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I did a spurious replacement across many files that shows in Emacs as '^E', equivalently the result of C-q C-E. What ASCII character does that correspond to, so I can undo the replacement?

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Control characters ^A to ^Z are ASCII 1 to 26; therefore ^E is ASCII 5.

You could also ask Emacs: Type C-x= with point at one of those characters, and it would tell you Char: C-e (5, #o5, #x5)

Note that C-q calls quoted-insert which inserts the next character you type, and the next thing you typed was C-e.

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