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[253] should be allowed time to get in the rear of Richmond, and prepare his ambuscade. The entire army was, therefore, halted, and the troops permitted to rest. The Federals could be seen distinctly formed in their encampment. Much to our surprise they cheered vociferously. This, we afterwards learned, was caused by the arrival of Major-General Nelson. Brigadier-General Manson had commanded in the combats of Mount Zion's Church and Wheat's farm. A three-inch Parrott gun was trained upon them and they retired out of view.

At 5 P. M., our army moved to attack for the third time on that day. We found the enemy's encampment deserted by all but a few wounded men, and the surgeons attending them. Shortly, however, the booming of cannon on our left, and the screaming of shells over our heads, announced that victory was yet to be won. The Federals had fallen back to the outskirts of the town of Richmond, and chosen a strong position on the crest of a hill, their line passing through the cemetry. McCray's Texas brigade was ordered to turn their right, while Preston Smith advanced steadily on their left and centre. Again the fierce hum of minnie balls was followed by the sullen thud of the rifle, and cannon boomed at short intervals like the baying of the deep-mouthed bloodhounds above the din and clatter of the beagles. We were met with great obstinacy, and the fighting was more vigorous all along the lines, and the loss on both sides greater than at any former period of the day. But McCray succeeded in flanking, and Preston Smith, with a dashing charge through a murderous fire, captured the cemetery. A charge was now ordered of the entire line, and the enemy pressed rapidly through the town. On the farther side they made a feeble attempt to rally, but a few shells started them again; and the army, now no longer an army, but a mob, cavalry, infantry, artillery, and wagons, mingled together in complete confusion, rushed along the road for Lexington.

The sun was setting, our troops had driver the enemy over ten miles of broken country, and fought the entire day. They were exhausted, all the reserves had been brought into action, pursuit was impossible, and the enemy were left to be dealt with by Colonel Scott. That officer having reached the Lexington Turnpike, masked a battery to sweep the road, and concealed his men on either side. Pell mell, right into this ambuscade, the poor discomfitted fugitives fled. The havoc was frightful, and the Federals lost here nearly as many men as in all the previous fighting of the day. They threw down their arms and surrendered in crowds, and of the few who escaped not one in ten carried his musket with him. Manson was captured here, and Nelson barely

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Preston Smith (2)
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