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BATTLE OF GAIN ESV ILLE,
with the Pennsylvania Reserves, came into position, at noon, on our extreme left. About 2 P. M., Gen. Hooker, with Heintzelman's remaining division, came down the Sudley Springs road on our extreme right; and his troops immediately went in to the aid of the wasted and hungry commands of Schurz and Milroy, who were thus enabled to refill their cartridge boxes and obtain some much needed food and rest. The fighting thence till 4 P. M. was desultory—a succession of heavy skirmishes from point to point along the front; either General being intent on his approaching réenforcements, and trusting to time as his friend. At 44, McDowell being announced as at hand, Pope sent a peremptory order to Porter to go into action on the enemy's right, turning it if possible; and, an hour later, presuming this order obeyed, directed Heintzelman and Reno to attack the enemy in front; which order was gallantly obeyed.” And now, though Fitz-John Porter was still missing, and King's division did not reach the field till near sunset, our army was for once superior in numbers; Kearny’s and IIooker's fresh regiments pressing forward and crowding back the enemy's left, which had been skillfully disposed for a good part of the day behind the embankment of an abandoned railroad, which served most effectively as a breast-work. At 5 P.M., Kearny, bringing up nearly his entire division, and changing his front to
the left, advanced by order, charged the enemy's left and swept back his first line, rolling it up on his center and right. King's division was sent into the fight about sunset, and advanced considerably beyond our general line of battle; but, soon finding itself confronted by a heavier force of the enemy, was brought to a stand. Meantime, Hood charged in turn, with a fresh division of Longstreet's corps, which had marched through the Gap that day and been sent by Lee to the relief of Jackson, now clearly outnumbered. Hood's famous Texas brigade and that of Law rushed forward with great intrepidity, repulsing Kearny’s most advanced regiments, taking 1 gun, 4 flags, and 100 prisoners. Darkness arrested the conflict, either army resting on the field of battle; but Pope, with some reason, claiming the advantage, in that he held some ground which had been wrested from the enemy during the day. The losses on either side were probably not far from 7,000 Illen. But Pope was really beaten, though he did not yet know it. IIis aim had been to overwhelm Jackson before Lee, with Longstreet, could come to his assistance; and in this he had conspicuously failed. IIad his entire army been in hand and in line of battle by 9 o'clock that morning, his success would have been certain and easy; but, dropping in by brigades and divisions throughout the day, and Porter not even getting into action at all,” he had barely held his own; and now his opportunity had vanished. Longstreet's corps had been arriving throughout the day, and was now all present—much of it perfectly fresh, so far as fighting was concerned, and ready for most effective service on the morrow. Pope, so often disappointed and baffled, found his fighting force reduced by casualties and by straggling, on the morning of that eventful morrow, to about 40,000 men.” These had had a surfeit of marching and fighting, with very little eating, for the two preceding days; while his artillery and cavalry horses had been ten days in harness, and two days without food. To his appeal of the 28th to Gen. IIalleck for rations, for forage, and fresh horses, he had that morning at daylight” received an answer from Gen. Franklin, written by direction of Gen. McClellan, and dated 8 P.M. of the 29th, inform
* Pope, in his official report, says:
“In this attack, Grover's brigade of Hooker's division was particularly distinguished by a determined bayonet-charge, breaking two of the enemy's lines, and penetrating to the third before it could be checked.”
*Pope, in his official report, says:
“About 8 P.M., the greater portion of the field of battle was occupied by our army. ... Nothing was heard of Gen. Porter up to that time; and his forces took no part whatever in the action; but were suffered by him to lie idle on their arms, within sight and sound of the battle during the whole day. So far as I know, he made no effort whatever to comply with my orders or to take any part in the action. I do not hesitate to say that, if he had discharged his duty as became a soldier under the circumstances, and had made a vigorous attack on the enemy, as he was expected and directed to do, at any time up to 8 o'clock that night, we should have utterly crushed or captured the larger portion of Jackson's force before he could have been by any possibility sufficiently reenforced to have made an effective resistance. I did not myself feel for a moment that it was necessary for me, having given Gen. Porter an order to march toward the enemy, in a particular direction, to send him in addition specific orders to attack; it being his clear duty, and in accordance with every military precept, to have brought his forces into action wherever he encountered the enemy, when a furious battle with that enemy was raging during the whole day in his immediate presence. I believe—in fact, I am positive—that at 5 o'clock on the afternoon of the 29th, Gen. Porter had in his front no considerable body of the enemy. I believed then, as I am very sure now, that it was easily practicable for him to have turned the right flank of Jackson, and to have fallen upon his rear; that, if he had done so, we should have gained a decisive victory over the army under Jackson before he could have been joined by any of the forces of Longstreet; and that the
* ing him that rations would be loaded in the available wagons and cars at Alexandria so soon as he would send back a cavalry escort to bring out the trains. If cavalry had been ever so necessary to the guarding of railroad trains, he had probably not then a regiment that could have gone to Alexandria and back within 48 hours. Ise had received no réenforcements or supplies since the 26th, and had no assurance that any were on the way. To retreat was difficult; to stand still and famish unadvisable; so he ordered Porter, supported by King, to advance down the Warrenton turnpike and attack; while IIeintzelman and IReno, supported by Ricketts's division, were to assail and turn the enemy's left. Porter's attack was feeble; and not unreasonably so, since he encountered the enemy in greatly superior numbers, and was speedily thrown back in confusion; the Confederates pursuing eagerly and joining battle along the entire front, but struggling especially to overwhelm and turn our left, where Schenck, Milroy, and Reynolds, soon rêenforced by Ricketts, maintained the unequal contest throughout the afternoon; while Porter's weakened corps was rallied, reformed, and pushed up to their support; rendering good service, especially the brigade of regulars under Col. Buchanan. Gen. Tower led his brigade, of Ricketts's division, into action, in support of Reynolds, with eminent skill and gallantry; its conduct being such as to elicit enthusiastic cheers from our entire left wing. Reno's corps, also, being withdrawn
army of Gen. Lee would have been so crippled
and checked by the destruction of this large force as to have been no longer in condition to prosecute further operations of an aggressive character.”
* In his official report, he says:
“At that time, my effective force, greatly reduced by losses in killed, wounded, missing, and broken-down men, during the severe operations of the two or three days and nights previous; the sharp actions of IIooker, King, and Ricketts on the 27th and 28th, and the furious battle on the 29th, were estimated by me and others as follows: McDowell's corps, including Reynolds's division, 12,000 men; Sigel's corps, 7,000; Reno's corps, 7,000; Heintzelman's corps, 7,000; Porter's corps, which had been in no engagement, and was, or ought to have been, perfectly fresh, I estimated at about 12,000 men, including the brigade of Piatt, which formed a part of Sturgis's division, and the only portion that ever joined me. But of this force the brigades of Piatt and Griffin, numbering, as I understood, about 5,000 men, had been suffered to march off at daylight on the 30th for Centerville, and were not available for operations on that day. This reduced Porter's effective force in the field to about 7,000 men; which gave me a total force of 40,000 men. I}anks's corps, about 5,000 strong, was at Bristow Station, in charge of the railroad trains, and of a portion of the wagon trains of the army, still at that place.”
* Aug. 30
from our right center, was thrown
into action on our left, and displayed conspicuous gallantry. But, the fates were against us. The enemy was aware of his advantage, and resolved to press it to the utmost. Our attack on his left, under Jackson, for a time promised success; until our advancing troops were mowed down by the cross-fire of 4 batteries from Longstreet's left, which decimated and drove them
back in confusion. Jackson, seeing
them recoil, immediately ordered an advance; which Longstreet supported by pushing forward his whole command against our center and left.
*Lee, in his official report, says:
“The obscurity of night and the uncertainty of the fords of Bull Run rendered it necessary to suspend operations until morning; when the cavalry, being pushed forward, discovered that the enemy had escaped to the strong position of Centerville, about four miles beyond Bull Run. The prevalence of a heavy rain, which loan during the night, threatened to render Bull Run impassable, and impeded our movements. Longstreet remained on the battle-field to engage the attention of the enemy, and cover the burial of the dead and the removal of the wounded; while Jackson proceeded by Sudley's Ford to the Little River turnpike, to turn the
Hood's two brigades again led the charge, followed by the divisions of Evans, R. II. Anderson, and Wilcox, sustained by those of Kemper and D. R. Jones; the Rebel artillery doing fearful execution on our disordered and recoiling infantry. At dark, our left had been forced back considerably, but still stood firm and unbroken, and still covered the turnpike which was our only safe line of retreat. At 8 P.M., Pope sent written instructions to his corps commanders to withdraw deliberately toward Centerville, designating the route of each, and the position he was to take ; while IReno was ordered to cover the retreat; which was made slowly, quietly, and in good order: no pursuit across I3ull Itun being attempted.” Franklin's corps, from McClellan's army, reported 8,000 strong, was, unknown to Pope, throughout this mournful day, a little east of Centerville.” Pope reached that point between 9 and 10 P.M., and at once made his dispositions for resisting a Tebel attack.. But none was attempted. Sumner, as well as Franklin, from McClellan's army, joined him here, raising his total force to fully 60,000 men; which was proba
bly more than the enemy could now .
bring against him. Pope evidently expected to be at
enemy's right and intercept his retreat to Washington. Jackson's progress was retarded by the inclemency of the weather and the fatigue of his troops; who, in addition to their arduous marches, had fought three severe engagements in as many days. Ise reached Little River turnpike in the evening, and the next day, Septemior 1st, advanced by that road toward Fairfax Court House.”
* Pope, in his official report, says:
“About 6 P. M., I heard accidentally that Franklin's corps had arrived at a point about four miles east of Centerville, and 12 miles in or rear, and that it was only about S,000 strong.
tacked next morning in this strong position; but Lee, not unmindful of the still recent and sore experience of Malvern IIeights, was too good a General to repeat his own blunders. Aware that a demoralized army under an inapt commander may be most safely and surely assailed on its flank and rear—by blows that threaten to cut off its line of supply and retreat—he started Jackson northward, with his own and Ewell's divisions, at an early hour next morning,” with instructions to turn and assail our right. Crossing Bull Run at Sudley Ford, Jackson took a country road thence to Little River turnpike, on which, turning sharply to the right, he moved down toward Fairfax C. II.; and, toward evening of the next day,” when nearing the little village of Germantown, a mile or two from Fairfax C. II., he found his advance resisted. Pope, not even threatened with a front attack, had ere this suspected the Rebels of a fresh attempt to flank his right, and had directed Gen. Sumner to push forward two brigados toward the turnpike, while Gen. IIooker was that afternoon dispatched to Fairfax C. II. to support the movement. Skirmishing commenced at 5 P. M. Gen. Reno, near Chantilly, with the remains of two divisions, poorly supplied with ammunition, found himself confronted by Jackson's far superior numbers, but composed wholly of infantry; the rapidity of his march having left his artillery behind on the road. Gen. Isaac J. Stevens, commanding Reno's 2d or left divi
sion, at once ordered a charge, and was shot dead while leading it, by a bullet through his head. His command thereupon fell back in disorder, uncovering the flank of Reno's other division, which thereupon fell back also. Gen. Phil. Kearny, with his division of Heintzelman's corps, now advanced and renewed the action, in the midst of a thunder-storm so furious that ammunition could with great difficulty be kept serviceable; while the roar of cannon was utterly unheard at Centerville, barely three miles distant. Riding forward too recklessly, Kearny, about sunset, was shot dead, when almost within the Rebel lines, and the command of his division devolved on Gen. Birney, who promptly ordered a bayonetcharge by his own brigade, consisting of the 1st, 38th, and 40th New York. The order was executed by Col. Egan with great gallantry, and the enemy’s advance driven back considerably; Gen. Birney holding the field of conflict through the night, burying our dead and removing our wounded. Our total loss here cannot have exceeded 500 men ; but among them were Gens. Kearny and Stevens, and Maj. Tilden, 38th New York, who fell in the closing bayonetcharge. Jackson's flanking movement and attack, though wisely conceived and vigorously made, had failed to achieve any material results. IIis report claims no prisoners nor arms captured.” Pope's retreat from Centerville
“August 31. * Sept. 1.
forward; and, late in the evening, after reaching
Ox Hill, came in contact with the enemy, who
were in position on our right and front, covering his line of retreat from Centerville to Fairfax Court House. Our line of battle was formed—Gen. Hill's division on the right; Ewell's division, Gen. Lawton commanding, in
Gen. Lee officially claims to have captured, during his campaign against Pope, more than 7,000 prisoners, beside 2,000 of our wounded left in his hands, with 30 pieces of artillery, and 20,000 small arms; while our losses of railroad cars, munitions, tents, and camp equipage, must have been immense. Lee's Medical Director makes the Rebel losses in the two days’ fighting on Manassas Plains, 1,090 killed, 6,154 wounded : total, 7,244. Longstreet reports his losses from the 23d to the 30th of August, inclusive, at 4,725. A. P. Hill reports the losses in his division, from the 24th to the 31st, at 1,548. Probably the entire Rebel loss from Cedar Mountain to Chantilly did not fall short of 15,000 men; while Pope's, if we include that by stragglers who never rejoined their regiments, must have been fully double that number. Among our the center, and Jackson's division, Gen. Starke commanding, on the left—all on the right of the turnpike road. Artillery was posted on an eminence to the left of the road. The brigades of Branch and Field, Col. Brockenbrough commanding the latter, were sent, forward to feel and engage the enemy. A cold and drenching thunder-shower swept over the field at this time, striking directly into the faces of our troops. These two brigades gallantly engaged the enemy; but so severe was the fire in front
killed, beside those already named, were Cols. Fletcher Webster, son of the great Daniel, Roberts, 1st Mich., O'Connor, 2d Wisc., Koltes, 73d Pa., commanding a brigade, Cantwell, 82d Ohio, and Brown, 20th Ind. Among our wounded on the 30th, were Maj.-Gen. Robert C. Schenck and Col. Hardin, of the Pa. Reserves. Among the Rebels wounded in these fights, were Brig.Gens. Field and Trimble, and Cols. Forno and Baylor, commanding brigades.
How far Pope's disasters are justly attributable to his own incapacity, and how far to the failure or withholding of support on which he had a right to calculate, it is time now to
and flank of Branch's brigade as to produce in
consider. In his report, he says:
of Gregg, Thomas, and Pender were then