little in advance and to the right of the artillery. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to obey this order; but before it could be done, the brisk firing of the rear-guard warned the Commanding General that his force occupied a dangerous position. Never was a command in a more critical situation; never before was a man cooler, or did one display more real generalship than General Kilpatrick on this occasion. Tapping his boot with his whip, and peering in the direction of the rapidly approaching rear-guard, he saw it falling back apparently in some disorder. Not a moment was to be lost; inaction or indecision would have proved fatal, and the moral effect of a successful campaign destroyed in an hour. Fortunately General Kilpatrick was cool and defiant, and felt the responsibility resting upon him. This made him master of the situation, and by a dashing movement, saved the cavalry corps from disaster. Seeing his rear-guard falling back, he bethought himself of what force could be withdrawn from the front in safety. The enemy were pressing his front and rear — the crisis had arrived; he ordered the Second New-York (Harris's Light) to charge upon the exultant foe then coming like an avalanche upon his rear. Nobly did this band of heroes perform their task. They fell into the breach with a yell, and, sword in hand, drove back the enemy, relieving the exhausted rearguard, and holding the enemy in check until the whole command was disposed of so as to fall back, which they did in good order, fighting as they went. For three miles, over one of the worst roads ever travelled by man, was this retreat conducted, when the enemy, dispirited at their want of success in surrounding and capturing the whole command, halted, and the cavalry corps went into camp, men and officers, exhausted from the labors of the day, falling to sleep in the spot where they halted. Colonel Devins's brigade, of General Buford's command, had relieved the rearguard, and were harassed by the enemy all night. Several times an advance was attempted, but on each occasion they were handsomely repulsed, in which work the Ninth New-York cavalry took a conspicuous part. On this day Colonel Devins's advance destroyed twenty wagons between Williamsport and Falling Waters. When Pennington's battery was being placed in the first position on the hill above Williamsport, the enemy, by concentrating their fire upon that spot, endeavored to drive the battery away. A perfect shower of shot and shell fell in and around it. There was no flinching, however. Pennington was there, General Kilpatrick was there. Had they succeeded in this attempt, our force, by the enemy advancing in overwhelming numbers, would have been scattered to the four winds.
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