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[82] which might happen to pass by. An instant after, a train of cars loaded with sick and wounded, bound for the White House, arrived at full speed, but instead of stopping to water as usual, continued right on, while the pieces of timber placed across the track for the purpose of throwing off the cars were scattered right and left by the locomotive. The surprised Confederates merely fired a volley into the train, which wounded many of the sick and frightened the passengers, some of whom jumped out of the cars; the danger, however, was of short duration, and the train, disappearing among the woods, spread the alarm along the whole line. Stuart, thus disappointed, had not even time to destroy the railway track, for he learned that McCall's division, on its way to join McClellan, was encamped in the neighborhood, that it was under arms and would soon make its appearance. He drew off, still pursuing his onward course, after having burned a few cars loaded with provisions and several camps, and after feeding his soldiers at the expense of the frightened sutlers whom he had stopped on the road. But night had come, and the fires kindled by his hand, flashing above the forest, were so many signals which drew the Federals upon his tracks. Fortunately for Stuart, his soldiers were well acquainted with the faintest path in the country through which they were passing; they were at home. Consequently, they reached the hamlet of Talleysville without difficulty, where the column was allowed a few hours' rest and time to rally. Then, turning to the right, it proceeded rapidly toward the Chickahominy.

At daybreak the Confederate cavalry reached the borders of this river, considerably below Bottom's Bridge, at a place called Forge, or Jones' Bridge. But the ford on which they had depended was not passable; the bridge had been destroyed, and the Federal cavalry, which, under Averill, had been sent by McClellan to intercept these passes, was only a few miles distant from the place. Two hours more of delay, and Stuart would have lost his only chance of retreat; it was a critical moment. Efforts were made to repair the old bridge, and every man set to work to cut down trees for that purpose. A foot-bridge was soon constructed, which the men crossed on foot, swimming their horses alongside. Once on the other side of the river, the Confederates proceeded to enlarge the dimensions of the flying bridge, and, by dint of labor,

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