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[761] left of the Fifth, a rattling skirmish fire, and looking in the direction of the river, I saw O'Neil, at the head of his company, dashing over fences and ditches, and driving the enemy's guard from the ford pell-mell. The sight was inspiriting in the extreme. The entire line, which was by this time fully formed, dashed ahead and drove the enemy's advance back to his main force. In this dash two of Morgan's guns were captured and the one his men had taken from us was recaptured. Our four pieces were in position, and in less than five minutes after the first shot was fired we were engaging the enemy all along his line, and our guns were pouring into his left and centre a storm of case shot at a range of less than a half mile. We steadily pressed upon the rebels, crowding them back toward the point where the river road runs over a narrow strip and close to the bluff. A small force could hold that pass against a much larger one. We hoped Hobson was on the river road above, and that he, or the gunboat “Elk,” which was steaming up the stream and pitching schrapnel into the Confederates, would be able to head them off and turn them back upon us. The fight was spirited and lasted about one hour. The enemy was nearly out of ammunition. No men could have behaved better than they did in their circumstances.

About 9.30 Hobson's battery opened on the Confederate rearguard beyond the hills, and then the break began. Morgan, at the head of a portion of his command, rode through the narrow pass near the river, and made his way to Blennerhasset shoal. He crossed the river, being well mounted, and several men followed him. He had not more than reached the Virginia shore when the “Elk” rounded a bend in the river and opened on those who were trying to follow their leader. Morgan rode back to the Ohio side under fire of the boat's bow gun and rejoined his comrades. On that Sunday forenoon about one thousand of the raiders were captured, with the entire wagon train and a battery of four 10-pounder Parrott guns. That train was probably the most unique collection of vehicles ever assembled for the transport of military supplies and baggage. It contained every sort of four-wheeled concern; old, lumbering omnibuses, a monstrous two-story pedler's wagon, a dozen or more hackney coaches used as ambulances, a number of barouches, top buggies and open buggies, and several ordinary express wagons and farm wagons. And the loads most of them contained were as little suggestive of military service as the wagons. If there was ever a thing in the dry goods, grocery, drug, confectionery, or fancy goods line not to be found in those carriages, my memory failed to suggest the missing article when I passed the train under an official

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John H. Morgan (3)
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