the war. Before the battle of Manassas, five excellent regiments had been sent to the two armies in northern Virginia. The Second, Col. W. C. Falkner, and Eleventh, Col. Wm. H. Moore, were attached to the Third brigade, Gen. B. E. Bee, army of the Shenandoah. The Thirteenth, Col. William Barksdale, which reached Manassas Junction on the day before the battle, was attached to Early's brigade; and the Seventeenth, Col. W. S. Featherston, and the Eighteenth, Col. E. R. Burt, were under the brigade command of Gen. D. R. Jones, Beauregard's army.
At the battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, the Mississippians had their full share of both suffering and glory. Bee's brigade, including the Second regiment and two companies of the Eleventh, under Lieut.-Col. P. F. Liddell, were among the first troops which hurried to the assistance of Evans, who met the onslaught against the Confederate left, and for an hour formed part of the heroic line which stood its ground under a terrible fire of musketry and artillery. They finally fell back with heavy loss to a position in the rear of the Robinson house, where they were reinforced. About noon the enemy had occupied the plateau on which the Henry and Robinson houses stood, the position of General Bee before he moved forward to reinforce Evans, and with powerful batteries was working destruction in the Confederate lines. About two o'clock an advance was ordered to recover the plateau. There, as the lines surged back and forth amid the din of battle, the Mississippians were distinguished for heroic deeds. Many had fallen throughout the forenoon, and here many more fell in glorious charge or desperate fight to maintain their ground. Colonel Falkner, leading his men against Rickett's battery, was a conspicuous figure on account of the black plume which adorned his hat. General Beauregard, pointing to him, cried to a fresh arrival of reinforcements: "Men, follow yonder knight of the black