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[269] town, where they were crowded in confusion, the number being so great as really to embarrass us and stop all further movement for the present.

While Hays and Avery were driving the enemy so handsomely, I saw a large force to the right of Gordon, falling back in comparatively good order, before Rodes' advancing brigades, around the right of the town, towards the hills in the rear, and I sent for a battery of artillery to be brought up so as to open on this force, and on the town from which a fire was being poured on Hays' and Avery's then advancing brigades, but before the battery reached me, Hays had entered the town and the enemy's retreating columns had got out of reach, their speed being very much accelerated and their order considerably disturbed by Rodes' rapid advance. At the same time I had sent for the battery, an order had been sent for the advance of Smith's brigade to the support of Hays and Avery, but, a report having been brought to General Smith that a large force of the enemy was advancing on the York road on our then rear, he thought proper to detain his brigade to watch that road.

As soon as I saw my men entering the town, I rode forward into it myself, having sent to repeat the order to Smith to advance, and when I had ascertained the condition of things, I rode to the right of it to find either General Ewell, General Rodes, or General Hill, for the purpose of urging an immediate advance upon the enemy, before he could recover from his evident dismay and confusion. Bodes' troops were then entering the town on the right and all plains on that flank had been cleared of the enemy. The enemy, however, held the houses in the edge of the town on the slope of Cemetery Hill with sharpshooters, from which they were pointing an annoying fire into Hays' left, and along the streets running towards the hill.

The ascent to the hill in front of Avery was very rugged, and was much obstructed by plank and stone

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Harry T. Hays (5)
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