The Second Battle of Bull Run By LBM

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McClellan's army was being transferred from Harrison's Landing to the vicinity of Washington and Burnside's corps, someway, was after Jackson and between him and the balance of Lee's army and as we were marched hastly back toward Manassas. Rumors were current that Jackson was in a trap and could not escape. I recollect that about the second day after leaving the Rappahamack River the weather was very hot, dry and dusty, we marched very hard from very early in the morning till near noon, under the incentive that by a quick move we were to capture Jackson. We halted near noon and made a pot of coffee and it was wonderful what an invigorating effect it bad. The men were completely fagged out before the halt, but after a pint of strong coffee to the man, each one making his own (as usual under the circumstances) the army started off greatly invigorated. Well, we took the back track for nearly four miles, making eight miles of useless marching that hot day, and then branched off toward the old Bull Run battlefield which we reached just at night, having been within sound of Burnside's and Jackson's guns for some hours. As it began to grow dusk we could see the flash of the muskets in the fight between Burnside and the enemy off to the left front as we were placed in what proved to be near the center of the battlefield. My! but we were tired; having marched more or less every day for past month or more and a part of every night for the past 21 consecutive nights --that is, had marched far into the night or all night, or had started before daylight and yet were in fine condition for battle, the poor material all sifted out and the others in such shape that they would rather fight than march.

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The next morning (Aug. 29, 1562) our brigade or Reg't. at least , moved to where Burnside had fought the night before, most or all the wounded were removed in ambulances. I know that soon my haversack and canteen were empty, helping the wounded. We were soon moved back a ways and a rebel battery opened on us sending the shell in very close. One had struck the ground and ricochet) I saw it coming and dodged and it struck a comrade, Treadweel, fair on the cartridge box, which broke the force of the blow so that no serious injury was done. We were soon moved back to our first position. All during the afternoon there was hard fighting off within plain view to our right front. The ground about or in the battlefield is rolling, grand stretches of slopes affording long views in many directions. Troops from McClellan's army were constantly arriving. We lay at a ridge extending far off to the right, which the rebs were shelling quite vigorously. I could look back along the road and field adjacent and saw some half dozen batteries of flying artillery from McClellan army come up, the horses on the run, and go into action just to our right --the grandest sight I ever saw --same forty- cannon and caissons, mounted artillery men, more than five hundred horses extending back nearly a mile, all on a dead run circling round and coming into action under fire with the most perfect artillery practice I ever saw. The rebel shell shrieking through the air as this artillery answered with an iron hail which seemed to give the rebs, over on the next hill some three-fourths of a mile distant as good as they sent. Yes, it was awfully grand. Just at dusk "Berdants Sharpshooters" marched past our flank along the road. I also noticed for the first time some "Penn Bucktails. " These troops advanced and engaged the enemy and soon the

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wounded came streaming back. Now it is dark, nothing decisive. It was rather quiet along our part of the line during the night and the next forenoon (Aug. 30). In the afternoon our regiment was moved across to the left hand side of the road, and placed in reserve at the foot of the hill, while at the top or summit of the ridge in front was DuBeck's battery and one reg't. (the 75th Ohio perhaps). About 3 o'clock there was rapid firing at top of the hill, and the battery came tearing down through our ranks followed by the Union soldiers, and the rebs appeared in the smoke at the top of the hill and the zip and hiss of the bullets was in our ears. I was acting lst Serg't. at right of Co. and the two men next to me were wounded, and as we were ordered to "about face" I assisted one of them to the rear a few rods and ran back into ranks as the reg't was marching by the left flank. We soon halted and faced the enemy as they came down across a gully or depression and up toward us. We soon stopped them and drove them back, but others coming out on our left flank, the regiment under orders of Col. Lee , made a left wheel or changed front in line of battle under fire in fine style, this on Bald Hill". The rebs in solid ranks with colors flying advanced on us while the shell and cannon shot were whizzing all about us. As I looked through the smoke I could see the rebel colors flying, the officers riding back and forth cheering or urging the men forward as they poured into our ranks --as terrible a musket fire as was ever faced. Gen. Robert Schenk (commanding our division) was wounded while urging the men to stand firm. I remember so well hearing Col. Lee's clarion voice ring out "Stand to it, boys. Stand your ground". The rebs came on to within 100 feet of us, I think, then their colors went down

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and they fell back. Lieut. Boult said, "Let's have those colors ," and he and I and another made a dash for them, but a rebs ran back for them and fell in a moment and another picked them up and ran back a short way and fell and still another reb carried them into their line. Meanwhile the rebs had been pouring out of the woods and across our front in rear of those fighting us, and flanked and driven back the left of our brigade. The first I knew one of the guns to our left was firing the wrong Way and the rebs were to my left, and I saw our colors and most of the regiment were soma rods to the rear. My diary for that day says I fired three shots after the colors left Bald Hill before I fell back. I ran through a little cluster of tress and found a wounded man, Hays, was gone, and then on across the road where the Regiment was forming. As I fell in on the right I saw the color bearer Bellamy's head strike the ground same twenty feet in rear of the line while his body with the colors fell forward, a solid shot having struck him on the Chin. He was carrying the blue banner now in Wbittlesey Academy at Norwalk. My! But how the shot and shell did whizz around there, but the rebs seemed to have enough of us and did not advance on us. I remember well as Gen. McClane, our brigade commander rode along he shook hands with Col. Lee as the tears rolled down their cheeks. Neither spoke a word. We lost one third of our number engaged in about twenty min- utes under fire. I have since talked with several rebel soldiers who fought our brigade that day, and they all remembered the loss they suffered. See "Battle of Mannassus", in Capt. King's Important and Decisive Battles of the World." Page 15 Well, soon after this we were marched off to right rear and placed along a fence with orders to hold it all hazards, the rebs having run a battery way around there and opened up to create an alarm which it did. It was soon over and we were moved back to near the road and some three-fourths of a mile in rear of where we had been in the forenoon. This was after dark and there was a bright camp fire near where we stopped, and I saw Generals Pope and Seigle, talking very earnestly. I stepped up near by in the shadow but could hear little that was said, but inferred that Seigle's suggestion was to stay right there and fight it out, but Pope shook his head and tried to show that something was wrong. That it was no use) etc. about nine o'clock our regiment moved back to and across the Stone Bridge, and I with about thirty other men was detailed as guard at this bridge. Soon after eleven o'clock a mounted officer ordered us to rejoin the regiment, which had moved on and we followed on, joining the regiment near daylight at Centerville, being about the last of our army, if not the last, over the road. There was no haste, no unusual disorder; no rebs in sight or hearing. Thus, to us, ended the 2nd Battle of Bull Run, where, as Lincoln said, we were knocked into the middle of last year. This is simply my experience or part and not intended as an account of the battle which of course you will get more fully from history and Which I hope you will study carefully some time.

Second Battle of Bull Run in Wikipedia

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