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[405] beyond Middleburg were driven back upon the main body, composed of Robertson's and W. H. F. Lee's brigades, posted far enough west of the place not to bring it under fire. The enemy with a large force of cavalry advanced, attacking with dismounted men deployed as infantry. This attack was met in the most determined manner by these two brigades, which rough roads had already decimated for want of adequate shoeing facilities — Chambliss commanding Lee's brigade upon the left, and Robertson's on the right. Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee's brigade, in the meantime, was occupied with the enemy on the Snickersville turnpike opposite us. The enemy finally gained possession of a woodland in front of our line of battle, and while our brave men met and repelled every attempt to advance from it, yet our charges invariably brought us under a severe carbine fire from these woods, as well as a fire from the artillery beyond.

Appreciating this difficulty, I withdrew my command to a more commanding position, a half mile to the rear, where we possessed every advantage and could more readily debouche for attack. In withdrawing, while riding at my side, the brave and heroic Major Von Borcke received a very severe and it was thought fatal wound in the neck, from one of the enemy's sharpshooters, who from a stone fence a few hundred yards off poured a tempest of bullets over us. I will not pause here to record the praise due this distinguished Prussian.

The enemy did not attack our new position on the 19th.

Jones' brigade came up on the evening of the 19th, and was ordered to the left near Union--General Fitz. Lee's brigade being farther to the left, looking out for Snicker's gap and the Snickersville pike. Hampton's brigade arrived on the 20th--too late to attack the enemy still in possession of Middleburg. A continuous rain was also an obstacle to military operations. Skirmishing, however, continued, principally on our left beyond Goose creek, where Colonel Rosser, with his regiment (Fifth Virginia cavalry), attacked and drove the enemy's force across the stream in handsome style. He was supported by Brigadier-General Jones with a portion of his brigade.

I was extremely anxious now to attack the enemy as early as possible, having, since Hampton's arrival, received sufficient reinforcement to attack the enemy's cavalry; but the next morning (21st) being the Sabbath, I recognized my obligation to do no duty other than what was absolutely necessary, and determined, so far

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