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[56] having joined Warren's brigade, sent the latter to destroy the bridge of the Gordonsville railroad, while that of Martindale proceeded to cut the other railroad line at Ashland. Warren had picked up whole companies of the enemy, which, deprived of all direction, surrendered without a struggle. After a slight skirmish, Martindale had also accomplished his task, and was on his way back to rejoin his chief at Hanover, when he suddenly fell in with the remainder of Branch's troops debouching by the same road which the Federals had followed in the morning. The Confederate chief, having, in fact, been surprised and forced into the preceding combat before he had time to collect all his forces, had been turned by the Federal detachment, which had passed on his right, and had thus been driven upon the banks of the Pamunky, near Hanover. In order to extricate himself from this difficult position, he described a large arc around the Federals, which would have brought him back to the Richmond and Ashland turnpike, when, just as he was about reaching the road, not far from the scene of the first fight, his heads of column fell in with Martindale's small brigade. The latter fought the superior forces of the enemy with great spirit, until Porter, informed by the noise of cannon, came back from Hanover with the remainder of his division, and attacking the Confederates both in front on the road, and by the flank through the woods, drove them in disorder toward the south.

The double combat of Hanover Court-house had cost the Federals fifty-three men killed and three hundred and forty-four wounded or taken prisoners. It was a brilliant and complete success. The enemy had left more than seven hundred prisoners and one gun in Porter's hands. Branch's division, dispersed among the woods, was entirely disorganized. The morale of the Federals was restored by so fortunate a result. But in Washington the tidings of this success afforded no compensation for the alarms caused by Jackson, which filled the minds of all men. Mr. Lincoln replied to McClellan's despatches with complaints that the order for the destruction of all the bridges on the South Anna had not yet been executed. On the following day the general-in-chief was able to inform him that his instructions had been scrupulously carried out, and on the 29th Porter's troops,

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