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[297] to starting toward Manassas, which was twelve or fourteen miles distant, he offered the rebels fight, and drew up his forces in line of battle. The rebels would not come out of their stronghold — the woods — and as their force was known to be vastly superior to ours, it was not deemed advisable to make the attack. The retirement of Gen. Stoneman was accomplished slowly and in good order, and though the rebels made several charges, they retreated upon the slightest demonstration by our troops. After a day's march through a drenching rain, General Stoneman and his men reached Manassas in safety.

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