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nt. The Federal forces closed in on front and flanks, made a desperate attack with the sabre, and the result seemed about to be decided. Stuart was in the very hottest of the press, sword in hand, determined evidently to repulse the enemy or die, and his black feather was the mark of a hundred pistol-balls-his rich uniform clearly indicating his rank to the Federal troopers almost in contact with him. This was the depressing situation of affairs — the centre driven, and the column on the Bloomfield road falling rapidly back on the left, thus exposing the main body to imminent danger of being cut off, when the Deus ex machind appeared in the person of Wade Hampton. That good cavalier saw the crisis, formed his column under the heavy fire, and taking command in person, went at them with the sabre, scarcely firing a shot. The result was that the Federal line was swept back, the elite of the charging force put hors du combat by the edge of the sabre, and the Southern column fell back t
long trains of McClellan in the distance, winding toward Middleburg and Aldie. In front of these trains we knew very well that we would find the Federal cavalry under that able soldier, General Bayard, if he did not find us. For we had trains also, and it was more than probable that Bayard would strike at them through the passes of the Ridge. To prevent him from so doing it seemed most advisable to carry the war into Africa by a blow at him, and Stuart moved on without pausing toward Bloomfield. This village was passed; we reached the little hamlet of Union, where the people told us, with what truth I know not, that a party of the enemy had just ridden through, firing right and left upon citizens and children; then pushing on, in the splendid autumn sunshine, the brigade-Fitz Lee's, commanded by the gallant Wickham-reached the vicinity of Mountsville. Stuart was riding gaily at the head of his horsemen, when Wickham galloped up from the advance guard, and announced that a he