field pieces could do but little execution, and my fire was reserved for a closer encounter. my men occupied through the day the trenches under this pretty regular fire of shell and shot, exhibiting a coolness and steadiness worthy of veterans.
While standing a little after noon with General Johnston and yourself Lookout Hill, in rear of my position, watching the progress of the engagement on my left, where the enemy's chief force seemed to be concentrating, I received an order from yourself in person to detach to the support of your troops engaged on the, two of my regiments, with one battery. i immediately sent forward Kershaw and Cash with Kemper's battery.
Between 5 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon I received an order from General Johnston to move forward upon Centreville with most of my command and General Longstreet's, which order was at once obeyed. Before we had reached the position which the enemy had occupied in our front we had reached the position which the enemy had occupied in our front he abandoned his camp, with indications of a precipitate retreat. I continued the pursuit to near Centreville, when the enemy opened with his artillery upon the route of my column as indicated by the dust. Colonel Lay, with a small escort, having gone forward to make a reconnaissance, found his artillery and infantry drawn up on the hills between the run and Centreville, covering the approach to that place. I ordered my own infantry to deploy in the woods to the left of the road and General Longstreet's to the right, placing a battery of artillery in the road, and the cavalry in rear, under cover.
By the time the deployment was completed it was dark. After the lapse of a half hour or more I moved the whole command to the run, to refresh themselves preparatory to executing such order as I might receive from you, returning the fact to yourself at Manassas. During the night the enemy abandoned his position at Centreville. On the following morning I received an order to move forward with two regiments some artillery and cavalry, to Centreville, where my command, during an incessant fall of rain, took possession of and collected together as far as practicable a large quantity of commissary supplies, tents, wagons, horses, with one piece of artillery, four caissons, and a large quantity of ammunition, and a number of prisoners, sending to Manassas all that could be forwarded that evening. The following day I was ordered to occupy Vienna.
I shall find it difficult to do justice to the fortitude, the patriotism, and the steady courage of the officers and men composing command, through their labors of several weeks in the trenches at Fairfax Court-House; the falling back from that place to Bull Run, and their occupation of the trenches for four successive days through all changes of weather, much of the time without food, and entirely without covering; their readiness to meet the foe at any odds at Fairfax, and the willingness to encounter him at all times at Bull Run, command my highest admiration. To those gentlemen who belonged to my staff in South Carolina at the major-general of the South Carolina State troops, and who so promptly responded to the first call from the State of Virginia for assistance, at all times cheerfully rendering me every aid in their power in the organization of the troops which have been at different times under my command, coming with me to Manassas at the beginning of military operations in this quarter, and sustain me under every trial and difficulty, I am much indebted. Colonel W. C. Moragne, Major S. W. Nelson, and Major B. H. Whitner, of my regular staff, and Major E. Spann Hammond, of my volunteer staff, were called home by imperative duties previous to these operations. To Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Simpson, Lieutenant