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[372] Manson could not gather more than about a hundred men around him, who tried in vain to force a passage; in an instant they were all either killed or dispersed; Manson himself was taken prisoner along with the bravest of his men. The entire convoy and all the artillery of the Federals fell into the hands of Kirby Smith; the prisoners picked up on every side soon exceeded three thousand. The conquerors had only lost two hundred and fifty killed and five hundred wounded. This was a considerable number for so small an army, but the success they had achieved was well worth the price paid for it; they had annihilated the only force that could arrest their progress, and the whole of Kentucky was at their mercy.

On the first of September, Kirby Smith entered Lexington amid the plaudits of a population passionately devoted to slavery, and his soldiers found in well-deserved rest ample compensation for all their fatigues. It was, however, necessary to act promptly to turn this victory to advantage. Two roads of nearly the same length opened before him, one leading northward to Covington, a suburban town, situated on the left bank of the Ohio, opposite Cincinnati; the other, running westward, led to Louisville. Kirby Smith decided to take the first, by which he could more directly menace the soil of the free States. The sequel of the campaign showed that this was a mistake; for in order to strike at the communications of Buell, the only foe he had to dread, it was necessary to occupy Louisville. Here was the junction of the railways connecting Nashville and the Tennessee with the valley of the Ohio; here were gathered all the stores which supplied the Federal armies as far as Chattanooga; by establishing himself here, Kirby Smith would have been able to protect the right flank of Bragg, who had just then entered Kentucky. But in marching toward Cincinnati, on the contrary, he moved away from the main army of invasion, and could only cause temporary alarms to the Federals. After having reorganized his troops and seen their number trebled by volunteers, who flocked to his standard from every part of the country, he started for Cynthiana. General Heth, who led the advance with his disvision, about twelve thousand strong, appeared before Covington on the 15th. But instead of finding a defenceless town, and

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