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[397] shortly after sent in the same direction. Relying upon these regiments and upon Robertson's Brigade to protect his rear from an attack by way of the lower fords, Stuart proceeded to the front at St. James' Church to urge on the battle; and as the field was geographically so extensive, he stationed his adjutant (the writer) upon Fleetwood Hill, directions having been given to the brigades and detached regiments to communicate with that point as headquarters. Every scrap of the camp was removed toward Culpepper Court-House, and there remained nothing upon the hill but the adjutant and his couriers. A six-pound howitzer from Chew's Battery, under charge of Lieutenant Carter, which had been retired from the fight near the river because its ammunition was nearly exhausted, was halted at the bottom of the hill; a circumstance which afterward proved to be our salvation. Perhaps nearly two hours had elapsed since Stuart had mounted for the front, when an individual scout reported to me that the enemy was advancing from Kelley's ford in force and unopposed upon Brandy Station, and that he was now directly in our rear. Not having personal acquaintance with the man, and deeming it impossible that such a movement could be made without opposition from Robertson's Brigade, I ordered the scout to return and satisfy himself by a closer inspection that he had not mistaken some of our troops for the enemy. In less than five minutes the man came back with the report that I could now satisfy myself, as the enemy was in plain view. And so it was! Within cannon-shot of the hill, a long column of the enemy filled the road which here skirted the woods, and were pressing steadily upon the railroad station, which must in a few moments be in their possession. How could they be prevented from also occupying the Fleetwood Hill, the key to the whole position? Matters looked serious! But it is wonderful what results can sometimes be accomplished with the smallest means. Lieutenant Carter's howitzer was brought up and boldly pushed beyond the crest of the hill; a few imperfect shells and some round shot were found in the limber chest; a slow fire was at once opened upon the marching column; and courier after courier was dispatched to General Stuart to inform him of the peril. It was all important to gain time; for should the enemy once plant his artillery upon this hill it would cost many valuable lives to retake the position, even if that could at all be accomplished. We must retain this position or suffer disastrous defeat, inclosed between the divisions of Buford and Gregg. But the enemy was deceived by appearances. There was not one man left upon the hill beside those belonging to the howitzer section and myself; for I had sent away even my last courier with an urgent

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