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McDowell now made ready to carry into effect his atMcDowell's second tempt to turn the Confederate left, and had plan of the battle. the necessary reconnoissance made on Friday, the 19th. Bull Run, opposite Centreville, and equi
SECOND PLAN OF THE BATTLE.
The topography of
THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN.
distant about three miles between the headquarters of the national and Confederate armies, flows from the northwest to the southeast. A road descending from Centreville crosses it at Blackburn's Ford: there is a lower one to Union Mills Ford, and an upper one, the Warrenton Turnpike, which, at four miles from Centreville, passes the stream over a stone bridge. These three points-the stone bridge, Blackburn's and Union Mills Fords, were the Confederate left, centre, and right, respectively. Be sides these, two miles above the Confederate left there was a ford near Sudley's Spring, but only a path through the woods leading to it from
POSITION OF THE CONFEDERATES.
Centreville. Between the Sudley's Spring Ford and the stone bridge was Red Hill Ford, and again, between Blackburn's and Union Mills, M'Lean's Ford. To reach the stone bridge or the ford near Sudley's Spring, a branch of Bull Run, called Cub Run, must be crossed.
McDowell hoped to make his attack on the 20th. As he had been disappointed in reaching Centreville, the inexperience of his officers and men making him lose a day, McDowell's attack So now he was again disappointed through is delayed, a failure in receiving his supplies. The 4th Pennsylvania and Varian's battery of the New York 8th insisted on leaving him, their term having expired. He says in his report that, "on the next morning, when the army went forward into battle, these troops moved to the rear to the sound of the enemy's cannon. In the next and his troops be- few days, day by day, I shall have lost ten gin to leave him. thousand of the best armed, drilled, officered, and disciplined troops in the army." He had, however, now 28,000 men and 49 guns.
At this moment the Confederates had six brigades Distribution of the posted along Bull Run, through a distance Confederate force. of eight miles, in the following order: (1.) Ewell's, at Union Mills Ford; (2.) Jones's, at M'Lean's Ford; (3.) Longstreet's, at Blackburn's; (4.) Bonham's, at Mitchell's; (5.) Cocke's, at Ball's Ford; (6.) Evans's, at the stone bridge. The brigades of Early and Holmes were in reserve in the rear of the right, and those of Jackson and Bee on the left. Their total strength was about 22,000; it was less, therefore, than McDowell's, but they had the great advantage of a thorough knowledge of the ground.
Though Patterson had received the most positive or ders not to permit Johnston to escape from Patterson and joins him, he failed to do so. The Confederate
general marched through Ashby's Gap to
MCDOWELL GAINS THE INITIATIVE.
Piedmont, and, there taking the railroad to Manassas, joined Beauregard on the 20th with about 6000 men.
McDowell's intention was to turn the Confederate left by crossing Bull Run with his right at Sudley's Spring Ford, and thereby drive them from the stone bridge, press them from the Warrenton Turnpike, and seize Manassas Gap Railroad in their rear. He supposed that he McDowell's orders should thus intervene between Beauregard and Johnston, not knowing that a junction had already taken place between them through Patterson's fault.
for the action.
To carry this out, he. directed Tyler to move to the stone bridge, threaten it in front, and, at the proper time, cross it. He was to move down the Warrenton Turnpike, while Hunter and Heintzelman, following him for a cer tain distance, were to make a detour to the north, crossing Bull Run near Sudley's Spring, and thus come down on the flank and rear of the Confederates posted at the stone bridge. Miles, who was to remain in reserve at Centreville, was to aid in the operation by sending a brigade to make a demonstration at Blackburn's Ford.
The movement was to commence at half past two The troops begin o'clock on Sunday morning, July 21st, the their march. expectation being that Tyler would reach his point when day broke, at about four o'clock, and that Hunter and Heintzelman would come into action at about six.
But simultaneously the Confederate generals had also resolved to make an attack without delay on McDowell, before Patterson had time to re-enforce him. They supposed that such a junction would take place as soon as it was discovered that Johnston had reached Manassas. The Confederates They intended to cross Bull Run on the lose the initiative. night of the 20th. McDowell, however, moved first, and, as will be seen, threw them on the defensive.
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 sailbroad 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. 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.
Colonel Evans, who, with only a regiment and a half, Commencement of was holding the stone bridge for the Conthe front attack. federates, believed at first that Tyler's attack 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 main battle. 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 The Confederates 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
THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN.