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[423] in this charge, and Captain Winthrop, a volunteer aid of Lieutenant-General Longstreet, also bore himself most gallantly.

The enemy was now very near Williamsport, and this determined and vigorous attack in rear soon compelled him to raise the seige of that place and leave in hasty discomfiture by the Downsville road. His withdrawal was favored by night, which set in just as we reached the ridge overlooking Williamsport.

An important auxiliary to this attack was rendered by Brigadier-General Lee, who reached the vicinity of Williamsport by the Greencastle road very opportunely, and participated in the attack with his accustomed spirit.

Great credit is due the command for the fearless and determined manner in which they rushed upon the enemy, and compelled him to loose his hold upon the main portion of the transportation of the army.

Without this attack, it is certain that our trains would have fallen into the hands of the enemy. For, while some resistance was made by General Imboden, still the size and nature of his command, the peculiar conformation of the ground — overlooked by hills and approached by six plain roads — go to show conclusively that not even a display of Spartan heroism on the part of his command could have saved those wagons from the torch of the enemy. I communicated with him, after opening the road, by a Lieutenant whom I met but a short distance from the town. Officers present with General Imboden during the attack assure me I am right in the foregoing opinion.

I was apprized, when about midway, that Lieutenant-General Longstreet had arrived at Hagerstown.

As a part of the operations of this period, I will here report that about sixty of the wagons belonging to Lee's brigade, while in the special charge of General Imboden en route to Williamsport, near Mercersburg, were captured by the enemy. A court of inquiry has been convened to inquire into the circumstances of this capture. I, therefore, forbear animadversion on the subject.

My command bivouacked near Hagerstown, and I took position that night on the road leading from Hagerstown to Boonsboroa. The next day, July 7th, I proceeded to Downsville, establishing there a portion of Wofford's brigade, sent me for the purpose by General Longstreet, and posted Jenkins' cavalry brigade on that portion of our front in advance of the infantry. Robertson's brigade, being small and the enemy being least threatening from that

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James Longstreet (3)
J. D. Imboden (3)
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