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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
Page 565 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

that part of the field. He changed his front rapidly, so as to meet the advance of Hood and Evans. Three brigades, under General Wilcox, were thrown forward to the support of the left, and three others, under General Kemper, to the support of the right, of these commands. General D. R. Jones' division was placed upon the Manassas Gap Railroad to the right and en echelon with regard to the three last brigades. Colonel Walton placed his batteries in a commanding position between my line and that of General Jackson, and engaged the enemy for several hours in a severe and successful artillery duel. At a late hour in the day Major-General Stuart reported the approach of the enemy in heavy columns against my extreme right. I withdrew General Wilcox, with his three brigades, from the left and placed his command in position to support Jones in case of an attack against my right. After some few shots the enemy withdrew his forces, moving them around toward his front, and about 4 o'clock in the afternoon began to press forward against General Jackson's position. Wilcox's brigades were moved back to their former position, and Hood's two brigades, supported by Evans, were quickly pressed forward to the attack. At the same time Wilcox's three brigades made a like advance, as also Hunton's brigade, of Kemper's command. These movements were executed with commendable zeal and ability. Hood, supported by Evans, made a gallant attack, driving the enemy back until 9 o'clock at night. One piece of artillery, several regimental standards, and a number of prisoners were taken. The enemy's entire force was found to be massed directly in my front, and in so strong a position that it was not deemed advisable to move on against his immediate front; so the troops were quietly withdrawn at 1 o'clock the following morning. The wheels of the captured piece were cut down and it was left on the ground.

The enemy seized that opportunity to claim a victory, and the Federal commander was so imprudent as to dispatch his Government by telegraph tidings to that effect. After withdrawing from the attack my troops were placed in the line first occupied and in the original order.

During the day Colonel S. D. Lee, with his reserve artillery placed in the position occupied the day previous by Colonel Walton, engaged the enemy in a severe artillery combat. The result was, as the day previous, a success.

At 3.30 o'clock in the afternoon I rode to the front for the purpose of completing arrangements for making a diversion in favor of a flank movement then under contemplation. Just after reaching my front line I received a message for re-enforcements for General Jackson, who was said to be severely pressed. From an eminence near by one portion of the enemy's masses attacking General Jackson were immediately within my view and in easy range of batteries in that position. It gave me an advantage that I had not expected to have, and I made haste to use it. Two batteries were ordered for the purpose, and one placed in position immediately and opened. Just as this fire began I received a message from the commanding general, informing me of General Jackson's condition and his wants. As it was evident that the attack against General Jackson could not be continued ten minutes under the fire of these batteries I made no movement with my troops. Before the second battery could be placed in position the enemy began to retire, and in less than ten minutes the ranks were broken and that portion of his army put to flight. A fair opportunity was offered me, and the intended diversion was changed into an attack. My whole line was rushed forward at charge. The troops sprang to their work, and moved forward with all the steadiness and firmness that charactizes war-worm veterans.


Page 565 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
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