網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

166

RETURN TO ALEXANDRIA.

side, whom General Burnside recognized as a prominent Union lady. He immediately remarked to her: "Have you anything down to the bridge, madam ?” “Only a bed and a few small articles, sir." Turning to one of his wagon-masters, he said, “Send down an ambulance, wagon-master, and have them brought up and carried to the depot.” The lady afterwards had the pleasure of being landed safely in Washington with her children and effects. This was a little incident in itself, but illustrates the character of the man.

The Thirty-third did not disembark, but proceeding on up to Alexandria, went into camp near Fort Ellsworth, on the 24th, just five months from the day it left for the Peninsula. Five months of active campaigning had brought with it all the fortunes of war. Victory and defeat had anon perched on our banners. New Generals had come and gone. Brave spirits innumerable had been shot to death on the field, lain down in sickly swamps to die, or breathed their life away in northern hospitals or homes. The retrospect was not a cheerful one.

The other Regiments of Franklin's Corps arrived during the same day, on the Daniel Webster and other transports.

General Pope's army was in the meantime actively engaged.

Saturday, August 9th, the battle of Cedar Mountain was fought between Generals Banks and Jackson, which can hardly be claimed as a victory for the Federal arms, though the subsequent retreat of the enemy left us in possession of the field.

GENERAL POPE'S OPERATIONS.

167

' Wednesday, 13th, General Buford's Cavalry pushed on further south, as far as Orange Court House, capturing many wounded who had been abandoned.

Sunday, 17th, the army encamped along the banks of the Rapidan.

Wednesday, 20th, General Pope and his entire command crossed to the north bank of the river, and during the same day Jackson, who had been heavily reinforced from Lee's army, appeared at several of the fords, and opened a brisk and lengthy artillery fire. Opposing batteries were planted along the river at different points for a distance of fifteen miles. No advantage resulted to the enemy from this prolonged artillery duel. They succeeded, however, in throwing a body of cavalry across one of the fords at the extreme left of our lines, which was met by a corresponding force. A severe conflict ensued, neither party being the victors.

Saturday, 23rd, the rebels made a spirited attack on Rappahannock Station, compelling us to abandon it. The bridge over the Rappahannock at that point

Monday, 25th, the entire left wing of the rebel army crossed the river at Warrenton Springs, and General Pope immediately decided upon abandoning the line of the Rappahannock.

Tuesday, 26th, Ewell, with a part of Jackson's command, appeared at Bristow Station, in Pope's rear, and destroyed two bridges, two locomotives, and fifty cars, en route back to Alexandria from Warrenton Junction, whither they had conveyed General 168

EWELL OPERATING IN POPE'S REAR.

Hooker's Division a few hours previous. Leaving Bristow Station, Ewell proceeded to Manassas Junction, and burnt one hundred more cars, heavily laden with ammunition and supplies. He also destroyed the bridge over Bull Run, and retreated to Hay Market, closely pursued by Hooker and Kearney. About the same time Longstreet's corps forced a passage through Thoroughfare Gap, after meeting with a stubborn resistance from General King's Division.

On abandoning the Rappahannock, General Pope had marched rapidly back, in three columns, from Warrenton and Warrenton Junction, and disposed his forces in the following manner. The Corps of McDowell and Sigel and the Pennsylvania Reserves, under Reynolds, were moved to Gainesville. Reno and Kearney were directed upon Greenwich, while Hooker's Division was sent against Ewell along the railroad. These dispositions, General Halleck tells us, were well planned, but were unfortunately too late, as a large detachment of Lee's army was already east of Thoroughfare Gap. General Porter was ordered to be at Bristow Station by daylight on the morning of the 28th, but not obeying the order, his Corps did not participate in the battles of the 28th and 29th. Heintzelman's Corps pressed forward to Manassas on the morning of the 28th, and forced Jackson to retreat across Bull Run by the Centreville turnpike. McDowell had succeeded in checking Lee at Thoroughfare Gap, but the latter took the road to New Market, and hastened to the relief of Jackson, who was now in rapid re

SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN.

169

treat. A portion of McDowell's corps encountered the retreating column on the afternoon of the 28th, near Warrenton turnpike, and a severe but successful battle ensued.

Friday, 29th, Jackson was again attacked near the old battle ground of July 1861, when a heavy engagement ensued. Sigel, who had arrived, held the extreme right of our lines. The enemy endeavored to turn his position, but were repulsed three times. Fighting continued until dark, at which time the rebels had been driven one mile. General Pope, in his official report of this battle, wrote:

“We fought a terrific battle here yesterday with the combined forces of the enemy, which lasted with continuous fury, from daylight until after dark, by which time the enemy was driven from the field which we now occupy. Our troops are too much exhausted to push matters, but I shall do so in the course of the morning, as soon as Fitz-John Porter's Corps comes up from Manassas.”

Upon the following day our forces were arranged as follows: Heintzelman, extreme right; Porter and McDowell, centre; and Banks, extreme left. Sigel was held as a reserve in the rear of Porter. We renewed the battle at 7 o'clock, A. M. Firing was kept up on both sides until one o'clock, when the rebels charged in solid column upon our centre. They were at first repulsed, but again advancing in six columns, McDowell's troops gave away. The centre now being broken, the wings were compelled to fall back, when a perfect rout ensued. Officers

170

SLOW MARCH OF THE SIXTH CORPS.

and men, alike, rushed back, pell mell, in the direction of Washington, as fast as their legs would carry them. Reaching Bull Run they were temporarily rallied and held the advance of the enemy in check, but again pushing on, they did not stop until within sight of Centreville.

Returning to General Franklin's command, the Thirty-third, together with the other Regiments of the Corps, received marching orders on the 28th. Tents were struck, rations provided, and everything got in readiness to hasten to the support of Pope. But the movement did not commence, and at sunset. the tents were re-pitched. Orders came again, however, at ten o'clock, to be ready to march on the following morning. The Third Brigade was in readiness at six o'clock, but, proceeding on to the camps of the remaining portions of the Corps, saw but little indication of a move. Tents remained standing, unharnessed artillery horses were eating their grain, and other evidences of an intended delay were apparent. After the lapse of two hours, the Corps took up the line of march, and proceeding through Annandale, halted at eleven o'clock for the day, after having made a distance of six and one half miles. The next morning the march was resumed at eight o'clock. On nearing Fairfax Court House, the artillery firing of General Pope could be distinctly heard, and the troops, knowing that he must be in need of reinforcements, were anxious to push rapidly forward. But they were moved along at a snail pace. Arriving at Cub Run, two miles

« 上一頁繼續 »