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[377] to another field) was consolidated with Gregg's, and the new division was named the second; an additional brigade was formed in it, commanded by Colonel I. Irvin Gregg, the other two being commanded respectively by General Kilpatrick and Colonel McIntosh. The two divisions were soon put in motion toward the Potomac, but did not take exactly the same route, and the Army of the Potomac followed their lead. The major part of the rebel army, having moved in advance, entered the Shenandoah Valley by the passes of the Blue Ridge, either for the purpose of masking the movements of the rebel infantry, or else to discover the whereabouts of and to impede the march of our army. The advance of Stuart's command had reached Aldie, and here, on June 17th, began a series of skirmishes, or engagements, between the two cavalry forces, all of which were decided successes for us, and terminated in driving Stuart's cavalry through the gap at Paris.

On June 17th, Kilpatrick's Brigade; moving in the advance of the Second Division, fell upon the enemy at Aldie, and there ensued an engagement of the most obstinate character, in which several brilliant mounted charges were made, terminating in the retreat of the enemy. On June 19th, the division advanced to Middleburg, where a part of Stuart's force was posted, and was attacked by Colonel Irvin Gregg's Brigade. Here, as at Aldie, the fight was very obstinate. The enemy had carefully selected a most defensible position, from which he had to be driven step by step, and this work had to be done by dismounted skirmishers, owing to the unfavorable character of the country for mounted service. On the 19th, Gregg's Division moved on the turnpike from Middleburg in the direction of Upperville, and soon encountered the enemy's cavalry in great force. The attack was promptly made, the enemy offering the most stubborn resistance. The long lines of stone fences which are so common in that region, were so many lines of defense to a force in retreat; these could be held until our advancing skirmishers were almost upon them, but then there would be no escape for those behind — it was either to surrender as prisoners or to attempt to escape across the open fields beyond, to fall before the deadly fire of the carbines of the pursuers. Later in the day, General Buford's Division came in on the right and took the enemy in flank; then our entire force; under General Pleasonton, and supported by a column of infantry, moved forward and dealt the finishing blow. Through Upperville the pursuit was continued at a run, the enemy flying in the greatest confusion; nor were they permitted to re-form, until night put a stop to further pursuit at the mouth of the gap.

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