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[18] from Beverly's Ford. General Gregg, taking his own and Colonel Dufie's command, moved to the left from the Junction, and encamped for the night in close proximity to Kelly's Ford, where Gen. Russell had already arrived. No fires were allowed, and a vigilant watch was kept to prevent disturbances or any thing which might give any indication of our presence.

The orders were to arouse the commands at three A. M., and to make the passage of the river as soon as it was daylight.

At dawn Gen. Buford's command was in motion. Col. Davis's brigade, led by two squadrons of the Eighth New-York, and supported by the Eighth Illinois and Third Indiana, had the advance. The morning was cool and pleasant, a thick mist hung over the river, and objects on the other side were rather indistinct. Our cavalry soon reached the river, dashed in, dashed up the bank, and were well on the opposite side before the rebels in their fortifications were aware of their presence. The suddenness of the movement completely surprised them, and they at once broke for the first friendly timber, which was about one fourth of a mile in their rear. Our cavalry followed rapidly, and in these woods the first severe skirmish occurred, in which we speedily lost one of the most valued officers of the command, Col. B. F. Davis, of the Eighth New-York cavalry, and Captain in the First regular cavalry, and the same gallant officer who led the gallant charge out of Harper's Ferry last fall, and captured Longstreet's ammunition-train. When the rebels, who were dismounted, reached the woods, they began to skirmish, and detained our force there long enough to give the alarm to Jones's brigade, they being encamped just beyond in the outer edge of the woods. Though their horses were grazing in the fields, yet they speedily fell in, and in a very short time two or three squadrons came charging down the road and through the timber. Hurling their force upon the Eighth New-York, they broke it and forced it back, and killed and wounded quite a number. Col. Davis, who was gallantly leading the advance, turned to rally them, and waving his sword to the Eighth Illinois, shouted, “Come on, boys,” when a rebel rode out in front of him, and fired three shots from his pistol at him, the last one taking effect in his forehead, and inflicting a mortal wound. Quick as thought Lieut. Parsons, acting Assistant Adjutant-General to Col. Davis, was at the side of the rebel, and rising in his stirrups, with one well-directed blow of his sabre, he laid his head open midway between eyes and chin, and the wretch fell dead in the dust at his horse's feet. Parsons is but a youth; his adversary was a strong, athletic man, yet the former, though young in years and slight in stature, nobly avenged his commander's fall.

By this time the gallant Eighth Illinois, though meeting with a hot reception, in which Captain Clark and Captain Forsyth were both wounded, had charged upon the rebels, and driven them back upon the main body of the enemy, who were now engaged in deploying and forming in the rear of the woods and just beyond their camp, nearly two miles from the river.

Major Whiting's command now came up to the support of the Illinois and Indiana troops. Gen. Ames also brought his infantry over, and deploy. ed them on the left of the road as skirmishers, and then pushed them out in line of battle to the edge of the woods, in front of which the enemy was drawn up by squadrons, with artillery at the intervals, which omitted no opportunity to shell every thing in sight that had motion to it. Thus far the enemy evidently had but one brigade at hand, and a few prisoners taken said they belonged to the Sixth, Seventh, and Twelfth Virginia cavalry, of General Jones's brigade. When asked if he was “Jones, the guerrilla,” they indignantly denied the imputation; nevertheless, he was. Gen. Pleasanton now directed General Buford to make preparations to charge this force in the flank, while the infantry and artillery engaged it in front. It was desirable to do this as soon as possible, as the enemy might be getting reenforcements at any moment. General Buford having driven the enemy's pickets and skirmishers in the open fields on the right of the road, sent in the Sixth Pennsylvania, supported by the Fifth and Sixth regulars, to charge this line on the flank. The Pennsylvanians came up to their work in splendid style. This is the regiment formerly known as the “Lancers,” and they had a matter of pride to settle in this charge. Steadily and gallantly, they advanced out of the woods in excellent order, and then dashed across the open field in an oblique direction toward the enemy's guns. They went up almost to their very muzzles, through a storm of canister and shell, and would have taken them, when suddenly there dashed out of the woods on their right flank, in almost the very spot from which they themselves had issued, two whole regiments of the enemy, on the full charge. Retreat was almost cut off, but the regiments, now subjected to a fire in front and on both flanks, charged back, cutting their way out with considerable loss. The Sixth regulars came to the rescue, but the fire was so severe that even these veterans could not stand it, and they fell back with some loss. In this charge we lost about the only prisoners captured by the enemy during the day. Major Morris, of the Sixth Pennsylvania, was seen to fall from his horse, and is probably wounded and a prisoner. Captain Davis, of the same regiment, was killed. Capt. Lieper was wounded, and Major Hazeltine had his horse shot under him. Capt. Dahlgren, of General Hooker's staff, a model of cool and dauntless bravery, charged with the regiments, and his horse was shot in two places. He describes the charge as one of the finest of the war.

The enemy was now being reeforced very rapidly, and in a short time Gen. Pleasanton found that Buford's small division was opposed by three strong brigades of rebels, with artillery to match.

After the repulse of the Sixth Pennsylvania, the rebels made two rapid attempts to gain our rear and the approaches to the ford, both on our right and on our left, but particularly on the


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