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Oct. 21 an accidental affair took place at Ball's Bluff, near Leesburg, Virginia, which greatly elated the Confederates.
Evans's brigade, of four regiments and a battery, was held at Leesburg in observation of the Potomac, and of a force under Gen.ing Washington.
The reconnaissance was scarcely extended half-way to Leesburg, but McClellan thought that it might alarm Evans and cause him to fall back nearer to Manassas; so on Oct. 20 he wired Stone, suggesting a demonstration on his part.
Stoe high bluff on the Virginia shore, pushed out a reconnaissance through the woods toward Leesburg, some two miles off.
Evans, with three of his regiments and his battery, was observing the Edward's Ferry body, which had taken a strong position annding the Federals, brought up his whole brigade of five regiments and three pieces of artillery, — about 3000 men, — and Evans sent two of his three regiments, the 8th Va. and 17th Miss., from in front of Edward's Ferry, making the Confederate for