Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/104

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100 Sonfln'i-n li,.*in,-n-'il Sum /// Papers.

destruction of the immense stores of the enemy the forcing of Pope from the Rappahannock to Bull Run, and the demoralization produced in the Federal army, but General Jackson knew that the Confederate design demanded that a battle with Pope should be made before reinforcements were received from McClellan, and so he determined with his little army to attack the Federal forces and com- pel them to stop and give battle.

Our army lay concealed by the railroad cut, the woods and the configuration of the ground near the same field that we had fought the first battle of Manassas. The different columns of the enemy were moving in such a confused way that it was difficult to tell what they intended. Gen. Jackson, who had been up the whole of the previous night directing the movement of his troops, was asleep in a fence corner, when mounted scouts came in to inform us that a large body of Pope's army was moving past on the Warrenton road and in the direction of Centreville. As soon as he was waked and in- formed of the state of affairs, Gen. Jackson sprang up and moved rapidly towards his horse, buckling on his sword as he moved and urging the greatest speed on all around him, directing Ewell and Taliaferro to attack the enemy, which proved to be King's Division. With about 20,000 men he attacked Pope's army of 77,000 soldiers, so determined was he that Pope should not escape to Centreville, there to intrench and wait for the reinforcements of McClellan then on their way to him. The attack that evening brought on the bloody battle of Groveton.

I must recur to the battle of Sharpsburg, as that was one of the sternest trials to which Jackson was ever subjected. 80,000 Federal soldiers under McClellan attacked 35,000 Confederates under Lee, making the contest a most unequal one. It was a pitched battle in an open field. There were no fortifications or entrenchments, and the ground, as far as sites for artillery went, was decidedly more favorable for the Federals. To defend the left wing of the Con- federate line Jackson had, including D. H. Hill's three brigades, less than 8,000 men. In front of him was Hooker with 15,000, Mansfield with 10,000, and Sumner with Sedgwick's Division, 6,000 8,000 Confederates to 31,000 veteran Federal soldiers. Hooker, at daylight, attacked and was routed. Then Mansfield came over the same ground and met the same fate. Then Sumner came up and was thrashed. 8,000 half starved, shoeless, ragged Confederates had routed 31,000 of McClellan' s best soldiers, and in a plain open field