gether in this column was about 20,000. He seemed frank and honest, as well as communicative.
General W. H. F. Lee selected a fine position between Brandy [Station] and Kelly's [Ford], and awaited the advance, General Fitz. Lee being held in reserve at Brandy [Station], with a regiment at Stevensburg. The enemy did not make a serious advance toward our position, though [Colonel John R.] Chambliss, jr., with the Thirteenth Virginia, was skirmishing all the forenoon with the enemy's infantry.
About 1 p. m. I received a report from the pickets toward Madden's that the enemy was moving a large infantry force in that direction. Leaving Chambliss in front of the enemy, where I then was, I marched the remainder of the command (Fitz. Lee in advance) directly to Madden's, where we pierced the enemy's column while marching, and scattered it, taking possession of the road and capturing a number of prisoners, which enabled us to develop their strength and designs, as we captured prisoners from three army corps-the Eleventh ([General O. O.] Howard's), Twelfth ([General H. W.] Slocum's), and Fifth ([General George G.] Meade's), and soon after learned that the column had marched direct for Germanna Ford. These items were telegraphed to the commanding general.
Colonel J. Lucius Davis, near Beaver Dam, had been telegraphed early that day to move his forces at once to occupy and hold the Rapidan fords, but I had no assurance that the order would be obeyed with sufficient promptness to accomplish the object, and as there was no cavalry on the left flank of the main army, it was indispensably necessary to move round to get in front of the enemy moving down upon Fredericksburg, delay him as much as possible, and protect our left flank; besides, while in the execution of this design, I received instructions from the commanding general to give necessary orders about public property along the railroad, and swing around to join his left wing, delaying the enemy as much as possible in his march. The brigade of General Fitz. Lee was put en route, in a jaded and hungry condition, to Raccoon Ford, to cross and move around to the enemy's front. General W. H. F. Lee, with the two regiments (the Ninth and Thirteenth [Virginia]) under his command, was directed to move by way of Culpeper, to take up the line of the Upper Rapidan, and look out for Gordonsville and the railroad. Couriers had been, by direction, sent to Ely's and Germanna [Fords] to notify our parties there of the enemy's advance, but were captured; consequently the parties at those points received no notice. However, by the good management of Captain [C. R.] Collins (now major Fifteenth Virginia Cavalry), the enemy was checked for some time at Germanna [Ford], and his wagons and implements saved, though some of his men were captured. A strong party of sharpshooters was left to hold the road of the enemy's march as long as possible, and then follow on, which was done, the party maintaining their position until 11 o'clock at night, when the enemy advanced and compelled them to retire. Dispatches captured showed that trains of wagons and droves of cattle accompanied the expedition, and the men were already supplied with five days' rations in haversacks. These items placed it beyond doubt that the enemy was making a real movement to turn Fredericksburg.
Crossing the Rapidan that night, the main body of cavalry was halted to rest a few hours, having marched more than half the night, and one regiment (Colonel [Thomas H.] Owen's) was sent on to get between the enemy and Fredericksburg and impede his progress.
Early the next day (Thursday, April 30), Owen having reached the Germanna road on the Fredericksburg side, kept in the enemy's front,