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[192] command was forced to the river bluff in great disorder. Just then two companies of the Forty-second New York landed on the Virginia shore. These Colonel Cogswell ordered up the bluff and deployed as skirmishers to cover the Federal retreat, while he advanced to the left with a small party, and was almost immediately captured. Colonel Devens escaped by swimming the river.

On the morning of the 22d, Colonel Barksdale informed General Evans that the enemy was still in force at Edwards' ferry. He was ordered to carefully reconnoiter the Federal position, learn its strength and make attack. This he did, at about 2 p. m., and drove a superior force, from an intrenched position to the bank of the river, killing and wounding quite a number of men. At about sundown, the Federals, having been reinforced and holding rifle-pits, Barksdale withdrew to Fort Evans, leaving two companies to watch his front. The enemy recrossed the Potomac during the night. Evans reported his loss, in the thirteen hours of fight, on the 21st, as 36 killed, 117 wounded and 2 missing, from a force of 1,709. Among the killed was the brave Colonel Burt. The Federal losses were returned at 49 killed, 158 wounded, 694 missing. General Evans claimed the capture of 710 prisoners, 1,500 stand of arms, 3 cannon and 1 flag.

Evans called on Longstreet for reinforcements when he reported his battle of the 21st, thinking that 20,000 Federals were in his front. Colonel Jenkins, with the Eighteenth South Carolina and cavalry and artillery, was dispatched from Centreville, in the afternoon of the 22d, and marched toward Leesburg, through mud and a driving rain, until midnight, when the infantry went into bivouac; but Capt. C. M. Blackford's cavalry and four guns of the Washington artillery hurried forward all night, and came in sight of Leesburg about daylight of the 23d. That morning, finding his men much exhausted, General Evans ordered three of his regiments to fall back to Carter's mill, a strong position on Goose creek, about 7 miles southwest from Leesburg, and join Jenkins, who had been halted at that place, leaving Barksdale with his regiment, two pieces of artillery and some cavalry, as a rear guard near Leesburg, and Hunton, with his Eighth Virginia and two pieces of artillery, on the south bank of Sycolin creek, 3 miles from Leesburg, and sending his cavalry well to the front toward Alexandria. The weather was stormy and very cold.

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