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[184] across the river. On the 16th a Federal detachment that crossed the Potomac at Seneca creek was driven back by Stuart's cavalry pickets. On the 24th General Evans sent a detachment to opposite the Point of Rocks, which fired across the Potomac upon Geary's camp and then withdrew; that officer reported, ‘Our enemy, if not so savage as the Indian, purposes to emulate his vigilance.’ He also stated that he had taken possession of Heter's and Noland's islands and proposed to occupy all the other islands in front of his lines, ‘and where Nature has not provided shelter, to make it by art.’

On September 24th Col. J. E. B. Stuart received his promotion as brigadier-general of cavalry. His brigade, as nearly as can be ascertained, consisted of the First Virginia cavalry, under Col. W. E. Jones; the Second Virginia cavalry, under Col. R. C. W. Radford; the Fourth Virginia cavalry, under Col. B. H. Robertson; the Sixth Virginia cavalry, under Col. C. W. Field; the First North Carolina cavalry, under Col. R. Ransom, Jr., and the Jeff Davis legion of cavalry, under Maj. W. T. Martin. Of these, Jones and Robertson subsequently became brigadier-generals, and Field, Ransom and Martin, major-generals in the Confederate army.

On September 15th, Gen. W. F. Smith, United States army, marched from his camp, near the Chain bridge, to Lewinsville, with 5,100 infantry, 150 cavalry and 16 pieces of artillery, guarding a train of 90 wagons to procure forage. He not only took the precaution of having advanced guards and flankers, but left detachments of infantry and artillery along every mile of the road as special guards. After loading his wagons and as he was preparing to retire, about 3 p. m., Stuart vexed him with small bodies of cavalry and three pieces of artillery all along the way as he withdrew. On the 28th the same officer started two of his regiments, with two days cooked rations, toward Munson's hill. They marched at midnight, but when about halfway to their destination, in a thick body of woods, they were fired into from ambush, with considerable loss; in the confusion that followed one portion of the command fired into another. This led to a halt and the forming of a line of battle, which rested on its arms during the night. These two regiments returned to their camp the next day, after a loss of 4 killed and 16 wounded.

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