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[263] were at Miamiville, about eleven miles out. Now it was not the design to either court or bring on an engagement, as it was shown that the rebels were scattered over fifty or sixty miles of country, and the necessary concentration which they must make was rather humored than otherwise, so that the result would culminate in the complete capture or destruction of the entire horde.

General Judah then kept as close as possible to the rebels, but between them and the river, where that was practicable, until Morgan reached Jackson. Judah then pushed for Centreville, thinking that the enemy would take that route for the river; but he avoided it, and took through Winchester and Vinton toward Pomeroy, and thence north of that to the scene of action.

Our gunboats, namely, Moose, (flag-boat,) Reindeer, Springfield, Naumkeag, and Victory, in command of Lieutenant Commander Le Roy Fitch, were patrolling the river from an accessible point below Ripley to Portsmouth; but as soon as it was definitely ascertained that Morgan was pushing eastward, the Moose, towed by the Imperial, started up-stream, followed at proper distances by the other boats. The Moose made the foot of Buffington Island on Saturday night, and remained until next morning, without changing position, on account of a dense fog,

The rebel force made the shore opposite and above the island, as before stated, at two o'clock, and took position, under cover of artillery, in an extensive corn and wheat-field, skirted by hills and woods on its north and east sides. The position was *a good one, and might have been held to advantage for a much longer time than it was, but for the cooperation of the gunboat Moose, the only one of the fleet which arrived in time to participate in the fight.

The rebels had their artillery placed on the highest elevation on the east and completely commanded the Pomeroy road, over which General Judah's force, heretofore enumerated by your correspondent, came filing along unaware of the close proximity of the enemy. It should be noted here that the old stage-road to Pomeroy, over which Morgan came, and the lower road travelled by Judah, meet in an acute angle three quarters of a mile from the battle-field. Our column came along the lower road within range at six o'clock, having marched all night, having started from Pomeroy, and was not as fresh by five or six hours rest as the enemy.

The rebels met us in solid column, and moved in battalions, and at the first fire repulsed our advance, which was' too far ahead to be assisted by our artillery. This was the best opportunity they had to make a successful fight, but we fell back to bring forward our artillery, and the enemy did not seem to care to follow up the advantage. During this encounter Captain John J. Grafton, of General Judah's staff, became separated from the advance and narrowly escaped capture, by shooting, as he represents, the rebel cavalryman who seized him. He was dismounted, and being left on the ground made his way with considerable difficulty to the river, where he hailed the Moose and got aboard. Meantime the fight progressed, but in a desultory manner, until our artillery got into position and our lines were drawn closely around the enemy. A furious onset was made on our side and the rebels were driven over the field eastward and sought the shelter of the woods beyond.

No more fortunate circumstance could have transpired for the Union force than the escape of Captain Grafton to the gunboat Moose, for he pointed out to Lieutenant Commander Fitch the exact position of the rebels, and enabled that officer to so direct his guns as to throw shell in their very midst. The Moose is armed with twenty-four pounder Dahlgren guns, the most accurate and effective gun in the service for operation against exposed bodies of men, and on this occasion the weapon did not belie its character. A dense fog, however, prevailed, which prevented Lieutenant Fitch doing as great execution in the rebel works as he desired, but his shots from the larboard and forward guns told, and an extensive scattering took place. The Moose opened at seven o'clock, and as the rebels were driven she kept steadily moving up-stream, throwing shell and shrapnel over the heads of our lads into the ranks of the enemy.

It now became evident that the rebels were being pressed in all directions, and that hard fighting would not save them from destruction.

A simultaneous rush was then made for the river, and throwing away arms and even clothing, a large body ran down to the shore, some with horses and some without, and plunged into the stream. The point chosen to effect the crossing was one mile and a half above the head of Buffington Island, and the movement would undoubtedly have been attended with considerable success but for the presence and performance of the gunboat. The crossing was covered by a twentypounder Parrott and a twelve-pound howitzer dragged into position by the rebels in their hasty retreat, but before the guns could be loaded and sighted the bow guns of the Moose opened on the rebel guns and drove the gunners away, after which the pieces were captured. Some twenty or thirty men only succeeded in crossing into Virginia at this point. Several were killed in the water, and many returned to the shore. While this was transpiring on the river, the roar of battle was still raging on the shore and back into the country. Basil Duke, under whose generalship the fight was conducted, was evidently getting the worst of it, and his wearied gangs of horse-thieves, cut-throats, and nondescripts began to bethink them only of escape. Many threw down their arms, were taken prisoners and sent to the rear. Others sought the shelter of trees, or ran wildly from one point to another, and thus exposed themselves far more to the deadly chances of the field than if they had displayed courage and stood up to the fight.

A running fight next ensued, as the main force of the enemy retreated up-stream toward a point on the Ohio shore, opposite Belleville, Va. The retreat was made as rapidly as possible, but considerable

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