Captain alexander an opportunity to pass the bridge, cut out the abatis which had been placed thee, and prepared the way for Schenck's brigade and the two batteries of artillery to pass over.
Before the contemplated movement could be made on the enemy's battery it was removed, and placed in a position to threaten our line; but before the correct range could be obtained, Colonel Keyes carried his brigade by a flank movement around the base of the hill, and was on the point of ascending it in line to get at the battery, when I discovered that our troops were on the retreat, and that unless a rapid movement to the rear was made we should be cut off, and through my aide, Lieutenant Upon, Colonel Keyes was ordered to file to the right, and join the retreating column. The order was executed without the least confusion, and the brigade joined the retreating column in good order. When this junction was made I left keyes' brigade, and rode forward to ascertain the condition of Schenck's brigade an the artillery left this side of Bull Run,a nd, on arriving here, found Ayres' battery and Lieutenant Hains' 30-pounder waiting orders. I immediately ordered Lieutenant Hains to limber up and move forward as soon as possible. This was promptly done, and the piece moved on towards Centreville. I then went into the wood where the ammunition wagon of this piece had been placed, out of reach of fire, and found that the driver had deserted and taken away part of the horses, which made it impossible to move it. I then returned to Ayres' battery, which I found limbered up, and ordered it to move forward and cover the retreat, which was promptly done by its gallant officers, and when the cavalry charge was made, shortly afterward, they repulsed it promptly and effectively. I then collected a guard, mainly from the Second Maine Regiment, and put it under the command of Colonel Jameson, with orders to sustain Captain Ayres during the retreat, which was done gallantly and successfully until the battery reached Centreville.
Before ordering Colonel Jameson to cover Ayres' battery, I passed to the rear to find General Schenck's brigade, intending, as it was fresh, to have it cover the retreat. I did to find it in the position in which I had left it, and supposed it had moved forward and joined the retreading column. I did not see General Schenck again until near Cub Run, where he appeared active in rallying his own or some other regiments. General Schenck reports that the two Ohio regiments left Bull Run after the cavalry charge, and arrived at Centreville in good order.
In closing this report, it gives me great pleasure to express my admiration of the manner in which Colonel Keyes handled his brigade, completely covering it by every possible accident of the ground while changing his positions, and leading it bravely and skillfully to the attack at the right moment; to which the brigade responded in every instance in a manner highly creditable to itself and satisfactory to its commanding officers. At no time during the conflict was this brigade disorganized, and it was the last off the field, and in good order.
Colonel Keyes says: "The gallantry with which the Second Maine and Third Connecticut Regiments charged up the hill upon the enemy's artillery and infantry was never, in my opinion,surpassed, and the conduct of Colonels Jameson and Chatfield, in this instance and throughout the day, merits the highest commendation. Colonel Terry rendered great assistance by his gallantry and excellent conduct. Lieutenant Hascall, acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenants Walter and Ely, rendered gallant and effective assistance." It give me pleasure to be able to confirm the above from personal observation, and to express my personal satisfaction with the conduct of this brigade. For further