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[73] had handsomely repulsed the enemy in their advance on Ashby's Gap, inflicting severe loss with great disparity in numbers.

Harper's Ferry was again in possession of the enemy, and Colonel Harman, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, had, in an engagement with the enemy, gained a decided success, but was himself captured by his horse falling.

Upon my arrival at the Bower that afternoon (15th), I learned that a large force of the enemy's cavalry was between Shepherdstown and Leetown. 1 determined at once to attack him, in order to defeat any designs he might have in the direction of Martinsburg. I made dispositions accordingly, concentrating cavalry in his front, and early on the 16th moved Fitz. Lee's brigade down the turnpike towards Shepherdstown, supported by Chambliss, who, though quite ill, with that commendable spirit which has always distinguished him remained at the head of his brigade. Jenkins' brigade was ordered to advance on the road from Martinsburg towards Shepherdstown, so as, by this combination, to expose one of the enemy's flanks, while Jones, now near Charleston, was notified of the attack, in order that he might co-operate. No positive orders were sent him, as his precise locality was not known. These dispositions having been arranged, I was about to attack, when I received a very urgent message from the Commanding General to repair at once to his headquarters. I therefore committed to Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee the consummation of my plans, and reported at once to the Commanding General, whom I found at Bunker Hill. Returning in.the afternoon, I proceeded to the scene of conflict on the turnpike, and found that General Fitz. Lee had, with his own and Chambliss' brigade, driven the enemy steadily to within a mile of Shepherdstown, Jenkins' brigade not having yet appeared on the left. It, however, soon after arrived in Fitz. Lee's rear, and moved up to his support. The ground was not practicable for cavalry, and the main body was dismounted and advanced in line of battle. The enemy retired to a strong position behind stone fences and barricades near Colonel Boteler's residence, and it being nearly dark, obstinately maintained his ground at this last point till dark, to cover his withdrawal. Preparations were made to renew the attack vigorously next morning, but daybreak revealed that the enemy had retired towards Harper's Ferry.

The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was heavy. We had several killed and wounded, and among the latter, Colonel James H. Drake, First Virginia Cavalry, was mortally wounded, dying that night (16th), depriving his regiment of a brave and zealous leader, and his country of one of her most patriotic defenders.

The Commanding General was very desirous of my moving at once into Loudoun a large portion of my command, but the recent rains had so swollen the Shenandoah that it was impossible to ford it, and cavalry scouting parties had to swim their horses over.

In the interval of time from the 16th to the 22d of July, the

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Fitzhugh Lee (4)
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