Early on the morning of the 21st the command left its encampment and moved in the direction of Beverly Ford, on the Rappahannock, General Taliaferro's command in the lead. On approaching the ford the enemy was seen on the opposite bank. Batteries of that division, under the direction of Major Shumaker, chief of artillery, were placed in position, which, after a short resistance (as reported by General Taliaferro), silenced the enemy's guns and dispersed his infantry. Major-General Stuart had crossed with a portion of his cavalry, supported by some pieces of artillery, and after skirmishing with the enemy a few hours, taking some prisoners and arms, returned with the information that the Federal forces were moving in strength upon his position and were close at hand. The enemy soon appeared on the opposite bank, and an animated firing was opened and, to a considerable extent, kept up across the river for the rest of the day between the Federal artillery and the batteries of Taliaferro's command.
On the following morning (22nd) the three divisions continued their march up the bank of the Rappahannock, General Ewell in the advance, and crossed Hazel River, on of its tributaries, at Wellford's Mill, near which General Trimble was left with his brigade to protect the flank of our wagon train from the enemy, who was moving up the north side of the Rappahannock simultaneously with the advance of our troops on the south side.
About 12 m. a small party surprised part of the train and captured some ambulances and mules, which were, however, soon recovered and some prisoners taken, who gave information that a more considerable Federal force and crossed the river.
About 4 p. m. General Trimble, supported by General Hood (who was the advance of Longstreet's command), had a sharp engagement with his force, in which, after gallantly charging and taking a number of prisoners, they drove the residue with severe loss across the river, under the protection of the guns of the main body of the Federal Army of the opposite side. In the mean time the command passed Freeman's Ford, which it found strongly guarded, and moved on to a point opposite the Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, where we found the bridge destroyed and other evidence that the enemy was in close proximity.
In the afternoon of the 22nd the Thirteenth Georgia (Colonel [M.] Douglass), Brown's and Dements' batteries of four guns each, and Early's brigade, crossing over, took possession of the springs and adjacent heights, and taking some prisoners and incurring some risk from the rain and sudden rise of the water, which for a few hours cut off communication with the main body. In this critical situation the skill and presence of mind of General Early was favorably displayed. It was deemed advisable not to attempt a passage at that point, but to proceed higher up the river. By dawn on the morning of the 24th General Early, by means of a temporary bridge which had been constructed for his troops and artillery safely on the southern side.
On the 24th there was a fierce cannonade between General Hill's artillery and that of the enemy across the river. In the mean time General Stuart, who had preceded me, crossed the Rappahannock, striking the enemy in his rear, making his brilliant night attack upon his camp at Catlett's station, capturing many prisoners, personal baggage of General Pope, and his dispatch book, containing information of value to us n this expedition. In the evening we moved near Jeffersonton.
Pursuing the instructions of the commanding general, I left Jeffersonton