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[417] Virginia cavalry being most conspicuous. In these charges the impetuosity of those gallant fellows, after two weeks of hard marching and hard fighting on short rations, was not only extraordinary, but irresistible. The enemy's masses vanished before them like grain before the scythe, and that regiment elicited the admiration of every beholder, and eclipsed the many laurels already won by its gallant veterans. Their impetuosity carried them too far, and the charge being very much prolonged, their horses, already jaded by hard marching, failed under it. Their movement was too rapid to be stopped by couriers; and the enemy, perceiving it, were turning upon them with fresh horses. The First North Carolina cavalry and Jeff. Davis legion were sent to their support; and gradually this hand-to-hand fighting involved the greater portion of the command, till the enemy was driven from the field, which was now raked by their artillery, posted about three quarters of a mile off — our officers and men behaving with the greatest heroism throughout.

Our own artillery commanding the same grounds, no more hand-to-hand fighting occurred; but the wounded were removed and the prisoners (a large number) taken to the rear. The enemy's loss was unmistakably heavy; numbers not known. Many of his killed and wounded fell into our hands.

That brave and distinguished officer, Brigadier-General Hampton, was seriously wounded twice in this engagement. Among the killed was,Major Conner, a gallant and efficient officer of the Jeff. Davis legion. Several officers and many valuable men were killed and wounded, whose names it is not now in my power to furnish, but which, it is hoped, will be ultimately furnished in the reports of regimental and brigade commanders.

Notwithstanding the favorable results attained, I would have preferred a different method of attack, as already indicated; but I soon saw that entanglement, by the force of circumstances narrated, was unavoidable, and determined to make the best fight possible. General Fitz. Lee was always in the right place, and contributed his usual conspicuous share to the success of the day. Both he and the gallant First Virginia begged me (after the hot encounter) to allow them to take the enemy's battery, but I doubted the practicability of the ground for such a purpose.

During the day's operations, I held such a position as not only to render Ewell's left entirely secure, where the firing of my command, mistaken for that of the enemy, caused some apprehension,

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Jefferson Davis (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (1)
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R. S. Ewell (1)
Conner (1)
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