infinite annoyance that my saddle-bags, containing articles of great value to me, had been stolen by one of the negro camp-followers, who were always lounging in large numbers about our encampments.
But one soon becomes accustomed to these little personal losses in war. To-day you lose something of utility, to-morrow you take it back from the enemy with usury; indeed, the whole of my equipments consisted of spoils taken from the Yankees.
Our march was continued throughout the day on the 24th, and we arrived about dusk at a point ten miles from Fredericksburg, where we halted and fed our horses in a large clover-field.
General Stuart threw forward his pickets with great caution, so that we might not be observed by the enemy, intending during the night to make a sudden attack on Fredericksburg, in the hope of driving the Yankees out of the town, or at least of alarming the garrison.
This enterprise, however, was not favoured by the elements.
About eleven P. M. there burst upon
used some hours later by a spirited cannonade.
The enemy were advancing, and the guns of Robertson's brigade had engaged a Federal battery.
One of our squadrons, going forward to support the artillery, and being unnecessarily exposed by their captain, suffered here severely by a single well-directed shell, which, bursting at the head of the column, killed and wounded fourteen men. The fighting ceased at night, and we encamped upon the ground occupied by us during the day. At daybreak on the 24th, the enemy still advancing in heavy force, we marched rapidly towards the Rappahannock, which we found much swollen, but which we crossed in safety at eight o'clock.
General Stuart now galloped over to the headquarters of General Robert E. Lee, about five miles distant, and ordered me to proceed with the Staff and couriers to Waterloo Bridge, six miles higher up the river, near which a portion of our cavalry was to encamp.
This bridge was now the only one left which for a considerable tr