Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 41
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 41
warnings that there was danger ahead; but the sound of firing was now fainter, which seemed to indicate both an advance of the Confederates and a waning of the battle. Meeting Johnston on a hill overlooking the field, he might in his question have used the words of Henry V at Agincourt, “I know not if the day be ours or no?” when Johnston at once assured him, “that we had won the battle.”  52
  It was three o’clock when McDowell saw the Confederates retire to the woods, when he hoped that the fight was over and that his army had gained possession of the field. This hope was rudely dispelled. His men had made their last desperate effort. They had been up since two in the morning; one division had had a long fatiguing march. The day was intensely hot and the fight had lasted four and a half hours. Many of the men had thrown away their haversacks and canteens. They were choked with dust, thirsty, hungry and spent. Beauregard ordered forward all of his force within reach, including the reserve, for the purpose of making a last supreme effort to regain the plateau; he intended to lead the charge in person. Then loud cheers were heard proceeding from fresh troops. They were the remainder of the army of the Shenandoah who had followed Johnston as quickly as the railroad could bring them and who were now personally ordered by him to assail McDowell’s right flank. From mouth to mouth went the word, “Johnston’s army has come.” At the same time Beauregard moved forward his whole line. The Union troops “were instantly seized with one of those unaccountable panics to which great armies are liable.” 1 They broke and ran down the hillside in disorder. McDowell and his officers tried to rally them but the regular infantry alone obeyed commands, covering the volunteers’ retreat. They crossed
Note 1. Thucydides. Jowett, IV, 125. [back]

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