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done. Colonel Keyes soon vanished with his a peculiar activity among the enemy at the four regiments, and the Second brigade was left spot where they had been most vehemently isolated at the edge of the battle-ground. Its repulsed by Heintzelman. A long line of apbest protection then was furnished by the 32- parently fresh regiments was brought forward, pound Parrott rifled cannon, which sonie rods and formed at the edge of a grove through to the right, among the brushwood, was raking which our men had penetrated. Four times the road far ahead, and plunging shell among we saw this line broken, and reformned by its the strongholds which the enemy still main- officers, who rode behind, and drove back those tained.
who fled with their swords. A fifth time it At half-past 12 o'clock the battle appeared was shattered, and reformed, but could not be to have reached its climax. Hunter's and made to stand fast, and was led back to the Heintzelman's divisions were deep in the ene- fortified ground. This afforded us who looked my's position, and our own force, excepting on from the lower battle-field, a new ground always the 2d brigade, was well at work. The for the conviction that the triumph would be discharges of artillery and musketry caused a with us. continuous and unbroken roar, which sometimes For nearly half an hour after this we were swelled tumultuously to terrific crashes, but left in great uncertainty. The enemy languishnever lulled. On the heights before us, bodies ed, and our own movements seemed clogged of infantry were plainly seen driving with fury by some mysterious obstacle. All that was one against the other, and slowly pressing tow- done within our view was the leaving forward arols the left-another proof that our advance of Schenck's brigade a few hundred rods on the was resisted in vain. At one point, the rebels open road. But as many of us, lookers-on, had seemed determined to risk all rather than re- long before passed ahead to Bull Run, and as treat. Many a regiment was brought to meet sured ourselves that the field was open for nearour onset, and all were swept back with the ly a mile in advance, this was not regarded as saine impetuous charges. Prisoners who were of much importance. From Bull Run, the assubsequently brought in admitted that some of pect of the field was truly appalling. The eneour troops, especially the 71st New York reg- my's dead lay strewn so thickly that they restiment, literally mowed down and annihilated ed upon one another, the ground refusing space double their number. Two Alabama regi- to many that had fallen. Few of our nien had ments, in succession, were cut right and left by suffered here, although it seemed that further the 71st. The flanking column was now fully on they lay in greater numbers. But the attendiscernible, and the junction of our forces was tion of those who gazed was quickly turned evidently not far distant. The gradual aban- from these awful results of the battlo to the donment of their positions by the rebels could imminent hazard of its renewal. Down tow. not be doubted. At some points they fled | ards our left, which had so long been exposed, precipitately, but in most cases moved regularly a new line of troops moved with an alacrity to the rear. It is probable that they only de- that indicated entire freshness. As they swept serted one strong post for another even strong- around to the very woods upon which the
Second er, and that however far we might have crush- brigade rested, the artillery from the last ined them back we should still have found them trenchments they held upon this field-that intrenched and fortified to the last-even to which should have been overrun betimes by our Manassas itself. But they had positively re- idle troops opened with new vigor. Grape and linquished the entire line in which they had round shot, most accurately aimed, struck the first arrayed themselves against Tyler's division, ground before, beliind, and each side of Gen. excepting one fortified elevation at the left, Schenck and the group of officers about him. which could and should have been carried by The Ohio regiments were somewhat sheltered the 2d brigade an hour before. How far thic by a cleft in the road, but the New York 20 enerny had retreated before Hunter and Heint was more exposed. Gen. Schenck was in great zelman, I cannot say, but I am given to under- danger, to which, I am glad to say, he seemed stand that they had forsaken all excepting one perfectly insensible, riding always through the powerful earth work with lofty embankments, hottest of the fire as if nothing more serious upon the highest ground of their field. It was than a shower of paper pellets threatened him, this work, which, luter in the day, was stormed But more than this Ĝen. Schenck cannot claim. by the Zouaves, and other regiments, and Nevertheless, our work progressed. Capt. which, in spite of a daring and intrepidity Alexander, with the engineers, had completed which our rebel prisoners speak of with ainaze- a bridge across the run, over which our ambument, resisted their charge. But other impor- lances were to pass for the wounded, and by tant works had been carried by the 3d and 4th which our artillery could be planted in new pobrigades on our side, so that little appeared to sitions. Even then, although that stealthy colremain for our victory but to perfect the union umn was winding, awkwardly for us, about cur of the two columns, and to hold the ground we left, no person dreamed that the day was lost. had won.
The men of the brigade, at least, were firm, The fire now slackened on both sides for søv- although they began to suffer severely. Horeral minutes. Although the movements of our rible gaps and chasms appeared once or twice own troops were mainly hidden, we could see in the ranks of the New York 21. Four men were torn in pieces by a single round of grape to cover the retreat of Tyler's division. With shot, and their blood was flung in great splashes Heintzelman's it was better: Lieut. Drummond's over all who stood near. The carnage around cavalry troop keeping firm line, and protecting seemed more terrific than it really was, so hid- the artillery until its abandonment was impereous was the nature of the wounds.
atively ordered. The extent of the disorder A few minutes later, and the great peril of was unlimited. Regulars and volunteers shared oor division, that which should have been fore- it alike. A mere fraction of our artillery was seen and provided against, was upon us. The saved. Whole batteries were left upon the field, enemy appeared upon the left flank, between us and the cutting off of others was ordered when and our way of retreat. Why they failed, hav- the guns had already been brought two miles ing once secured it, to pursue this enormous or more from the battle-ground, and were as advantage, it is impossible to conjecture. I am safe as they would be in New York at this moinclined to believe that the coolness and pre- ment. A perfect frenzy was upon almost every cision of Col. McCook of the 1st Ohio regi- man. Some cried piteously to be lifted behind ment saved us from this disaster. It is certain those who rode on horses, and others sought to Col. McCook displayed a firm resistance to the clamber into wagons, the occupants resisting charge which menaced him, and that the ene- them with bayonets. All sense of manhood my wavered, and then withdrew. But, at this seemed to be forgotten. I hope, and I am sure, time, the first proofs of the panic wliich had there were exceptions, but I am speaking of stricken the army were disclosed. From the the rule with the mass. Drivers of heavy wagdistant hills, our troops, disorganized, scattered, ous dashed down the steep road, reckless of the pallid with a terror which had no just cause, lives they endangered on the way. Even the came pouring in among us, trampling down sentiment of shame had gone. Some of the some, and spreading the contagion of their fear better men tried to withstand the rush, and among all. It was even then a whirlwind which cried out against the flying groups, calling them nothing could resist. The most reluctant of the "cowards, poltroons, brutes," and reviling them officers were forced from the valley up the hill, for so degrading themselves, especially when no in spite of themselves. Whoever liad stood enemy was near. Insensible to the epithets, would have been trodden under fuot by his own the runaways only looked relieved, and sought men. Near the top of the hill a liko commotion renewed assurance that their imagined pursuers was visible, but from a different cause. Tho were not upon them. Every impediment to rebel cavalry, having completely circumvented flight was cast aside. Rifles, bayonets, pistols, our left, had charged in among a crowd of laversacks, cartridye-boxes, canteens, blankets, wounded and stragglers, who surrounded a belts, and overcoats lined the road. The prosmall building which had been used for our visions from the wagons were thrown out, and hospital. Nothing but the unexpected courage the tops broken away. All was lost to that of a considerable number of unorganized men, American army, even its honor. many of them civilians, who seized the readiest The agony of this overwhelming disgrace can weapons and repelled the enemy, saved that never be expressed in words, or understood by point from being occupied. If I could learn those who only hear the tale repeated. I bethe names of that brave handful, I would be lieve there were men upon that field who turned glad to set them down as shining lights amid a their faces to the enemy, and marched to certain great and disastrous gloom; and I will say that death, lest they should share the infamy which if our flying army could have forgotten for a their fellows had invited and embraced. The moment its affright, and paused to see what suffering of a hundred deaths would have been those trne men could do, the nation might still as nothing compared with the torture under have escaped the saddest disgrace which stains which the few brave soldiers writhed, who were its history.
swept along by that maniac hurricane of terror. The secret of that panic will perhaps never But suddenly their spirits were revived by a be known. All essay to explain it, and all fail. sight which so long as God lets them live, Whether Gen. McDowell did or did not give an they will never cease to remember with pride order to retreat I cannot say of my own knowl- and joy. Stretching far across the road, long edge. I am assured by one who was with him before the hoped-for refuge of Centreville was that he did; and by others that he also failed reached, was a firm, unswerving line of men, to to preserve his self-control. If this be so, we whom the sight of the thousands who dashed by shall know of it in time, but all we can now be them was only a wonder or a scorn. This was sare of is the afflicting fact of our utter and ab- the German rifle regiment, and to see the manly solute rout. How nearly one great object of bearing of their general, and feel the inspirathe day had been accomplished may be under- tion which his presence gave at that moment, stood when it is known that Gen. Tyler and was like relief to those who perish in a desert. Gen. McDowell had actually met. Many who at least, then, all was not lost, and we knew came into the battle with Col. Heintzelman that, let our destiny turn that night as it should, and Col. Hunter fled by the road over which there was one man who would hold and keep Gen. Tyler had advanced. In the race from a the fame of the nation unsullied to the end. fancied danger, all divisions and all regiments I need not speak much in praise of the action are mingled. There was not even an attempt I of Blenker and the officers who served him so well. The events speak for them. Steady and ourselves, and we trusted rather to the rain, watchful, he held his line throughout the even- which fell heavily, for its destruction. Aning, advancing his skirmishers at every token other woman stood by the roadside with the of attack, and spreading a sure protection over tears running down her brown cheeks, asking the multitudes who fled disordered through his all who passed if they were hungry, and offer columns. With three regiments he stood to ing them food. “God help you all,” she said, fight against an outnumbering enemy already as some of the wounded limped by her. We flushed with victory, and eager to complete its passed now and then groups of disabled men, triumph. As the darkness increased his post who had forgotten their injuries in their fear, became more perilous and more honorable. and had striven to drag themselves along by At 11 o'clock the attack came upon the ad- their companions. Some of them still streamed vance company of Col. Stahel's Rifles, not in with blood, and yet would wrench themselves force, but from a body of cavalry whose suc- forward with all the power they could comcessful passage would have been followed by a mand. The destruction of property seemed to full force, and the consequent destruction of have increased at every mile. Baggage wagons our broken host. The rebel cavalry was driven were overturned, ambulances broken in pieces, back, and never returned, and at 2 in the morn- weapons of every kind cast off. Horses lay ing, the great body of our troops having passed dead and dying. Food was heaped about the and found their road to safety, the command wayside. Bags of corn and oats were trodden was given to retreat in order, and the brigade into the ground. Piles of clothing were scatfell slowly and regularly back, with the same tered at all sides. In many places the discardprecision as if on parade, and as thoroughly at ed goods and equipments were ranged breast the will of their leader as if no danger had ever high, and stood like monuments erected by our come near them. Over and over again Blenker own hands to our own shame. begged permission to maintain his post, or even At Fairfax I had hoped to find a rallying to advance." Retreat!” said he to McDowell's place, and could hardly believe that the flight messenger ; “bring me the word to go on, sir!" had gone even beyond this. But the village --but the command was peremptory, and he was deserted, excepting by native prowlers, was left no alternative.
who were ransacking the emptied contents of Notwithstanding all that I had seen, it our baggage wagons, and who scowled sarseemed incredible that our whole army should agely enough at tho fugitives who sought melt away in a night, and so I remained at among them a temporary shelter from the Centreville, trusting that by the morning a sort storm. Beyond Fairfax the marks of destrucof reorganization should have taken place, and tion were less frequent, though the stream of that our front should still oppose the enemy. the retreat grew even stronger. Along the At 7 o'clock I started towards the battle-field, main road the flying kept their way in somebut, on reaching a considerable acclivity, was thing like a continuous line, dividing only at amazed to find that no vestige of our troops the turnpike which leads to Arlington, into remained, excepting a score or two of strag- which some diverged, while others moved on to gling fugitives who followed the tracks of those Alexandria. Three miles from the Long Bridge who had gone before. While returning to came upon the rear of Blenker's brigade, Centreville a group of rebel cavalry passed, Stahel's German Rifles still holding the hindwho looked inquiringly, but did not question. most position, and the other two regiments, Their conversation turned upon the chances Steinwehr's and the Garibaldi Guard, moving of cutting off the retreat at Fairfax Court in order before them. Still in advance of these House. After seeking Mr. Waud, an artist of was the DeKalb regiment, also intact. But New York, who also lingered, I went straight beyond all was tumult again, and even to the to Fairfax. As we passed the church used as a city itself the wretched disorder and confusion hospital, the doctors came out, and finding had reached. what was the condition of affairs, walked rap- I was told that a few regiments, beside the idly away. I do not wish to say that they de- three faithful ones of Blenker's brigade, had serted the wounded. They may have returned come in in fair order; and that they were the for aught that I know. The road leading from 2d and 3d Michigan, and the Massachusetts 1st, Centreville to Germantown was filled with of Richardson's brigade. I should be glad if marks of the ruinous retreat. At the out- it were so. The Massachusetts men won more skirts of the village thousands of dollars' worth honor on Thursday than should have been of property lay wrecked and abandoned. In recklessly sacrificed so soon after. But this is one field a quantity of powder had been their own statement. I did not see them arthrown. A woman of apparently humble con- rayed upon the field to resist the tempest that dition stopped us and asked us if we meant to swept through our ranks, and I am still unleave it for the use of the enemy. We ex- aware that any part of the army evaded that plained that we could not well take it with us, dreadful panic, excepting the three regiments upon which she vehemently insisted that it whose honest claims to the gratitude of the should be blown up before we left. But the country I have endeavored to assert. experiment of blowing up a thonsand pounds Apart from the panic, we lost the battle in of powder was not an agreeable task to set a perfectly legitimate way. In num rs and
in tactics the enemy proved themselves our never more disgracefully or needlessly disruptsuperiors. The majority of our generals were ed, and blotted, as it were, out of existence in ignorant of their duty, and incapable of per- a single day. This is the truth, and why should forming it even when it was laid down before it not be recorded? And why should I not them. Who can hope that we win battles un- tell the causes which produced this sad result? der conditions like these? Another, and a re- Weeks will be required for the proper summing markable fac to considered is, that the up of details. At present, for one, I acknowlenemy seemed perfectly acquainted with our edge my inadequacy to describe more than the plans. The feint of Col. Richardson availed panorama which passed before my own eyes, nothing, since the rebel force had nearly all and the result decided by the combination of been drawn from that position. Our combined this with much that was seen and done elseattack was thoroughly met, and at the very where. points where partial surprises had been antici- The affair of Thursday last was like a specpated.
tacle in an amphitheatre, visible in its oneness The number of our killed and wounded is to all who were on the sides of that mountain still a serious question here. I cannot believe valley. But those who were on yesterday's that it exceeds five hundred. The number of field now understand how little of a great batmissing is of course much greater, and if it be tle in a hilly region is known or seen by curitrue that parties of our fugitives have been ous lookers-on; how much less by those actutaken prisoners, I am afraid that many must ally engaged in its turmoil. But let me give be added to the list of killed. You have heard the plan and commencement of the engagement from other sources of the atrocities and cruel- on our side, the progress of that portion which ties trustworthily reported to have been prac was within my ken, and the truth in relation tized by the Southern army.
to the result. The battle of Bull Run is a bitter adversity, Shall we not take the lesson to our hearts, and
Programme of the Advance. out of so much evil bring some good ?
On Friday, the day succeeding our repulse at -N. Y. Tribune, July 26.
Bull Run, Major Barnard, topographical engi
neer of the general staff, escorted by Co. B.cf Doc. 5.
the Second Cavalry regiment, (under Lient.
Tompkins,) made a wide reconnoissance of the NEW YORK “ WORLD" NARRATIVE.
country to the north, in order to examine the WASHINGTON, Monday, July 22. feasibility of turning the enemy's rear by a Ar two o'clock this morning I arrived in strategic movement in that direction. Washington, having witnessed the great con- A route was discovered by which it appearflict near Manassas Junction from beginning to ed that such a measure might be successfully end, and the gigantic rout and panic which executed. In a letter on the defences of Manbroke up the Federal army at its close. I stayed assas Junction, I pointed out the different roads near the action an hour or two later than my leading thitherward from Centreville. Onem associates, in order to gather the final incidents the most direct—is that passing through Thursof the day, and fully satisfy myself as to the day's battle-field; another, further north, leadnature and extent of the misfortune.
ing, when produced, to Warrenton, beyond the And now in what order shall the event of Manassas Gap Railroad. From the latter, a yesterday be described ? Even now how shall minor road, branching off still more to the one pretend to give a synthetic narration of the north, was found to open at a fork halfway whole battle, based on the heterogeneous state- between Centreville and the Bull Run ravine. ments of a thousand men; a battle whose arena This road could be used for the rapid advance was a tract miles in breadth and length, inter- of men and artillery, preceded by a corps of spersed with hills and forests; whose contend- sappers and miners. ing forces were divided into a dozen minor A plan was at once projected by Gen. Mcarmies, continually interchanging their posi- Dowell for a decisive attack upon the enemy's tions, and never all embraced within the cog- line of defence, to be made simultaneously by nizance of any spectator or participator. Even three advancing columns, from the several the general commanding the Federal columns points of approach. The various division enwas ignorant, at the close, of the positions of campments were already advantageously located the several corps; was ignorant, at the begin- for the inception of such a movement, and orning, of the topography of the dangerous ter- ders were swiftly issued for the entire army to ritory on which he attacked an overpowering start at six o'clock on Saturday afternoon. It foe. Was either general of division better in- was afterwards discovered that our stock of formed of the movements even of his own heavy ammunition embraced no more than forces? I doubt it. I only know that at sun- nineteen rounds to each gun, and that we must set last evening, generals, colonels, and majors send to Fairfax for a better supply. It was also were all retiring, devoid of their commands, no thought advisable to have the army arrive in more respected or obeyed than the poorest pri- sight of the enemy at sunrise, and the first orvate in the broken ranks. I know that a grand ders were accordingly countermanded, and fresh army, retreating before superior numbers, was ones issued, appointing two o'clock of the en
VOL. II.-Doc. 6
suing morning for the hour of leaving camp. I movement on the right, and these troops, as it Three days' rations were to be served out by eventuated, were to experience the larger part the commissary, and the tents of each regiment of the sanguinary fighting of the day. to remain standing and under guard.
On the night preceding the battle Gen. CamIn the moonlight of the stillest hour of the eron visited the camp, reviewed the Third Tynight our force of 36,000 men began to move, ler brigade, passed a few hours with Gen. Moin pursuance of the following arrangement for Dowell, and then left for Washington, in spirits the advance: On the left, or southernmost depressed by no premonition of the disaster road, the gallant Colonel Richardson, be it re- which was to befall our arms, and the private membered, had continued to hold the approach grief which would add a deeper sorrow to the to the field where he fought so bravely on feelings he now experiences. After midnight Thursday, his command consisting of the Fourth a carriage was placed at Gen. McDowell's tent, Brigade of Tyler's Division, viz., the Second which was to bear him to the scene of action. and Third Michigan, the First Massachusetts, In order to be ready to move with the army I and the Twelfth New York regiments. It was went down to the familiar quarters of Lieuten. rightly determined that these troops, if they ant Tompkins, whose company was attached to fought at all, should be apportioned to ground the general's escort, and there slept an hour of which they already had partial knowledge. while our horses ato the only forage they were Behind Richardson, and near Centreville, Col. to have for a day and a half. At two o'clock Miles was to take up his position in reserve, we were awakened ; the army had commenced with his entire First and Second brigades. to move. These included the Eighth (German Ritles) and
The Midnight March. Twenty-ninth New York regiments, the Gari- There was moonlight, as I have said ; and baldi Guard and the Twenty-fourth Pennsylva- no moonlight scene ever offered more varying nia, the Sixteenth, Eighteenth, Thirty-first, and themes to the genius of a great artist. Through Thirty-second New York regiments, and the the hazy valleys, and on hill-slopes, miles apart, Company G (Second Artillery) battery—the were burning the fires at which forty regiments one lately brought from Fort Pickens. Thus had prepared their midnight meal. In the visRichardson could call to his support, if neces- tas opening along a dozen lines of view, thousary, a reserve of 7,000 men, in addition to the sands of men were moving among the fitful 4,000 with which he was instructed to hold his beacons; horses were harnessing to artillery, position, to prevent the enemy from moving on white army wagons were in motion with the Centreville past our left, but not to make any ambulances—whose black covering, when one attack. The centre, on the Warrenton road, thought about it seemed as appropriate as that commanded by Gen. Tyler, consisted of the of the coffin which accompanies a condemned First and Second Brigades of the Tyler Divis- man to the death before him. All was silent ion, embracing the First and Second Ohio, confusion and intermingling of moving horses and Second New York regiments, under Gen. and men. But forty thousand soldiers stir as Schenck, and the Sixty-ninth, Seventy-ninth, quickly as a dozen, and in fifteen minutes from and Thirteenth New York, and Second Wiscon- the commencement of the bustle every regisin, under Col. Sherman. Carlisle's, Rickett's, ment had taken its place, ready to fall in to and Ayres's battery, accompanied this impor- the division to which it was assigned. Gentant column, which numbered 6,000 men, and eral McDowell and staff went in the centre of which was supported in the rear by the Third Tyler's, the central column. At 2} A. M. the Tyler Brigade, under Col. Keyes, consisting of last soldier had left the extended encampments, the First, Second, and Third Connecticut regi- except those remaining behind on guard. ments, and the Fourth Maine-a force of 3,000, The central line appeared to offer the best available at a moment's call. On the extreme chances for a survey of the impending action, right, Col. Ilunter took the lead, with the two and in default of any certain pre-knowledge, brigades of his Division, viz., the Eighth and was accompanied by all non-participators whom Fourteenth New York regiments under Col. interest or duty had drawn to the movement Porter, with a battalion of the Second, Third, of the day. In order to obtain a full review and Eighth regular infantry, a portion of the of its moonlight march to the most momentous Second cavalry, and the Fifth Artillery battery, effort of the campaign, I started at the extreme under Col. Burnside ; the First and Second Ohio, rear, and rapidly passed along to overtake the the Seventy-first New York, and two New Hamp- van of the column. For some way the central shire regiments, with the renowned Rhode Island and right divisions were united, the latter battery. After Hunter's followed Col. Heint- forming off, as I have explained, about a mile zelman's Division, including the Fourth and beyond Centreville. So, leaving camp a mile Fifth Massachusetts and the First Minnesota reg. below the village, I enjoyed the first spectacle iments, with a cavalry company and a battery, of the day—a scene never to pass from the all under Col. Franklin, and the Second, Fourth, memory of those who saw it. Here were and Fifth Maine and Second Vermont regiments thousands of comrades-in-arms going forward under Col. Howard. To about 14,000 men was to lay down their lives in a common cause. thus intrusted the difficult and most essential Here was all, and more than one had read of labor of turning the enemy by a circuitous | the solemn paraphernalia of war. These were