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[189] Ferry), on Monday, October 21st. On the morning of the 21st, McCall retired from Evans' front to his camp at Prospect Hill, 4 miles up the river from the Chain bridge.

From his point of observation, at the earthwork called ‘Fort Evans,’ to the eastward of Leesburg, overlooking the fords at Conrad's and Edwards' ferries and Ball's bluff, Evans, at 6 a. m. on the 21st, found that the enemy of Stone's division had effected a crossing at Edwards' ferry and at Ball's bluff, 4 miles above. He promptly sent four companies from his Mississippi regiments and two companies of cavalry, under the command of Lieut.-Col. W. H. Jenifer, to the assistance of Captain Duff, to hold the enemy in check until his plan of attack should be developed. Colonel Jenifer immediately engaged the Federal advance and drove it back toward Ball's bluff.

The force that had crossed at Harrison's island, about midnight of the 20th, was part of the command of Colonel Baker, some 300 men under Col. Charles Devens, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts. Its object was to capture a Confederate camp that had been reported to be about a mile from the river. This force advanced to an open field surrounded by woods, where it halted until it could be joined by a company from the Twentieth Massachusetts, which had been left on the bluff, on the Virginia side, to protect the Federal return. Devens, at daybreak, pushed forward with a few men to reconnoiter, and, in person, went to within sight of Leesburg. Thinking he had not been discovered, Devens determined to remain, and sent back to his brigade commander, Colonel Baker, for reinforcements. The latter consulted his division commander, General Stone, and obtained permission to either withdraw Devens or to send over reinforcements to him. He promptly directed Devens to hold his position and said that he would support him, in person, with the rest of his brigade. The boats and flats that had been provided for crossing the Potomac from the Maryland shore to Harrison's island, and from the latter to the Virginia shore, were entirely inadequate, and it was nearly noon before Devens' regiment of 625 men was closed up on the Virginia shore.

Convinced, at about o a. m., that the main Federal attack would be at Ball's bluff, 4 miles northeast of Leesburg, Evans ordered Colonel Hunton, with the

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