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of "Joe" Johnston's five Shenandoah brigadesBee's, Bartow's, Bonham's, and Jackson's - had been coming over from the right reserve to strengthen Evans at the Bridge. As the great Federal turning movement developed against the Confederate left these brigades followed Evans and were themselves followed by other troops, till the real battle raged not along Bull Run but across the Matthews Hill and Henry Hill.
Forming the new front at right angles to the old, so as to attack and defend the Confederate left on the Matthews and Henry Hills, caused much confusion on both sides; but more on the Federal, as the Confederates knew the ground better. By eleven Bee had reached Evans and sent word back to hurry Bartow on. But the Federals, having double numbers and a great preponderance in guns, soon drove the Confederates off the Matthews Hill. As the Confederates recrossed Young's Branch and climbed the Henry Hill the regular artillery of the Federals limbered up smartly, galloped across the Matthews Hill, and from its nearer slope plied the retreating Confederates on the opposite slope with admirably served shell. Under this fire the raw Confederates ran in confusion, while their uncovered guns galloped back to find a new position.
"Curse them for deserting the guns," snapped Imboden, whose battery came face to face with Jackson's brigade. "I'll support you," said Jackson, "unlimber right here." At the same time, half-past eleven, Bee galloped up on his foaming charger, saying, "General, they're beating us back." "Then, Sir," said Jackson," we'll give them the bayonet"; and his lips shut tight as a vice.
Bee then went back behind the Henry Hill, where his broken brigade was trying to rally, and, pointing toward the crest with his sword, shouted in a voice of thunder: "Rally behind the Virginians! Look! There's Jackson standing like a stone wall!" From that one cry of battle Stonewall Jackson got his name.
While the rest of the Shenandoahs were rallying, in rear of Jackson, Beauregard and Johnston came up, followed by two batteries. Miles behind them, all the men that could be spared from the fords were coming too. But the Federals on the Matthews Hill were still in more than double numbers; and they enjoyed the priceless advantage of having some regulars among them. If the Federal division at the Stone Bridge had only pushed home its attack at this favorable moment the Confederates must have been defeated. But the division again
fumbled about to little purpose; and for the second -time McDowell's admirable plan was spoilt.
It was now past noon on that sweltering midsummer day; and there was a welcome lull for the rallying Confederates while the Federals were coming down the Matthews Hill, struggling across the swamps and thickets of Young's Branch, and climbing the Henry Hill. Within another hour the opposing forces were at close grips again, and the Federals, flushed with success and steadied by the regulars, seemed certain to succeed.
Imboden has vividly described his meeting Jackson at this time. "The fight was just then hot enough to make him feel well. His eyes fairly blazed. He had a way of throwing up his left hand with the open palm towards the person he was addressing; and, as he told me to go, he made this gesture. The air was full of flying missiles, and as he spoke he jerked down his hand, and I saw that blood was streaming from it. I exclaimed, 'General, you are wounded.' 'Only a scratch — a mere scratch,' he replied; and, binding it hastily with a handkerchief, he galloped away along his line."
Five hundred yards apart the opposing cannon thundered, while the musketry of the long lines of infantry swelled the deafening roar. Suddenly two
Federal batteries of regulars dashed forward to even shorter range, covered by two battalions on their flank. But the gaudy Zouaves of the outer battalion lost formation in their advance; whereupon "Jeb" Stuart, with only a hundred and fifty horsemen, swooped down and smashed them to pieces by a daring charge. Then, just as the scattered white turbans went wildly bobbing about, into the midst of the inner battalion, out rushed the Thirty-third Virginians, straight at the guns. The battery officers held their fire, uncertain in the smoke whether the newcomers were friend or foe, till a deadly volley struck home at less than eighty yards. Down went the gunners to a man; down went the teams to a horse; and off ran the Zouaves and the other supporting battalion, helter-skelter for the rear.
But other Federals were still full of fight and in superior numbers. They came on with great gallantry, considering they were raw troops who were now without the comfort of the guns. Once more a Federal victory seemed secure; and if the infantry had only pressed on (not piecemeal, by disjoined battalions, but by brigades) without letting the Confederates recover from one blow before another struck them, the day would have certainly been theirs.
Moreover, they would have inflicted not simply a defeat but a severe disaster on their enemy, who would have been caught in flank by the troops at the Stone Bridge; for these troops, however dilatory, must have known what to do with a broken and flying Confederate flank right under their very eyes. Premonitory symptoms of such a flight were not wanting. Confederate wounded, stragglers, and skulkers were making for the rear; and the rallied brigades were again in disorder, with Bee and Bartow, two first-rate brigadiers, just killed, and other seniors wounded. Another ominous sign was the limbering up of Confederate guns to cover the expected retreat from the Henry Hill.
But on its reverse slope lay Jackson's Shenandoahs, three thousand strong, and by far the best drilled and disciplined brigade that either side had yet produced apart, of course, from regulars. Jackson had ridden up and down before them, calm as they had ever seen him on parade, quietly saying, "Steady, men, steady! All's well." In this way he had held them straining at the leash for hours. Now, at last, their time had come. Riding out to the center of his line he gave his final orders. "Reserve your fire till they come within fifty yards. Then fire and give them the bayonet; and yell like