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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
Page 726 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

site Raccoon Ford, where I expected confidently to meet Lee's brigade that evening. I found no one there except the few inhabitants, who had heard nothing of the brigade. It was night, but as it was highly important to communicate with Lee's brigade with a view to crossing the next day, I sent my adjutant-general, Major [N. R.] Fitzhugh, on the road on which General F. Lee was to have marched to look for him, remaining myself at Verdierville.

At early dawn next morning I was aroused from the porch where I lay by the noise of horsemen and wagons, and walking out bareheaded to the fence near by, found that they were coming from the very direction indicated for General F. Lee. I was not left long in this delusion, however, for two officers, Captain Mosby and Lieutenant Gibson, whom I sent to ascertain the truth, were fired upon and rapidly pursued. I had barely time to leap upon my horse just as I was, and, with Major Von Borcke and Lieutenant Dabney, of my staff, escaped by leaping a high fence. The major, who took the road, was fired at as long as in sight, but none of us were hurt. There was no assistance for 10 miles. Having stopped at the nearest woods, I observed the party approach and leave in great haste, but not without my hat and the cloak which had formed my bed. Major Fitzhugh, in his searches for General Lee, was caught by this party and borne off as a prisoner of war.

General Lee's brigade did not arrive until the night of the 18th, a day behind time. Not appreciating the necessity of punctuality in this instance, he changed his course after leaving me and turned back by Louisa Court-House, following his wagons, which I had directed him to send by that point for provisions, & c. By this failure to comply with instructions not only the movement of the cavalry across the Rapidan was postponed a day, but a fine opportunity lost to overhaul a body of the enemy's cavalry on a predatory excursion far beyond their lines.

By the great detour made by this brigade it was not in condition to move on the 19th upon a forced march to the enemy's rear; but, in accordance with the instructions from the commanding general, a copy of which, marked A, accompanies this report, the 19th was devoted to rest and preparation, moving down for bivouac near Mitchell's Ford late in the evening. During the day the order of battle, marked C, and subsequent instructions, marked B, were received from the commanding general, from which it seemed the enemy had escaped attack.

At moonrise on the 20th, about 4 a. m., Generals Lee's and Robertson's brigades were moved across the Rapidan at two adjacent fords and pushed rapidly forward - Lee's directly by Madden's, in pursuit of the enemy in the direction of Kelly's and Ellis' Fords, on the Rappahannock, and Robertson's, which I accompanied, via Stevensburg, a village 4 miles east of Culpeper Court-House - toward Brandy Station. Brigadier General Fitzhugh Lee, whose written report has not been furnished, found the enemy's rear near Kelly's Ford, and by vigorous attack secured several prisoners and a cavalry color. One of Robertson's regiments, with the artillery of his brigade, had been, by my direction, left on the Upper Rapidan. Colonel T. T. Munford, who commanded that regiment, was ordered to keep on the left of Jackson's wing and keep pace with its movements.

Robertson's brigade encountered the enemy first between Stevensburg and Brandy Station, the immense dust raised preventing our movement being conducted with secrecy. Colonel William E. Jones, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, being in advance, captured a party of the enemy's cavalry, but was kept at bay for some time by the enemy occupying a woods near Brandy Station, but, having received a fresh supply of ammuni-


Page 726 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
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