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[204] enemy, and marched three and a half miles, when we learned that the foe, in large force, was within a few hundred yards of us. We fell back hastily upon our entrenchments and waited the arrival of our invaders. Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, of the Third Virginia regiment, having come with 180 men, were stationed on the hill on the extreme right, beyond the creek, and Company G, of my regiment, was also thrown over the stream to protect the howitzer under Captain Brown.

Captain Bridges, of Company A, First North Carolina regiment, took post in the dense woods beyond and to the left of the road. Major Montague, with three companies of his battalion, was ordered up from the rear and took post on our right, being at the church and extending along the entire front on that side.

This fine body of men and the gallant command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart worked with great rapidity, and in an hour had constructed temporary shelters against the enemy's fire.

Just at 9 o'clock A. M. the heavy columns of the enemy were seen approaching rapidly and in good order, but when Randolph opened upon them at 9:15 their organization was completely broken up. The enemy promptly replied with his artillery, firing briskly but wildly. He made an attempt at deployment on our right of the road under cover of some houses and paling. He was, however, very promptly driven back by our artillery, a Virginia company—the Life Guard—and Companies B and G of my regiment. The enemy attempted no deployment within musketry range during the day, except under cover of woods, fences or paling.

Under cover of trees, he moved a strong column to an old ford some three-quarters of a mile below, where I had placed a picket of some forty men, Colonel Magruder sent Captain Worth's company, of Montague's command, with one howitzer, under Sergeant Crane, to drive back this column, which was done by a single shot from the howitzer.

Before this a priming-wire had been broken in the vent of the howitzer commanded by Captain Brown, which rendered it useless.

A force estimated at 1,500 was now attempting to outflank us and get in the rear of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart's small command. He was accordingly directed to fall back, and the whole of our advanced troops were withdrawn. At this critical moment I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Lee to call Captain Bridges out of the swamp, and ordered him to reoccupy the nearest advanced work, and I ordered

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J. E. B. Stuart (6)
Robert L. Montague (4)
John Brown (4)
J. W. Bridges (4)
Worth (2)
George W. Randolph (2)
John Bankhead Magruder (2)
Robert Edward Lee (2)
Crane (2)
Ross (1)
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