I could obtain little sleep during the remainder of the night; and was ready to move before sunrise when the command was given to mount.
Our march lay in the direction of Massaponax Church, about eight miles distant from Fredericksburg, on the Telegraph Road — a wide plank turnpike leading directly to Richmond.
We had been informed by our spies and patrols that a Federal force of 8000 men, with the usual complement of artillery, under the command of Generals Hatch and Gibbon, was on an expedition to destroy the most important line of railway communication with our army, and burn the depots of supplies at Hanover Junction.
Riding as usual with the advance-guard, I was the first to discover the hostile column when we had reached a point within half a mile of the Telegraph Road.
I immediately gave the order to halt, and rode back to give information of the enemy's presence to General Stuart, who made his dispositions with his accustomed celerity.
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