that we should confine our operations mainly to our left flank, driving the enemy from the immediate vicinity of Bull Run, and securing a junction with General Tyler's division, then to act according to circumstances as the commanding general might think best.
Colonel Hunter unfortunately was wounded at the very beginning of the action. He had gone forward tot he very lines of the enemy to see better how to direct the attack, and was struck by the fragment of a shell. The loss of a chief, an so gallant a chief, at that moment was a great calamity. After this I reported to Colonel Porter, them in command, and afterwards to General McDowell, with whom I finally retired from the field.
It is not for me to give a history of the battle. The enemy was driven on our left from cover to cover a mile and a half. Our position for renewing the action the next morning was excellent; whence, then, our failure? It will not be out of place, I hope, for me to give my own opinion of the cause of this failure. An old soldier feels safe in the ranks, unsafe out of the ranks, and the greater the danger the more pertinaciously he clings to his place. The volunteer of three months never attains this instinct of discipline. Under danger,a nd even under mere excitement, he flied away from his ranks, and looks for safety in dispersion. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the 21st there were more than twelve thousand volunteers on the battle-field of Bull Run who had entirely lost their regimental organizations. hey could no longer be handled as troops, for the officers and men were not together. Men and officers mingled together promiscuously; and it is worthy of remark that this disorganization did not result from defeat or fear, for up to 4 o'clock we had been uniformly successful. The instinct of discipline which keeps every man in his place had not been acquired. We cannot suppose that the troops of the enemy had attained a higher degree of discipline than our own, but they acted ont eh defensive, and were not equally exposed to disorganization.
Lieutenant Cross, of the Engineer Corps, who has been my assistant during the last two months, had immediate charge of a working party of sappers and miners on our march from this place to Bull Run, following in the rear of the advance guard and promptly clearing away all obstructions. He was on the field of battle, zealously seeking and reporting information.
D. P. WOODBURY,
Captain of Engineers.
Major J. G. BARNARD,
Corps of Engineers, Washington, D. C.
Numbers 9. Report of Lieutenant Frederick E. Prime, U. S. Corps of Engineers.
FOUR MILE RUN, VA., August 1, 1861.
SIR: In compliance with your instructions, I have the honor to report as follows with respect to my duties on Sunday, the day of the battle:
Early in the morning I proceeded with Colonel Miles, to whose staff I was attached, to Centreville, leaving my tool wagon and detachment at the cross-roads in Centreville. The battery near the road from Fairfax