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[133] expedition had a double purpose; first, to reconnoiter, and second, to serve as an escort to a delegation which I was sending through to Charleston. This time Duncan, in the night, ran into a Confederate brigade of cavalry, apparently commanded by Colonel Aiken. The darkness was so great that neither commander could tell the strength of his opponent.

Aiken gave the order to charge, but Duncan, who was ready, instantly ordered “Fire” In the melee that ensued Aiken with many others was killed. Losing their leader the Confederates fell back. It was here that Lieutenant McQueen was wounded. Duncan drew off his men with small loss.

The mixing up was so complete during the night fight that one of our men borrowed a screw-driver of a comrade to fix his carbine, and discovered that that comrade was a Confederate. The loss of McQueen, for he was supposed at that time to be mortally wounded, genial gentleman as he was, caused great sorrow at our headquarters.

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William Duncan (3)
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