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were rallied, and helped to hold the woods on the right. The Brooklyn Fourteenth then appeared on the ground, coming forward in gallant style. They were led forward to the left, where the Alabama regiment had been posted in the early part of the action, but had now disappeared, and soon came in sight of the line of the enemy drawn up beyond the clump of trees. Soon after the firing commenced, the regiment broke and retired.' It was useless to attempt a rally. The want of discipline in these regiments was so great that the most of the men woidd run from fifty to several hundred yards in the rear, and continue to fire, compelling those in front to retreat.
During this time Rickett's battery had been captured and retaken three times by Heintzelman's forces, but was finally lost, most 6f the horses having been killed—Captain Ricketts being wounded, and First Lieutenant D. Ramsay killed. Lieutenant Kirby behaved gallantly, and succeeded in carrying off one caisson. Before this time, heavy reinforcements of the enemy were distinctly seen approacjiing by two roads, extending and outflanking Heintzelman on the right. General Howard's brigade came on the field at this time, having been detained by the General as a reserve. It took post on a hill on Heintzelman's right and rear, and for some time gallantly held the enemy in check. One company of cavalry attached to Heintzelman's division, was joined, daring the engagement, by the cavalry of Colonel Hunter's division, under the command of Major Palmer.
Colonel W. B. Franklin commanded the first brigade of Heintzelman's division. A portion of that brigade rendered distinguished service, and received official commendation from the commanding general.
General Tyler, who kept his position at the Stone Bridge, to menace that point, and at the proper moment to carry it and unite with the turning column, had sent forward the right wing of his command to co-operate with Hunter as soon as he was discovered making his way on the flank.
Two brigades (Sherman's and Keyes') of that division had passed the Run. Colonel Sherman joined himself to the divisions of Hunter and Heintzelman, and was soon engaged in the hottest part of the action.
The famous Irish regiment, 1,600 strong, who have had so much of the hard digging to perform, claimed the honor of a share in the hard fighting, and led the van of Tyler's attack, followed by the Seventyninth (Highlanders), and Thirteenth New York, and the Second Wisconsin.
It was a brave sight—that rush of the Sixty-ninth into the deathstruggle—with such cheers as proved a hearty love of the work before them! "With a quick step at first, and then a double-quick, and at last a run, they dashed forward and along the edge of the extended forest. Coats and knapsacks were thrown to either side, that nothing might impede their work. It was certain that no guns would slip from the hands of those determined fellows, even if dying agonies were needed to close them with a firmer grasp. As the line swept along, Meagher galloped toward the head, crying, " Come on, boys! you've got your chance at last!" •
Sherman's brigade thus moved forward for half a mile, describing quite one-fourth of a circle on the right, Colonel Quimby's regiment in front, the other regiments following in line of battle—the "VYisoonsin Second, New York Seventy-ninth, and New York Sixty-ninth in succession. Quimby's regiment advanced steadily up the hill and opened fire on the enemy, who had made a stand. The regiment continued advancing as the enemy gave way, till the head of his column reached the point where Rickett's battery had been cut up. The other regiments followed under a fearful cannonading. At the point where the road crossed the ridge to the left, the ground was swept by a fire of artillery, rifles, and musketry. Regiment after regiment were driven from it, following the Zouaves and a battalion of marines.
When the Wisconsin Second was abreast of the enemy, it was ordered to leave the roadway and attack him. This regiment ascended the hill, was met with a sharp fire, returned it gallantly, and advanced, delivering its fire. But the response was terrific, and the regiment fled in confusion toward the road. It rallied again, passed the brow of tho hill a second time, and was again repulsed in disorder. By this time the New York Seventy-ninth had closed up. It was impossible to get a good view of the ground. In it there was one battery of artillery, which poured an incessant fire upon the advancing column, and the ground was irregular, with" small clusters of pines, which afforded shelter to the enemy. The fire of rifles and musketry grew hotter and hotter. The Seventy-ninth, headed by Colonel Cameron, charged across the hill, and for a short time the contest was terrible. They rallied several times under fire, but finally broke and gained the cover of the hill.'
This left the field open to the New York Sixty-ninth, Colonel Corcoran, who, in his turn, led his regiment over the crest, and had in full open view the ground so severely contested. The firing was terrific, the roar of cannon, musketry, and rifles, incessant. The enemy was here in immense force. The Sixty-ninth held the ground for some time with desperate courage, but finally fell back in disorder.
At this time Quimby's regiment occupied another ridge to the left, overlooking the same field, fiercely engaged. Colonel Keyes, from Tyler's division, had formed in line with Sherman's brigade, and came into conflict on its right with the enemy's cavalry and infantry, which he drove back. The further march of the brigade was arrested by a severe fire of artillery and infantry, sheltered by Robinson's house, standing on the heights above the road leading to Bull Run. The charge was here ordered, and the Second Maine and Third Connecticut regiments pressed forward to the top of the hill, reached the buildings which were held by the enemy, drove them out, and for a moment had them in possession. At this point, finding the brigade under the fire of a strong force behind breastworks, the order was given to march by the left flank, with a view to turn the battery which the enemy had placed on the hill below the point at which the Warrenton turnpike crosses Bull Run. The march was conducted for a considerable distance below the Stone Bridge, causing the enemy to retire, and giving Captain Alexander an opportunity to pass the bridge, cut out the abatis which had been placed there, and prepare the way for Schenck's brigade and the two batteries to pass over.. Before this movement coold be made on the enemy's battery, it was placed in a new position; but Colonel Keyes carried his brigade, by a flank movement, around the base of the hill, and was on the point of ascending it in time to get at the battery, when he discovered that the troops were on the retreat, and that, unless a rapid movement to the rear was made, he would be cut off. At this moment, the abatis near the Stone Bridge had been cleared away by Captain Alexander, of the engineers, and Schenck's brigade (the third of Tyler's division) was about to pass over and join Keyes.
But one rash movement had decided the day—that movement the last change of position given to Griffin's battery, throwing, it helpless into a murderous fire, which no protecting force could encounter.
When the Zouaves broke on that fatal hill, the Union cause for that day wavered. When hordes of fresh troops poured in upon the Union battalions, beating back as brave regiments as ever trod the battle-field, one after another, overwhelming them with numbers, and driving them headlong into utter confusion, the battle was lost; and after this any description of it must be wild and turbulent as the scene itself—in no other way can a true picture of the tumultuous fighting and more tumultuous retreat be truly given.
THE CLIMAX AND THE RETREAT.
We have described the battle of Manassas, Stone Bridge, or Bull Run, as it is variously called, in its plain details, giving each regiment, so far as possible, its share in the glorious fight; for,up to mid-day and after, no braver fighting was ever done than the Union troops performed on that 21 st of July. Now a wilder, more difficult, and very painful effort taxes the pen. The heat, turmoil and terrible storm of death rolls up in a tumultuous picture—troops in masses—stormy action— the confused rush of men—all these things have no detail, but hnrl the writer forward, excited and unrestrained as the scene to be described.
At high noon the battle raged in its widest circumference. The batteries on the distant hills began to pour their volleys on the Union troops with terrible effect. Carlisle's and Sherman's batteries answered with tremendous emphasis, while the great 32-pounder hurled its iron thunderbolts first into one of the enemy's defences, then into another, tearing up everything as they went. The noise of the cannonading grew deafening, and kept up one incessant roll. Compared to it the sharp volleys of riflemen were like the rattle of hail amid the loud bursts of a thunder tempest. The people of Centreville, Fairfax, Alexandria, and even Washington, heard the fearful reverberations, and trembled at the sound.
Five powerful batteries were in operation at once, joined to the hiss and hurtle of twenty thousand small arms! No wonder the sky turned black, impalled with death-smoke—no wonder the sun shone fierce and red upon the pools of warm human blood that began to gather around those batteries, where the slain were lying in heaps and winrows!
Still amid this roar and carnage, the Federal forces were malcing sure headway, and driving the enemy before them. Except one brigade of Tyler's division, the entire force of eighteen thousand men was in fierce action. As the Union forces pressed upon the enemy, approaching each moment to the completion of their plan of battle, the rebels grew desperate. The batteries on the western hills poured forth their iron tempest with accumulated fury. The Union guns answered them with fiercer thunder. The roar of the cannonading was deafening, drowning the volleys of riflemen, and sweeping off" in one overpowering sound the rattle and crash of musketry. The clamor of the guns was appalling—the rush and tumult of action more appalling still. The whole valley was like a vast volcano, boiling over with dust aud smoke. Through this turbid atmosphere battalions charged each other and batteries poured their hot breath on the air, making it denser than before. Now and then the dust would roll away from the plain, and the smoke float off from the hills, revealing a dash of cavalry across some open space, or a charge of infantry up to a fortified point where the struggle, success, or repulse, was lost or vaguely seen through volumes of rolling smoke—columns of ruddy dust trailed after the infantry, broken now and then by the fiery track of a battery masked in foliage. A sullen report, and horrid gaps appeared in what a moment before was a living wall of men. A curl of blue vapor rose gracefully from the trees, and it was only the dead bodies blackening the ground that made the sight so awful.
But the fight gathered fiercest on the westward hill, from which the booming thunder rolled in long incessant peals. Its sides swarmed with armed men, changing positions, charging and retreating. Curtains of smoke, swayed by the wind, revealed the horses around a battery, rearing, plunging and falling headlong, dozens together, in one hideous death. Then in mercy the smoke drifted over the hill again. The enemy were giving ground at every point. The Mississippians had fled in dismay from the batteries, and desperately taken to the field in wavering columns. Other regiments were actually fleeing before the Union troops, but they were generally moving with sullen steadiness to the rear. The entire line which arrayed itself against Tyler in the morning had been relinquished, except one fortified elevation. Still their peculiar mode of warfare was kept up. Masked batteries were constantly opening in unexpected places, leaving heaps of slain in the track of their fiery hail.
On the uplands whole regiments, seen from the distance, seemed to drive against or drift by each other, leaving beautiful curls and clouds of smoke behind; but under this smoke lay so many dead bodies that the soul grew faint in counting them.
Through all this the Federal troops progressed toward a union of