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Very soon after this a large body of dismounted cavalry, supported by artillery, of which I had none, made a vigorous attack on Brockenbrough's brigade, which was deployed in line of battle to the right of the road.

Brockenbrough repelled the attack, and drove the enemy back into the woods, following him up for some distance. The enemy was now heavily reinforced, and Brockenbrough was compelled to fall back. His brigade, having been badly cut up on the 1st and 3d at Gettysburg, was much reduced in numbers.

Seeing that the enemy evidently designed turning his right flank and thus cutting him off from the river, Brockenbrough deployed his brigade as skirmishers, extending well to the right. About this time the enemy appeared on my left flank in force, also in my front.

Seeing the attack was becoming serious, I ordered the several brigades of Pender's division (except Thomas', which had crossed the river) to return. I at the same time sent a message to the Lieutenant-General Commanding, requesting that artillery migh be sent me, as I had none. On returning, my aid informed me that General Hill directed me to withdraw my command as speedily as possible and cross the river.

When this order was received, my line of skirmishers occupied a front of a mile and a half--the left resting on the canal, the right bending around well towards the Potomac.

The orders were that the several brigades in line should withdraw simultaneously, protecting their front by a strong line of skirmishers and converge toward the road leading to Falling Waters.

In order to cover this movement, Lane's brigade was formed in line of battle about five hundred yards in rear of the advanced line, protected by a heavy line of skirmishers. The first brigade that passed through Lane's line of battle was reformed in line of battle a quarter of a mile or more in rear of Lane's position; and so on till the command reached the south bank of the Potomac.

With the extended line of skirmishers in my front, and being compelled to fall back upon a single road, it was not surprising that in attempting to reach the road, over ravines impassible at many points, and through a thick undergrowth and wood, and over a country with which both men and officers were unacquainted, that many of them were lost and thus fell into the hands of the enemy, who pushed vigorously forward on seeing that I was retiring.

The enemy made two cavalry charges, and on each occasion I

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Brockenbrough (4)
James H. Lane (3)
B. G. Thomas (1)
Pender (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
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