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of our position, and poured into the brigade a sl ower of shot, but without injury to us in men, horses, or guns. Onu fire was reserved, and onr troops impatiently awaited the op portnne moment.
In a few moments, a light battery was pushed forward by the enemy, whereupon Kemper's battery, which was attached to Bonham's brigade, and occupied a ridge on the left of the Centreville road, threw only six solid shot, with the remarkable effect of driving back both the battery and its supporting force. The unexpected display of skill and accuracy in our artillery held the advancing column of the enemy in check, while Kemper's pieces and support were withdrawn across Mitchell's Ford, to a point previously designated, and which commanded the direct approaches to the ford.
In the mean time, the enemy was advancing in strong col. umns of infantry, with artillery and cavalry, on Blackburn's Ford, which was covered by General Longstreet's brigade. The Confederate pickets fell back, silently, across the ford before the advancing foe. The entire southern bank of the stream, for the whole front of Longstreet's brigade, was cov. ered at the water's edge by an extended line of skirmishers. Taking advantage of the steep slopes on the northern bank of the stream, the enemy approached under shelter, in heavy force, within less than one hundred yards of our skirmishers. Before advancing his infantry, the enemy maintained a fire of rifle artillery for half an hour; then he pushed forward a column of over three thousand infantry to the assault, with such a weight of numbers as to be repelled with difficulty by the comparatively small force of not more than twelve hundred bayonets, with which Brigadier-general Longstreet met him with characteristic vigor and intrepidity. The repulse of this charge of the enemy was, as an exhibition of the devoted courage of our troops, the most brilliant incident of the day. Not one yard of intrenchment or one rifle-pit protected the men at Blackburn's Ford, who, with rare exceptions, were, on that day, the first time under fire, and who, taking and maintaining every position ordered, exceeded in cool, self-possessed, and determined courage the best-trained veterans. Twice the enemy was foiled and driven back by our skirmishers and Longstreets reserve companies. As he returned to the contest
with increased numbers, General Longstreet had been rein forced from Early's brigade with two regiments of infantry and two pieces of artillery. Unable to effect a passage of the stream, the enemy kept up a scattering fire for some time. The fire of musketry was soon silenced, and the affair became one of artillery. The enemy was superior in the character as well as in the number of his weapons, provided with improved inunitions and every artillery appliance, and, at the same time, occupying the commanding position. The results of the remarkable artillery duel that ensued were fitting precursors to the achievements of the twenty-first of July in this unexpectedly brilliant arm of our service. In the onset, our fire was directed against the enemy's infantry, whose bayonets, gleaming above the tree-tops, alone indicated their presence and force. This drew the attention of a battery placed on a high, commanding ridge, and the duel commenced in earnest. For a time, the aim of the adversary was inaccurate, but this was quickly corrected, and shot fell and shells burst thick and fast in the very midst of our battery. From the position of our pieces and the nature of the ground, their aim could only be directed by the smoke of the enemy's artillery; how skilfully and with what execution this was done can only be realized by an eye-witness. For a few moments, the guns of the enemy were silenced, but were soon reopened. By direction of General Longstreet, his battery was then advanced, by hand, out of the range now ascertained by the enemy, and a shower
, of spherical case, shell, and round-shot flew over the heads of our gunners. From this new position our guns fired as before, with no other aim than the smoke and flash of their adversaries' pieces, and renewed and urged the conflict with such signal vigor and effect, that gradually the fire of the enemy slackened, the intervals between their discharges grew longer and longer, finally to cease; and we fired a last gun at a baffled flying foe, whose heavy masses in the distance were plainly scen to break and scatter in wild confusion and utter rout, strewing the ground with cast-away guns, hats, blankets, and knapsacks, as our parting shell was thrown among them.
Thus ended the brilliant action of Bull Run. The guns engaged in the singular artillery conflict on our side were three six-pounder rifle pieces and four ordinary six-pounders, all of
Walton's battery-the Washington Artillery of New Orleans Our rasualties were unimportant-fifteen killed and fifty-three wounded. The loss of the enemy can only be conjectured ; it was unquestionably heavy. In the cursory examination, which was made by details from Longstreet’s and Early's brigades, on the 18th of July, of that portion of the field immediately contested and near Blackburn's Ford, some sixty-four corpses were found and buried, and at least twenty prisoners were also picked up, besides one hundred and seventy-five stands of arms and a large quantity of accoutrements and blankets.
The effect of the day's conflict was to satisfy the enemy that he could not force a passage across Bull Run in the face of our
a troops, and led him into the flank movement of the 21st of July and the battle of Manassas
THE BATTLE OF MANASSAS.
General Scott having matured his plan of battle, ordered General McDowell to advance on Manassas on Sunday, the 21st of July—three days after the repulse at Bull Run. The movement was generally known in Washington ; Congress had adjourned for the purpose of affording its members an opportunity to attend the battle-field, and as the crowds of camp followers and spectators, consisting of politicians, fashionable women, idlers, sensation-hunters, editors, &c., hurried in carriages, omnibuses, gigs, and every conceivable style of vehicle across the Potoniac in the direction of the army, the constant and unfailing jest was, that they were going on a visit to Rich. mond. The idea of the defeat of the Grand Army, which, in show, splendid boast, and dramatic accessaries, exceeded any thing that had ever been seen in America, seems never to have crossed the minds of the politicians who went prepared with carriage-loads of champagne for festal celebration of the victory that was to be won, or of the fair dames who were equipped with opera-glasses to entertain themselves with the nove. scenes of a battle and the inevitable rout of “rebels.” The indecencies of this exhibition of morbid curiosity and exultant hate are simply unparalleled in the history of civilized nations. Mr Russell, correspondent of the London Times, an eye-witness of the scene, describes the concourse of carriages and gayły-dressed spectators in the rear of the army on the morning of the battle of Manassas as like a holiday exhibitior, on a race-course.
The scene was an extraordinary one. It had a beauty and grandeur, apart from the revolting spectacle of the indecent and bedizened rabble that watched from a hill in the rear of the army the dim outlines of the battle and enjoyed the nervous emotions of the thunders of its artillery. The gay uniforms of the Northern soldiers, their streaming flags and glistening bayonets, added strange charms to the primeval forests of Virginia. No theatre of battle could have been more magnificent in its addresses to the eye. The plains, broken by a wooded and intricate country, were bounded as far as the eye could reach to the west by the azure combs of the Blue Ridge. The quiet Sabbath morning opened upon the scene enlivened by moving masses of men ; the red lights of the morning, however, had scarcely broken upon that scene, with its landscapes, its forests, and its garniture, before it was obscured in the clouds of battle. For long intervals nothing of the conflict was presented, to those viewing it at a distance, but wide and torn curtains of smoke and dust and the endless beat of the artillery.
Orders had been issued by McDowell for the Grand Army to be in motion by two o'clock on the morning of the twentyfirst, and en route for their different positions in time to reach them and be in position by the break of day. It was also ordered that they should have four days' rations cooked and stored away in their haversacks-evidently for the purpose of gaining Manassas and holding it, until their supplies should reach them by the railroad from Alexandria. Thus stood the arrangements of the Northern forces on the evening preceding the battle of the twenty-first.
It is a remarkable circumstance of the battle of Manassas, that it was fought on our side without any other plan than to suit the contingencies arising out of the development of the enemy's designs, as it occurred in the progress of the action. Several plans of battle had been proposed by General Beauregard, but had been defeated by the force of circumstances. He had been unwilling to receive the enemy on the defensive line of Bull Run, and haid determined on attacking him at
Centreville. In the mean time, General Johnston had been ordered to form a junction of his army corps with that of General Beauregard, should the movement, in his judgment, be advisable. The best service which the army of the Shenandoah could render was to prevent the defeat of that of the Potomac. To be able to do this, it was necessary for General Johnston to defeat General Patterson or to elude him. The latter course was the most speedy and certain, and was, therefore, adopted. Evading the enemy by the disposition of the advance guard under Colonel Stuart, our army moved through Ashby's Gap to Piedmont, a station of the Manassas Gap railroad. Hence, the infantry were to be transported by the railway, while the cavalry and artillery were ordered to continue their march. General Johnston reached Manassas about noon on the twentieth, preceded by the 7th and 8th Georgia regiments and by Jackson's brigade, consisting of the 2d, 4th, 5th 27th and 33d Virginia regiments. He was accompanied by General Bee, with the 4th Alabama, the 2d and two companies of the 11th Mississippi. The president of the railroad had assured him that the remaining troops should arrive during the day.
General Johnston, being the senior in rank, necessarily assumed command of all the forces of the Confederate States then concentrating at Manassas. He, however, approved the plans of General Beauregard, and generously directed their execution under his command. It was determined that the two forces should be united within the lines of Bull Run, and thence advance to the attack of the enemy, before Patterson's junction with McDowell, which was daily expected. The plan of battle was again disconcerted. In consequence of the untoward detention on the railroad of some five thousand of General Johnston's forces that had been expected to reach Manassas prior to the battle, it became necessary, on the morning of the twenty-first, before daylight, to modify the plan accepted, to suit the contingency of an immediate attack on our lines by the main force of the enemy, then plainly at hand. It thus happened that a battle ensued, different in place and circumstance from any previous plan on our side.
Our effective force of all arms, ready for action on the field on the eventful morning, was less than thirty thousand men