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[265] who had to his credit a decided victory, followed him hesitatingly across the river. Begun late, Meade's pursuit was active enough to have enabled him to strike Lee's flank by debouching through Manassas gap. The attempt was unsuccessful Lee withdrew to Culpeper while Meade advanced to the line of the Rappahannock. It was a duel in ‘points’ between the two—Lee, for all his small army, altogether the bolder and readier master. The commanders began a race for the possession of the Orange & Alexandria railroad. Lee's gaze was fixed upon Bristoe station. Warren, forming Meade's rear guard, gained success in a brilliant side engagement with A. P. Hill, which enabled Meade to post himself strongly at Centerville. For the moment Lee felt himself foiled. Throwing out a line of troops along Bull run, he destroyed the railroad south of that point and retired at his leisure, a leisure with a certainty of future triumph in it. Meade, quickly leaving Centerville, followed him, repairing the road as he went. Reaching the Rappahannock he crossed, forcing the passage. Lee, without delay, put the Rapidan between himself and the army of the Potomac.

Meade's continued movement might mean peril. In order to deter him, if possible, from advancing farther into the interior during the winter of 1863-64, Lee caused certain works previously constructed on the north side of the Rappahannock to be converted into a tete-de-pont to defend a pontoon bridge already laid down. Lines of rifle-pits were constructed at the same time on each bank. November 7, 1863, proved a day of gloomy remembrance both for Hays' brigade and the Louisiana Guard artillery. On the north bank, in the rifle-pits, was Hays' brigade; in the redoubt on the same side

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