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[375] the stream west of the town, manifestly to reform and to return through the town, the dispersion of the Rappahannock cavalry, and the larger portion of the Warrenton Rifles, and the organization of those remaining, by Colonel Ewell and myself, and marching them promptly to the point of interception of the enemy, should he undertake to return through the town, as was expected. I am confident that all these incidents occurred within the first half an hour of the first appearance of the enemy in town; resulting in the slight wounding of Colonel Ewell, the killing of Captain Marr, and the dispersion of the whole Confederate force, except some forty to forty-five of the Rifles, then in hand; and with which to redeem the fortunes of the night.

But to resume, we had just struck the turn-pike, and turning our little squad to the left had got it cleverly on the road between the hotel and the court-house, when the enemy appeared advancing. My purpose was to advance until I found a good position for the expected fight, but we had to take things as we found them. Both of us had narrow fronts, two files, and neither could deploy, the road being enclosed on each side by the fences of the hotel and the court-house respectively. The enemy halted, because, (I suppose,) he saw something occupying the road in his front. Flushed with their success, they were manifestly in considerable disorder, and when I ordered the Rifles to fire, which, owing to their position, was obeyed to a very limited and inefficient extent, I do not think the enemy returned it. But, reversing his movement returned, I inferred, to the run west of the town, to reform his command, I presume, in order to charge, in order, through the town. It must have been at this time, or when we first entered the turn-pike, (for I saw no more of him afterwards,) that Colonel Ewell left the command to dispatch a courier to bring up the cavalry companies of Harrison and Wickham, camped at Fairfax Station, three miles from the court-house. Captain Thornton, I was informed, went on this duty. Neither man, nor beast, that I could ascertain, sustained the slightest injury in this collision.

Having been left to my own discretion, and perfectly satisfied that my position was untenable against any mounted force of dash and courage, I followed immediately on the retiring footsteps of the enemy. It was not until I had reached Cooper's wagon shop, ascertained by recent measurement to be one hundred and ninety-five steps west from the court-house, that I found a place which satisfied my judgment. Here I found a new post and rail fence, on each side of the turn-pike — the one on the south side, helping to enclose the wagon shop yard. Feeling safe in this position, I at once divided my command, placing it on

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R. S. Ewell (3)
Wickham (1)
Thornton (1)
Fannie H. Marr (1)
Harrison (1)
Cooper (1)
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