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[389] army resumed the position from which it had moved to attack the enemy.

The action really ceased with the repulse of the attack made upon Stewart's corps; but desultory firing was continued until night.

Four pieces of artillery were taken; but, as we had only spare harnessed horses enough to draw off three, one was left on the field.

The impossibility of concentrating the Confederate forces in time to attack the Federal left wing, while in column on the march, made complete success also impossible, from the enemy's great numerical superiority. One important object was gained, however — that of restoring the confidence of our troops, who had either lost it in the defeat at Wilmington, or in those of Tennessee. All were greatly elated by the event.

There was now no object in remaining in presence of the enemy, but that of covering the bearing off of our wounded. The orders necessary for this duty were given without delay; but very bad roads, and the want of comfortable means of transportation, compelled us to devote two days to the operation.

Early in the morning of the 20th Brig.-Gen. Lav, temporarily commanding Butler's division, which was observing the Federal right wing, reported that that wing, which had been following the Fayetteville road to Goldsboroa, had crossed to that from Averysboroa, on which we were, about five miles east of us, and was coming up rapidly upon the rear of Hoke's division. That officer was directed to change front to the left on his right flank, by which his line was formed parallel to and fronting the road,

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