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[528] for the purpose of returning toward Edwards's Depot to take the Brownsville road, and then to proceed toward Clinton by a route north of the railroad. A written reply to General Johnston's instructions, in which I notified him that the countermarch had been ordered, and of the route I should take, was dispatched in haste, and without allowing myself sufficient time to take a copy.

Just as this reverse movement commenced, the enemy drove in Colonel Adams's cavalry-pickets, and opened with artillery, at long range, on the head of my column on the Raymond road; not knowing whether this was an attack in force, or simply an armed reconnoissance, and being anxious to obey the instructions of General Johnston, I directed the continuance of the movement, giving the necessary instructions for securing the safety of the wagon-train. The demonstrations of the enemy soon becoming more serious, orders were sent to division commanders to form in line of battle on the cross-road from the Clinton to the Raymond road-Loring on the right, Bowen in the centre, and Stevenson on the left. Major-General Stevenson was instructed to make the necessary dispositions for the protection of the trains then on the Clinton road and crossing Baker's Creek. The line of battle was quickly formed, without any interference on the part of the enemy; the position selected was naturally a strong one, and all approaches from the front well covered. A short time after the formation of the line, Loring's division was thrown back so as to cover the military road, it being reported that the enemy had appeared in that direction. The enemy made his first demonstration on our right, but, after a lively artillery-duel for an hour or more, this attack was relinquished, and a large force was thrown against our left, where skirmishing became heavy about ten o'clock, and the battle began in earnest along Stevenson's entire front about noon. Just at this time a column of the enemy were seen moving in front of our centre toward the right. Landis's battery, of Bowen's division, opened upon and soon broke this column, and compelled it to retire. I then directed Major-General Loring to move forward and

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C. L. Stevenson (2)
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