fields, Greene's battery in advance, till it struck the road leading to Blackburn's Ford, about one mile south of Centreville. At this point Colonel Miles gave me directions to assume the command of Richardson's brigade, and to take position in front of the batteries at Blakburn's Ford on and near the battle-ground of the 18th instant, and make the demonstration of attack, in pursuance of General McDowell's orders. I immediately ordered forward the two 20-pounder rifled guns of Hunt's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Edwards, into an open field, about eighty yards east of the road from Centreville to Bull Run and on a line with the place where our batteries were playing on the 18th instant, and about fifteen hundred yards from the enemy's batteries at Blackburn's Ford, and commenced a rapid firing. I ordered the Eighteenth Regiment forward as a protection to this battery, in the open field, and formed line of battle facing the enemy, the Thirty- second Regiment being held in reserve on the road just in rear.
Having ascertained from my guide that there was a road without obstruction leading from the Centreville road to the east, and then bearing off toward the south in the direction of the enemy's position, and which could be seen half a mile distant to the east from Lieutenant Edwards' battery, I ordered the Sixteenth and Thirty-first Regiments New York Volunteers on this road at its junction with the Centreville road; one regiment deployed along the road a considerable distance, and the other remaining in column to protect two guns of Hunt's battery which I ordered to be stationed at that point. I then gave orders to Colonel Richardson to make such arrangements with regard to the defense of the position in front of the enemy's batteries at Blackburn's Ford (the immediate battle-ground of the 18th instant) as in his judgment the emergency of the moment might require. At this juncture, being about 10 o'clock a.m., and finding the ammunition for the 20-pounder rifle guns was fast running out and having accomplished, in my judgment, from the movement of the troops opposite, which we could plainly see, the demonstration ordered, I ordered Lieutenant Edwards to cease firing.
About 11 o'clock Miles came on the ground, informing me that he had ordered forward the Sixteenth and Thirty-first Regiment from the positions in which I had previously placed them, and also the two guns commanded by Lieutenant Platt, and had also ordered forward the other two guns of Hunt's battery into the open field where Lieutenant Edwards' guns had been firing, and ordered the Eighteenth Regiment back out of the open field into the woods on the Centreville road as a reserve. The Thirty-second Regiment, by Colonel Miles' order, remained as a reserve in column on the Centreville road, about threequarters of a mile in rear. Colonel Miles then ordered me to continue the firing without regard to ammunition, which I did till I received an order to stop, about two hours later. As soon as Colonel Miles left me again in command I sent back the brigade corps of pioneers to the back road, whence the two regiments had been removed, with instructions to fell trees and completely block the road, which they effectually did. We had during the afternoon unmistakable evidence that a large column of cavalry and infantry had attempted to take us in rear by means of this road, for when they were returning, having been stopped by the fallen trees, Major Hunt, with his howitzers, and Lieutenant Greene and Lieutenant Edwards, with their rifled guns, poured a heavy fire in their column, the effect of which we could not ascertain, but it must have been destructive, as the distance was only from a half to three-quarters of a mile.