other for the enemy, and a few casualties occurred in consequence, but with that exception the whole force acted with admirable unison, and advanced upon the enemy with the steadiness of veterans, driving him several times from his position with heavy loss.
When the action had lasted about two hours I found that the enemy, being already in force larger than my own, was recovering from his disorder and receiving heavy re-enforcements. I could not, with my small numbers, being beyond the reach of re-enforcements, force his position without fearful sacrifice, and seeing that his artillery, superior to ours in numbers and position only, was pouring a very destructive fire into Cutts' battery, I decided to withdraw the latter at once, preparatory to retiring from the field, judging, too, that I had given our wagons ample time to get out of reach of the enemy.
The battery suffered greatly. Its position was necessarily such that it could fire only to the front, and the caissons and limbers had no cover whatever from such a fire. Three or four cannoneers had been shot at their posts and several wounded, and every shot of the enemy was dealing destruction on either man, limber, or horse.
The conduct of the brave, true, and heroic Cutts attracted my admiration frequently during the action-now acting No. 1,and now as gunner, and still directing and disposing the whole with perfect self command and a devotion to his duty that was, I believe, scarcely ever equaled. He executed my orders to withdraw his battery under a ricochet fire of great accuracy.
One piece I found it necessary to detail some infantry [Eleventh Virginia] to assist in conducting to the rear, which was done by them under great personal exposure.
Having secured the artillery, I sent orders to the four regimental commanders to disengage themselves from the eneemy and retire slowly and in perfect order to the railroad, where a stand would be made. This delicate duty was performed admirably, and our troops marched back leisurely, bringing with them all the wounded that could be found.
The men gathered up their blankets as they passed the points where they had been deposited before the fight. I regret to say, however, that one of the regiments reached the road this side of their blankets and knapsacks, thus missing them entirely; a circumstance which the enemy will construe into precipitate flight. The enemy was evidently too much crippled to follow in pursuit, and after a short halt at the railroad I proceeded to Fryingpan Church, where the wounded were cared for.
Early next morning, with the two fresh regiments furnished me [the Ninth Georgia and Eighteenth Virginia], and a detachment of cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Baker, I proceeded towards the scene of action of the previous day, the cavalry being sent in advance. Learning that the enemy had evacuated Dranesville and had left some of our wounded there, I pushed on to that place to recover them and to take care of the dead. I found our dead on the field, and proceeded at once to remove them all to Centreville for interment. The wounded [about 10] were left by the enemy at a house at Dranesville, who intended to send for them the next day. They had been cared for with the utmost devotion by several of the ladies of the place. They were also removed to Centreville, except two, who were not able to survive the removal, who at their own desire and at the surgeon's advice were left in charge of the ladies.
As to the strength of the enemy, if the concurrent statements of the