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[207] and from thence, after a few days' halt, to Poolesville, Maryland, where it reported to Brigadier-General C. P. Stone, in command of the corps of observation. Until October 20th the regiment was in the performance of picket and outpost duty, along the Potomac River, Major Revere taking his proper share of the service. On Sunday, October 20th, a battalion of the regiment was ordered to the river-bank, from which, during the night of that day, it crossed to Harrison's Island. This was preliminary to the battle of Ball's Bluff. On the morning of the 21st, at an early hour, two companies were sent into Virginia as the covering force of a reconnoitring party which had preceded them. Major Revere, who had accompanied the battalion from camp in Maryland, was left on the island in command of the force held there in reserve, and rendered a most important service in dragging round, from its east side to that opposite the Virginia bank, a scow, which added materially to the means of transportation, and was of great value in subsequent operations.

Colonel Baker, having been ordered to the command of the troops which had crossed into Virginia, and the supporting force which lay on the island and the adjacent Maryland shore, had, on assuming command, ordered the reserve of the Twentieth Regiment, among other troops, to reinforce the battalions in Virginia. Accordingly, about noon, Major Revere crossed the river. The battle of Ball's Bluff followed. The aggregate Union force present during the battle—not including the Nineteenth Massachusetts Infantry, which remained on the island and was not engaged–was, exclusive of officers, sixteen hundred and three men. Major Revere bore an honorable part in this bloody and disastrous conflict, earning a high character for cool and disciplined courage. He was slightly wounded in the leg, while endeavoring to run into the river two mountain-howitzers which had become disabled, the cannoneers having been all killed or wounded; and he was among the last to leave the field when it was irretrievably lost. The means of transportation were very limited, and escape by the boats, in the rush and confusion which prevailed, appeared

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