gradually some 600 yards to a ravine fringed with small trees in rocky ground.
Beyond the ground rose rapidly some 200 yards to a ridge, crowned with numerous batteries and held by the enemy in force.
Wilcox's report gives his strength as about 1200, and thus describes his advance: —
When my command crossed the pike and began to descend the slope they were exposed to an artillery fire from numerous pieces both from the front and from either flank.
Before reaching the ravine at the foot ok, which so far had entirely escaped the recognition of any Confederate reconnoitring officer.
His report says:—
Having to draw my troops out of town by the flank, change the direction of the line of battle, and then to traverse a distance of 1200 to 1400 yards, while Gen. Early had to move only half that distance without change of front, the result was that before I drove the enemy's skirmishers in, Gen. Early had attacked and been compelled to withdraw. . . . But instead of falling back t