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[570] on the sixteenth August, crossing the Rapidan, on the twentieth, at Raccoon Ford.

The next day, at Kelly's Ford, I received orders to move up the Rappahannock to Rappahannock Station. As we were withdrawing from Kelly's Ford, the enemy crossed the river and made an attack upon the rear brigade, (Featherston's.) under the command of Colonel Posey. After a sharp skirmish, Colonel Posey drove him back with considerable loss.

Arriving at Rappahannock Station, General Hood, with his own and Whiting's brigade, was detached to relieve a portion of General Jackson's command at Freeman's Ford. About the moment that General Hood reached this ford, the enemy crossed in considerable force, and made an attack upon the commands of Brigadier-Generals Trimble and Hood. They, however, drove him back across the river in much confusion and with heavy loss. Meanwhile I had ordered Colonel Walton to place his batteries in position at Rappahannock Station, and to drive the enemy from his positions on both sides of the river.

The batteries were opened at sunrise on the twenty-third, and a severe cannonade continued for several hours. In about two hours, however, the enemy was driven across the river, abandoning his tete-de-pont. The brigades of Brigadier-Generals Evans and D. R. Jones, the latter under Colonel G. T. Anderson, moved forward to occupy this position. It was found untenable, however, being exposed to a cross-fire of artillery from the other bank. The troops were therefore partially withdrawn, and Colonel S. 1). Lee was ordered to select positions for his batteries, and joined in the combat. The enemy's position was soon rendered too warm for him, and he took advantage of a severe rain storm to retreat in haste, after firing the bridge and the private dwellings in its vicinity. Colonel Walton deserves much credit for skill in the management of his batteries, and Colonel Lee got into position in time for some good practice.

The next day, August twenty-fourth, the command, continuing to march up the Rappahannock, crossed Hazel River, and bivouacked at Jeffersonton. On the twenty-fifth, we relieved a portion of General Jackson's command at Waterloo Bridge. There was more or less skirmishing at this point until the afternoon of the twenty-sixth, when the march was resumed, crossing the Rappahannock at Hinson's Mill Ford, six miles above Waterloo. A dash of several squadrons of Federal cavalry into Salem, in front of us, on the twenty-seventh, delayed our march about an hour. Not having cavalry, I was unable to ascertain the meaning of this movement; hence the delay. This cavalry retired, and the march was resumed, resting for the night at White Plains. The head of my column reached Thoroughfare Gap about three o'clock P. M. On the twenty-eighth, a small party of infantry was sent into the mountains to reconnoitre. Passing through the Gap, Colonel Beck, of the Ninth Georgia regiment, met the enemy, but was obliged to retire before a greatly superior force. The enemy held a strong position on the opposite gorge, and succeeded in getting his sharpshooters in position on the mountain. Brigadier-General D. R. Jones advanced two of his brigades rapidly, and soon drove the enemy from his position on the mountain. Brigadier-General Hood, with his own and General Whiting's brigade, was ordered, by a footpath over the mountain, to turn the enemy's right, and Brigadier-General Wilcox, with his own and Brigadier-Generals Featherston's and Pryor's brigades, was ordered through Hopewell Gap, three miles to our left, to turn the right and attack the enemy in rear. The enemy made his attack upon Jones, however, before these troops could get into their position, and after being repulsed with severe loss, commenced his retreat just before night. In this affair, the conduct of the First Georgia regulars, under Major Walker, was dashing and gallant.

Early on the twenty-ninth, the columns were united, and the advance, to join General Jackson, was resumed. The noise of battle was heard before we reached Gainesville. The march was quickened to the extent of our capacity. The excitement of battle seemed to give new life and strength to our jaded men, and the head of my column soon reached a position in rear of the enemy's left flank, and within easy cannon shot. On approaching the field, some of Brigadier-General Hood's batteries were ordered into position, and his division was deployed on the right and left of the turnpike, at right angles with it, and supported by Brigadier-General Evans's brigade. Before these batteries could open, the enemy discovered our movements and withdrew his left. Another battery (Captain Stribling's) was placed upon a commanding position to my right, which played upon the rear of the enemy's left, and drove him entirely from that part of the field. He changed his front rapidly so as to meet the advance of Hood and Evans.

Three brigades, under General Wilcox, were thrown forward to the support of the left, and three others, under General Kemper, to the support of the right of these commands. General D. R. Jones's division was placed upon the Manassas Gap Railroad, to the right and in echelon with regard to the three last brigades. Colonel Walton placed his batteries in a commanding position between my line and that of General Jackson, and engaged the enemy for several hours, in a severe and successful artillery duel. At a late hour in the day, Major-General Stuart reported the approach of the enemy in heavy columns against my extreme right. I withdrew General Wilcox, with his three brigades, from the left, and placed his command in position to support Jones in case of an attack against my right. After some few shots, the enemy withdrew his force, moving them around towards his front, and about four o'clock in the afternoon began to press forward against General Jackson's positions. Wilcox's brigades were moved back to their former position, and Hood's two brigades, supported by Evans, were quickly pressed forward to the attack. At the same time Wilcox's three brigades made a like advance, as also Hunton's brigade, of Kemper's command.


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