left center, quickly supported by the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Regiments of the Excelsior Brigade. Musketry from the front, artillery from the left, played furiously upon us, soon followed by a murderous fire on our right flank from behind the railway embankment. Under this terrible triple fire the First and Third Regiments were ordered forward by Colonel Taylor, commanding the brigade, to protect our flank, which they did under cover of a friendly slope overlooking the enemy's formidable position.
At this time the fight raged fearfully, each contestant holding well his ground. Our comrades fell thick and fast. All felt sad when the gallant Lieutenant Hoxie fell with a Minie through the groin. It was then that Lieutenant Kay proposed a charge. A cheer was substituted, to give time for consultation with Captain Bliss, commanding Third Excelsior, relative to the expediency of following Lieutenant Kay's suggestion. Hardly had that glorious cheer mingled with the whistling bullets ere the rebels began to fall back before the eyes of our eager men. Folly it would have been to hold our force then, for the railroad must be gained. The men were already up, and as a unit pressed forward, planting our colors on the track and securing the rebel dead and wounded. Some wished to pursue the enemy, but fearing to disarrange plans, we thought best to remain in our present position, which accorded with Colonel Taylor's ideas when he came from the center. Meanwhile General Hooker had placed a battery in position on the left, which under his personal supervision quickly silenced the guns of the enemy. His right and left broken, we found no difficulty in piercing his center and gaining possession of the field. We bivouacked for the night 1 mile in advance of the battle ground, throwing forward a strong picket.
Early on the 28th we resumed march for Manassas Junction; passed on, stacking arms toward night at Union Mills.
Left Union Mills August 29, at 3 a.m., reaching Centreville before 9 a.m., when we ascertained the enemy had made a stand beyond Bull Run. Our division was early ordered forward, reaching the field about noon. The First and Third Brigades were engaged first, the Excelsior (Second) being held in reserve. Twice our position was changed, soon bringing us within supporting distance. The battle raged fearfully, the enemy making a desperate stand, never flinching. His artillery worked splendidly, exerting us to hold him in check. It soon became necessary to forward our brigade. Forming in line of battle facing a long wood, the Third Regiment on the extreme right, this command directly on their left and on the right of the other regiments of the brigade, with three regiments numbering 2,400 strong immediately on the left of our brigade, we moved cautiously and steadily into the wood to relieve a force already engaging the enemy, who was behind and holding a railway. We had fairly time to reach the point designated when the rebels, with a murderous shout, accompanied by a sharp fire, broke through the brigade in front, forcing them pell-mell on our line of battle, at the same time skillfully turning our left flank and routing the brigade on our left from the wood, our men never wavering until Colonel Taylor saw it would be madness to expose his command to the mercies of a desperate and much larger foe. As it was, we held our ground until many of our mounted officers were dragged from their horses and our colors within the enemy's grasp. Still undaunted, Colonel Taylor rallied his little force at the edge of the wood that he might send skirmishers back to protect the recovery of our wounded comrades, never leaving the field until the skirmishers had