body of troops from the enemy's center towards the conflict was shown by clouds of dust. I was thus convinced that is great effort was to be made with his right. I stated that conviction to General Beauregard, and the absolutely necessity of immediately strengthening our left as much as possible. Orders were accordingly at once sent to General Holmes and Colonel Early to move with all speed to the sound of the firing, and to General Bonham to send up two of his regiments and a battery. General Beuregard and I then hurried at a rapid gallop to the scene of action, about four miles off. On the way I directed my chief of artillery, Colonel Pendleton, to follow with his own and Alburtis' batteries.
We came not a moment too soon. The long contest against fivefold odds and heavy losses, especially of field officers, had greatly discouraged the troops of General Bee and Colonel Evans. Our presence with them under fire and some example had the happiest effect on the spirit of the troops. Orders was soon restored and the battle re-established, to which the firmness of Jackson's brigade greatly contributed. Then, in a brief and rapid conference, General Beauregard was assigned to the command of the left, which, as the younger officer, he claimed, while I returned to that of the whole field. The aspect of affairs was critical, but I had full confidence in the skill and indomitable courage was critical, but I had full confidence in the skill and indomitable courage of General Beauregard, the high soldierly qualities of Generals Bee and Jackson and Colonel Evans, and the devoted patriotism of their troops.
Orders were first dispatched to hasten the march of General Holmes', Colonel Early's, and General Bonham's regiments. General Ewell was also directed to follow with all speed. Many of the broken troops, fragments of companies, and individual stragglers were reformed and brought into action with the aid of my staff and a portion of General Beauregard's. Colonel (late Governor) Smith with his battalion and Colonel Hunton with his regiment were ordered up to re-enforce the right. I have since learned that General Beauregard had previously ordered them into the battle. They belonged to his corps. Colonel Smith's cheerful courage had a fine influence, not only upon the spirit of his own men, but upon the stragglers of the troops engaged. The largest body of these, equal to about four companies, having no competent field officer, I placed under the command of one of my staff, Colonel F. J. Thomas, who fell while gallantly leading it against the enemy. These re-enforcements were all sent to the right to re-establish more perfectly that part of our line. Having attended to these pressing duties at the immediate scene of conflict, my eye was next directed to Colonel Cocke's brigade, the nearest at hand. Hastening to his position, I desired him to lead his troops into action. He informed me, however, that a large body of the enemy's troops beyond the stream and below the bridge threatened us from that quarter. He was therefore left in his position.
My headquarters were now established near the Lewis house. From this commanding elevation my view embraced the position of the enemy beyond the stream and the approaches to the stone bridge, a point of especial importance. I could also see the advances of our troops far down the valley in the direction of Manassas, and observe the progress of the action and the maneuvers of the enemy.
We had now sixteen guns and two hundred and sixty cavalry and a little above nine regiments of the Army of the Shenandoah and six guns, and less than the strength of three regiments of that of the Potomac, engaged with about thirty-five thousand United States troops, among whom were full three thousand of the old Regular Army. Yet this admirable artillery and brave infantry and cavalry lost no foot of ground. For nearly three hours they maintained their position, repelling five succes-