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[71] with two regiments, from Loring's command, was to support him. Jackson was to advance from the Greenbrier and Loring from Huntersville. Jackson's advance was preceded by about 100 men from the First and Twelfth Georgia regiments, led by Lieutenant Dawson of the Twelfth. whose duty it was to clear the way of the enemy's pickets. After performing this task, and while on their way to join the main body, they were mistaken for Federals and fired upon. Several shots were fired before the mistake was discovered, and two men were killed and one wounded. All the troops reached the places assigned them with remarkable promptness and at the time appointed. The attack by Rust was to be the signal for the advance of all the troops, but a misconception of orders caused Rust to wait until the golden opportunity had passed. As the only hope of success was in a surprise, which was no longer possible, the troops were withdrawn to their original positions.

The fact that Rust's detachment was from Jackson's force led to unjust criticism of General Jackson, which he felt the more keenly because he knew it was unjust. Some time later, Mr. Benjamin, secretary of war, wrote to him:

It gives me pleasure to assure you that there is not a syllable in General Lee's report that reflects in the remotest manner any discredit on you, and I hope you will not feel offended at my expressing surprise that you should attach any importance or feel any sensitiveness in relation to sensational articles or reports in the newspapers, I see my own action and opinions almost daily misconceived or misrepresented on ‘the most reliable information’ with perfect equanimity, and you may well trust to your own well-earned reputation as a perfect shield against all anonymous attacks.

At Camp Bartow, on the Greenbrier river, General Jackson and the six regiments of his division, reduced in effective numbers to 1,800 men, worn by privations and discouraged by previous failures, were attacked October

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