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.
immediately engaged the Federal
advance and drove it back toward Ball
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
, 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
Convinced, at about o a. m., that the main Federal attack would be at Ball
's bluff, 4 miles northeast of Leesburg
ordered Colonel Hunton
, with the