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[252] and the position of the enemy ascertained, he retreated across Broad run. The next morning he was reported to be fortifying beyond Bull run, extending his line towards the Little River turn-pike. The vicinity of the entrenchments around Washington and Alexandria rendered it useless to turn his new position, as it was apparent that he could readily retire to them and would decline an engagement unless attacked in his fortifications. A further advance was, therefore, deemed unnecessary, and after destroying the railroad from Cub run southwardly to the Rappahannock, the army returned on the 18th to the line of that river, leaving the cavalry in the enemy's front. The cavalry of the latter advanced on the following day, and some skirmishing occurred at Buckland. General Stuart, with Hampton's division, retired slowly towards Warrenton in order to draw the enemy in that direction, thus exposing his flank and rear to General Lee, who moved from Auburn and attacked him near Buckland. As soon as General Stuart heard the sound of Lee's guns, he turned upon the enemy, who, after a stubborn resistance, broke and fled in confusion, pursued by General Stuart nearly to Haymarket and by General Lee to Gainesville. Here the Federal infantry was encountered, and after capturing a number of them during the night, the cavalry slowly retired before their advance on the following day. When the movement of the army from the Rapidan commenced, General Imboden was instructed to advance down the Valley and guard the gaps of the mountains on our left. This duty was well performed by that officer, and on the 18th instant he marched upon Charlestown and succeeded, by a well concerted plan, in surrounding the place and capturing nearly the whole force stationed there, with all their stores and transportation; only a few escaped to Harper's Ferry. The enemy advanced from that place in superior numbers to attack General Imboden, who retired, bringing off his prisoners and captured property — his command suffering very little loss, and inflicting some damage upon the pursuing columns. In the course of these operations two thousand four hundred and thirty-six prisoners were captured, including forty-one commissioned officers. Of the above number four hundred and thirty-four were taken by General Imboden. A more complete account, with a statement of our loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, will be forwarded as soon as the necessary official reports shall have been received.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General.

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