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[75] were moving around to his rear in the hope of seizing this coveted position. He immediately ordered the section of artillery which had taken its position near the church, to withdraw, and, with the other guns of the battery, to take position on the Drane Hill, near the junction of the two roads.

This was done with commendable expedition, the guns went at a sweeping gallop to the top of the hill and took a new position with muzzles pointing south. In this direction the advance of the Confederates was driving in the Federal skirmish line. The Centreville Road enters the Alexandria pike a short distance from the junction of that road with the Washington pike. The Confederate advance was along this Centreville Road, and Easton's Battery arrived in the nick of time to cover this important approach. Ord's foresight and promptness had secured for his troops an overmastering superiority of position. The Confederates, owing to the length and many difficulties of their circuitous march had failed to reach the crest of the hill in advance of the Federals. Finding the enemy in secure possession of the coveted position, Stuart placed his battery in the Centreville Road some five or six hundred yards distant from the Federal Artillery. This battery was placed behind a slight swell of ground, the muzzles of the guns just clearing this slight elevation. It came into action at once and poured a heavy fire into the ranks of the Federals, but this fire did little execution, being aimed too high.

Captain Easton, in command of the Federal battery, had no other target than the rising smoke, yet training his guns on the point where he thought the opposing battery ought to be, at the third fire he completely disabled the enemy's guns. One gun was put out of action, a caisson was exploded, and many men and horses of the battery were killed, while many more were dangerously wounded. General Stuart, in his report of the battle, wrote: ‘Every shot of the enemy was dealing destruction on either man, limber or horse.’

The two batteries thus engaged marked the centres of their respective lines. The 10th Pennsylvania was placed in support of Easton's Battery, and rendered effective aid in protecting the Federal left. The other four regiments were placed in advantageous

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J. E. B. Stuart (2)
Centreville Road (1)
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