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[53]

Fairfax Court House, Virginia Pope's retirement from the field of Bull Run gave the famous Confederate cavalry leader, J. E. B. Stuart, a splendid opportunity for the kind of warfare he most delighted in. No sooner had the Federals started than Stuart was following them. Ascertaining that their main body was at Centreville and Fairfax Court House, he planned to make an attack on the pike between the two places. A section of the famous Washington Artillery took position just after dark on August 31st, within range of a road completely filled with a continuous stream of Federal army wagons making their way toward the Court House. A few rounds from the Confederate guns threw “everything into confusion, and such commotion, upsetting, collisions, and smash-ups were rarely ever seen.” Stuart bivouacked that night near Chantilly, and after Jackson came up on September 1st, tried to force his way down the pike toward Fairfax Court House. But the Federals were too strong in number at that point. The next day (September 2d) Halleck sent word to Pope to bring his army back to Washington. Stuart then promptly took possession of Fairfax Court House, after a sharp skirmish with some of Sumner's departing troops.

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