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[261] threw ten pieces of artillery, which he moved in a gallop through New Market, upon the right of the pike and beyond the town where a series of slight knolls offered good positions for firing without its endangering his own command. These pieces he directed in person, so arranging that as his line of battle advanced the artillery would limber up, gallop to the front and open fire — making, as it were, a skirmish line of artillery.

The boldness of the whole movement seemed to disconcert the enemy and to give a moral advantage to our side. The first firing of Siegel's artillery passed harmlessly over the heads of our troops, and when our artillery opened with a quartering fire upon his line it seemed to strike them with consternation; so much so, that it was afterwards ascertained that our bursting shells had stampeded his deserves before the first line gave way. Our infantry advanced with wonderful steadiness, firing, and halting at intervals to load, with the steadiness of troops on dress parade; the precision of the cadets' drill serving well as a color guide for the brigades on either side to dress by. The whole scene was one such as is rarely witnessed, the eye taking in at one glance all the forces engaged, save that a good part of the Federal line had the advantage of a stone wall which served as a breastwork. Every man in Breckinridge's command was under his eye, while he, with his conspicuous form, was plain to the view of all his troops, who, though they had never fought with him, were proud of the fame he brought them as a commander and animated to heroism by his immediate presence. When his line had reached within two hundred yards of that of the enemy, the position was very critical, and for a time it seemed doubtful as to which would be the first to give way. At this juncture, Siegel's cavalry, on his left, were seen deploying for a charge down the pike. Breckinridge, with his keen eye, detected the manoeuvre and ordered the guns to be double shotted with canister. It had scarcely been done before they were seen advancing in squadron front, when, coming in range, the artillery opened and the charge was repulsed disastrously — not more than a score reaching our lines, and they as prisoners, lying on the necks of their horses. This seemed to turn the tide of battle, for in a few moments Siegel's line gave way and our troops pressed to the crest only to see the enemy in full retreat. Pursuit was given as soon as our line could be reformed. Siegel made a brief stand at Rood's hill to cover his retreat, which he effected beyond the Shenandoah, burning the bridge as his rear guard passed over. Had Imboden succeeded in carrying out his

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