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good deal in this interval skirmishing-heavily at times — to maintain a space about six miles in width between the hostile lines, for I wished to control this ground so that when I was released from the instructions of August 12 I could move my men into position for attack without the knowledge of Early. The most noteworthy of these mounted encounters was that of Mclntosh's brigade, which captured the Eighth South Carolina at Abraham's Creek September 13. It was the evening of the 16th of September that I received from Miss Wright the positive information that Kershaw was in march toward Front Royal on his way by Chester Gap to Richmond. Concluding that this was my opportunity, I at once resolved to throw my whole force into Newtown the next day, but a despatch from General Grant directing Miss Rebecca M. Wright. me to meet him at Charlestown, whither he was coming to consult with me, caused me to defer action until after I should see him. In our resulting interview at Charl
with a few pack mules carrying about ten days rations. He headed north toward the Republican River. For the first two days the trail was indistinct and hard to follow. During the next three it continued to grow much larger, indicating plainly that the number of Indians ahead was rapidly increasing. Of course this sign meant a fight as soon as a large enough force was mustered, but as this was what Forsyth was after, he pushed ahead with confidence and alacrity. The night of the 16th of September he encamped on the Arickaree branch of the Republican, not far from the forks of the river, with the expectation of resuming the march as usual next day, for the indications were that the main body of the savages must be still a long way off, though in the preceding twenty-four hours an occasional Indian had been seen. But the enemy was much nearer than was thought, for at daybreak on the morning of the 17th he made known his immediate presence by a sudden dash at Forsyth's horses,