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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 647 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Federal infantry, about 4 o'clock in the evening, moved from under cover of the wood and advanced in several lines, first engaging the right, but soon extending its attack to the center and left. In a few moments our entire line was engaged in a fierce and sanguinary struggle with the enemy. As one line was repulsed another took its place and pressed forward as if determined by force of numbers and fury of assault to drive us from our positions. So impetuous and well sustained were these onset as to induce me to send to the commanding general for re-enforcements, but the timely and gallant advance of General Longstreet on the right relieved my troops from the pressure of overwhelming numbers and gave to those brave men the chances of a more equal conflict. As Longstreet pressed upon the right the Federal advance was checked, and soon a general advance of my whole line was ordered. Eagerly and fiercely did each brigade press forward, exhibiting in parts of the field scenes of close encounter and murderous strife not witnessed often in the turmoil of battle. The Federals gave way before our troops, fell back in disorder, and fled precipitately, leaving their dead and wounded on the field. During their retreat the artillery opened with destructive power upon the fugitive masses. The infantry followed until darkness put and end to the pursuit.

Our loss was heavy; that of the enemy, as shown by the battle-field, of which we were in possession, much heavier. Among the losses was Colonel Baylor, commanding Winder's brigade, who fell in front of his brigade while nobly leading and cheering it on the charge.

We captured eight pieces of artillery, with their caissons, and 6,520 small-arms were collected from the battle-field.

It being ascertained next morning that the Federal Army had retreated in the direction of Centreville, I was ordered by the commanding general to turn that position, crossing Bull Run at Sudley Ford; thence pursuing a country road until we reached the Little River turn-pike, which we followed in the direction of Fairfax Court-House until the troops halted for the night.

Early the next morning (September 1) we moved forward, and late in the evening, after reaching Ox Hill, came in contact witch the enemy, who were in position on our right and front, covering his line of retreat from Centerville to Fairfax Court-House. Our line of battle was formed, General Hill's division on the right, Ewell's division, General Lawton commanding, in the center, and Jackson's division, General Starke commanding, on the left, all on the right of the turnpike road. Artillery was posted on an eminence to the left of the road. The brigades of Branch and Field, Colonel [J. M.] Brockenbrough commanding the latter, were sent forward to feel and engage the enemy. A cold and drenching thunder-shower swept over the field at this time, striking directly into the faces of our troops. These two brigades gallantly engaged the enemy, but so severe was the fire in front and flank of Branch's brigade as to produce in it some disorder and falling back. The brigades of Gregg, Thomas, and Pender were then thrown into the fight. Soon a portion of Ewell's division became engaged. The conflict now raged with great fury, the enemy obstinately and desperately contesting the ground until their generals (Kearny and Stevens) fell in front of Thomas' brigade, after which they retired from the field. by the following morning the Federal Army had entirely disappeared from our view, and it soon appeared, by a report from General Stuart, that it had passed Fairfax Court-House and had moved in the direction of Washington City.

On September 3 we left Ox Hill, taking the road by Dranesville and


Page 647 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
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