southerly that of Lewis; and intermediate, and somewhat to the west, that of Henry.
And now occurred McDowell's fatal mistake. Thus far his success had been complete; it only remained for him to carry out the rest of his plan. In the opinion of a very great soldier, who was present, had he, instead of pursuing his flying enemy to the hill forest, in which they had taken refuge, simply moved beyond the range of their rifles to Manassas Dépôt, the victory would have been his. A stream of Confed erate fugitives, momentarily increasing in number, and terrified that their flight would be intercepted, was already setting to that point.
But Destiny would have it otherwise. Instead of striking at Manassas Dépôt, McDowell pursued stops the flight of his flying antagonists up the slope. When the broken Confederates gained the plateau, they there found General T. J. Jackson, who had just arrived; he had been posted behind Bee, with five regiments, and thus constituted a reserve. "They are beating us back," exclaimed Bee. "Well, sir," replied Jackson, "we will give them the bayonet." Bee rallied his men with "There's Jackson standing like a stone wall." "Stonewall Jackson!" shouted the soldiers. And from that moment the name he had thus received in a baptism of fire displaced that which had been given him in the baptism of water. Under that name he was ever after known, not only by his affectionate comrades, but by all who hold a brave soldier in honor.
The air had now become excessively hot under the midsummer and midday sun; clouds of red
stand fast on the dust rose from the slope as pursued and pursuers rushed up it; a fog of cannon. smoke was already surging off the edge of the plateau. As the assailants attempted to make good their ground over the crest, they were received with a bitter but intermitting fire; at one moment the musketry lulled off to a pattering, and then rose to reverberating volleys again.
It was nearly twelve o'clock when Johnston and Beauregard reached the plateau. They found upon it a force of about 7000 men, with thirteen guns. It was sheltered in the thicket of pines. The battle was apparently lost. Johnston rallied the shattered regiments on the right, Beauregard those on the left. It was none too soon that they hastened up the brigades of Holmes, Early, Bonham, Ewell, and the batteries of Pendleton and Albertis.
The Confederate strength on the plateau.
THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
The second phase of the battle-the contest for the plateau was now reached. Beauregard took command in the field, and Johnston stationed himself at the Lewis House, from which there was a good view. By the time the contest was renewed, they had upon the plateau about 10,000 men and twenty-two guns. By degrees the lower fords were stripped, Miles's demonstrations there being discov ered to be a mere ruse, and every man who could be made available was hurried to the focus of the fight.
Opening of the second phase of the battle.
to carry the tion.
At this phase of the battle-preparatory to the attempt to carry the plateau-on the national side, McDowell attempts Porter, of Hunter's division, was on the right, Franklin and Wilcox, of Heintzelman's, in the centre; with them were Griffin's, Ricketts's, and Arnold's batteries, and Sherman and Keyes, of Tyler's division, on the left. Howard's brigade, which had been de