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[390] time, the Rebel pickets along their front were not withdrawn till 2 A. M. of next day.1 Meantime, an advance division of Couch's militia, about 5,000 strong, under Gen. W. F. [ “Baldy” ] Smith, had come up in our rear; reporting to Gen. Meade on the 4th.

Next morning, there could no longer be even an affectation of doubt that the enemy were in full retreat; and Sedgwick's (6th) corps was ordered2 to fellow on the track of the fugitives. The spirit in which this pursuit was prosecuted is thus portrayed by Gen. A. P. Howe, commanding a division of that corps, who thus narrates3 its progress and results:

On the 4th of July, it seemed evident enough that the enemy were retreating. How far they were gone, we could not see from the front. We could see but a comparatively small force from the position where I was. On Sunday, the 5th and 6th corps moved in pursuit. As we moved, a small rear-guard of the enemy retreated. We followed them, with this small rearguard of the enemy before us, up to Fairfield, in a gorge of tile mountains. There we again waited for them to go on. There seemed to be no disposition to push this rear-guard when we got up to Fairfield. A lieatenant from the enemy came into our lines and gave himself up. He was a Northern Union man, in service in one of the Georgia regiments; and, without being asked, lie unhesitatingly told me, when I met him as lie was being brought in, that lie belonged to the artillery of the rearguard of the enemy, and that they had but two rounds of ammunition with the rearguard. But we waited there without receiving any orders to attack. It was a place where, as I informed Gen. Sedgwick, we could easily attack tie enemy with advantage. But no movement was made by us until the enemy went away. Then, one brigade of my division, with some cavalry, was sent to follow on after them, while the remainder of the 6th corps moved to the left. We moved on through Boonsboroa, and passed up on the pike road leading to Hagerstown. After passing Boonsboroa, it became my turn to lead the 6th corps. That day, just before we started, Gen. Sedgwick ordered me to move on and take up the best position I could over a little stream on the Frederick side of Funkstown. As I moved on, it was suggested to me by him to move carefully. “Do n't come into contact with the enemy; we do n't want to bring on a general engagement.” It seemed to be the current impression that it was not desired to bring on a general engagement. I moved on until we came near Funkstown. Gen. Buford was along that way with his cavalry. I had passed over the stream referred to, and found a strong position, which I concluded to take and wait for the 6th corps to come up. In the mean time, Gen. Buford, who was in front, came back to me and said, “I am pretty hardly engaged here; I have used a great deal of my ammunition; it is a strong place in front; it is an excellent position.” It was a little farther out than I was-nearer Funkstown. He said, “I have used a great deal of my ammunition, and I ought to go to the right; suppose you move up there, or send up a brigade, or even a part of one, and hold that position.” Said I, “ I will do so at once, if I can just communicate with Gen. Sedgwick; I am ordered to take up a position over hero and hold it, and the intimation conveyed to me was that they did not want to get into a general engagement; I will send for Gen. Sedgwick, and ask permission to hold that position and relieve you.” I accordingly sent a staff officer to Gen. Sedgwick, with a request that I might go up at once and assist Gen. Buford; stating that he had a strong position, but Iris ammunition was giving out. Gen. Buford remained with me until I should get an answer. The answer was, “ No, we do not want to bring on a general engagement.” “ Well,” said I, “Buford, what can I do?” He said, “They expect me to go farther to the right; my ammunition is pretty much out. That position is a strong one, and we ought not to let it go.” I sent down again to Gen. Sedgwick, stating the condition of Gen. Buford, and that he would have to leave unless he could get some assistance; that his position was not far in front, and that it seemed to me that we should hold it, and I should like to send some force up to picket it at least. After a time, I got a reply that, if Gen. Buford left, I might occupy the position. Gen. Buford

1 July 5.

2 July 5, 11 A. M.

3 Before Committee on the Conduct of the War.

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