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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 598 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

of ascertaining if it was held by the enemy, and, if so, as to his strength. In one-half or three-quarters of an hour General Pryor reported that he had treated his way through the pass as far as Antioch Church, near 1 mile beyond. The troops were then moved forward through the pass, and after posting pickets on the various roads an mountain paths the night. Hopewell Gap is about 3 miles from Thoroughfare Gap, being connected with the latter on the east side by two roads, one of which is impracticable for wagons. The enemy had been at this pass during the day but retired before night, thus giving us a free passage.

Early the following morning our march was resumed, and the command rejoined at 9.30 a.m. the remainder of the division at the intersection of the two roads leading from the Gaps above mentioned. Pursuing our line of march, together with the division, we passed by Gainesville, and advancing some 3 miles beyond, my three brigades were formed in line of battle on the left and at right angles to the turnpike. Having advanced near three-fourths of a mile, we were then halted. The enemy was in our front and not far distant. Several of our batteries were placed in position on a commanding eminence to the left of the turnpike. A cannonading ensued and continued for an hour or two, to which the enemy's artillery replied.

At 4.30 or 5 p.m. the three brigades were moved across to the right of the turnpike a mile or more to the Manassas Gap Railroad. While here musketry was heard to our left on the turnpike. This firing continued with more or less vivacity till sundown. Now the command was ordered back to the turnpike and forward on this to the support of General Hood, who had become engaged with the enemy and had driven back some distance, inflicting severe loss upon him, being checked in his successes by the darkness of the night. After reaching General Hood's position but little musketry was heard; all soon became quiet. Our pickets were thrown out to the front. The enemy's camp fires soon became visible, extending far off to our left, front, and right. Remaining in this position till 12 o'clock at night, the troops were withdrawn three-fourths of a mile to the rear and bivouacked, pickets being left to guard our front.

Before sunrise the next morning (August 30) the pickets began to fire; at times it became quite rapid. The enemy could be seen relieving their skirmishers. The firing between the skirmishers continued with but little intermission throughout the day. Batteries were placed in position on the left of the turnpike on commanding heights, where they had been the day before. They soon attracted the fire of the enemy's artillery.

Before 7 a.m. Pryor's brigade was placed in position in line at right angles to the turnpike in rear of a fence in woods, an open field extending to the front more than a mile, the surface of which was varied with a succession of valleys and hills; Feartherson's brigade in line on his left, and extending so far to the left as to be in contact with the extreme right of General Jackson's command; my brigade in the woods to the rear of the center of the line occupied by the other two brigades. In front of General Pryor in the open field was Colonel Law's brigade (Hood's division) on the right of the road; General Hood's brigade in woods. Extending far to the right of Hood were other brigades of the division. The infantry and artillery fire continued during most of the day. At times the enemy's infantry and artillery were plainly visible, moving in different directions, both to the right and left of the road.


Page 598 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
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