and longer, finally to cease, and we fired a last gun at a baffled, flying foe, whose heavy masses in the distance were plainly seen to break and scatter in wild confusion and utter rout, strewing the ground with castaway guns, hats, blankets, and knapsacks as our parting shell were thrown among them. In their retreat one of their pieces was abandoned, but from the nature of the ground it was not sent for that night, and under cover of darkness the enemy recovered it.
The guns engaged in this singular conflict on our side were three 6-pounder rifled pieces and four ordinary 6-pounders, all of Walton's battery, Washington Artillery, of New Orleans. The officers immediately attached were Captain Eshleman, Lieuts. C. W. Squires, Richardson, Garnett, and Whittington. At the same time our infantry held the bank of the stream in advance of our guns, and the missiles of the combatants flew to and for above them, as cool and veteran-like for more than an hour they steadily awaited the moment and signal for the advance.
While the conflict was at its height before Blackburn's Ford, about 4 o'clock p.m., the enemy again displayed himself in force before Bonham's position. At this time Colonel Kershaw, with four companies of his regiment (Second South Carolina) and one piece of Kemper's battery, were thrown across Mitchell's Ford to the ridge which Kemper had occupied that morning. Two solid and three spherical case thrown among them with a precision inaugurated by that artillerist at Vienna effected their discomfiture and disappearance, and our troops in that quarter were again withdrawn within our lines, having discharged the duty assigned.
At the close of the engagement before Blackburn's Ford I directed General Longstreet to withdraw the First and Seventeenth Regiments, which had borne the brunt of the action, to a position in reserve, leaving Colonel Early to occupy the field with his brigade and Garland's regiment.
As a part of the history of this engagement I desire to place on record that on the 18th of July not one yard of entrenchments nor one rifle pit sheltered the men at Blackburn's Ford, who, officers and men, with rare exceptions, were on that day for the first time under fire, and who, taking and maintaining every position ordered, cannot be too much commended for their soldierly behavior.
Our artillery was manned and officered by those who but yesterday were called from the civil avocations of a busy city. They were matched with the picket light artillery of the Federal Regular Army- Company E, Third Artillery, under Captain Ayres, with an armament, as their own chief of artillery admits, of two 10-pounder Parrott rifled guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 6-pounder pieces, aided by two 20-pounder Parrott rifled guns of Company G, Fifth Artillery, under Lieutenant Benjamin. Thus matched, they drove their veteran adversaries from the field, giving confidence in and promise of the coming efficiency of that brilliant arm of our service.
Having thus related the main or general results and events of the action of Bull Run, in conclusion it is proper to signalize some of those who contributed most to the satisfactory results of that day. Thanks are due to Brigadier-General Bonham and Ewell and to Colonel Cocke and the officers under then for the ability shown in conducting and executing the retrograde movements on Bull Run directed in my orders of the 8th of July - movements on which hung the fortunes of this Army.
Brigadier-General Longstreet, who commanded immediately the troops engaged at Blackburn's Ford on the 18th, equaled my confident expectations,