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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 29, Part 1 (Bristoe, Mine Run)
Page 440 OPERATIONS IN N.C., VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

occupying the enemy's attention so as to favor the flank movement. At Russell's Ford the advance guard, under Lieutenant Benton, Fourth North Carolina Cavalry, encountered the enemy's pickets, took several of their number prisoners,and drove them back to their supports at Bethsaida Church, consisting of one regiment of infantry and a small force of cavalry. I determined to attack the enemy in front and on the right flank simultaneously,and, directing General Gordon to push forward with a dismounted force, following up with his brigade, I moved with Young's brigade through the woods to the left to assail them on their right. The enemy were drawn up in line of battle to receive us,but being gallantly charged in flank and rear by the First South Carolina Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Twiggs, while Gordon pressed them in front, they broke and fled in confusion, nearly every man being either killed or captured. Young's brigade captured 87 and Gordon's many others. Those of the enemy who were not captured were scattered in every direction, the mountain affording them means of escape. Between 75 and 100 excellent arms were also secured.

The fleeing enemy were pursued to James City, where we encountered the main body of the enemy, subsequently ascertained to consist of about two brigades of Kilpatrick's division of cavalry, French's division of infantry,and six pieces of artillery. At our approach they retired from the village to a strong position on the hills overlooking it near Bethel Church, and drew up in line of battle, with their artillery judiciously posted to receive us. As my objects of clearing Thoroughfare Mountain and occupying position at James City had been accomplished, I did not attempt what would have been impossible - with my force to dislodge the enemy - but kept up a demonstration with Young's brigade in front and Gordon's on their right flank until night, two pieces of the horses artillery under Captain Griffin occasionally engaging their batteries from a position near the village.

About 4 p.m. a force of the enemy's cavalry made dash at the guns, charging up to within about 200 yards of the pieces, but encountering a sudden volley from about 150 sharpshooters, under Captain Jones, of the First South Carolina Cavalry, ensconced behind a stone fence, they beat a speedy retreat, with the loss of several killed. A steady fire of artillery and sharpshooters was kept up on the enemy's front and right flank until nightfall, when the bridges were ordered to bivouac on the line of battle. I regret very much to be compelled to bear witness to the sufferings of the unfortunate inhabitants of James City, who were thus brought between two fires, but from the peculiarity of the ground this could not be avoided.

At daylight on the next morning (11th), I ascertained that during the night the enemy had disappeared from our front, and leaving Young's brigade to hold is position at James City until further orders and protect the flank of the army from any demonstration of the enemy in that direction, I continued the march with Gordon's brigade along the flank of our infantry column, the head of which had already passed a point opposite James City. Reaching Griffinsburg I found Funsten at that point with his brigade. He had reached that place about 10 p.m. on the evening before, encountered the enemy's pickets below the town, and encamped for the night. I found that slight skirmishing had already taken place, and dispatching the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel


Page 440 OPERATIONS IN N.C., VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 29, Part 1 (Bristoe, Mine Run)
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