Thus attired, sitting gracefully on his fine horse, he did not fail to attract the notice and admiration of all who saw him ride along.
This is not the place to expatiate on the military character of General Stuart.
His deeds will form the most considerable portion of this narrative, and out of them an estimate of his soldierly qualities will naturally grow up in the reader's mind.
At the moment of our first meeting we could exchange but a few words.
The battle was just about to commence, and my presentation to him was necessarily hurried and informal.
After reading General Randolph's letter, he said he should be glad to have me at his side during the day's fight, and then presented me to a number of well-mounted young officers, members of his Staff, and to General Longstreet and his suite.
At this instant the roar of the artillery gave the signal that the ball had opened, and the whole cavalcade, the generals leading, proceeded in rapid gallop to the front.
e fray, giving assistance, counsel, and encouragement to the rest, and letting nothing escape his observation.
General Longstreet commanded the right wing, and had taken up position on a hill commanding an extended view.
The battle was beginer and fainter, until towards one o'clock it ceased almost entirely.
About this time we returned to the spot where General Longstreet had taken his position the day before, and where several of our generals were assembled, to whom I was presented by, and expressing his great satisfaction at the issue of the day.
I had now the opportunity of closely observing General Longstreet for the first time.
He was a stout man, of middle height, and most agreeable countenance; his long brown beard gav gained the full confidence of the army and its commanding general, Robert E. Lee, who used to call him his war-horse.
Longstreet's soldiers were perfectly devoted to him, and I have frequently heard friendly contentions between officers and men of
great caution, sending out numerous patrols and reconnoitring detachments.
Our march was directed towards Mechanicsville, where the enemy's right wing rested, as I have said, on strong fortifications.
With the exception of encounters with small patrols, we saw little of the enemy until five o'clock in the afternoon, when Jackson's vanguard attacked them, and was soon engaged in a sharp skirmish.
At the same time the distant thunder of cannon was sounding over from Mechanicsville, where Longstreet had attacked the enemy in their strong position.
Jackson at once brought up his troops with his usual celerity of movement, and towards six o'clock the battle was at its height.
Our cavalry was in reserve, and as we had reason to fear an attack on the left flank, General Stuart despatched me with a small body of men on a reconnoitring expedition, which was so far successful that, after about half an hour's ride, we came upon a strong detachment of the enemy's cavalry, who instantly se
business in Richmond was speedily transacted, and the following day, having procured an excellent horse, I set out with fresh courage and spirits to rejoin my General.
Our army in the mean time had been pushed forward towards the James river, being close upon the enemy's formidable positions at Westover; and as I rode along, I heard from time to time the heavy ordnance of the gunboats, which threw their tremendous projectiles wherever the grey uniforms came in sight.
Generals R. E. Lee, Longstreet, and Stuart had established their headquarters together in the extensive farmyard of a Mr Phillips, which spot I reached late in the evening, after a long and dusty ride.
Here for a few days we enjoyed rest and comparative quiet.
Our generals were often in council of war, undecided whether or not to attack the enemy.
On the morning of the 6th, General Stuart removed his headquarters about two miles lower down the river to the plantation of a Mr C., old friends of ours, where we were rec
ther decision in the case was left to the Richmond authorities.
The whole of Longstreet's corps had now been removed from Richmond to Culpepper, and occupied the linttack was renewed by General Pope, who tried his best to crush Jackson before Longstreet, who was rapidly approaching with his strong corps, could arrive.
As old Stoperate with his cavalry on the right flank, and hold the enemy in check until Longstreet could take his place.
On my return to Sudley's Mill I found everything chr attack later than four o'clock in the afternoon, and at five the advance of Longstreet's corps made its appearance, amid loud cheering all along our lines.
These tvision of the corps, Hood's Texans, had come up, forming the extreme right of Longstreet's line.
Yet farther on was Stuart with a portion of his cavalry-Fitz Lee, wi Stuart was hastily summoned to General Lee's headquarters, where Jackson and Longstreet were already in council with our Commander-in-Chief.
Strong reserves were po
welling of a prominent citizen.
Jackson and Longstreet had both already arrived there, and our greay 13,000 men, on three sides.
A division of Longstreet's corps, under McLaws, had been sent to attawith the remaining portion of his army under Longstreet, confronting the bulk of the army of McClell valley, thus cutting us off completely from Longstreet's corps.
We started immediately, as fast as Davis, it came accidentally in contact with Longstreet's ordnance trains, capturing and destroying readiness to meet the mighty Federal host.
Longstreet having retreated from Boonsboroa, where his nt information to Generals Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet.
Sharpsburg is a pretty little village o himself had taken charge of the centre, and Longstreet commanded the right.
Of our cavalry, Robertthe firing grew louder and more continuous.
Longstreet, hard pressed by the superior numbers of theul strife.
Every inch of the ground lost by Longstreet at noon had been recovered.
Our centre had [2 more...]
e family, it being a late hour of the night when we joined the rest of our headquarters party in bivouac about a mile from town.
During the forenoon of the following day, we received information that our waggons had halted five miles from us in the direction of Williamsport, at the small village of Hainesville, where General Stuart subsequently decided to establish his headquarters.
The main body of our army had gone in the mean time in the direction of Winchester, the right wing, under Longstreet, encamping near that town; the left, under Jackson, remaining half-way between Martinsburg and Winchester, near the hamlet called Bunker Hill.
The cavalry had to cover the line along the Potomac from Williamsport to Harper's Ferry, Hampton's brigade being stationed near Hainesville, Fitz Lee's near Shepherdstown, and Robertson's under Colonel Munford, near Charlestown, opposite Harper's Ferry; which latter stronghold, after everything valuable had been removed from it, had been given up t
ral forces, by a strong demonstration towards Harper's Ferry, made a show of invading Virginia from this point, but the great bulk of the army crossed the Potomac about fifteen miles lower down, near the little town of Berlin. General Lee, having been opportunely informed by his vigilant cavalry of the enemy's operations, had commenced, in the mean time, a movement on the opposite side of the Blue Ridge, in a nearly parallel direction towards Front Royal, being about a day's march ahead.
Longstreet's corps was in the advance, Jackson's troops following slowly, covering the rear, and still holding the passes of the Blue Ridge, Snicker's, Ashby's and Chester Gaps.
The cavalry under Stuart had orders to cross the Ridge at Snicker's Gap, to watch closely the movements of the enemy, retard him as much as possible, and protect the left flank of our army.
So we rode quietly along in the tracks of our horsemen, who, before the Staff had left The Bower, had proceeded in the direction of
Our pickets were thrown forward at the same time two miles on the opposite side of the river.
Our headquarters waggons having arrived meanwhile, and it appearing most likely that our stay in this part of the country would be of considerable duration, we pitched our tents on the edge of an oak wood, and our encampment was soon laid out in regular order.
General Lee with the greater part of his army, had now arrived, and had gone into camp in the vicinity of Culpepper Court-house, General Longstreet, with his whole corps, having reached there several days before, followed by Jackson, who had left behind only one of his divisions under D. H. Hill, near Front Royal.
General Stuart went off next day on a little reconnaissance to Brandy Station and Rappahannock Bridge, but for once I did not accompany him, being detained in camp by domestic duties, arranging the interior of my tent, and building the customary fireplace and mud chimney.
For the transportation of materials we emplo
to supper with Captain Dearing, a friend of ours commanding a battery of Pickett's division in Longstreet's corps, who was encamped about two miles off, started on foot, late in the evening, for this rived opposite Fredericksburg, demanding, in grand words, the surrender of the place, he found Longstreet, to his great surprise, seriously objecting to this,--Longstreet who, by a movement parallel tLongstreet who, by a movement parallel to his own, had reached the spot with his corps several hours too early for him. Whereupon the Federal General was fain, after many useless threats to shell the town, to postpone yet a little while hisf General Jenkins of South Carolina, commanding a brigade of troops from the Palmetto State in Longstreet's corps, who received us very courteously, and insisted on our dining with him — an invitationgeneral, he was killed through misadventure by his own men upon the same unhappy occasion when Longstreet was so severely wounded.
It was late at night when we got back to our own headquarters, an