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[139] ordering Stuart back to Bridgers' support. He promptly crossed the creek in the face of a largely superior foe and resumed his former position in the intrenchments. A fresh howitzer was also taken across and placed in the battery; thus the conditions of the contention on the Confederate side were made as secure as they were at the beginning of the fight, without the loss of a single man.

The attack on the Confederate right foiled, Captain Winthrop, of Butler's staff, led a strong column to a final demonstration on the Confederate left, crossing the creek and appearing in front of the left angle of the works. The Federals in this advance had a white band around their caps, and kept crying out, ‘Don't fire,’ practicing this ruse to enable the whole column to get over the creek and form in good order. They then began to cheer lustily, thinking the Confederate work was open at the gorge and they could get in by a sudden rush, but two companies of the First North Carolina quickly undeceived them by a deliberate and well-directed fire, in which they were assisted later by three other companies of the same regiment sent to their support. These joined in the combat with great ardor. Of this Colonel Hill wrote: ‘Captain Winthrop, while most gallantly urging on his men, was shot through the heart, when all rushed back with the utmost precipitation. . . . The fight at the angle lasted for twenty minutes. It completely discouraged the enemy and he made no further effort at assault. The house in front, which had served as a hiding place for the enemy, was now fired by a shell from a howitzer, and the outhouse and palings were soon in a blaze. As all shelter was now taken from him, the enemy called in his troops and started back for Hampton.’ As soon as the road was clear, Captain Douthat pursued the enemy with about 100 dragoons, chasing them for the third time over the New Market bridge, which they tore up behind them and so broke the pursuit.

Of the Richmond howitzers, Colonel Hill wrote: ‘I cannot close this too elaborate report without speaking in the highest terms of admiration of the howitzer battery and its most accomplished commander, Major Randolph. He has no superior as an artillerist in any country, and his men displayed the utmost skill and coolness.’ Of his own regiment, the First North Carolina, he said:

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Theodore Winthrop (2)
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Hampton (1)
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