g forward with Robertson's brigade to drive off the strong force of Federal cavalry which had been there brought together, and which would otherwise have operated successfully on our exposed flank.
The 2d Virginia Cavalry, under the gallant Colonel Munford, was in the advance, and arrived at the plateau of Manasses before the two other regiments of the brigade had come up. Here they found the Yankee horse in far superior numbers, drawn up in two magnificent lines of battle, one behind the othel Run; and we heard later that the stampeded horsemen had continued their flight into the fortifications of Centreville.
Our loss was comparatively small in killed, consisting mostly of wounded, among whom was the brave commander of the 2d, Colonel Munford, who had received several sabre-cuts on the head.
Night had now set in, and as we approached the field of battle on our return to the main body of our army, we found that fighting and pursuit had entirely ceased, darkness having at last
igades of his command.
Fitz Lee's was sent to the little town of Newmarket, about ten miles off; Robertson's, under Colonel Munford, was ordered to the neighbourhood of Sugar Loaf Mountain; while Hampton's remained in the immediate vicinity of Urbat headquarters, the 10th, which gave some occupation, however, to Robertson's brigade at Sugar Loaf Mountain, where Colonel Munford engaged the Yankees in a sharp but unimportant skirmish.
On the morning of the 11th we received marching orders. passed through the village on its way to Frederick; Hampton's soon followed; and only Robertson's, under command of Colonel Munford, remained behind, covering the retreat, and holding in check, at a distance of about five miles from the place, the self had taken charge of the centre, and Longstreet commanded the right.
Of our cavalry, Robertson's brigade, under Colonel Munford, was detached to the extreme right, Fitz Lee's and Hampton's were held in reserve on the extreme left, which, as bef
long 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 to the enemy.
We r-and fixed our headquarters upon the farm of Colonel D., about half a mile from the town, immediately informing the commanding officer of Robertson's brigade, Colonel Munford, of my presence.
Colonel D.‘s plantation was one of the most extensive and beautiful I had seen in America.
The stately mansion-house stood in the midst of f artillery, sounding over from beyond Charlestown, announced that there was other work to be done.
On my way to the scene of action, I met a courier from Colonel Munford, who reported that the enemy had driven back our pickets opposite Harper's Ferry, and was advancing towards Charlestown in considerable strength.
I found th
from the neighborhood we had left, and Stuart soon came galloping towards us. His orders now were that I should return with him at once to the scene of the conflict.
Riding at full speed, in an hour's time we reached the spot, where our troops were hard pressed by the far superior numbers of the foe. General Stuart immediately sent instructions to Fitz Lee to come with all haste to his support, and determined upon trying to maintain his position until his reinforcements should arrive.
Munford and his men had been fighting with their accustomed gallantry; but the Yankees receiving again and again fresh troops from Harper's Ferry, and their numerous batteries pouring upon us a most destructive fire, we were compelled to retreat and abandon Charlestown, which was instantly occupied by the enemy, who halted there, and did not seek to push their success farther.
Their possession of the town, however, was of very short duration; for Fitz Lee suddenly appearing on their right flank at
sk of some difficulty.
On our road we fell in with several of our former pursuers, who, being bewildered in the vast forest, now surrendered to us with little hesitation; two of these were captured by Stuart himself.
At the end of an hour's tedious ride we came upon Fitz Lee's column trotting onward to the field of action, whither the 2d Virginia had already preceded them.
On reaching the scene of our recent defeat, we found that our brave fellows of the 2d, led by their gallant colonel, Munford, had come up just in time to protect their flying comrades, and had thrown themselves with such ardour on the Federals as to break their lines and scatter them in every direction, many killed and wounded being left on the field, and some eighty prisoners and horses falling into our hands.
As all seemed now over, Stuart ordered the troops to march on to Spotsylvania Court-house, and there encamp, the 2d Virginia taking the lead, and the prisoners and remaining regiments following.