Tyler's authority, but evidently believed that he was so authorized, and promised to write to Mr. Calhoun by that afternoon's mail. Mr. Wise then went to the Executive Mansion, where he found Mr. Tyler in the breakfast room, much affected by the account of the awful catastrophe of the previous day. Mr.
I soon observed that he decided to make his headquarters at the point where a road leading from the great Warrenton Turnpike passed to the north through what is known as the 'Big Woods. Tyler's command continued westward down the turnpike to what is known as the Stone Bridge, a single substantial arch at which the enemy were said to be in force.
What can it be? We shall see. While Tyler's Artillery has been cannonading the Rebel left, under Evans, at Stone Bridge, fully impressed with the prevailing Union belief that the bridge is not only protected by strong masked batteries, heavy supports of Infantry, and by abatis as well as other defenses, but is also mined and ready to be blown up at the approach of our troops, when in reality the bridge is not mined, and the Rebel force in men and guns at that point has been greatly weakened in anticipation of Beauregard's projected advance upon Centreville, the Union column, under Hunter and Heintzelman, is advancing from Centreville, in the scorching heat and suffocating dust of this tropical July morning, slowly, but surely, along the Warrenton Pike and the cross-road to Sudley Springs Ford a distance of some eight miles of weary and toilsome marching for raw troops in such a temperature in this order: Burnside's Brigade, followed by Andrew Porter's Brigade, both of Hunter's Division; then Franklin's Brigade, followed by Willcox's Brigade, both of Heintzelman's Division.
Suddenly he wished that he had, tucked away in his blouse, a picture of a clear-eyed, round-cheeked vice-president of a pleasure club. He took out his mother's picture and showed it. "Oh, yeh," said the boy, disinterestedly. The dragging weeks came to an end. The night of Tyler's restlessness was the last night of quarantine. To-morrow morning they would be free.
"General," said an officer, riding hastily towards him, "the day is going against us." "If you think so, sir," was the quiet reply, "you had better not say anything about it." And although affairs seemed desperate, in reality the crisis of the battle had already passed. McDowell had but two brigades remaining in reserve, and one of these of Tyler's division was still beyond Bull Run.
The nomination, the suggestion of Daniel Webster, Tyler's Secretary of State, was cordially approved by the President and cabinet, and confirmed almost by acclamation in the Senate. "Ah," said Mr. Clay, who was opposing nearly all the President's appointments, "this is a nomination everybody will concur in!" "If a person of more merit and higher qualification," wrote Mr.
Tyler's division was over there, it knew. When would firing begin along this line? When would the brigade have orders to move, when would it cross, when would things begin to happen? An hour passed. Ranks were broken and the men allowed to cook and eat a hasty breakfast. How good, in the mist-drenched wood, tasted the scalding coffee, how good the cornbread and the bacon!
Tyler's three immediate brigades or some of them are slow in starting Westward, along the Warrenton Pike, to the Stone Bridge; and this leads to a two or three hours delay of the divisions of Hunter and Heintzelman, before they can follow that Pike beyond Centreville, and commence the secret detour to their right, along the cross-road leading to Sudley Springs.
She remembered that shoeing-smith well; a good fellow, sentenced for life for a crime akin to Wat Tyler's, mercifully reprieved from death by King George in consideration of his provocation; for was he not, like Wat Tyler, the girl's father?
Hardly a shot was fired during their retreat, and when they took up their march only a single Federal battery had been seen. Fremont's advance was cautious in the extreme. He was actually aware that Shields had two brigades beyond the river, for a scout had reached him, and from the ground about Mill Creek the sound of Tyler's battle could be plainly heard.