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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 244

              [loose newspaper clipping]
        FIRST NEWS OF BULL RUN.
		      ����
  Probably the best description of the wild
stampede which followed the battle of Bull
Run ever printed, appeared in a Pittsburgh
journal recently.  The historian is Kennedy
Marshall, of Butler, Pa., a prominent lawyer,
and brother to Thomas Marshall, who some
weeks ago declined a nomination on Cameron�s 
State ticket.  Mr. Marshall at the date of the
battle was a member of the Pennsylvania
Legislature, and with hundreds of persons
had followed the army to see the rebels
crushed by McDowell.  Mr. Marshall was ac-
companied by Henry J. Raymond, editor of
the New York Times, and Dr. Russell, the
famous war correspondent of the London
Times.
  �Raymond, Russell and I,� began Mr. Mar-
shall, �were seated on the roadside, taking
lunch, at 3 o�clock in the afternoon.  While
we were talking together we heard locomo-
tives whistling over on the Manassas Railroad.
The trains stopped in a cut, out of sight.
Pretty soon out marched a lot of soldiers in
gray, with a stand of brigade colors, and came
at a double-quick across the field.  It was
Kirby Smith with the last installment of
Johnson�s army from Winchester, which had
eluded Patterson.  The panic which had
seized our troops when these fresh fighters
hurled themselves at the Union lines, already
tottering with exhaustion, was wilder than any-
thing in military history since three Austrian
soldiers, coming out of the woods to surrender
after the battle of Solferino, put the whole
French army to rout for a time.  Regiments
that had stood up to their work bravely since
9 o�clock in the morning, melted away in a 
few minutes at the sight of the gray charging
columns.  There was no knowing what force
was behind Smith, and Hunter�s men did not
wait to see.  They took the road to Centre-
ville, pell-mell, every man for himself.  The
infantry charged their own batteries, cut the
horses loose, jumped on their backs and went
to the rear on a gallop.  Russell disappeared
on the tide at the top of his speed.  Raymond
drifted away from me, and I did not let many
pass me in the race myself.  It was the
further the faster, and after covering what
seemed to me about five miles, I dropped ex-
hausted beside the road to rest.
  �By-and-by Raymond came along.  He had
found his barouche and he took me in.  We
whirled along in the crush of ambulances, 
artillery horses, privates, officers and camp-
followers on root, ladies and politicians in car-
riages, and 200 or 300 steers, all making the
best of their way to Washington.  A drove of
cattle had been driven behind the army
to be slaughtered after the battle.  They were
stranded with the rest and added to the con-
fusion.
  I got over the Long bridges to Washington
at 9 o�clock, just as the countersign was being
given out for the night.  I rode up to Willard�s
Hotel, through streets crowded with people,
wild with excitement over the favorable dis-
patches that had come in from the front.  The
brass bands were out in force, and somebody 
was making a rousing �On to Richmond� speech
from the balcony of the hotel.  I walked in-
to the office, under the sound of his inspiring
words knowing how soon those cheers would
be hushed to whispers of affright.  Chadwick
was keeping the hotel then, and as I pushed
up to the desk he stared at me, bare-headed
and streaming with dirt and sweat as I was,
and finally recognizing me, asked me where I
had been, and what was the matter.
  ��I come from the front.  McDowell is licked
out of his boots, and the wreck of our army is
not far behind.�
  �Chadwick dived back into his private of-
fice with a scared face, and in a few minutes
came back and took me in with him.
  �There sat Gen. Mansfield, who was in com-
mand of the troops around Washington, with
a bottle of champagne before him.
  ��Mr. Chadwick informs me, sir, that you
report our army retreating.  Are you a mili-
tary man, sir?�
  ��No, sir.�
  ��Then how do you know, sir, that they
were not merely making a change of front or
executing some other military maneuver, sir?�
  ��Well, General,� I replied as calmly as I 
could, while the gray-haired old martinet eyed
me sternly, �I saw whole regiments throw
down their guns and take to the woods.  I
saw artillery men cut their horses loose from
the guns and caissons and gallop away.  I saw
officers, men, Congressmen and Texas steers
running neck and neck down the road toward
Washington, and steers were the only things
that had their tails up.  It may have been a
change of front, as you say, but����
  ��I don�t believe a single word of it,� broke
in the General, who had listened to me with
evident impatience.
  ��Good evening,� I replied, and walked out
of the door.  The crowd had got the news by
this time from Chadwick, and I was almost
pulled to pieces.  Somebody noticed that I
was wearing a gray suit, and shouted:  �He�s
a rebel.�  There were several suggestions that
I be lynched for attempting to stimulate a
rising of the rebel element in the city.  Gen.
Mansfield hurried off to the War Department,
and pretty soon a sergeant and a squad of
soldiers came for me and took me to the de-
partment.  Presidet Lincoln and his entire
Cabinet were there, with old Gen. Scott, anx-
iously waiting for news from the front.  Si-
mon Cemeron had known me as a member of
the Legislature and vouched for my loyalty.
There was very little said while I told my
story briefly.
  �The President sat with his head bent down
upon his hand, and was evidently very much
depressed.  Simon Cameron, then Secretary
of War, was the coolest head in the Cabinet.
He immediately consulted with Scott as to
hurrying re-enforcements across the Potomac,
and orders were issued to stop all fugitives at
Long Bridge.  They asked me very few ques-
tions, but after I had told my story and was
dismissed the newspaper correspondents near-
ly devoured me.  Just as I came out of the
War Department I met one of Gen. McDow-
ell�s aids bringing in the report of his com-
[rest of article cut off]               
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