our second position. The enemy's artillery was commanding almost the whole battle-field. Behind the ridge where I was to form again, and which was the natural position of the genera reserve, I expected to find an intact reserve of several brigades ready to pounce upon the enemy as he was attempting to ascend the slopes of the range of hills we were then occupying, but nothing of the kind seemed to be there. I found Major-General McDowell with his staff, and around him troops of several different corps and of all arms, in full retreat. I succeeded in inducing the captain of a battery, the name of which I do not know, to place his pieces upon the crest of the hill, and to resume the contest with the enemy's batteries immediately opposite ut. My attempts to form compact bodies out of straggling soldiers met with very small success.
It was nearly 6 o'clock when your ordered me to send a brigade to the support of General Milroy, who was on our left, below the farmhouse used as a hospital, which two days before had been your headquarters. I brought forward Colonel Schimmelfennig's brigade, which advanced in excellent order, but did not find General Milroy, whose command had gone farther to the left and rear. Colonel Schimmelfenning, however, went forward, and finding Generals Sykes and Reno near the place which had been indicated to him, formed on the right of General Sykes, ready to take part in the action whenever it should become advisable. The brigades of Colonels Krzyzanowski and Koltes had suffered so severely that I deemed it best to send them to the rear in reserve. Only the Fifty-fourth New York I kept with me in order to cover Dilger's battery, which was placed on the ridge immediately commanding the Warrenton road and protecting the bridge, across Young's Branch. We had been under a continual shower of shot and shell until it grew dark, when the infantry fire on our left, as well as the artillery fire of the enemy, suddenly ceased, only now and then a projectile dropping among us. The fight on our left had evidently come to a stand. It is probable that the forces of the enemy, when arriving at the foot of the heights we were occupying, were so exhausted that a vigorous offensive on our part would have an excellent chance of success. You remember, general, that this matter was earnestly discussed among us on the battle-field. But General Pope's order to retreat, and the fact that the main body of our army was already on its way to Centreville, put an end to this question.
About 8 o'clock your ordered me to withdraw Colonel Schimmelfennig's brigade and to march with my whole command across Young's Branch, two pieces of Captain Dilger's battery and one of my regiments forming the rear guard of the corps. For this office the Sixty-first Ohio was selected - a regiment which throughout the whole campaign had exhibited the most commendable spirit. According to your order I passed the bridge across Young's Branch about 9 o'clock, and took position with your whole corps on the hilly ground between Young's Branch and Bull Run. Colonel Schimmedlfenning from his command the necessary guards and outposts along Young's Branch and in the direction of the Bull Run Ford. There we remained over two hours, and after all other troops had passed Bull Run, and the road was clear of wagons for several miles, your ordered your corps to resume its march toward Centreville. We crossed the Stone Bridge between 11 and 12 o'clock. Your ordered me to take position on the left of the road, front toward the creek, while General Stahel did the same on the right, throwing out our outposts on the other side of the creek and placing Captain Dilger's two pieces so as to command the bridge. Some time afterward