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ck by them upon me, to cross the river at the nearest point, and effect a junction as rapidly as possible. About seven miles from the point at which I started, I encountered the enemy's pickets, and immediately drove them in. My information, previous to this time, had led me to believe that the enemy did not number over two hundred effective men; but, as it was afterward ascertained, he had been reinforced during the night by about three hundred men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman and Colonel Lovell, making his entire effective force in the neighborhood of four hundred and fifty men. As soon as I ascertained this fact, I halted my command, consisting in all of seventy-two officers and men, and determined to attack the enemy previous to his forming his line-of-battle. To accomplish this object, I ordered the command to take position on a hill which fronted the creek, from which I expected the enemy to debouch; he, however, had anticipated my movements, and had already taken a positi