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   Chapter 39 THE FIELD OF MANASSAS

The Long Roll By Mary Johnston Characters: 33476

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


The column, after an extraordinary march attended by skirmishes, most wearily winding through a pitch black night, heard the "Halt!" with rejoicing. "Old Jack be thanked! So we ain't turning on our tail and going back through Thoroughfare Gap after all! See anything of Marse Robert?-Go away! he ain't any nearer than White Plains. He and Longstreet won't get through Thoroughfare until to-morrow-Break ranks! Oh Lord, yes! with pleasure."

Under foot there was rough, somewhat rolling ground. In the dark night men dropped down without particularity as to couch or bedchamber. Nature and the time combined to spread for them a long and echoing series of sleeping rooms, carpeted and tapestried according to Nature's whim, vaulted with whistling storm or drift of clouds or pageantry of stars. The troops took the quarters indicated sometimes with, sometimes without remark. To-night there was little speech of any kind before falling into dreamless slumber. "O hell! Hungry as a dog!"-"Me, too!"-"Can't you just see Manassas Junction and Stuart's and Trimble's fellows gorging themselves? Biscuit and cake and pickles and 'desecrated' vegetables and canned peaches and sardines and jam and coffee!-freight cars and wagons and storehouses just filled with jam and coffee and canned peaches and cigars and-" "I wish that fool would hush! I wasn't hungry before!"-"and nice cozy fires, and rashers of bacon broiling, and plenty of coffee, and all around just like daisies in the field, clean new shirts, and drawers and socks, and handkerchiefs and shoes and writing paper and soap."-"Will you go to hell and stop talking as you go?"-"Seems somehow an awful lonely place, boys!-dark and a wind. Hear that whippoorwill? Just twenty thousand men sloshin' round-and Pope may be right over there by the whippoorwill. Jarrow says that with McCall and Heintzelman and Fitz John Porter, there are seventy thousand of them. Well? They've got Headquarters-in-the-saddle and we've got Stonewall Jackson-That's so! that's so! Good-night."

Dawn came calmly up, dawn of the twenty-eighth of August. The ghostly trumpets blew-the grey soldiers stirred and rose. In the sky were yet a star or two and a pale quarter moon. These slowly faded and the faintest coral tinge overspread that far and cold eastern heaven. The men were busied about breakfast, but now this group and presently that suspended operations. "What's there about this place anyhow? It has an awful, familiar look. The stream and the stone bridge and the woods and the hill-the Henry Hill. Good God! it's the field of Manassas!"

The field of Manassas, in the half light, somehow inspired a faint awe, a creeping horror. "God! how young we were that day! It seems so long ago, and yet it comes back. Do you remember how we crashed together at the Stone Bridge? There's the Mathews Hill where we first met Sykes and Ricketts-seen them often since. The Henry Hill-there's the house-Mrs. Henry was killed. Hampton and Cary came along there and Beauregard with his sword out and Old Joe swinging the colours high, restoring the battle!-and Kirby Smith, just in time-just in time, and the yell his column gave! Next day we thought the war was over."-"I didn't."-"Yes, you did! You said, 'Well, boys, we're going back to every day, but by jiminy! we've got something to tell our grandchildren!' The ravine running up there-that was where Bee was killed! Bee! I can see him now. Then we were over there." "Yes, on the hilltop by the pine wood. 'Jackson standing like a stone wall.' Look, the light's touching it. Boys, I could cry, just as easy-"

The August morning strengthened. "Our guns were over there by the charred trees. There's where we charged, there's where we came down on Griffin and Ricketts!-the 33d, the 65th. The 65th made its fight there. Richard Cleave-" "Don't!"-"Well, that's where we came down on Griffin and Ricketts. Manassas! Reckon Old Jack and Marse Robert want a second battle of Manassas?"

The light grew full. "Ewell's over there-A. P. Hill's over there. All together, north of the Warrenton turnpike. Where's Marse Robert and Longstreet?"

Colonel Fauquier Cary, riding by, heard the last remark and answered it. "Marse Robert and Longstreet are marching by the road we've marched before them. To-night, perhaps, we'll be again a united family."

"Colonel, are we going to have a battle?"

"I wasn't at the council, friends, but I can tell you what I think."

"Yes, yes! We think that you think pretty straight-"

"McCall and Heintzelman and Fitz John Porter have joined General Pope."

"Yes. So we hear."

"And others of the Army of the Potomac are on the way."

"Yes, undoubtedly."

"But are not here yet."

"No."

"Well, then, I think that the thing above all others that General Lee wants is an immediate battle."

He rode on. The men to whom he had been speaking looked after him approvingly. "He's a fine piece of steel! Always liked that whole family-Isn't he a cousin of --? Yes. Wonder what he thinks about that matter! Heigho! Look at the stealing light and the grey shadows! Manassas!"

Cary, riding by Ewell's lines, came upon Maury Stafford lying stretched beneath an oak, studying, too, the old battlefield. The sun was up; the morning cool, fresh, and pure. Dismounting, Cary seated himself beside the other. "You were not in the battle here? On the Peninsula, were you not?"

"Yes, with Magruder. Look at that shaft of light."

"Yes. It strikes the crest of the hill-just where was the Stonewall Brigade."

Silence fell. The two sat, brooding over the scene, each with his own thoughts. "This field will be red again," said Stafford at last.

"No doubt. Yes, red again. I look for heavy fighting."

"I saw you when you came in with A. P. Hill on the second. But we have not spoken together, I think, since Richmond."

"No," said Cary. "Not since Richmond."

"One of your men told me that, coming up, you stopped in Albemarle."

"Yes, I went home for a few hours."

"All at Greenwood are well and-happy?"

"All at Greenwood are well. Southern women are not precisely happy. They are, however, extremely courageous."

"May I ask if Miss Cary is at Greenwood?"

"She remained at her work in Richmond through July. Then the need at the hospital lessening, she went home. Yes, she is at Greenwood."

"Thank you. I am going to ask another question. Answer it or not as you see fit. Does she know that-most unfortunately-it was I who carried that order from General Jackson to General Winder?"

"I do not think that she knows it." He rose. "The bugles are sounding. I must get back to Hill. General Lee will be up, I hope, to-night. Until he comes we are rather in the lion's mouth. Happily John Pope is hardly the desert king." He mounted his horse, and went. Stafford laid himself down beneath the oak, looked sideways a moment at Bull Run and the hills and the woods, then flung his arm upward and across his eyes, and went in mind to Greenwood.

The day passed in a certain still and steely watchfulness. In the August afternoon, Jeb Stuart, feather in hat, around his horse's neck a garland of purple ironweed and yarrow, rode into the lines and spoke for ten minutes with General Jackson, then spurred away to the Warrenton turnpike. Almost immediately Ewell's and Taliaferro's divisions were under arms and moving north.

Near Groveton they struck the force they were going against-King's division of McDowell's corps moving tranquilly toward Centreville. The long blue column-Doubleday, Patrick, Gibbon, and Hatch's brigades-showed its flank. It moved steadily, with jingle and creak of accoutrements, with soldier chat and laughter, with a band playing a quickstep, with the rays of the declining sun bright on gun-stock and bayonet, and with the deep rumble of the accompanying batteries. The head of the column came in the gold light to a farmhouse and an apple orchard. Out of the peace and repose of the scene burst a roar of grey artillery.

The fight was fierce and bloody, and marked by a certain savage picturesqueness. Gibbon and Doubleday somehow deployed and seized a portion of the orchard. The grey held the farmhouse and the larger part of the fair, fruit-bearing slopes. The blue brought their artillery into action. The grey batteries, posted high, threw their shot and shell over the heads of the grey skirmishers into the opposing ranks: Wooding, Poague, and Carpenter did well; and then, thundering through the woods, came John Pelham of Stuart's Horse Artillery, and he, too, did well.

As for the infantry, grey and blue, they were seasoned troops. There was no charging this golden afternoon. They merely stood, blue and grey, one hundred yards apart, in the sunset-flooded apple orchard, and then in a twilight apple orchard, and then in an apple orchard with the stars conceivably shining above the roof of smoke, and directed each against the other a great storm of musketry, round shot, and canister.

It lasted two and a half hours, that tornado, and it never relaxed in intensity. It was a bitter fight, and there was bitter loss. Doubleday and Gibbon suffered fearfully, and Ewell and Taliaferro suffered. Grey and blue, they stood grimly, and the tornado raged. The ghosts of the quiet husbandmen who had planted the orchard, of the lovers who may have walked there, of the children who must have played beneath the trees-these were scared far, far from the old peaceful haunt. It was a bitter fight.

Stafford was beside Ewell when the latter fell, a shell dreadfully shattering his leg. The younger man caught him, drew him quite from poor old Rifle, and with the help of the men about got him behind the slight, slight shelter of one of the little curtsying trees. Old Dick's face twitched, but he could speak. "Of course I've lost that leg! --! --! Old Jackson isn't around, is he? Never mind! Occasion must excuse. Go along, gentlemen. Need you all there. Doctors and chaplains and the teamsters, and Dick Ewell will forgather all right --! --! Damn you, Maury, I don't want you to stay! What's that that man says? Taliaferro badly wounded --! -- --! Gentlemen, one and all you are ordered back to your posts. I've lost a leg, but I'm not going to lose this battle!"

Night came with each stark battle line engaged in giving and receiving as deadly a bombardment as might well be conceived. The orchard grew a place tawny and red and roaring with sound. And then at nine o'clock the sound dwindled and the light sank. The blue withdrew in good order, taking with them their wounded. The battle was drawn, the grey rested on the field, the loss of both was heavy.

Back of the apple orchard, on the long natural terrace where he had posted his six guns, that tall, blond, very youthful officer whom, a little later, Stuart called "the heroic chivalric Pelham," whom Lee called "the gallant Pelham," of whom Stonewall Jackson said, "Every army should have a Pelham on each flank"-Major John Pelham surveyed the havoc among his men and horses. Then like a good and able leader, he brought matters shipshape, and later announced that the Horse Artillery would stay where it was for the night.

The farmhouse in the orchard had been turned into a field hospital. Thither Pelham's wounded were borne. Of the hurt horses those that might be saved were carefully tended, the others shot. The pickets were placed. Fires were kindled, and from a supply wagon somewhere in the rear scanty rations brought. An embassy went to the farmhouse. "Ma'am, the major-Major Pelham-says kin we please have a few roasting ears?" The embassy returned. "She says, sir, just to help ourselves. Corn, apples-anything we want, and she wishes it were more!"

The six guns gleamed red in the light of the kindled fires. The men sat or lay between them, tasting rest after battle. Below this platform, in the orchard and on the turnpike and in the woods beyond, showed also fires and moving lights. The air was yet smoky, the night close and warm. There were no tents nor roofs of any nature. Officers and men rested in the open beneath the August stars. Pelham had a log beneath a Lombardy poplar, with a wide outlook toward the old field of Manassas. Here he talked with one of his captains. "Too many men lost! I feel it through and through that there is going to be heavy fighting. We'll have to fill up somehow."

"Everybody from this region's in already. We might get some fifteen-year-olds or some sixty-five-year-olds, though, or we might ask the department for conscripts-"

"Don't like the latter material. Prefer the first. Well, we'll think about it to-morrow-It's late, late, Haralson! Good-night."

"Wait," said Haralson. "Here's a man wants to speak to you."

Running up the hillside, from the platform where were the guns to a little line of woods dark against the starlit sky, was a cornfield-between it and the log and the poplar only a little grassy depression. A man had come out of the cornfield. He stood ten feet away-a countryman apparently, poorly dressed.

"Well, who are you?" demanded Pelham, "and how did you get in my lines?"

"I've been," said the man, "tramping it over from the mountains. And when I got into this county I found it chock full of armies. I didn't want to be taken up by the Yankees, and so I've been mostly travelling by night. I was in that wood up there while you all were fighting. I had a good view of the battle. When it was over I said to myself, 'After all they're my folk,' and I came down through the corn. I was lying there between the stalks; I heard you say you needed gunners. I said to myself, 'I might as well join now as later. We've all got to join one way or another, that's clear,' and so I thought, sir, I'd join you-"

"Why haven't you 'joined,' as you call it, before?"

"I've been right sick for a year or more, sir. I got a blow on the head in a saw mill on Briony Creek and it made me just as useless as a bit of pith. The doctor says I am all right now, sir. I got tired of staying on Briony-"

"Do you know anything about guns?"

"I know all about a shotgun. I could learn the other."

"What's your name?"

"Philip Deaderick."

"Well, come into the firelight, Deaderick, so that I can see you."

Deaderick came, showed a powerful figure, and a steady bearded face. "Well," said the Alabamian, "the blow on your head doesn't seem to have put you out of the running! I'll try you, Deaderick."

"I am much obliged to you, sir."

"I haven't any awkward squad into which to put you. You'll have to learn, and learn quickly, by watching the others. Take him and enroll him, Haralson, and turn him over to Dreux and the Howitzer. Now, Deaderick, the Horse Artillery is heaven to a good man who does his duty, and it's hell to the other kind. I advise you to try for heaven. That's all. Good-night."

Day broke over the field of Groveton, over the plains of Manassas. Stonewall Jackson moved in force westward from the old battle-ground. South of Bull Run, between Young's Branch and Stony Ridge, ran an unfinished railroad. It was bordered by woods and rolling fields. There were alternate embankments and deep railroad cuts. Behind was the long ridge and Catharpin Run, in front, sloping gently to the little stream, green fields broken to the north by one deep wood. Stonewall Jackson laid his hand on the railroad with those deep cuts and on the rough and rising ground beyond. In the red dawn there stretched a battle front of nearly two miles. A. P. Hill had the left. Trimble and Lawton of Ewell's had the centre, Jackson's own division the right, Jubal Early and Forno of Ewell's a detached force on this wing. There were forty guns, and they were ranged along the rocky ridge behind the infantry. Jeb Stuart guarded the flanks.

The chill moisture of the morning, the dew-drenched earth, the quiet woods, the rose light in the sky-the troops moving here and there to their assigned positions, exchanged opinions. "Ain't it like the twenty-first of July, 1861?"-"It air and it ain't-mostly ain't!"-"That's true! Hello! they are going to give us the railroad cut! God bless the Manassas Railroad Company! If we'd dug a whole day we couldn't have dug such a ditch as that!"-"Look at the boys behind the embankment! Well, if that isn't the jim-dandiest breastwork! 'N look at the forty guns up there against the sky!"-"Better tear those vines away from the edge. Pretty, aren't they? All the blue morning glories. Regiment's swung off toward Manassas Junction! Now if Longstreet should come up!"-"Maybe he will. Wouldn't it be exciting? Come up with a yell same as Kirby Smith did last year! Wonder where the Yankees are?" "Somewhere in the woods

, the whole hell lot of them."-"Some of them aren't a hell lot. Some of them are right fine. Down on the Chickahominy I acquired a real respect for the Army of the Potomac-and a lot of it'll be here to-day. Yes, sir, I like Fitz John Porter and Sykes and Reynolds and a lot of them first rate! They can't help being commanded by The-Man-without-a-Rear. That's Washington's fault, not theirs."-"Yes, sir, Ricketts and Meade and Kearney and a lot of them are all right."-"Good Lord, what a shout! That's either Old Jack or a rabbit."-"It's Old Jack! It's Old Jack! He's coming along the front. Stonewall Jackson! Stonewall Jackson! Stonewall Jackson! He's passed. O God! I wish that Bee and Bartow and all that fell here could see him and us now."-"There's Stuart passing through the fields. What guns are those going up Stony Ridge?-Pelham and the Horse Artillery."-"Listen! Bugles! There they come! There they come! Over the Henry Hill." Attention!

About the middle of the morning the cannonading ceased. "There's a movement this way," said A. P. Hill on the left. "They mean to turn us. They have ploughed this wood with shells, and now they're coming to sow it. All right, men! General Jackson's looking!-and General Lee will be here to-night to tell the story to. I suppose you'd like Marse Robert to say, 'Well done!' All right, then, do well!-I don't think we're any too rich, Garrett, in ammunition. Better go tell General Jackson so."

The men talked, Hill's men and Ewell's men on Hill's right-not volubly, but with slow appreciation. "Reynolds? Like Reynolds all right. Milroy? Don't care for the gentleman. Sigel-Schurz-Schenck-Steinwehr? Nein. Nein! Wonder if they remember Cross Keys?"-"They've got a powerful long line. There isn't but one thing I envy them and that's those beautiful batteries. I don't envy them their good food, and their good, whole clothes or anything but the guns."-"H'm, I don't envy them anything-our batteries are doing all right! We've got a lot of their guns, and to-night we'll have more. Artillery's done fine to-day."-"So it has! so it has!"-"Listen, they're opening again. That's Pelham-now Pegram-now Washington Artillery-now Rockbridge!"-"Yes sir, yes sir! We're all right. We're ready. Music! They always come on with music. Funny! but they've got the bands. What are they playing? Never heard it before. Think it's 'What are the Wild Waves Saying?'"-"I think it's 'When this Cruel War is Over.'"-"Go 'way, you boys weren't in the Valley! We've heard it several times. It's 'Der Wacht am Rhein.'"-"All right, sir! All right. Now!"

Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, after the third great blue charge, Edward Cary, lips blackened from tearing cartridges, lock and barrel of his rifle hot within his hands, his cap shot away, his sleeve torn to ribbons where he had bared and bandaged a flesh wound in the arm, Edward Cary straightened himself and wiped away the sweat and powder grime which blinded him. An officer's voice came out of the murk. "The general asks for volunteers to strip the field of cartridges."

There were four men lying together, killed by the same shell. The head of one was gone, the legs of another; the third was disembowelled, the fourth had his breast crushed in. Their cartridge boxes when opened were found to be half full. Edward emptied them into the haversack he carried and went on to the next. This was a boy of sixteen, not dead yet, moaning like a wounded hound. Edward gave him the little water that was in his canteen, took four cartridges from his box, and crept on. A minie sang by him, struck a yard away, full in the forehead of the dead man toward whom he was making. The dead man had a smile upon his lips; it was as though he mocked the bullet. All the field running back from the railroad cuts and embankment was overstormed by shot and shell, and everywhere from the field rose groans and cries for water. The word "water" never ceased from use. Water!-Water, Water!-Water!-Water! On it went, mournfully, like a wind.-Water!-Water! Edward gathered cartridges steadily. All manner of things were wont to come into his mind. Just now it was a certain field behind Greenwood covered with blackberry bushes-and the hot August sunshine-and he and Easter's Jim gathering blackberries while Mammy watched from beneath a tree. He heard again the little thud of the berries into the bucket. He took the cartridges from two young men-brothers from the resemblance and from the fact that, falling together, one, the younger, had pillowed his head on the other's breast, while the elder's arm was around him. They lay like children in sleep. The next man was elderly, a lonely, rugged-looking person with a face slightly contorted and a great hole in his breast. The next that Edward came to was badly hurt, but not too badly to take an interest. "Cartridges?-yes, five. I'm awful thirsty!-Well, never mind. Maybe it will rain. Who's charging now? Heintzelman, Kearney, and Reno-Got 'em all? You can draw one from my gun, too. I was just loading when I got hit. Well, sorry you got to go! It's mighty lonely lying here."

Edward returned to the front, gave up his haversack, and got another. As he turned to resume the cartridge quest there arose a cry. "Steady, men! steady! Hooker hasn't had enough!" Edward, too, saw the blue wall coming through the woods on the other side of the railroad. He took a musket from a dead man near by and with all the other grey soldiers lay flat in the grass above the cut. Hooker came within range-within close range. The long grey front sprang to its feet and fired, dropped and loaded, rose and fired. A leaden storm visited the wood across the track. The August grass was long and dry. Sparks set it afire. Flames arose and caught the oak scrub. Through it all and through the storm of bullets the blue line burst. It came down on the unfinished track, it crossed, it leaped up the ten-foot bank of earth, it clanged against the grey line atop. The grey gave back, the colours fell and rose; the air rocked, so loud was the din. Stonewall Jackson appeared. "General Hill, order in your second line." Field's Virginians, Thomas's Georgians charged forward. They yelled, all their rifles flashed at once, they drove Hooker down into the cut, across the track, up into the burning brushwood and the smoke-filled woods. But the blue were staunch and seasoned troops; they reformed, they cheered. Hooker brought up a fresh brigade. They charged again. Down from the woods plunged the blue wave, through the fire, down the bank, across and up. Again din and smoke and flame, all invading, monstrous. Jackson's voice rose higher. "General Hill, order in General Pender."

North Carolina was, first and last, a stark fighter. Together with Gregg and Field and Thomas, Pender drove Hooker again down the red escarpment, across the railroad, through the burning brush, into the wood; even drove him out of the wood, took a battery and dashed into the open beyond. Then from the hills the blue artillery opened and from the plains below volleyed fresh infantry. Pender was borne back through the wood, across the railroad, up the red side of the cut.

Hooker had a brigade in column behind a tree-clad hill. Screened from sight it now moved forward, swift and silent, then with suddenness broke from the wood in a splendid charge. With a gleam of bayonets, with a flash of colours, with a loud hurrah, with a staggering volley its regiments plunged into the cut, swarmed up the red side and fell upon A. P. Hill's weakened lines. The grey wavered. Stonewall Jackson's voice was heard again. "General Hill, I have ordered up Forno from the right and a regiment of Lawton's." He jerked his hand into the air. "Here they are. Colonel Forno, give them the bayonet!"

Louisiana and Georgia swept forward, Tennessee, Alabama, and Virginia supporting. They swept Grover's brigade down and back. There was bitter fighting, hand-to-hand, horrible work: the dead lay in the railroad cut thick as fallen leaves. The dead lay thick on either bank and thick in the grass that was afire and thick in the smoky wood. The blue gave way, went back; the grey returned to their lines.

Edward went again for cartridges. He was beside Gregg's South Carolinians when a courier came up. "General Jackson wishes to know each brigade's amount of ammunition," and he heard Gregg's answer, "Tell General Jackson that this brigade has one round to the man, but I'll hold the position with the bayonet." Edward gleaned steadily. "Water! water! water!" cried the field. "O God! water!"

It was growing late, the long, hot day declining. There had been nine hours of fighting. "Nine hours-ninety hours-ninety minutes?" thought Edward. "Time's plastic like everything else. Double it, fold it back on itself, stretch it out, do anything with it-" He took the cartridges from a trunk of a man, crept on to a soldier shot through the hip. The latter clutched him with a blackened hand. "Has Marse Robert come? Has General Lee come?"

"They say he has. Over there on Stuart's Hill, holding Reynolds and McDowell and Fitz John Porter in check."

The man fell back. "Oh, then it is all right. Stonewall Jackson and Robert Edward Lee. It's all right-" He spoke drowsily. "It's all right. I'll go to sleep."

Edward looking sideways toward Stony Ridge saw the forty guns black against the sun. As he looked they blazed and thundered. He turned his eyes. Kearney and Reno, five brigades, were coming at a double across the open. As he looked they broke into the charge. With his bag of cartridges he made for the nearest grey line. The blue came on, a formidable wave indeed. Stonewall Jackson rode along the grey front.

"Men, General Early and two regiments of Lawton's are on their way. You must stand it till they come. If you have only one cartridge, save it until they are up from the cut. Then fire, and use your bayonets. Don't cheer! It makes your hand less steady."

The blue wave plunged into the railroad cut. "I think," said a grey soldier, "that I hear Jubal Early yelling." The blue wave mounted to the level. "Yaaaiih! Yaaaaiih!" came out of the distance. "We know that we do," said the men. "Now, our friend, the enemy, you go back!" Out of the dun cloud and roar came a deep "Steady, men! You've got your bayonets yet. Stand it for five minutes. General Early's coming. This is Manassas-Manassas-Manassas! God is over us! Stand it for five minutes-for three minutes.-General Early, drive them with the bayonet."

Late that night on the banks of Bull Run the general "from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemy" sent a remarkable telegram to Halleck at Washington. "We fought a terrific battle here yesterday with the combined forces of the enemy, which lasted with continuous fury from daylight until dark, by which time the enemy was driven from the field which we now occupy. The enemy is still in our front, but badly used up. We lost not less than eight thousand men killed and wounded, but from the appearance of the field the enemy lost two to one. The news has just reached me from the front that the enemy is retreating toward the mountains."

The delusion holding, he, at noon of the thirtieth, ordered a general advance. "The troops to be immediately thrown forward in pursuit of the enemy and to press him vigorously." One of his officers undertook a comment. "By the Lord Harry, it will be the shortest pursuit that even he ever saw! Why, damn it all! they're still here! I tell you the place is unlucky!"

Twenty thousand blue soldiers formed the front that came down from the hills and moved toward the Groveton wood and the railroad track. Behind them were supporting masses, forty thousand strong. On every slope gleamed the great blue guns. The guns opened; they shelled with vehemence the wood, the railroad cut, and embankment, the field immediately beyond. A line of grey pickets was seen to leave the wood and make across the track and into cover. Pope at the Stone House saw these with his field glass. "The last of their rear guard," he said.

One of his generals spoke. "Their guns are undoubtedly yet on that ridge, sir."

"I am perfectly well aware of that, sir. But they will not be there long after our line has crossed the track. Either we will gloriously take them, or they will limber up and scamper after Jackson. He, I take it, is well on his way to Thoroughfare Gap. All that we need is expedition. Crush him, and then when Longstreet is up, crush him."

"And those troops on Stuart Hill?"

"Give you my word they are nothing, general! A rebel regiment, at the most a brigade, thrown out from Jackson's right. I have positive information. Fitz John Porter is mistaken-arrogantly mistaken.-Ah, the rebel guns are going to indulge in a little bravado."

The twenty thousand gleaming bayonets passed the turnpike, passed Dogan's house, moved on toward the wood. It rose torn and thin and black from yesterday's handling. Immediately beyond was the railroad cut. On the other side of the railroad ran a stretch of field and scrub, mounting to Stony Ridge, that rose from the base of the woods. Stony Ridge looked grey itself and formidable, and all about it was the smoke of the forty grey guns. The twenty thousand bayonets pressed on.

There came a blare of bugles. Loud and high they rang-the bugles of the Light Division, of Ewell's, of Jackson's own. They pierced the thunder of the guns, they came from the wood at the base of Stony Ridge. There was a change in the heart-beat below the twenty thousand bayonets. Porter and Ricketts and Hatch stared, and saw start from the wood a downward moving wall. It moved fast; it approached with a certain impetuous steadiness. Behind it were shorter lines, detached masses. Together all came down from Stony Ridge like an avalanche. The avalanche came to and took the field of yesterday, and stood revealed,-Stonewall Jackson holding the railroad cut. "I thought as much," said Fitz John Porter. "Go ask him to give us Reynolds."

After the third charge the 65th and another regiment of the Stonewall Brigade, finding their ammunition exhausted, armed themselves with stones. Those of the Thunder Run men who had not fallen at White Oak Swamp proved themselves expert. Broken rock lay in heaps by the railroad bed. They brought these into the lines, swung and threw them. With stones and bayonets they held the line. Morell and Sykes were great fighters; the grey men recognized worthy foes. The battle grew Titanic. Stonewall Jackson signalled to Lee on the Warrenton turnpike, "Hill hard pressed. Every brigade engaged. Would like more guns."

Lee sent two batteries, and Stephen D. Lee placed them. There arose a terrific noise, and presently a wild yelling. Lee signalled:-

General Jackson. Do you still need reinforcements? Lee.

The signal officer on the knoll behind the Stonewall wigwagged back.

No. The enemy are giving way. Jackson.

They gave way, indeed. The forty guns upon the ridge, the eight that Lee had sent, strewed the green field beyond the Groveton wood with shot and shrapnel. Morell fell back, Hatch fell back; the guns became deadly, mowing down the blue lines. Stonewall Jackson rode along the front.

"General Hill, it is time for the counterstroke. Forward, and drive them!"

The signaller wigwagged to the Warrenton turnpike:-

General Lee. I am driving them. Jackson.

The signaller on the turnpike signalled back:-

General Jackson. General Longstreet is advancing. Look out for and protect his left flank. Lee.

* * *

Lee's great battle was over and won. Every division, brigade, regiment, battery, fifty thousand infantry and cavalry brought by the great leader into simultaneous action, the Army of Northern Virginia moved as in a vast parade over plain and hill. Four miles in length, swept the first wave with, in the centre, seven grey waves behind it. It was late. The grey sea moved in the red and purple of a great sunset. From Stony Ridge the forty guns thundered like grey breakers, while the guns of Longstreet galloped toward the front. Horses and men and guns were at the martial height of passion. To the right Jeb Stuart appeared, magnificent. On swept the resistless sea. A master mind sent it over those Manassas hills and plains, here diverting a portion of its waves, here curbing a too rapid onslaught, here harking the great mass forward, surmounting barriers, overwhelming a stubborn opposition, crumbling and breaking to pieces. Wave on wave, rapid, continuous, unremitting, thundered the assault, in the red sunset of the thirtieth of August. Pope's Army fought bravely, but in the dusk it melted away.

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