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   Chapter 8 A CHRISTENING

The Long Roll By Mary Johnston Characters: 38689

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


Imboden had been joined by the Rockbridge Artillery and the Alexandria and Loudoun batteries. A little later there came up two of the New Orleans guns. All unlimbered in front of the pine wood where was couched the First Brigade, trained the sixteen guns upon the Mathews Hill and began firing. Griffin and Ricketts and Arnold answered with Parrotts and howitzers, throwing elongated, cylindrical shell that came with the screech of a banshee. But the Federal range was too long, and the fuses of many shells were uncut. Two of Rockbridge's horses were killed, a caisson of Stanard's exploded, scorching the gunners, a lieutenant was wounded in the thigh, but the batteries suffered less than did the infantry in the background. Here, more than one exploding horror wrought destruction. Immediately in rear of the guns were posted the 4th, the 27th, and the 65th. To the right hand was the 5th, to the left the 2d and the 33d. In all the men lay down in ranks, just sheltered by the final fringe of pines. The younger officers stood up, or, stepping into the clearing, seated themselves not without ostentation upon pine stumps, to the laudable end that the enemy should know where to find them. Jackson rode back and forth behind the guns.

The thundering voices grew louder, shaking the hills. The First Brigade could not see the infantry, swept now from the Mathews Hill and engaged about the turnpike and the stream. By stretching necks it saw a roof of smoke, dun-coloured, hiding pandemonium. Beneath that deeper thunder of the guns, the crackling, unintermittent sound of musketry affected the ear like the stridulation of giant insects. The men awaiting their turn beneath the pines, breathing quick, watching the shells, moved their heads slightly to and fro. In front, outdrawn upon a little ridge, stood the guns and boomed defiance. Rockbridge, Staunton, Loudoun, Alexandria, and New Orleans did well this day. The guns themselves were something ancient, growing obsolete; but those striplings about them, beardless, powder-grimed, bare of arm and chest, silent and swift and steady of eye and hand, sponging, ramming, priming, aiming, firing, showed in the van of Time a brood of Mars, a band of whom foe-quelling Hector might say "They will do well."

General T. J. Jackson on Little Sorrel went up and down between the speaking guns and the waiting infantry. The men, from their couch upon the needles, watched him. Before their eyes war was transfiguring him, and his soldiers called him "Old Jack" and made no reservation. The awkward figure took on a stalwart grace, the old uniform, the boots, the cap, grew classically right. The inner came outward, the atmosphere altered, and the man was seen as he rode in the plane above. A shell from Ricketts came screaming, struck and cut down a young pine. In falling, the tree caught and hurt a man or two. Another terror followed and exploded overhead, a fragment inflicting upon a bugler of the 65th a ghastly wound. "Steady, men, steady!-all's well," said Old Jack. He threw up his left hand, palm out,-an usual gesture,-and turned to speak to Imboden, whose profanity he had apparently forgiven. As in any other July hour a cloud of gnats might have swum above that hill, so, on this one summer day, death-dealing missiles filled the air. Some splinter from one of these struck the lifted hand. Jackson let it fall, the blood streaming. Imboden uttered an ejaculation. "It's nothing," said the other; then, with slow earnestness, "Captain Imboden, I would give-I will give-for this cause every drop of blood that courses through my heart." He drew out a handkerchief, wrapped it around the wound, and rode on down the right of his line.

Up to meet him from the foot of the hill, out of the dun smoke hiding the wrestle, came at a gallop a roan horse bearing a rider tall and well made, black-eyed and long-haired, a bright sash about his waist, a plumed hat upon his head. Panting, he drew rein beside Little Sorrel. "I am Bee.-General Jackson, we are driven-we are overwhelmed! My God! only Evans and Bartow and I against the whole North and the Regulars! We are being pushed back-you must support.-In three minutes the battle will be upon this hill-Hunter and Heintzleman's divisions. They're hot and huzzaing-they think they've got us fast! They have, by God! if our troops don't come up!" He turned his horse. "But you'll support-we count on you-"

"Count only upon God, General Bee," said Jackson. "But I will give them the bayonet."

Bee struck spur into the roan and galloped across the plateau. Out of one of the furrowing ravines, a sunbaked and wrinkled trough springing from the turnpike below and running up and across the Henry Hill toward the crest of pine and oak, came now a handful of men, grey shadows, reeling, seeking the forest and night. Another followed-another-then a stream, a grey runlet of defeat which grew in proportions. A moment more, and the ravine, fed from the battle-ground below, overflowed. The red light shifted to the Henry Hill. It was as though a closed fan, laid upon that uneven ground, had suddenly opened. The rout was not hideous. The men had fought long and boldly, against great odds; they fled now before the storm, but all cohesion was not lost, nor presence of mind. Some turned and fired, some listened to their shouting officer, and strove to form about the tossed colours, some gave and took advice. But every gun of the Federal batteries poured shot and shell upon that hilltop, and the lines of blue had begun to climb. The disorder increased; panic might come like the wind in the grass. Bee reached the choked ravine, pulled up his great roan. He was a man tall and large, and as he rose in his stirrups and held his sword aloft, standing against the sky, upon the rim of the ravine, he looked colossal, a bronze designed to point the way. He cried aloud, "Look! Yonder is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!" As he spoke a shell struck him. He fell, mortally wounded.

The eyes of the men in the cleft below had followed the pointed sword. The hilltop was above them, and along the summit, just in advance of a pine wood, ran a stone wall, grey, irregular, touched here by sunlight, there by shadow, and shrouded in part by the battle smoke. Some one had planted upon it a flag. For a full moment the illusion held, then the wall moved. A captain of the 4th Alabama, hoarse with shouting, found voice once more. "God! We aren't beaten! Talk of Birnam wood! The stone wall's coming!"

Up and out of the ravine, widening like an opening fan, pressed the disordered troops. The plateau was covered by chaos come again. Officers, raging, shouted orders, ran to and fro, gesticulated with their swords. A short line was formed, another; they dissolved before a third could be added. All voices were raised; there was a tumult of cries, commands, protestations, adjurations, and refusals. Over all screamed the shells, settled the smoke. Franklin, Willcox, Sherman, and Porter, pressing the Federal advantage, were now across the turnpike. Beneath their feet was the rising ground-a moment more, and they would leap victorious up the ragged slope. The moment was delayed. With a rending sound as of a giant web torn asunder, the legions of Hampton and Cary, posted near the house of the free negro Robinson, came into action and held in check the four brigades.

High upon the plateau, near Jackson's line, above the wild confusion of the retreating troops, appeared in the blaze of the midday sun, hatless, on steeds reeking from the four miles' gallop from that centre where the battle did not join to this left where it did, the generals Johnston and Beauregard. Out of the red lightning, the thunder, the dust and the smoke, above the frenzied shouting and the crying of the wounded, their presence was electrically known. A cheer rushed from the First Brigade; at the guns Rockbridge, Staunton, Loudoun, Alexandria, and New Orleans took up the cry, tossed it with grape and canister across to the opposite hill. Bee, Bartow, and Evans, exhausted, shattered, wavering upwards toward the forest, rest, cessation from long struggle, heard the names and took fresh heart. The two were not idle, but in the crucial moment turned the scale. Black danger hemmed their cause. The missing brigade of the Shenandoah was no man knew where. At Mitchell's and Blackburn's fords, Ewell, D. R. Jones, Bonham, and Longstreet were engaged in a demonstration in force, retaining upon that front the enemy's reserve. Holmes and Jubal Early were on their way to the imperilled left, but the dust cloud that they raised was yet distant. Below the two generals were broken troops, men raw to the field, repulsed, driven, bleeding, and haggard, full on the edge of headlong flight; lower, in the hollow land, McDowell's advance, filling the little valley, islanding the two fighting legions, and now, a mounting tide, attacking the Henry Hill. At Beauregard's order the regimental colours were advanced, and the men adjured to rally about them. Fiery, eloquent, of French descent and impassioned, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard rose in his stirrups and talked of la gloire, of home, and of country. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana listened, cheered, and began to reform. Johnston, Scotch, correct, military, the Regular in person, trusted to the hilt by the men he led, seized the colours of the 4th Alabama, raised them above his grey head, spurred his war horse, and in the hail of shot and shell established the line of battle. Decimated as they were, raw volunteers as they were, drawn from peaceful ways to meet the purple dragon, fold on fold of war, the troops of Bee, Bartow, and Evans rallied, fell into line, and stood. The 49th Virginia came upon the plateau from Lewis Ford-at its head Ex-Governor William Smith. "Extra Billy," old political hero, sat twisted in his saddle, and addressed his regiment. "Now, boys, you've just got to kill the ox for this barbecue! Now, mind you, I ain't going to have any backing out! We ain't West P'inters, but, thank the Lord, we're men! When it's all over we'll have a torchlight procession and write to the girls! Now, boys, you be good to me, and I'll be good to you. Lord, children, I want to be proud of you! And I ain't Regular, but I know Old Virginny. Tom Scott, you beat the drum real loud, and James, you swing that flag so high the good Lord's got to see it!-Here's the West P'inters-here's the generals! Now, boys, just see how loud you can holler!"

The 49th went into line upon Gartrell's right, who was upon Jackson's left. Beauregard paused to speak to that brigadier, advanced upon Little Sorrel in front of the 65th. An aide addressed the latter's colonel. "General Bee christened this brigade just before he fell. He called it a stone wall. If he turns out a true prophet I reckon the name will stick." A shell came hurtling, fell, exploded, and killed under him Beauregard's horse. He mounted the aide's and galloped back to Johnston, near the Henry House. Here there was a short council. Had the missing brigade, the watched for, the hoped for, reached Manassas? Ewell and Early had been ordered up from Union Mills. Would they arrive upon this hill in time? What of the Stone Bridge, now left almost undefended? What of Blackburn and Mitchell's fords, and Longstreet's demonstration, and the enemy's reserves across Bull Run? What best disposition of the strength that might arrive? The conference was short. Johnston, the senior with the command of the whole field, galloped off to the Lewis House, while Beauregard retained the direction of the contest on the Henry Hill. Below it the two legions still held the blue wave from mounting.

Ricketts and Griffin upon the Mathews Hill ceased firing-greatly to the excitement of Rockbridge, Staunton, Loudoun, Alexandria, and New Orleans. The smoke slightly lifted. "What're they doing? They've got their horses-they're limbering up! What in hell!-d'ye suppose they've had enough? No! Great day in the morning! They're coming up here!"

Ricketts and Griffin, cannoneers on caissons, horses urged to a gallop, thundered down the opposite slope, across Young's Branch and the turnpike. A moment and they were lost to sight, another and the straining horses and the dust and the guns and the fighting men about them showed above the brow of the Henry Hill. Out they thundered upon the plateau and wheeled into battery very near to the Henry House. Magnificence but not war! They had no business there, but they had been ordered and they came. With a crash as of all the thunders they opened at a thousand feet, full upon the Confederate batteries and upon the pine wood where lay the First Brigade.

Rockbridge, Staunton, Loudoun, Alexandria, and New Orleans, wet with sweat, black with powder, sponging, ramming, priming, aiming, firing, did well with the bass of that hill-echoing tune. A lieutenant of the Washington Artillery made himself heard above the roar. "Short range! We've got short range at last! Now, old smoothbores, show what you are made of!" The smoothbores showed. Griffin and Ricketts answered, Jackson's sharpshooters took a part, the uproar became frightful. The captain of the Rockbridge Artillery was a great-nephew of Edmund Pendleton, a graduate of West Point and the rector of the Episcopal Church in Lexington. He went back and forth among his guns. "Fire! and the Lord have mercy upon their souls.-Fire! and the Lord have mercy upon their souls." With noise and a rolling smoke and a scorching breath and a mad excitement that annihilated time and reduced with a thunderclap every series of happenings into one all-embracing moment, the battle mounted and the day swung past its burning noon.

The 11th and 14th New York had been pushed up the hill to the support of Ricketts and Griffin. Behind them showed in strength other climbing muskets. In the vale below Hampton and Cary had made diversion, had held the brigades in check, while upon the plateau the Confederates rallied. The two legions, stubborn and gallant, suffered heavily. With many dead and many wounded they drew off at last. The goal of the Henry Hill lay clear before McDowell.

He had brigades enough for the advance that should set all the bells of Washington ringing for victory. His turning column at Sudley Ford had numbered eighteen thousand men. But Howard was somewhere in the vague distance, Burnside was "resting," Keyes, who had taken part in the action against Hampton, was now astray in the Bull Run Valley, and Schenck had not even crossed the stream. There were the dead, too, the wounded and the stragglers. All told, perhaps eleven thousand men attacked the Henry Hill. They came on confidently, flushed with victory, brilliant as tropical birds in the uniforms so bright and new, in the blue, in the gold, in the fiery, zouave dress, in the Garibaldi shirt, in the fez, the Scotch bonnet, the plume, in all the militia pomp and circumstance of that somewhat theatrical "On to Richmond." With gleaming muskets and gleaming swords and with the stars and stripes above them, they advanced, huzzaing. Above them, on that plateau, ranged beneath the stars and bars, there awaited the impact six thousand and five hundred Confederates with sixteen guns. Three thousand of the troops were fresh; three thousand had been long and heavily engaged, and driven from their first position.

Rockbridge and New Orleans and their fellows worked like grey automata about their belching guns. They made a dead line for the advance to cross. Ricketts and Griffin answered with their howling shells-shells that burst above the First Brigade. One stopped short of the men in battle. It entered the Henry House, burst, and gave five wounds to the woman cowering in her bed. Now she lay there, dying, above the armies, and the flower-beds outside were trampled, and the boughs of the locust trees strewn upon the earth.

Hunter and Heintzleman mounted the ridge of the hill. With an immense volley of musketry the battle joined upon the plateau that was but five hundred yards across. The Fire Zouaves, all red, advanced like a flame against the 4th Alabama, crouched behind scrub oak to the left of the field. The 4th Alabama fired, loaded, fired again. The zouaves broke, fleeing in disorder toward a piece of woods. Out from the shadow of the trees came Jeb Stuart with two hundred cavalrymen. The smoke was very thick; it was not with ease that one told friend from foe. In the instant of encounter the beau sabreur thought that he spoke to Confederates. He made his horse to bound, he rose in his stirrups, he waved his plumed hat, he shouted aloud in his rich and happy voice, "Don't run, boys! We are here!" To his disappointment the magic fell short. The "boys" ran all the faster. Behind him, a trooper lifted his voice. "They're not ours! They're Yankees! Charge them, sir, charge!" Stuart charged.

Along the crest of the Henry Hill the kneeling ranks of the First Brigade fired and loaded and fired again. Men and horses fell around the guns of Ricketts and Griffin, but the guns were not silenced. Rockbridge and Loudoun and their fellows answered with their Virginia Military Institute six-pounders, with their howitzers, with their one or two Napoleons, but Ricketts and Griffin held fast. The great shells came hurtling, death screaming its message and sweeping the pine wood. The stone wall suffered; here and there the units dropped from place. Jackson, holding up his wounded hand, came to the artillery. "Get these guns out of my way. I am going to give them the bayonet." The bugler put the bugle to his lips. The guns limbered up, moving out by the right flank and taking position elsewhere upon the plateau. Jackson returned to his troops. "Fix bayonets! Now, men, charge and take those batteries!"

The First Brigade rose from beneath the pines. It rose, it advanced between the moving guns, it shouted. The stone wall became an avalanche, and started down the slope. It began crescent-wise, for the pine wood where it had lain curved around Ricketts and Griffin like a giant's half-closed hand. From the finger nearest the doomed batteries sprang the 33d Virginia. In the dust of the field all uniforms were now of one neutral hue. Griffin trained his guns upon the approaching body, but his chief stopped him. "They're our own, man!-a supporting regiment!" The 33d Virginia came on, halted at two hundred feet, and poured upon the batteries a withering fire. Alas for Ricketts and Griffin, brave men handling brave guns! Their cannoneers fell, and the scream of their horses shocked the field. Ricketts was badly wounded; his lieutenant Ramsay lay dead. The stone wall blazed again. The Federal infantry supporting the guns broke and fled in confusion. Other regiments-Michigan and Minnesota this time-came up the hill. A grey-haired officer-Heintzleman-seated sideways in his saddle upon a hillock, appealing, cheering, commanding, was conspicuous for his gallant bearing. The 33d, hotly pushed, fell back into the curving wood, only to emerge again and bear down upon the prize of the guns. The whole of the First Brigade was now in action and the plateau of the Henry Hill roared like the forge of Vulcan when it welded the

armour of Mars. It was three in the afternoon of midmost July. There arose smoke and shouts and shrieks, the thunder from the Mathews Hill of the North's uncrippled artillery, and from the plateau the answering thunder of the Southern, with the under song, incessant, of the muskets. Men's tongues clave to the roofs of their mouths, the sweat streamed forth, and the sweat dried, black cartridge marks were about their lips, and their eyes felt metallic, heated balls distending the socket. There was a smell of burnt cloth, of powder, of all heated and brazen things, indescribable, unforgettable, the effluvia of the battlefield. The palate savoured brass, and there was not a man of those thousands who was not thirsty-oh, very, very thirsty! Time went in waves with hollows between of negation. A movement took hours-surely we have been at it since last year! Another passed in a lightning flash. We were there beneath the pines, on the ground red-breeched Zouaves and United States Marines, above us a noisy shell, the voice of the general coming dry and far like a grasshopper's through the din-we are here in a trampled flower garden, beside the stumps of locust trees, in the midst of yells and trampling, hands again upon the guns! There was no time between. The men who were left of Ricketts and Griffin fought well; they were brave fighters. The 2d Wisconsin came up the hill, then the 79th and 69th New York. An impact followed that seemed to rock the globe. Wisconsin and New York retired whence they came, and it was all done in a moment. Other regiments took their places. McDowell was making a frontal attack and sending in his brigades piecemeal. The plateau was uneven; low ridges, shallow hollows, with clumps of pine and oak; one saw at a time but a segment of the field. The nature of the ground split the troops as with wedges; over all the Henry Hill the fighting now became from hand to hand, in the woods and in the open, small squad against small squad. That night a man insisted that this phase had lasted twelve hours. He said that he remembered how the sun rose over the Henry House, and how, when it went down, it left a red wall behind a gun on the Mathews Hill-and he had seen both events from a ring of pines out of which he, with two others, was keeping twenty Rhode Islanders.

Ricketts and Griffin, forty men upon the ground, twice that number of horses dead or disabled, tried to drag away the guns. Down upon them roared the 65th, no alignment, broken and fierce as a mountain torrent, as Thunder Run when the rains were out and the snows had melted. It took again the guns; it met a regiment from the Northwest, also stark fighters and hunters, and turned it back; it seized the guns and drew them toward the pine wood. On the other side Howard's Brigade came into action, rising, a cloud of stinging bees, over the ridge. Maine and Vermont fell into line, fired, each man, twenty rounds. The First Brigade answered at close range. All the Henry plateau blazed and thundered.

From headquarters at the Lewis House a most able mind had directed the several points of entrance into battle of the troops drawn from the lower fords. The 8th, the 18th, and 28th Virginia, Cash and Kershaw of Bonham's, Fisher's North Carolina-each had come at a happy moment and had given support where support was most needed. Out of the southeast arose a cloud of dust, a great cloud as of many marching men. It moved rapidly. It approached at a double quick, apparently it had several guns at trail. Early had not yet come up from Union Mills; was it Early? Could it be-could it be from Manassas? Could it be the missing brigade? Beauregard, flashing across the plateau like a meteor, lifted himself in his stirrups, raised with a shaking hand his field-glasses to his eyes. Stonewall Jackson held higher his wounded hand, wrapped in a handkerchief no longer white. "It ain't for the pain,-he's praying," thought the orderly by his side. Over on the left, guarding that flank, Jeb Stuart, mounted on a hillock, likewise addressed the heavens. "Good Lord, I hope it's Elzey! Oh, good Lord, let it be Elzey!" The 49th Virginia was strung behind a rail fence, firing from between the grey bars. "Extra Billy," whose horse had been shot an hour before, suddenly appeared in an angle erect upon the topmost rails. He gazed, then turned and harangued. "Didn't I tell you, boys? Didn't I say that the old Manassas Gap ain't half so black as she's painted? The president of that road is my friend, gentlemen, and a better man never mixed a julep! The old Manassas Gap's got them through! It's a road to be patronized, gentlemen! The old Manassas Gap-"

A hand plucked at his boot. "For the Lord's sake, governor, come down from there, or you'll be travelling on the Angels' Express!"

The dust rose higher; there came out of it a sound, a low, hoarse din. Maine and Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island, saw and heard. There was a waver as of grain beneath wind over the field, then the grain stood stiff against the wind, and all the muskets flamed again.

The lost brigade of the Army of the Shenandoah, seventeen hundred infantry and Beckham's Battery swept by the Lewis House, received instructions from Johnston in person, and advanced against the enemy's right flank. Kirby Smith led them. Heated, exhausted, parched with thirst, the regiments came upon the plateau. Not till then did they see the enemy, the awaited, the dreamed-of foe, the giant whose voice they had heard at Manassas. They saw him now, and they yelled recognition. From a thousand dusty throats came a cry, involuntary, individual, indescribably fierce, a high and shrill and wild expression of anger and personal opinion. There was the enemy. They saw him, they yelled,-without premeditation, without co?peration, each man for himself, Yaai, Yai ... Yaai, Yaai, Yai.... Yaai! That cry was to be heard on more than two thousand battlefields. It lasts with the voice of Stentor, and with the horn of Roland. It has gone down to history as the "Rebel yell."

As they reached the oak woods Kirby Smith was shot. Desperately wounded, he fell from his horse. Elzey took command; the troops swept out by the Chinn House upon the plateau. Beckham's battery unlimbered and came, with decisive effect, into action.

McDowell, with a last desperate rally, formed a line of battle, a gleaming, formidable crescent, half hid by a cloud of skirmishers. Out of the woods by the Chinn House now came Jubal Early, with Kemper's 7th Virginia, Harry Hays's Louisianians, and Barksdale's 13th Mississippi. They took position under fire and opened upon the enemy's right. As they did so Elzey's brigade, the 10th Virginia, the 1st Maryland, the 3d Tennessee, the 8th and 2d South Carolina, the 18th and 28th Virginia, and Hampton's and Cary's legions charged. The First Brigade came down upon the guns for the third time, and held them. Stuart, standing in his stirrups and chanting his commands, rounded the base of the hill, and completed the rout.

The Federals turned. Almost to a man their officers did well. There were many privates of a like complexion. Sykes' Regulars, not now upon the Henry Hill, but massed across the branch, behaved throughout the day like trained and disciplined soldiers. No field could have witnessed more gallant conduct than that of Griffin and Ricketts. Heintzleman had been conspicuously energetic, Franklin and Willcox had done their best. McDowell himself had not lacked in dash and grit, nor, to say sooth, in strategy. It was the Federal tactics that were at fault. But all the troops, barring Sykes and Ricketts and the quite unused cavalry, were raw, untried, undisciplined. Few were good marksmen, and, to tell the truth, few were possessed of a patriotism that would stand strain. That virtue awoke later in the Army of the Potomac; it was not present in force on the field of Bull Run. Many were three-months men, their term of service about to expire, and in their minds no slightest intention of re?nlistment. They were close kin to the troops whose term expiring on the eve of battle had this morning "marched to the rear to the sound of the enemy's cannon." Many were men and boys merely out for a lark and almost ludicrously astonished at the nature of the business. New Englanders had come to battle as to a town meeting; placid farmers and village youths of the Middle States had never placed in the meadows of their imaginations events like these, while the more alert and restless folk of the cities discovered that the newspapers had been hardly explicit. The men of the Northwest had a more adequate conception; there was promise in these of stark fighting. To all is to be added a rabble of camp followers, of sutlers, musicians, teamsters, servants, congressmen in carriages, even here and there a congressman's wife, all the hurrah and vain parade, the strut and folly and civilian ignorance, the unwarlike softness and the misdirected pride with which these Greeks had set out to take in a night that four-years-distant Troy. Now a confusion fell upon them, and a rout such as was never seen again in that war. They left the ten guns, mute enough now, they gave no heed to their frantic officers, they turned and fled. One moment they stood that charge, the next the slopes of the Henry Hill were dark blue with fugitives. There was no cohesion; mere inability to find each an unencumbered path crowded them thus. They looked a swarm of bees, but there was no Spirit of the Hive. The Confederate batteries strewed their path with shot and shell, the wild and singular cry, first heard upon that field, rang still within their ears. They reached the foot of the hill, the Warrenton turnpike, the Sudley and Newmarket road, and the marshy fields through which flowed Young's Branch. Up to this moment courtesy might have called the movement a not too disorderly retreat, but now, upon the crowded roads and through the bordering meadows, it became mere rout, a panic quite simple, naked, and unashamed. In vain the officers commanded and implored, in vain Sykes' Regulars took position on the Mathews Hill, a nucleus around which the broken troops might have reformed. The mob had neither instinct nor desire for order. The Regulars, retreating finally with the rest, could only guard the rear and hinder the Confederate pursuit. The panic grew. Ravens in the air brought news, true and false, of the victors. Beckham's battery, screaming upon the heels of the rout, was magnified a hundred-fold; there was no doubt that battalions of artillery were hurling unknown and deadly missiles, blocking the way to the Potomac! Jeb Stuart was following on the Sudley Road, and another cavalry fiend-Munford-on the turnpike. Four hundred troopers between them? No! Four thousand-and each riding like the Headless Horseman with terror in his hand! There was Confederate infantry upon the turnpike-a couple of regiments, a legion, a battery-they were making for a point they knew, this side Centreville, where they might intercept the fleeing army. It behoved the army to get there first, to cross Bull Run, to cross Cub Run, and to reach Centreville with the utmost possible expedition. The ravens croaked of the Confederate troops four miles down Bull Run, at the lower fords. They would cross, they would fall upon Miles and Tyler, they would devour alive the Federal reserves, they would get first to Centreville! That catastrophe, at least, the mob did its best to prevent. It threw away its muskets, it dropped its colours, it lightened itself of accoutrements, it fled as if each tired and inexperienced grey soldier behind it had been Death in the Apocalypse. Each man ran for himself, swore for himself, prayed for himself, found in Fate a personal foe, and strove to propitiate her with the rags of his courage. The men stumbled and fell, lifted themselves, and ran again. Ambulances, wagons, carriages, blocked the road; they streamed around and under these. Riderless horses tore the veil of blue. Artillery teams, unguided, maddened, infected by all this human fear, rent it further, and behind them the folds heard again the Confederate yell. Centreville-Centreville first, and a little food-all the haversacks had been thrown away-but no stopping at Centreville! No! Beyond Centreville the Potomac-Washington-home! Home and safety, Maine or Massachusetts, New York or Vermont, as the case might be! The sun went down and left the fleeing army streaming northward by every road or footpath which it conceived might lead to the Potomac.

In the summer dusk, back at the Lewis House, a breathless courier brought to Beauregard a circumstantial statement. "From Major Rhett at Manassas, general! The Federal Reserves have been observed crossing below MacLean's. A strong column-they'll take us in the rear, or they'll fall upon Manassas!" That McDowell would use his numerous reserves was so probable a card that Bonham and Longstreet, started upon the pursuit, were recalled. Ewell and Holmes had just reached the battlefield. They were faced about, and, Beauregard with them, double-quicked back to MacLean's Ford-to find no Miles or Richardson or Runyon for them to attack! It was a mistake and a confusion of identity. The crossing troops were Confederates-D. R. Jones returning from the position he had held throughout the day to the southern bank of Bull Run. The dark had come, the troops were much exhausted, the routed army by now at Centreville. Beauregard did the only thing that could be done,-ordered the men to halt and bivouac for the night in the woods about the stream.

Back upon the Sudley Road Stuart and his troopers followed for twelve miles the fugitive army. There was a running fight; here and there the enemy was cut off; great spoil and many prisoners were taken. Encumbered with all of these, Stuart at Sudley Church called off the chase and halted for the night. At the bridge over Cub Run Munford with a handful of the Black Horse and the Chesterfield Troop, a part of Kershaw's regiment and Kemper's battery meeting the retreat as it debouched into the Warrenton turnpike, heaped rout on rout, and confounded confusion. A wagon was upset upon the bridge, it became impassable, and Panic found that she must get away as best she might. She left her congressmen's carriages, her wagons of subsistence, and her wagons of ammunition, her guns and their caissons, her flags and her wounded in ambulances; she cut the traces of the horses and freed them from pleasure carriage, gun carriage, ammunition wagon, and ambulance; with these horses and afoot, she dashed through the water of Cub Run, and with the long wail of the helpless behind her, fled northward through the dusk. A little later, bugles, sounding here and there beneath the stars, called off the pursuit.

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The spoil of Manassas included twenty-eight fieldpieces with a hundred rounds of ammunition to each gun, thirty-seven caissons, six forges, four battery wagons, sixty-four artillery horses, five hundred thousand rounds of small arm ammunition, four thousand five hundred sets of accoutrements, four thousand muskets, nine regimental and garrison flags, pistols, swords, musical instruments, knapsacks, canteens, blankets, tents, officers' luggage, rope, handcuffs, axes, and intrenching tools, wagons, horses, camp and garrison equipage, hospital stores and subsistence, and one thousand four hundred and twenty-one prisoners.

History has not been backward with a question. Why did not the Confederate forces press the pursuit to the Potomac, twenty-five miles away? Why did they not cross that river? Why did they not take Washington? History depones that it was a terror-stricken city and that it might have been stormed, and so, perhaps, the great war ended ere it had well begun. Why did you not pursue from Manassas to Washington?

The tongue of the case answers thus: "We were a victorious army, but we had fought long and hard. We had not many fresh troops. Even those which were not engaged had been marching and countermarching. The enemy had many more than we-heavy reserves to whom panic might or might not have been communicated. These were between us and Centreville, and the night had fallen. Our cavalry was the best in the land, but cruelly small in force, and very weary by that midnight. We were scant of provisions, scant of transportation, scant of ammunition. What if the Federal reserves had not stood, but had fled with the rest, and we had in some fashion achieved the Potomac? There were strong works at Arlington and Alexandria, lined with troops, and in easy distance were Patterson and his unused men. There was a river a mile wide, patrolled by gunboats, and beyond it a city with how many troops we knew not, certainly with strong earthworks and mounted guns. Being only men and not clairvoyants we did not know that the city was so crazed with fear that perhaps, after all, had we ever gotten there we might have stormed it with a few weary regiments. We never saw the like in our own capital at any after date, and we did not know. We were under arms from dawn until the stars came out, we had fought through the heat of a July day in Virginia, we were hungry, we were thirsty, we were drunk with need of rest. Most of us were under twenty-four. We had met and vanquished heavy odds, but we ourselves, like those who fled, were soldiers all untried. Victory disorganized us, as defeat disorganized them. Not in the same measure, but to the extent that all commands were much broken, men astray in the darkness, seeking their companies, companies calling out the number of their regiments. Most of us went hungry that night. And all around were the dead and wounded, and above us, like a pall, the strangeness of this war at last. The July night passed like a fevered dream; men sleeping on the earth, men seeking their commands, men riding to and fro, men wandering with lanterns over the battlefield. At three came down the rain. It was as though the heavens were opened. No one had ever seen such a downpour. All day long it rained, and in the rain we buried our comrades. There were two brothers, Holmes and Tucker Conrad, boys from the University. Holmes was shot through the heart, just on the edge of a ravine on the Henry Hill. Tucker, across the ravine, saw him fall. He was down one side and up the other before a man could draw breath. He lifted Holmes, and as he did so, he, too, was killed. We found them lying in each other's arms, Holmes smiling, and we buried them so. We buried many friends and comrades and kindred-we were all more or less akin-and perhaps, being young to war, that solemn battlefield loomed to us so large that it obstructed the view of the routed invasion now across the Potomac, out of Virginia. We held then and we hold still, that our generals that day were sagacious and brave, and we think history may take their word for it that any effective pursuit, looking to the crossing of the Potomac, was a military impossibility. It is true that Stonewall Jackson, as history reminds us, was heard to exclaim while the surgeon was dressing his hand, 'Give me ten thousand fresh troops, and I will be in Washington to-morrow!' But there were not the ten thousand troops to give."

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