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1 Saturday, July 4.
I was ordered to send out a reconnoissance at daylight [on the 4th] to ascertain the position of the enemy. I did so early Sunday morning, and reported that the enemy were in full retreat. I also sent back for permission to open upon the enemy with my rifled batteries as they were crossing a point very near me, upon the turnpike going toward Hagerstown; and the staff officer brought me permission to do so. I had commenced the movement to attack, when another staff officer arrived from Gen. Meade with a written order from him to make no attack; which was done. My skirmishers advanced and took possession of their hospitals, with a large number of their wounded. I had sent some twenty orderlies with a staff officer, who led the reconnoissance; and I reported these facts constantly to Gen. Meade; but this peremptory order from him not to open fire at all prevented any pursuit of the enemy.
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