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[511] caught hold of his long flowing beard, which was a habit of his when his schemes were not working smoothly. He did not long remain in this state of mind, for he very soon discovered a passage through which he and his whole command could escape. A mile or more below this ford on the Chickahominy, where the county road crosses the river leading from Providence. Forge to Charles City Courthouse, were the ruins of Jones's bridge, which had been destroyed by fire by the Confederates when this portion of the Peninsula was evacuated. The abutments and a few of the piers were all that remained of the old bridge, which Stuart at once determined to rebuild.

Working parties were organized and began to tear down an old farm house which stood in a field near by, the timber of which suited admirably for the bridge. The great genius of Stuart was now fully evinced, and this was to be the grand achievement of the raid. Caesar-like, no trouble could abate his ardor or in the slightest manner affect his great presence of mind. The style of the bridge did not resemble the celebrated one of Caesar, over which youths sometime rack their brain, but it was of sufficient strength for all to pass safely to the Charles City side. This impromptu structure did not exist long after being used by the Confederates, for the reason that Rush's Lancers, with other Federal troops, had followed in hot pursuit and were threatening Stuart's rear. The torch was applied and the bridge was very soon consumed, which checked the advance of the enemy.

Among those who distinguished themselves in building the bridge, and whose names deserve to be recorded, are Captain R. Burke and Corporal Hagan, who worked earnestly from the time the bridge was begun until it was finished. Without the services of these officers the column would have been long and dangerously detained, as it was in close proximity to the enemy. Corporal Hagan is deserving of more than a passing notice for his labors and justly merits all the praise and encomiums that can be given him. The Corporal had won a name on the fields of Drainsville and Williamsburg for his coolness before the enemy, which had attracted the attention of Stuart, and he had already recommended him for promotion.

Stuart, while at the ford at Sycamore Springs, already mentioned, sent a dispatch by Mr. Turner Doswell, to General R. E. Lee, giving him some account of his progress and of the important captures he had made. Mr. Doswell had to pass through the Federal lines, and he came near being taken prisoner. Stuart hurried on

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