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[372] which subsequently occurred. The firing of the enemy at the pickets did more to spread a knowledge of his approach, than all our pickets.

It was very dark, so that objects could only be discerned in the group, and not in the detail. On the alarm being given, lights were soon moving in the hotel. The cavalry companies located as before described, commenced to form, forming on a line with the court-house enclosure, on the part of the Prince William company, and on the street or turn-pike over which the enemy must pass in charging through town, while the Rappahannock company, similarly employed, was forming in the court-house lot, but with the advantage of being protected from an enemy by a high boarded fence. Neither company was nearly formed when the enemy appeared. Lieutenant Tompkins, says: “On entering the town of Fairfax, my command was fired upon by the rebel troops, from the windows and the house-tops.” In this the Lieutenant was under a gross mistake. Not a shot from any direction, up to this time had been fired at him; on the contrary, Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell speaking of the alarm, says: “This was soon followed by their appearance, firing at the windows and doors of the hotel, where there were no resistance or troops.” Lieutenant Tompkins further says: “That he charged on a company of rifles, and succeeded in driving them from the town.” This is a gross mistake, we had no such force. It is true, as the enemy went through the town firing to the right and left, apparently at random, and as if for no other purpose than to excite alarm, he drove before him a small portion of the Prince William cavalry, four of whom he succeeded on this occasion in capturing, the Rappahannock Company having been left behind in the court-house lot to complete its formation at leisure.

In the meantime, the alarm having reached Captain Marr also, he promptly deployed his company in Stevenson's clover field, his right near the road to the Fairfax Station and near its quarters, the Methodist church, and parallel with the street before described, and which divided the clover field from the court-house lot, resting its left on the road leading to the Stevenson farm house. Here Captain Marr was found, the next morning, dead, (and apparently without having had a struggle in his last moments,) one hundred and fifty steps from the church, and thence two hundred and thirty steps to the hotel, thus constituting an obtuse tri-angle. Here he was, doubtless, handling his men, and was struck by a random shot to the left, fired by the enemy as he passed the court-house, the distance being, as well as I can judge, three hundred steps. I have not been able to ascertain that anyone of his men knew of his death — the clover was very rank and tall, and I am told

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