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CHAPTER XV.
THE SECOND BATTLE OF MANASSAS.

SATURDAY, the 30th of August—the great day which was to terminate the long conflict—dawned clear and beautiful. With the first dawn the Confederate troops were under arms, and prepared for the great contest. All of General Lee's forces had arrived, with the exception of Anderson's division, which was only a few miles from the field, and line of battle was immediately formed. The order of battle remained unchanged. Jackson still occupied his former position, with his left near Sudley, his right above Groveton; and Longstreet's line, as before, stretched away obliquely, the interval between the two being protected by the eight batteries of Colonel Lee. General Stuart's cavalry was posted on the right and left wings, and batteries were so disposed as to serve as supports to the advancing columns, or repulse the onset of the enemy. The Federal army adapted its line, in some measure, to that of General Lee. It curved backward from its centre, following the conformation of Lee's two wings, and is said to have embraced General Heintzelman on the right, General McDowell on the left, and Porter, Sigel, and Reno in the centre. Their batteries were disposed in a manner similar to General Lee's, and their cavalry held well in hand to take an active part in the battle. It was in this attitude that the two armies remained in face of each other for many hours—neither advancing to the attack. General Lee's policy was plainly to await the assault in his strong position behind the railroad, and on the high ground of the Groveton heights—thus forcing the enemy either to attack him, or retire across Bull Run, for supplies, pursued by the Southern troops. General Lee could hold his position indefi

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nitely, having uninterrupted communication with his rear; but the Federal general was forced to fight or retreat—and the obvious policy was to await his advance. The strength of the position was evidently appreciated, and persistent attempts were made to draw the Southern troops from it. About one o'clock a feint was made upon the Confederate right, and a brisk encounter took place between the advance forces; but the enemy were speedily driven back with artillery, and the Confederates retained their position. Heavy masses then moved in the direction of Lee's left, and General Jackson prepared for an instant renewal of the fierce conflict of the preceding day. Several demonstrations were made, but the failure here was as marked as it had been on the right; and the Federal forces withdrew, apparently designing to fall back in the direction of Manassas. These movements, during the whole forenoon, and up to four in the evening, were vigilantly watched by Lee. Though outwardly calm, the latent fire of his eye showed that the design of the enemy was fully understood, and that every thing was ready for the earnest work which must speedily succeed all this manoeuvring, these elaborate ruses and feints. The enemy had failed in achieving their object—to deceive the wary eyes of Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet—and they now prepared to abandon their useless movements, and trust the event of the day to superior numbers and stubborn fighting. The Southern troops had witnessed the complicated evolutions of the enemy across the wide fields and through the forest, with little anxiety. The conflict of the preceding day had given them confidence, and the men lay down in line of battle, laughing and jesting. Virginians, Georgians, Alabamians, Mississippians, Texans, Floridians, Carolinians—all awaited the development of the enemy's designs with entire calmness, and a species of indifference which was very striking. They were in this careless mood—some talking, others jesting, others again sleeping beneath the warm August sky—when suddenly the roar of thirty pieces of artillery shook the ground, and filled the air

with their tremendous reverberations. Every man started to his feet—and the cause of the heavy cannonade was plain. The enemy, entirely foiled in their attempt to draw Lee from the heights, had suddenly advanced at a double-quick, as before, against his centre, where Jackson's right and Longstreet's left came together. The attack was made upon Jackson's line first, by a dense column of infantry, which had been massed in a strip of woods, in close vicinity to Groveton. Three heavy lines had been formed for the charge, and as the first of these lines emerged at a double-quick from the woods, they were greeted with the murderous fire above described. The fire was directed, with astonishing accuracy, and the brigades which led the charge were almost annihilated by the shot and shell which burst before, behind, above, to the right, to the left—raking and tearing them to pieces. They were swept away before this horrible fire like leaves in the wind, and disappeared, broken and flying in the woods—to be immediately succeeded, however, by other brigades charging as before. Again the iron storm crashed through the ranks; and again they broke and retired. A third force, heavier than before now advanced with mad impetuosity, and, in the midst of the rapid fire of Lee's batteries, threw themselves upon Jackson, and engaged him with desperation. The battle was now joined in earnest, and Jackson bore the brunt of the attack. The force in front of him is said to have embraced, among others, the divisions of Sykes and Morrell, both enjoying a high reputation for discipline, gallantry, and efficiency. The onset of these veterans was sustained by Jackson, and in some portions of the field entirely repulsed. Colonel Lee had meanwhile opened a rapid fire of artillery from the hills above. Moving his batteries more to the left, he reached a position not more than four hundred yards from the Federal line, and poured a destructive fire over the heads of the Confederates. “As shell after shell,” says an eye-witness, “burst in the wavering ranks, and round shot ploughed broad gaps among them, you could distinctly see, through the rifts of smoke, the Federal soldiers falling and flying on every side. With the dispersion of the enemy's reserve,” says the same writer, “the whole mass broke and ran like a flock of wild sheep. Jackson's men, yelling like devils, now charged upon the scattered crowd, but you could notice that they themselves had severely suffered, and were but a handful compared with the overwhelming forces of the enemy. The flags of two or three regiments did not appear to be more than fifty yards apart. A golden opportunity was now at hand for Longstreet to attack the exposed left flank of the enemy in front of him, and he accordingly ordered the advance of Hood's division, which moved obliquely to the right and forward of the position it had occupied. Kemper next followed, with the brigade of General Jenkins on the right of that of Pickett, and Jones' division completed our line of battle. The brigade of Evans acted as a support to Hood. “Not many minutes elapsed after the order to attack before the volleys of platoons, and finally the rolling reports of long lines of musketry, indicated that the battle was in full progress. The whole army was now in motion. The woods were full of troops, and the order for the supports to forward at a quick step was received with enthusiastic cheers by the elated men. The din was almost deafening. The heavy notes of the artillery at first deliberate, but gradually increasing in rapidity, mingled with the sharp treble of the small-arms, gave one an idea of some diabolical concert in which all the furies of hell were at work. Through the woods, over gently-rolling hills, now and then through an open field, we travel toward the front. From an elevation we obtain a view of a considerable portion of the field. Hood and Kemper are now hard at it, and as they press forward, never yielding an inch, sometimes at a double-quick, you hear these unmistakable yells which tell of a Southern charge or a Southern success. “The troops they encounter are the best disciplined in the Federal army, and for a little while most obstinately do they contest every inch of ground over which we advance. Nothing, however, can withstand the impetuosity of our boys. Every line of the enemy has been broken and dispersed, but rallies again upon some other positions behind. Hood has already advanced his division nearly half a mile at a double-quick—the Texans, Georgians, and Hampton Legion loading and firing as they run, yelling all the while like madmen. They have captured one or two batteries and various stands of colors, and are still pushing the enemy before them. Evans, at the head of his brigade, is following on the right, as their support, and pouring in his effective volleys. Jenkins has come in on the right of the Chinn House, and, like an avalanche, sweeps down upon the legions before him with resistless force. Still further to the right is Longstreet’s old brigade, composed of Virginians, veterans of every battle-field, all of whom are fighting like furies. The 1st Virginia, which opened the ball at Bull Run on the 17th of July, 1861, with over six hundred men, now reduced to less than eighty members, is winning new laurels; but out of the little handful more than a third have already bit the dust. Toombs and Anderson, with the Georgians, together with Kemper and Jenkins, are swooping around on the right, flanking the Federals, and driving them toward their centre and rear. Eschelman, with his company of the Washington artillery, Major Garnett, with his battalion of Virginia batteries, and others of our big guns, are likewise working around upon the enemy's left, and pouring an enfilading fire into both their infantry and artillery. “We do nothing but charge charge l l charge ' ' ' If the enemy make a bold effort to retrieve the fortunes of the day (and they made many), and we are repulsed, it is but for the moment, and the regiments rallying upon their supports plunge back again into the tempest of fire that before swept them down. “Some of the positions of the enemy were strong as Nature could make them, and were charged five or six times, but each time our soldiers were turned back by sheer physical inability to surmount the obstacles before them. It was then grand to witness the moral heroism with which, though their comrades went down like swaths of grass under the mower's scythe, other men continued to step into the path of death with cheerful alac

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