rifle-pits on their left, extending along the ridge nearly to Goose Creek, which enters the Potomac at the ferry and nearly a right angles to it, between the zouaves and sharpshooters, and on the same line a section of a light battery in charge of a sergeant.
Not being aware that any officer of superior rank to myself was present on duty with the troops on the Virginia side, I assumed the command, and commenced my arrangements for resisting an attack by posting the Thirtieth Pennsylvania Regiment on the extreme right of our position to guard against a flank movement between the heights in front and the river. The Sixteenth Indiana was posted about the center of the plain, fifty of sixty paces form the river; the New York and Minnesota regiments on its left, in the direction of the ferry and resting on Goose Creek; the Seventh Michigan being in advance immediately at the foot of the hill, on which wee the sharpshooters and the cavalry, about 30 in number, under Major Mix, of the Van Alen Regiment, to their right, and similarly posted.
About 4 p. m. on the 22nd the enemy were seen in the distance, cavalry and infantry, advancing cautiously. The Indiana and Minnesota regiment were ordered to advance and support the sharpshooters and artillery, which was done with great promptness. The remaining force was held in reserve, to act as circumstance s might require. Previous, however, to this disposition an advance picket from the New York and Minnesota regiments had been thrown forward to prevent the enemy from crossing a bridge about a mile and a half above the ferry and across Goose Creek, and to hold the wooded hill adjacent to it.
As the enemy approached, the artillery opened a fire of shell; the sharpshooters also delivered a well-directed fire, while the pickets at and near the bridge did the same, which caused the rebel to retrace their steps in the direction of Leesburg. The troops remained in position as long as there was the least probability of a renewal of the attack, when the Indiana and Minnesota regiments were withdrawn to resume the respective stations near the bank of the river, and the outpost at the bridge and on the hill near by were re-enforced by three companies of the Indiana and two of the Pennsylvania regiments. During the night everything was quiet.
On the following day several alarms of the approach of the enemy were given, which, however, proved to be nothing more than small parties of cavalry endeavoring to make a reconnaissance. General Stone, in the mean time having arrived and assumed the command, ordered the Indiana and Minnesota regiments to return to the hill, where they remained until dark, when they returned to camp.
About 9 p. m. I was informed by General Stoen that instructions had been received to recross the river. The Indiana and Minnesota regiments were against sent forward to occupy their previous positions on the hill, and to remain there until all the outposts had been withdrawn and embarked, including the cavalry and artillery, and were the last to leave the Virginia side.
Much credit is due to the chaplain of the Twelfth Massachusetts, who acted for the time as one of my aides, and superintended the embarkation of the troops, which was done in a masterly manner, and by his activity and admirable management enabled the whole company to cross before the dawn of day.
Throughout the time we occupied the Virginia side the troops conducted themselves with great propriety and coolness, and responded with alacrity to every call to meet the enemy. I regret to say there
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