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I was deeply impressed by the blackness of the night and the profound stillness of the slumbering camp. Here and there a camp-fire shed a red glow around, and the stillness was only too mournfully interrupted by the groans of wounded and dying men, who, not many hours before, had been full of health and hope. At the early dawn of morning, on the 28th of June, all was in motion again, as General Stuart had received orders to proceed at once with his cavalry to the White House on the Pamunkey river, where immense supplies for McClellan's army had been collected. I was exceedingly disappointed, when, ordering my horse to be saddled, my mulatto servant reported that my brave chestnut was unable to rise, in consequence of the injuries sustained by the heavy contusion of the previous day-injuries from which it never recovered. I had no choice, therefore, but to remain behind until I could procure another animal. But I was not idle. Acting in concert with Captain Fitzhugh, of Genera
s body was respectfully taken care of, and sent, with all military honours, into the Federal lines under flag of truce the next day. We pitched our camp in a dense pine-grove near Chantilly, and for the remainder of the night were occupied in drying our drenched garments by the heat of roaring wood-fires. On the morning of the 2d September we were agreeably surprised by the arrival of Hampton's splendid brigade, which had been retained on picket duty on the James, Chickahominy, and Pamunkey rivers, and our loud cheering was heartily responded to by the dashing horsemen of the Carolinas and Mississippi, who had long been anxious to meet the enemy under the lead of the gallant Stuart. As yet they had seen no fighting under his direct orders. Their desire was very speedily to be gratified. The main body of the Federal army had retreated towards Alexandria, but a strong cavalry force with horse-artillery still held Fairfax Court-house and its neighourhood, and Stuart had been dir
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 23: (search)
unately late that we received this disastrous news. In the hope there might yet be a chance of cutting off the retreat of the Federal raiders, our Commander-in-Chief ordered Stuart to set out at once in pursuit of them; and a few hours later we were making our way through the woods with Fitz Lee's brigade in the direction of Gordonsville. After marching all night, we learned at daybreak that the whole Federal raiding force, turning from Richmond towards the White House, had crossed the Pamunkey river, and was now entirely beyond our reach. This, of course, completely altered the plans of our General; and as we were then not far from Orange Court-house, where our trains had been ordered to assemble, and we were sure to find supplies both for man and beast, thither, after a short rest, it was determined to march. None more than myself welcomed the order to halt, for the only charger I had now left was completely broken down, and my servant Henry, leading a Yankee horse I had captured