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point, they opened upon them with two twenty-pounder guns in hope of ascertaining the position of these batteries. A reply was soon obtained—a battery, invisible except by the smoke, poured forth rapid discharges, and it required the assistance of a battery of rifled sixpounders to enable the Union troops to silence it. The brigade was then filed down to the stream and skirmishing maintained for some time. This battle, though apparently of small importance, was disastrous, inasmuch as it disorganized the arrangements of the commanderin-chief, and was accompanied by great loss of life, when compared with the magnitude of the undertaking and any beneficial result that could have sprung from it. The possibility of charging into Manassas, even under the most fortunate circumstances, was so remote, that the wisdom of an action at that point and at that time has been gravely questioned by the best military authorities. That night the columns of the army united, and encamped about a mile in the rear of Fairfax Court House, upon a broad hill side, 'and on the extended plain at its base. A stream of water which crossed the grounds rendered the spot peculiarly important to the soldiers.
The next day was spent in reconnoitering, and in determining how and where an attack should be made. The Stone Bridge was guarded by batteries, and the ground beyond obstructed by formidable abattis. The roads leading to fords between Blackburn's and the Stone Bridge were mere by-paths, and the opposite bank of the stream steep, tangled, and obstructed. Two miles above, however, there was a good ford, but slightly guarded, at Sudley's Spring.
On these data the plan of attack was based, as follows: One division, under Colonel Miles, to make, with one of its brigades, a false attack on Blackburn's Ford; another division (Tyler's) to move up.the turnpike to the Stone Bridge and threaten that point, and at the proper time carry it, and unite with the principal column, which consisted of Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions; then by a flank movement reach the Sudley Ford, and descending the right bank of the stream, take the defences in the rear of Stone Bridge, and give battle with the united force, strike at the enemy's railroad communication, or otherwise, as circumstances should dictate.
THE BATTLE OP BULL EUN.
Bull Run, that once unknown name, is marked with great crimson letters upon the scroll of time! Tears wrung from the anguished soul, tears hot and blinding, still fall at the mere mention of its ill-omened name. A nation's miserere has been tolled from uncounted steeples over its dead, and a whole nation pat on weeds of mourning when its battle cloud spread slowly over the land, filling it with gloom. • night to meet Americans for the first time in a great pitched battle Nothing but holy patriotism and a stern sense of duty could have led these men into the field. They marched on, with thousands of bayonets gleaming in the moonlight, and casting long-pointed shadows over the path; staff officers formed imposing groups as they moved forward in the moonlight, casting pictures upon the earth that were like broken battle scenes.
With bayonets for pens, and precious human blood for ink, the record of this first great battle of the Union War should be written in the history of the world;—the ensanguined page illuminated with iron hail and leaden sleet—with hissing shot—whirlwinds of death-missiles, and the fire-belching portals of masked batteries. O, day of doom, day of sad errors and illustrious deeds, when blood was poured forth like water, until the reeking earth shuddered as it drank in the crimson deluge! Generations shall hereafter look back on thee with painful wonder, for they will remember that the first pitched battle in which Americans met Americans in mortal strife, was fought on thy soil, beneath "the bloody sun at noon."
On the morning of the 21st, McDowell's forces were encamped in and around Centreville. The divisions were under orders to march at half past two o'clock, that they might reach the ground early and avoid the heat. Before this time the encampments were in motion; but the troops were not yet sufficiently disciplined for the exigencies of a prompt march, and some delay arose with the first division in getting out of camp. Thus the road was obstructed, and other divisions thrown two hours out of time. But there was no lack of energy or zeal; the very want of discipline which caused delay rendered the scenes in the various encampments more grand and imposing. It was indeed a beautiful spectacle. A lovely moonlight flooded the whole country. Soft mists lay in the valleys—the hill-tops were studded for miles around by the camp fires which thirty regiments had left, kindling the landscape with their star-like gleams. In the hollows, along the level grounds, and among the trees, thousands on thousands of armed men moved athwart the fires, harnessing horses to artillery, getting out army wagons, preparing ambulances and filling haversacks with the three days' rations ordered for their subsistence. No man of all that vast host was idle—want of order there might have been, but no lack of energy.
Now, thirty thousand men, horses, ordnance and wagons, were all in place, ready for a march through the beautiful night, and under that serene moon, which many of them would never look upon again.
McDowell and his staff moved with the first—Tyler's—central column, and the advance commenced.' The picturesque encampments were soon left behind; the fires grew paler and twinkled out in a glow of mist; the tents dwindled into littleness, till they seemed more like great flocks of white-plumaged birds, nestled in the foliage, than the paraphernalia of war. Nothing could be more quiet and peaceful than the country the troops had left—nothing more solemnly grand than the advance. It was ai army of Americans, marching through the still
In the ranks there was something more than stern courage; generous enthusiasm and honest emulation were eloquent there. Comrade greeted comrade, for the coming danger made friends brothers; and common acquaintances fell into affectionate intimacy. Many a touching message was exchanged between men who had never met out of the ranks, for while they panted for victory, each man prepared to earn it with his life.
These men knew that a terrible day's fighting lay before them; but the previous defeat of Thursday rankled in their proud hearts, and each man felt it as an individual reproach which must be swept away. From the central column to the rear, this feeling prevailed among the men.
The troops of the old Bay State, of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, entered into a spirit of generous rivalry. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota entered the list with true Western fervor, while the rich Celtic humor fose in fun and pathos from the Irish troops.
The officers shared this enthusiasm with their men. Tyler moved on, burning to atone for his noble rashness at Blackburn's Ford—Burnside, Corcoran, Keyes, Spidel, Meagher, and many another noble fellow, thought exultingly of the laurels to be gathered on the morrow. General McDowell's carriage halted at the two roads, a spot that he deemed most convenient for receiving despatches from the various points of the battle-field.
Here the column of General Hunter diverged from the main body and went away through the moonlit country on its assigned duty, - which led him around the enemy's flank by a long and harassing route. With him went Heintzelman, Porter, Burnside and Sprague with their valiant Rhode Islanders, and Wilcox, that bravest of young men and most brilliant author, who met a fate almost worse than death in the hottest of the coming battle. There, too, was Slocum, Haggerty, and many another valiant fellow, marching forward to a glorious death. Each and all of these, with their regiments or brigades, swept to the right, to meet their comrades again in the hottest of the battle.
A mile from the Cross Roads, and the dawn of a bright July day broke pleasantly on the moving troops—a morning cool with dew, fresh with verdure, and tranquil and peaceful, save for the armed men that made the earth tremble under their solid tread as they moved oVer it. The mists of a dewy night were slowly uplifted, and beautiful reaches of the country were revealed. On the left was the station assigned to Richardson' and Davies; beyond it, the valley which one unfortunate conflict had so lately stained with blood.
When Tyler's division came to the edge of a wooded hill overlooking these scenes, the sun arose, flooding them with rosy splendor. The soldiers knew, but could not realize that this scene, so beautiful and tranquil, had been a field of carnage, and would, before that sun went down, be red with the blood of many a brave heart beating among them then. They knew well that in a brief time the pure atmosphere, which it was now a joy to breathe, would be heavy with stifling smoke; that the noble forests whose leaves trembled so pleasantly in the newborn sunshine, were but a concealment for masked batteries—fearful engines of destruction, and men more ravenous for their lives than the wild animals that civilization had driven away from them.
From tile point of view just described, where the road falls gently down to a ravine, the enemy first appeared. A line of infantry was drawn up in a distant meadow, olose upon a back-ground of woods.
The second and third regiments of Tyler's brigade,'under Schenck, was at once formed into line in the woods on cither side, the First Ohio, Second Wisconsin, Seventy-ninth, Thirteenth, and Sixty-ninth New York regiments succeeding each other on the right, and the Second Ohio and Second New York being similarly placed on the left, while the artillery came down the road between.
A great 32-pound rifled Parrott gun—the only one of its calibre in the field service—was brought forward, and made to bear on the poitK where the bayonets of the enemy had suddenly disappeared in the woods, and a shell was fired at fifteen minutes past six, A. M., which burst in the air; but the report of the piece awoke the country for leagues around to a sense of what that awful day would prove. The reverberation was tremendous, and the roar of the revolving shell indescribable. Throughout the battle that gun, whenever it was fired, seemed to hush and overpower everything else. No answering salute came back, so the 32-pounder sent a second shell at a hill-top, two miles off, where it was suspected that a battery had been planted by the rebels.
The bomb burst close at the intended point, but no answer came. General Tyle/ ordered Carlisle to cease firing, and bring the rest of his battery to the front of the woods and get the column ready for instant action.
Tyler's position was before the valley of Bull Run, but the descent Was gradual, and surrounded by thick woods down almost to thfe ravine 'through which the stream flows. The enemy, on the contrary, had cleared away all the obstructing foliage, and bared the earth in every