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Duffie, who led the charge at Kelly's ford Led by Colonel Alfred Duffie, the dashing cavalryman whose portrait is above, Federal cavalry had its first opportunity to measure itself in a real trial of strength with the hardy horsemen of the South at Kelly's Ford on March 17, 1863. Brigadier-General William W. Averell, in command of the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, received orders to cross the river with 3,000 cavalry and six pieces of artillery, and attack and destroy the forces of General Fitzhugh Lee, supposed to be near Culpeper Court House. Starting from Morrisville with about 2,100 men, General Averell found the crossing at Kelly's Ford obstructed by abatis and defended by sharpshooters. The First Rhode Island Cavalry effected a crossing, and the battle-line was formed on the farther side of the river. Colonel Duffie on the Federal left flank, and Colonel McIntosh on the right led almost simultaneous charges. The entire body of Confederate cavalry was driven back in confusion. The Confederates made another stand three-quarters of a mile farther back in the woods, but when the Federal cavalry finally withdrew, their killed and wounded were 78, and those of the Confederates 133.

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