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[172] it was made square instead of oblong, by order of General Johnston.

In the beginning of December, General D. H. Hill was sent to relieve General Evans in the important command at Leesburg, with instructions to fall back to the main army at Centreville in the event of an advance on the latter place, as Colonel Hunton had done before the battle of Manassas.

During the remainder of December there came occasional warnings and menaces of attack, to which, in fact, the United States authorities and General McClellan were constantly urged by the more impatient part of the Northern people and press; and a watchful state of preparation was maintained along the Confederate positions, from Evansport, by the way of Centreville, to Leesburg, on the upper Potomac. But no encounter of interest occurred except one at Drainsville, on the 23d of December, between two foraging parties of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The Confederates, with about twenty-five hundred men, under Brigadier-General Stuart, attacked the Federals, numbering four thousand in a strong position, under Brigadier-General Ord. After a sharp conflict our forces were repulsed, though not pursued. The enemy's loss was seven killed and sixty-one wounded; ours, fortythree killed and one hundred and eighty-seven wounded and missing.

Our army now went into winter quarters. The cold was intense, and it was hard, at times, for officers and men to protect themselves against it. All remained quiet along the lines. Such, however, was not the case in Richmond. Towards the 10th of January the halls of the Confederate Congress became the scene of an animated secret debate, resulting from Mr. Davis's action upon General Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas, the preliminary remarks of which had been resented by the President. Upon sending in this report to Congress, he had accompanied

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