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[191] support Burt's movement. Evans reports: ‘He arrived in twenty minutes and the action became general along my whole line, and was very hot and brisk for more than two hours, the enemy keeping up a constant fire with his batteries on both sides of the river. At about 6 p. m. I saw that my command had driven the enemy to near the banks of the river. I ordered my entire force to charge and drive him into the river. The charge was immediately made by the whole command, and the forces of the enemy were completely routed, and cried out for quarter along his whole line. In this charge the enemy was driven back at the point of the bayonet, and many were killed and wounded by this formidable weapon. In the precipitate retreat of the enemy on the bluffs of the river, many of his troops rushed into the water and were drowned, while many others, in overloading the boats sunk them and shared the same fate. The rout now, about 7 o'clock, became complete, and the enemy commenced throwing his arms into the river. . . . At 8 p. m. the enemy surrendered his forces at Ball's bluff, and the prisoners were marched to Leesburg.’

During this action, Colonel Barksdale, with nine companies of the Thirteenth Mississippi and six pieces of artillery, was held to oppose Stone's movement from Edward's Ferry and also as a reserve. After the engagement, Evans withdrew all his brigade to Leesburg, except Barksdale's regiment, which he left in front of Edwards' ferry.

Each of the combatants had about 1,700 men engaged in this action. The Confederates had no artillery in the fight, while the Federals had three light guns. Shortly after the action became general, Colonel Baker, passing in front of his command, was killed by a sharpshooter, which so demoralized the Federals that the surviving officers conferred and decided to retreat. This was opposed by Col. Milton Cogswell, of the Forty-second New York, who had succeeded Colonel Baker in command. He said a retreat down the bluff and across the river was now impossible, and that they must cut their way through the Confederate right to Edwards' ferry. He promptly gave orders to that effect, and moved to the front, followed by the remnants of his own two companies and a portion of the California regiment, but not by the others. He was quickly driven back and the whole Federal

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Nathan G. Evans (2)
Edwards (2)
William Barksdale (2)
E. D. Baker (2)
C. P. Stone (1)
Milton Cogswell (1)
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