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[275] such service as his, should ever have allowed, while W. H. F. Lee hung upon his rear with an exasperating tenacity which brought delay and redoubled his difficulties. At every step, indeed, the peril thickened, for Hampton, who had crossed the James, now came to W. H. F. Lee's help with a strong body of horse, and attacking the enemy on Tuesday evening (June 28th), at Sappony Church, drove him until dark, harassed him the livelong night, turned his left in the morning, and sent him helter-skelter before his horsemen.1

Wilson, fairly bewildered, sought to reach Reams' Station, which he believed to be still in possession of the Federals--a determination destined to be attended with irreparable disaster to him, for General Lee had dispatched thither two brigades of infantry (Finnegan's and Saunders') under Mahone, and two light batteries (Brander's and “the Purcell” ), under Pegram, followed by Fitz. Lee, who had just roughly handled Gregg at Nance's Shop, and who now came down at a sharp trot to take part in the tumult. Wilson, reaching his objective, descried ominous clouds of dust rising on the roads by which he had hoped to win safety, but offering, in desperation, a seemingly bold front prepared for battle.

Informed by a negro, whose knowledge of the country notably expanded at sight of a six-shooter, that there was a “blind-road” leading in rear of Wilson's left, Fitz. Lee at once pushed forward with his dusky guide, and having assured himself by personal reconnoissance of the truth of the information, quickly made his dispositions. Lomax's horsemen, dismounted, were formed across this road, with Wickham's mounted brigade in reserve, the latter being instructed to charge so soon as Lomax had shaken the enemy. In a twinkling, as it seemed, the rattling fire of the carbines told that Lomax was hotly engaged, and on the instant the movement in front began — the infantry, under Mahone, advancing swiftly across the open field, pouring in a biting volley, Pegram firing rapidly for a few moments, then limbering up and going forward at a gallop to come into battery on a line with the infantry, while Fitz. Lee, the Federals rapidly giving ground before his dismounted troopers, called up his mounted squadrons and went in with his rough stroke at a thundering pace on the enemy's left and rear.2

For a brief space the confused combat, ever receding, went on — fierce shouts of triumph mingling with the dismal cries of stricken

1 Lee's official dispatch, June 29th, 1864, 8 P. M.

2 Fitz. Lee's Ms. report. Lee's official dispatch.

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