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e troops were in light marching order, and moved rapidly toward Stannardsville, distant south-west from Madison twelve miles, crossing the Rapidan at Banks's Mills Ford. At Stannardsville the enemy's pickets were discovered, who retired precipitately before our advance. Meeting with no opposition, General Custer pushed forward tbel prisoners were taken, who stated that the whole of Wickham's brigade, commanded by Stuart in person, was in our front, the major portion being at Banks's Mills Ford awaiting Custer's approach. Without a moment's hesitation, General Custer conceived and executed a plan for his extrication from his perilous situation. Orderingalmost instantly moving down the road with the speed of the wind toward the Stannardsville road, which striking, he wheeled to the left, and reaching Banks's Mills Ford, recrossed the river, thus completely eluding the mass of the enemy, who seemed confident of gobbling his whole command. The tactical ability displayed by General