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[156] the peaceful character of which very much surprised the Federal forces when they occupied these works, after their evacuation in the spring.

On the 19th, General McClellan having ordered McCall's division to Drainsville, about sixteen miles west of Alexandria, to cover reconnoissances in that quarter, and procure supplies, directed Brigadier-General Stone to feign a crossing of the Potomac from Poolsville, Maryland, and threaten Leesburg, held by one of General Beauregard's brigades, under Colonel Evans. He hoped by these movements to induce the evacuation of the place. On the 21st, while General McCall was returning to his camp at Langley, General Stone began crossing his division at Edwards's Ferry, and one of his subordinates, General Baker, engaged Colonel Evans in the forenoon. During the day General Stone threw over his entire division, and the battle continued until night, when the Federal forces were completely routed, and many of them, driven over the steep banks at Ball's Bluff, lost their lives in the river.1

Upon receiving from Evans immediate news of the conflict, General Beauregard proposed to General Johnston to march at once, with sufficient force, and cut off General Stone's retreat, as the Potomac, swollen by rains, was then difficult to cross. General Johnston did not agree to this, fearing that some occurrence might take place requiring the presence of all our forces with the main army. While Banks's division, from Darnestown, Maryland, moved to his support, General Stone intrenched on the Virginia shore, but did not succeed in recrossing until the night of the 23d and 24th.

Just at this time transports had been observed descending the Potomac, laden with a heavy armament, reported to be intended for use against General Magruder, who commanded at Yorktown, on the Peninsula below Richmond, and a heavy force had, meanwhile, gathered north of the Potomac, opposite to Evans. Seizing the opportunity, General Beauregard proposed a resolute attack against McClellan's extreme right, exposed by its salience in the quarter of Drainsville, in order to relieve Evans and break through the enemy's plans; but the proposition was not assented to by General Johnston,

Evans's loss at Ball's Bluff was forty men. He captured fourteen

1 From General McClellan's Report.

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