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[94] the cavalry. Thus formed, he moved to the front, leaving wagons and moving dust far to our right.

At some distance ahead, there rose from the plain a wooded ridge, extending northeast and southwest. Toward the end nearest to us we headed, and began its ascent, in the order in which we were formed. The front of the column reached the top and moved on to the further end, from which the ridge fell with more precipitousness than the end which we had ascended. When the last file of the rear regiment was well up on the ridge and protected by the trees, no room remained for more. We were dismounted and lay down, holding the bridle-reins in our hands.

In less than an hour a heavy column of infantry approached the ridge from the direction in which we had come. It passed to the left and moved along very close to the ridge and toward its further end. Almost at once, another column, like unto the first and moving by its side, passed to the right of the ridge, and at about the same distance from it, in a parallel line toward the same end of the ridge. So near were these moving columns, and so still were we, that all night long we could hear the conversation carried on among our foemen on either side of us.

The hours seemed interminable, but those marching columns seemed even longer. Daylight came, but still they marched. Should sunrise find us still so beleaguered, our chances of escape would be small. As the earliest rays of the sun routed the mists, the long-hoped — for rear of these columns went by, and halted but a few rods beyond the further end of our ridge. During the night, Stuart had sent messengers to General Lee, telling him of our situation and asking for relief. That relief was sent, but it miscarried. As the sun rose higher, Stuart opened on the rear of these two columns, which had halted for breakfast, had made their fires, and were boiling their coffee. The four guns did some execution, and the Federals, startled by this “bolt from the blue,” ran — not, as we hoped,

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J. E. B. Stuart (2)
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