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[202] put in motion, and Brigadier-General Walker, whose line was nearest the enemy, was ordered to follow, after having advanced his skirmishers to the town to conceal his movement and ascertain the position of the enemy. J. M. Jones' brigade and the remainder of Andrews' battalion, under Major Latimer, were left in reserve and for the purpose of preventing the enemy's escape by the road on which we had advanced.

After moving some distance on the Berryville road, I was informed by my guide that I would be obliged to cross fields, over a rough country, in order to carry out literally the directions of the Lieutenant-General; and, moreover, that near Stephenson's, five miles north of Winchester, there was a railroad cut, masked by a body of woods and not more than two hundred yards from the turnpike (along which the enemy would certainly retreat), which would afford excellent shelter for troops in case of an engagement. The night was very dark, and being satisfied that the enemy would discover the movement and probably escape if I moved to the point indicated by the Lieutenant-General, I determined to march to Stephenson's by the road which led by Jordan's Springs. Halting the head of the column at a small bridge which crosses the Winchester and Potomac railway a few hundred yards from the Martinsburg pike, I rode forward with my staff and sharpshooters to reconnoitre the position and assure myself of the whereabouts of the enemy. I had gone but a short distance when I distinctly heard the neighing of horses and sound of men moving, and in a few moments ascertained that I had opportunely struck the head of the enemy's retreating column.

Their videttes fired upon us, and I returned to my command to make the necessary dispositions for an instant attack. Along the edge of the railway cut, next to the pike, ran a stone fence, behind which I deployed the three regiments of Steuart's brigade--Tenth Virginia, First and Third North Carolina regiments--on the right, and three regiments of Nicholls' brigade, under Colonel J. M. Williams, on the left.

One piece of Dement's battery was placed upon the bridge, one piece a little to the left and rear; the remaining pieces, with sections of Raines' and Carpenter's betteries (the whole under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews) on the rising ground in rear of the position occupied by infantry. Two regiments of Nicholls' brigade were held in reserve as support to the artillery.

My dispositions were scarcely completed when the enemy, cheering,

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Stephenson (2)
Francis T. Nicholls (2)
Andrews (2)
J. M. Williams (1)
J. A. Walker (1)
George H. Steuart (1)
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