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No action or combat of importance, however, had occurred save in the neighborhood of Gordonsville, where a sharp cavalry encounter took place, with loss on both sides; yet the enemy rapidly fell back towards the Rapidan, and seemed disinclined to operate in the fine open country south of it. This was generalship. They knew not what force was approaching; by crossing the stream and destroying the bridges, a deep unfordable river was left in our front, which would occasion much delay; and as Culpeper was as a pivot-point by which the enemy could keep open the communication with their main army under Pope, approaching east by north; with Miles advancing from the west through the Valley with a heavy force, and with Washington nearly due north; Banks had massed his troops in a wooded plain near Cedar Mountain. Pope was not more than thirty miles to his left, with large masses advancing; while Miles, with fourteen thousand of all arms, was midway up the Valley, distant some forty or more m
es vanished as they passed beyond New Market. Some six miles south of this place Early left the Valley Pike and took the road to Keezletown, a move due in a measure to Powell's march by way of Timberville toward Lacy's Springs, but mainly caused by the fact that the Keezletown road ran immediately along the base of Peaked Mountain — a rugged ridge affording protection to Early's right flank-and led in a direction facilitating his junction with Kershaw, who had been ordered back to him from Culpeper the day after the battle of the Opequon. The chase was kept up on the Keezeltown road till darkness overtook us, when my weary troops were permitted to go into camp; and as soon as the enemy discovered by our fires that the pursuit had stopped, he also bivouacked some five miles farther south toward Port Republic. The next morning Early was Joined by Lomax's cavalry from Harrisonburg, Wickham's and Payne's brigades of cavalry also uniting with him from the Luray Valley. His whole army
f Johnson's brigade, and Bledsoe's First Missouri battery on the right of Gregg's brigade. Captain Culpeper's three guns were held in reserve in rear of McNair's brigade. Law's division was posted of the men under their commands. I have to regret that no report has been furnished me by Captain Culpeper, commanding the battery attached to McNair's brigade; and I also regret that neither this bght, the brigade was placed in position in the rear of Gregg's brigade, with the artillery, Captain Culpeper's three pieces, and the Thirty-ninth North Carolina regiment, Colonel Coleman, and Twenty-f the ammunition beginning to fail, they rejoined the other two regiments. The artillery, Captain Culpeper commanding, supported the advance of the brigade so long as it was safe to fire, and then, ffered much from a flanking fire, arising from tardy support on our left. The artillery, Captain Culpeper, having assisted in repulsing the enemy at half-past 9 A. M., was placed in position by Gen
ch proved too strong for the Federals. The encounter left no doubt in Hooker's mind that Lee was preparing for an aggressive movement either against Washington or into Maryland. On June 13th it was clear that Lee was massing his forces in the direction of Culpeper. Hooker at once began throwing his lines out toward Culpeper, with the purpose of keeping abreast of Lee by advancing south of the Blue Ridge — and the race for the Potomac was on. This picture was taken in November, 1863, when Culpeper was occupied by the Federals. Culpeper, Virginia. Sparring before Gettysburg Culpeper Court House The high-water mark of the Confederacy: the little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Just as we see it here, the Confederates first saw Gettysburg. Down these roads and past these houses they marched to the high-water mark of their invasion of the North. It was quite by accident that the little town became the theater of the crucial contest of the Civil War. On the morning of
Washington. This statement of Lee's orders to Early and Anderson is taken from McCabe, who gives it still more minutely. Early, however, says not a word to indicate that he was expected a second time to cross the Potomac, for if he admitted this, he would have to admit that he was foiled. This plan, however, had been frustrated by Sheridan's prompt advance into the Valley, and Grant's operations north of the James. The intention, so far as I can learn, was to send a column direct from Culpeper to the Potomac, and Early to advance at the same time from Martinsburg. This was frustrated by Early being compelled to fall back, and your operations on the north side of the James.—Sheridan to Grant, August, 20. Sheridan had moved from Halltown on the 10th of August, and Early at once fell back as far as Strasburg, to which point he was followed by the national army, both forces arriving at Cedar creek on the 12th. On the 13th, Early retired a few miles further, to Fisher's Hill. A
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 21. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.13 (search)
ly asked where I would find him? He quietly replied that he was on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, somewhere near Culpeper Courthouse, and while my heart stood still with amazement, he told me the contents of the paper, and added that as it was very important, he did not care to send it by a courier, and wanted it delivered by daylight in the morning. For a moment I was stampeded, paralyzed. I had never been over a foot of the intervening country, had only a vague idea that Culpeper was somewhere beyond the mountains, but how to get there I could not imagine. And then night was upon us, it was raining like the deluge, and I had already ridden to and fro that day about twenty-five miles. But a young man soon rallies, and I quickly pulled myself together. I was being weighed in the balance, right there, and I determined to throw all my weight in the scales. General, I will start at once if I can get a horse. Take my mare, said generous Kidder Meade, of the staff,
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 34. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.19 (search)
igned to the cavalry, but the spirit and manner in which it was to be done. You will march, so the orders read, on the 13th instant with all your available force except one brigade, for the purpose of turning the enemy's position on his left, and of throwing your command between him and Richmond and isolating him from his supplies, checking his retreat, and inflicting on him every possible injury which will tend to his discomfiture and defeat. * * If the enemy should endeavor to retire by Culpeper and Gordonsville, you will endeavor to hold your force in his front and harass him day and night, unceasingly. If you cannot cut off from his columns large slices the general desires that you will not fail to take small ones. Let your watchword be fight, and let all your orders be fight, fight, fight, bearing in mind that time is as valuable to the general as rebel carcasses. It is not in the power of the rebels to oppose you with more than 5,000 sabres and those badly mounted, and after
Washington. This statement of Lee's orders to Early and Anderson is taken from McCabe, who gives it still more minutely. Early, however, says not a word to indicate that he was expected a second time to cross the Potomac, for if he admitted this, he would have to admit that he was foiled. This plan, however, had been frustrated by Sheridan's prompt advance into the Valley, and Grant's operations north of the James. The intention, so far as I can learn, was to send a column direct from Culpeper to the Potomac, and Early to advance at the same time from Martinsburg. This was frustrated by Early being compelled to fall back, and your operations on the north side of the James.—Sheridan to Grant, August, 20. Sheridan had moved from Halltown on the 10th of August, and Early at once fell back as far as Strasburg, to which point he was followed by the national army, both forces arriving at Cedar creek on the 12th. On the 13th, Early retired a few miles further, to Fisher's Hill. A
bout the original Minute Men of this country: The Committee of Safety, in Virginia, appointed July 18, 1775, raised an armed force to defend the Colony. The Convention appointed Patrick Henry, Colonel of the First Regiment, and "Commander of all the forces raised for the defence of the Colony." He immediately summoned a corps of volunteers from various parts of the Colony. 300 Minute Men instantly assembled at Culpeper Court-House and marched for Williamsburg. One-third of them were Culpeper men, who adopted a flag with the significant device of a rattlesnake, as seen in the engraving. The engraving represents a flag, at the top of which are the words, "The Culpeper Minute Men," it the centre a coiled rattlesnake with crest erect, on either side of which are disposed the words "Liberty or Death" and beneath is the motto "Don't Tread on Me." The devices upon this flag, it will be remembered, are similar to those upon the flag first used by our Navy. It was the flag under which
bout the original Minute Men of this country: The Committee of Safety, in Virginia, appointed July 18, 1775, raised an armed force to defend the Colony. The Convention appointed Patrick Henry, Colonel of the First Regiment, and "Commander of all the forces raised for the defence of the Colony." He immediately summoned a corps of volunteers from various parts of the Colony. 300 Minute Men instantly assembled at Culpeper Court-House and marched for Williamsburg. One-third of them were Culpeper men, who adopted a flag with the significant device of a rattlesnake, as seen in the engraving. The engraving represents a flag, at the top of which are the words, "The Culpeper Minute Men," it the centre a coiled rattlesnake with crest erect, on either side of which are disposed the words "Liberty or Death" and beneath is the motto "Don't Tread on Me." The devices upon this flag, it will be remembered, are similar to those upon the flag first used by our Navy. It was the flag under which
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