on the morning of the 25th to throw my command between Washington City and the army of General Pope and to break up his railroad communication with the Federal capital. Taking the route by Amissville, crossing Hedgeman River (one of the tributaries of the Rappahannock) at Henson's Mill, and moving vie Orleans, we reached the vicinity of Salem after a severe day's march, and bivouacked there for the night.
On the next day (26th) the march was continued, diverging to the right at Salem, crossing the Bull Run Mountain through Thoroughfare Gap, and passing Gainesville, reached Bristoe Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, after sunset. At Gainesville I was joined by General Stuart, who, after leaving the vicinity of Waterloo Bridge about 2 a. m., had by a rapid march come up in time to render all needful assistance. He kept upon my right flank firing the residue of the day. My command was now in rear of General Pope's army, separating it from the Federal capital and its base of supply.
As we approached Bristoe Station the sound of cars coming from the direction of Warrenton Junction was heard, and General Ewell divided his force so as to take simultaneous possession of two points of the railroad. Colonel [T. T.] Munford, with the Second Virginia Cavalry, co-operated in this movement. Two trains of cars and some prisoners were captured, the largest portion of the small Federal force at that point making its escape.
Learning that the enemy had collected at Manassas Junction, a station about 7 miles distant, stores of great value, I deemed it important that no time should be lost i securing them. Notwithstanding the darkness of the night and the fatiguing march, which would since dawn be over 30 miles before reaching the Junction, Brigadier-General tremble volunteered to proceed there forthwith with the Twenty-first North Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel [S.] Fulton commanding, and the Twenty-first Georgia, Major [T. C.] Glover commanding - in all about 500 men - and capture the place. I accepted the gallant offer and gave him orders to move without delay. In order to increase the prospect of success Major-General Stuart, with a portion of his cavalry, was subsequently directed to move forward, and, as the ranking officer, to take command of the expedition. The duty was cheerfully undertaken by all who were assigned to it and most promptly and successfully executed. Notwithstanding the Federal fire of musketry and artillery our infantry dispersed the troops places there for the defense of the place, and captured 8 guns, with 72 horses, equipments, and ammunition complete, immense supplies of commissary and quartermaster's stores, upward of 200 new tents; and General Trimble also reports the capture of over 300 prisoners and 175 horses, exclusive of those belonging to the artillery, besides recovering over 200 negroes.
The next morning the divisions under command of Generals Hill and Taliaferro moved to Manassas Junction, the division of General Ewell remaining at Bristoe Station. About a mile before reaching the Junction Colonel [W. S. H.] Baylor encountered and dispersed a regiment of Federal cavalry. Soon after the advance of the troops from Bristoe Station reached the Junction they were fired upon by a distant battery of the enemy posted in the direction of the battle-field of Manassas. This artillery was soon driven off, and retreated in the directing of Centerville. Soon after a considerable body of Federal infantry, under Brigadier-General Taylor, of New Jersey, came in sight, having, it is believed, that morning left Alexandria in the cars, and boldly pushed forward to recover the position and stores which had been lost the previous