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ne, and required great caution. The enemy at length became aware that we did not meditate crossing, and massed their troops at different points to dislodge us, if possible, from the fertile region of which we had possessed ourselves. Banks at Harper's Ferry, Geary at the Sugar Loaf and Point of Rocks, Stone at Poolesville and Edwards's Ferry, were encompassing us north and east; McCall was at Drainsville, sixteen miles farther east on the south bank, and could cut off our retreat across Goose Creek to the south by a bold and dashing movement; Centreville and Manassas were thirty miles distant, and from the state of the country it was impossible to bring up supplies or receive reenforcements; yet Evans was told to hold the place at all hazards ; and such instructions to a fighting general were likely to be fulfilled to the letter. The possession of Leesburgh was, in truth, of paramount importance to us. It was populous and wealthy, and, withal, situated in a county more fruitful
eaven bless them! were as true as steel, and behaved like heroines on all occasions. From deserters and intercepted travellers we gleaned particles of information occasionally, which left little doubt that recent acts of boldness were but forerunners of mischief,. and every day witnessed greater vigilance and caution on the part of officers. The more distant detachments were called in, and, save a picket guard, under special instructions, our whole force fell back some ten miles to Goose Creek, at which point all flanking forces from Drainsville must of necessity make their first appearance. This was a ruse designed to bewilder the enemy, who were accurately informed of all our movements by spies among the townspeople of Leesburgh. As for our men, what this habitual retreating and advancing might mean, none could tell — it sufficed that Evans ordered it, and the men obeyed cheerfully, although frequently compelled to march in drenching rains and impassable mud. In order to be
eparations for attack our artillery co-operate incidents of the fight General McCall leaves Drainsville, and threatens our retreat our alarming position to Goose Creek and back again. During the month of October there was no change in affairs at Manassas or Centreville. At the latter place, fortifications had been erected he stirring news that McCall, with a heavy force, was marching from Drainsville to cut off Evans at Leesburgh. The latter, therefore, had hastily retreated to Goose Creek, ten miles nearer Centreville, and we were ordered to follow in his track, and if the enemy had really entered the town, a courier would inform us of it on the ce towards Leesburgh. Towards evening we halted on a large hill overlooking the town, and received orders to keep to the woods and proceed on to our brigade at Goose Creek. The rain fell in torrents, and the roads were awful, as all roads in Virginia are at this season. When within a mile of the creek, a courier brought orders t
n force at Ball's Bluff on Sunday night, and at Edwards's Ferry, Goose Creek, and other Passages on Monday morning details of the battle of e on duty still lower down the river, watching the ferry,, where Goose Creek flows into the Potomac; another company of horse were watching GMcCall. As the sun had not yet risen we approached the mouth of Goose Creek, crossed it, and passed near the guns of the enemy commanding thll-call. We were ordered away lower down stream to the mouth of Goose Creek — the enemy had been at both places trying their boats; We pickeresh troops now began to pour across the river from the mouth of Goose Creek, and from Edwards's Ferry, until at last there were many regimennk of the Potomac, while the right of the second regiment lay on Goose Creek, In the rear were the Thirteenth Mississippi and the Eighth Virglle, and cut off his communication, Evans once more fell back to Goose Creek, where a South-Carolina regiment, a Louisiana regiment, and four
aves of bread, chunks of pork and fresh meat, dangling thus from bayonet-points; while cups of tea, coffee, soup, and the like were freely handed to our thirsty fellows, who hastily drank and joined ranks again. Our officers kept moving, however, and no halt was sounded until we were a considerable distance beyond town, and strict guards were placed to prevent stragglers from going to or staying there. I learned that Jackson's corps had travelled by the Drainsville road, passed over Goose Creek, two miles east of and below Leesburgh, had rapidly pushed ahead to Point of Rocks, where he crossed, broke up the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad there, thus isolating Harper's Ferry from all telegraphic and other connection with Washington, and was still pushing forward towards Frederick, the State capital of Maryland. Such rapid marching seems incredible with defective transportation and worn-out troops. It must be confessed, however, that no part of our army was troubled with loaded tra