Upon arriving at the ford i found the companies I had before sent had crossed over Bull Run and were in position with General Longstreet's command, awaiting the signal for an assault on the enemy's batteries, which were constantly firing in every direction. Hays' companies were drawn up in double column in rear of the ford, where they remained for some time, when I received an order from General Longstreet to march Hays' regiment back, and with that and Kemper's cross McLean's Ford and attack the enemy's batteries in the rear. Hays' regiment was immediately marched back to where Kemper's regiment was, sustaining during its march a fire of the enemy's batteries, which was directed by the cloud of dust it raised in marching, and a shell exploded in the ranks, wounding three of four men.
I proceed with Hays' and Kemper's regiments to cross at McLean's Ford for the purpose of attacking the batteries in the rear, but before the whole of the regiments had crossed, the general's aide, Colonel Chisolm, arrived with orders requiring me to resume my position. I then sent Kemper's regiment back to its place in the pines, and marched Hay's regiment up the run to Blackburn's Ford. General Longstreet then directed me to carry the regiment back to where Kemper's was, and after the men were rested a few minutes they were marched down the run by way of the intrenchments which had been occupied by General Jones' brigade at McLean's Ford. Upon arriving there I found General Jones had returned with his brigade to the intrenchments, and I was informed by him that General Beauregard had directed that I should join him (General Beauregard) with my brigade.
I immediately proceeded to comply with this order, and sent to General Longstreet for the six companies of my own regiment, and received a reply stating that I could take in lieu thereof the Thirteenth Mississippi Regiment, under Colonel Barksdale, which had been ordered to report to him, and thus save both regiments from the fire of the enemy's batteries, which they would have to sustain in marching to and from Blackburn's Ford.
I accepted this proposition, and immediately put the two regiments of my brigade, with Colonel Barksdale's Thirteenth Mississippi Regiment, which I found in the pines on the road leading from McLean's farm house toward Mitchell's Ford, in motion to comply with General Beauregard's directions, having previously sent Captain Gardner ahead to ascertain where the general was. I marched in rear of Mitchell's Ford in the direction of the ground on which the battle was being fought, near the stone bridge, and after proceeding some distance was met by Captain Gardner, who informed me he had been unable to find the general, but had ascertained that his headquarters were at Lewis' house, in the direction of the fighting. I continued to advance through the fields as fast as my men could move, guided by the roar of the cannon and the volleys of musketry, until we reached the neighborhood of the battle-ground, when I sent Captain Gardner again ahead to ascertain, if he could, where the general desired me to go, my brigade being still kept on the march.
Captain Gardner's met with Colonel John S. Preston, one of the general's aides, who informed him that the general had gone to the front, and that the order was that all re-enforcements should go to the front. The captain soon returned with this information, and I still continued to advance until I was met by Colonel Preston, who informed me that General Beauregard had gone to where the fighting was on the right, but that General Johnston was just in front, and his directions were that we should proceed to the left, where there was a heavy fire of musketry. I