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[381] sometime; but many of the Confederate troops took advantage of the opportunity to plunder, and carried off so many of the captured horses and mules that neither guns nor wagons could be secured. They were made unserviceable, however, by cutting their wheels to pieces. After suffering a good deal, especially in officers, by a spirited fire directed at them by a brigade of infantry or dismounted cavalry, the Confederate troops were withdrawn. Both Lieutenant-General Hampton and Major-General Wheeler thought the Federal loss in killed and wounded much greater than theirs. They brought away five hundred prisoners, and released a hundred and seventy-three that had been captured by the enemy.

The important object of opening the road to Fayetteville, blocked by this camp, was gained by this action; and Lieutenant-General Hampton reached the place at night with his troops by that road. The Federal army was then within seven miles of the town, and Lieutenant-General Hardee's troops in and around it. The latter crossed the Cape Fear River soon after the arrival of their cavalry, which followed next morning, burning the bridge after crossing the river.

In the march from the Catawba to the Cape Fear, the cavalry of the two armies rarely met. In all the encounters that occurred, if all of them came to my knowledge, the Confederates had the advantage. They were: at Mount Elon, where Major-General Butler intercepted and drove back a Federal party sent to destroy the railroad-track near Florence; at Homesboroa on the 4th of March, when General Wheeler attacked the Federal left flank and took fifty

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