War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0696 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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In retiring with the prisoners and ambulances, Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Payne, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, temporarily in command of the Second North Carolina Cavalry, was taken prisoner, in a gallant attempt to cut off a body of the enemy by a flank movement on the town. The delay in getting up re-enforcements enabled the enemy to regain possession of the town, by no means desirable for us to hold, as it was in a valley completely commanded by the heights in our possession, which were soon crowned by our artillery. Our position was impregnable to cavalry even with so small a force. We cut the enemy's column in twain. General Fitz. Lee in the meantime fell upon the rear portion, driving it handsomely, and capturing one of Kilpatrick's staff and many other prisoners. Our wagon train was now a subject of serious embarrassment, but I thought, by making a detour to the right by Jefferson, I could save it. I therefore determined to try it, particularly as I was satisfied, from every accessible source of information, as well as from the lapse of time, that the Army of Northern Virginia must be near the Susquehanna. My numerous skirmishers had greatly diminished - almost exhausted - my supply of ammunition. I had this immense train in an enemy's country, very near a hostile army, and, besides, about 400 prisoners, which had accumulated since the paroling at Cooksville. I therefore had the train closed up in park, and Hampton, arriving in the meantime, engaged the enemy farther to the right, and finally, with his sharpshooters, dislodged the enemy from the town, the enemy moving toward our left, apparently to reunite his broken column, but pressing us with dismounted men on our left flank. General Fitz. Lee's brigade was put at the head of the column, and he was instructed to push on with the train through Jefferson for York, Pa., and communicate as soon as practicable with our forces. Hampton's brigade brought up the rear. We were not molested in our march, which, on account of the very exposed situation of our flank and the enemy's knowledge of it, was continued during the night. The night's march over a very dark road was one of peculiar hardship, owing to loss of rest to both man and horse. After a series of exciting combats and night marches, it was a severe tax to their endurance. Whole regiments slept in the saddle, their faithful animals keeping the road unguided. In some instances they fell from their horses, overcome with physical fatigue and sleepiness. Reaching Dover, Pa., on the morning of July 1, I was unable to find our forces. The most I could learn was that General Early had marched his division in the direction of Shippensburg, which the best information I could get seemed to indicate as the point of concentration of our troops. After as little rest as was compatible with the exhausted condition of the command, we pushed on for Carlisle, where we hoped to find a portion of the army. I arrived before that village, by way of Dillsburg, in the afternoon. Our rations were entirely out. I desired to levy a contribution on the inhabitants for rations, but was informed before reaching it that it was held by a considerable force of militia (infantry and artillery), who were concealed in the buildings, with the view to entrap me upon my entrance into the town. They were frustrated in their intention, and although very peaceable in external aspect, I soon found the information I had received was correct. I disliked to subject the town to the consequences of attack; at the same time it was essential to us to