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MILROY DEFEATED.

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his camp

almost impassable by trees that had been felled by the rebels in every

direction. The combined attack was to have been made before daylight, at four o'clock is the morning, but the first column did not rea h the sunimit of the mountain till daylight, and the other not till eight o'clock, or just after McDonald had fallen back. Thus this division, like the first, had to encounter the whole force of the enemy. This they did most gallantly, advancing with yells and shouts against him, and driving him back to within two hundred yards of

. . At this point the rebel volleys became so destructive that our troops were compelled to take shelter behind logs and trees and rocks, where they kept up so fierce and destructive fire, that every effort of the enemy to advance was repulsed. Majors Milroy ard Owens maintained their position here for a long while against three times their number, when seeing no prosyect of their being supported by the other column, they too fell back a good order, ticking their dead and wounded with them. Why, during this long and unequal fight, General Milroy did not again advance and succor them does not appear.

Our mnen, with few exceptions, fought nobly, but the attack was a failure, and a long, wearisome, wintry march proved barren of results. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was a hundred and thirt; seven; that of the enemy was probably about the saine.

Thus beginning at the extreme west, successive conflicts took place all along nearly the same parallel to the Atlantic, get apparently without any effect on the relative position of the two great armies that stood confronting cach other. The fight at Rowlett's Station, Kentucky, and Milford, Missouri, occurred within one day of each other—at Camp Alleghany four days previous, and at Mount Zion on the twentyeighth. Keeping along the parallel east, we conie to the army of the Potomac, whose inaction was suddenly broken on the twentieth by the battle of Dranesville.

CHAPTER XVI.

DECEMBER, 1862

BATTLE OF DRANESVILLE-THE STONE FLEET "-CORRESPONDENCE CONCERN.

ING IT BETWEEN LORD LY'NS ANI) MR. SEWARD-DUPUNT'S OPERATIONS ON

THE COAST OF GEORGIA AND SOUTII CAROLINA-THE ARMY OF THE POTO

MAC IN WINTER QUARTERSRELEASE OF MR. ELY FROM TRISON IN RICHMOND-DISSATISFACTI' N WITH MO ULELLAN'S INACTION--DIVISION IN CONGRESS RESPECTING TIIE MANNER OF CARRYING ON THE WAR-DANGER OF

THESE CONFLIK TING VIEWSFIRMNESS AND INTEGRITY OF THE PRESIDENT.

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THE battle of Dranesville, occurring so near to Washing

ton, and the first of any magnitude in which the army of the Potomac had been successful, was given an importance by our leading papers that did not properly belong to it. Its chief value lay in showing the mettle of our troops, and in inspiring the army with confidence in its power, and an eagerness to measure its st. ength with the enemy.

On the nineteenth, Gen. Mc Call commanding the Pennsylvania reserve-occupying the farthest point up the Potomac, on the Virginia side-orderen General Ord to take his brig. Aile the next day, and move in the direction of Dranesville, for the double purpose of driving back the enemy's pickets which had become troublesome, and of procuring forage for his animals. So on Saturday morning at six o'clock, Ord put his colurn in motior., taki ig with him. the First Rifles commanded by Lieutenarit-Colonel Kane, brother of the northern explorer, anu E ston's baitery, and proceeded to Dianesville without opposition. Here he posted his men so as to command the approaches to the town and cover his foraging party. When he first arrived, he saw some moụnted rebels on a slope beyond a piece of woods, and uear them, a smoke ascending, which led him to believe they were plan

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ning mischief. Scon scorits arrived, who i:iforned him that the enemy was advancing in force towards the turnpike from the south, and had alreadly driven in his pickets. Taking position on thc turr.pikc, with flankir.g regiments on both sides of it, Ord prepared to receive him. Suddenly from the woods on his left a fierce fire was rpened both by artillery and musketry. The cannon, six in number, were in a road that passed through the woods, but their position could only be conjectured lsy the smoke of the discharges. Easton's battery, ordered up t») reply to this, came on at such a tearing gallop that it went by the spot it was directed to take, and one gun was upset. They soon, however, got in position and opened a rapid, heavy fire on the concealed battery. Finding a spot where the road could be raked, Ord ordered the capsized gun tə be righted and brought thither with the two other pieces, which soon caused the rebel fire to slacken.

At this time, Colonel Kane, with the gallant Bucktails, who were on the right, saw a body of rebels crossing an open field, close by the woods, evidently to make a flank movement, or occupy a brick house which stood on a hill about a hundred yards distant from his regiment. He immediately sent a cletachment to take possession of the building, which they died on the double quick, and opened a galling fire on the enemy. The remainder of the regiment lay on their faces behind bushes, fences, and any thing that furnished shelter, rising only to fire, and then dropping again and loading on their backs. So rapid and well aimed were their volleys, that the rebels who had kept steadily advancing as they fired, at length gave way and took shelter in the woods. The order then came for the whole line to advance and take the battery. It was received with a loud cheer by the men as they sprang to their feet. Kane was on foot, and at the moment of leading the charge, received a ball through his cheek, which brought him to the ground. But the next

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THE ENEMY REPULSED.

moment he sprang to his feet again, and hastily bandaging up the wound with a white handkerchief, led his men fiercely forward. Colonel Taggart of the Twelfth regiment, dismounted, and drawing his sword and flinging away his scabbárd, strode at the head of his troops. The two regiinents with an unbroken front moved straight on the woods, receiving without flinching the fire of the concealed enemy. The timber was thick with underbrush, which at once broke up the firinly set line, and they struggled forward as they best could, while the shells burst among the branches overhead, and the shut slew on every side. Every moment they expected to co:.ic face to face with the battery, but the unfaltering line swept irregularly onward, until at last they emerged into an open field of some ten or fifteen acres, from whence they caught sight of the enemy in full flight-the artillery bounding in a gallop along the turnpike. Loud hurrahs rent the air, and picking up the dead and wounded, they were about to start in pursuit, when the recall was sounded. McCall, who had arrived a short time before on the field, not deeming it prudent to push the victory, had ordered a halt. Bivouac fires were kindled around Dranesville, and the tired army was glad of a short repose.

The battle was over by four o'clock, and our loss all told was but sixty-seven. The rebels acknowledged a loss of two hundred and forty. It is a little singular that in this battle both sides complained of regiments being deceived, by their adversaries claiming to be friends, until they could deliver the first volley.

With the exception of some slight skirmishing on the upper Potomac, and a somewhat sharp affair at New Market Bridge, near Newport News, two days after the battle of Dranesville, the forces along the Potomac remained quiet the remainder of the month.

The “sione fleet," as it was called, which consisted of a

THE STONE FLEET.

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number of old vessels loaded with stone, designed to obstruct Charleston harbor, so as to render the blockade more complete, reached its destination this month and was consigned to the deep. On the very day that the fields and woods around Dranesville were trembling under the roar of cannon, sixteen old whalers, loaded with stone, were quietly sinking one after another to the bottom, off Charleston harbor. The event created a great sensation at the time, and was the cause of much angry discussion here and abroad; for many supposed it was the intention of the government to destroy Charleston as a seaport forever. Some said that it was visit-ing on the next generation the sins of this, and that no administration had a right thus to ruin the commercial facilities of a state for all time.

Even England remonstrated against the act; but Mr. Seward assured the British minister that we had no intention of destroying the port of Charleston. It was done for temporary convenience alone, as there were so many channels leading into the harbor it was impossible to guard them all. In conclusion, the Secretary significantly remarked, that it was evident that the port was not destroyed, as English vessels with goods contraband of war had entered since the sinking of the ships.

But so bitter was the feeling at the north towards this city, which had begun the war, that it is questionable, if the news that an earthquake had sunk it with all its inhabitants would not have caused the profoundest gratification. A terrible conflagration that swept it about this time, turning crowds of families out of doors, awakened no commiseration.

Our nayal force during the month did but little except to maintain a rigid blockade. Steamers and gun boats were being rapidly built, all over the country, and we expected soon to be able to accomplish something worthy of the navy.

Much indignation was felt because the rebel Captain

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