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nd left the station about noon, and I was of its passengers, wondering at the odd-shaped, long lumbering railway carriage or car, rolling, rapidly and dangerously, with more than fifty other occupants, towards the scene of military operations in Virginia. I need say nothing of the wretched railway system, or want of system, of America; the single line of rails, the loosely-built road-bed, the frightful trestle-work over deep gorges, the frail wooden bridges thrown across rushing rivers, and thwith peaceful-looking farms and fertile estates in the fair land of the Old Dominion; and, crossing the James river upon a bridge of giddy elevation, we entered within the walls of the Confederate capital. Richmond, the seat of government of Virginia, and, for four years, of the Confederate States, had at that time about 70,000 inhabitants. Unrivalled in America for the picturesque beauty of its situation on the north bank of the James river, it impressed the stranger most agreeably by its
e soft lights of which were in effective and pleasing contrast with the Rembrandt shadows of the dark wood and the rude warriors that lay there. General Stuart had married a daughter to Colonel Philip St George Cooke, of the U. S. Dragoons, a Virginian by birth, and West-Pointer by military education, who had remained in the Federal service, and was now making war upon his native State as a brigadier-general of President Lincoln's appointment. On several occasions, during the campaigns in Virginia, General Stuart came very near making a prisoner of his father-in-law; and I believe it would have given him greater satisfaction to send General Cooke under escort to Richmond than to capture the mighty McClellan himself. The military family of General Stuart consisted of fourteen or fifteen high-spirited young fellows, boon companions in the bivouac, and excellent soldiers in the fight, of whom, alas! seven were afterwards killed in battle, three received honourable and dangerous wou
s was usual at that time, terminated in our favour. One of these encounters, an affair of a few minutes, was with a newly-organised regiment of Federal Lancers. They stood 300 yards from us in line of battle, and presented, with their glittering lances, from the point of each of which fluttered a red-and-white pennon, and their fresh, well-fitting blue uniforms turned up with yellow, a fine martial appearance. One of our regiments was immediately ordered to attack them; but before our Virginia horsemen got within fifty yards of their line, this magnificent regiment, which had doubtless excited the liveliest admiration in the Northern cities on its way to the seat of war, turned tail and fled in disorder, strewing the whole line of their retreat with their picturesque but inconvenient arms. The entire skirmish, if such it may be called, was over in less time than is required to record it; and I do not believe that out of the whole body of 700 men more than twenty retained their l
the shallow stream, where we are vigorously attacked by the most voracious horse-leeches, which fastened themselves on our exposed legs in such numbers as to make it necessary to go ashore every five minutes to shake them off. The small hare of Virginia darted about in every direction in the fields and thickets; but shooting the grey squirrel, which was quite new to me, afforded me the best sport; and from the great agility of the animal, it was by no means so easy a matter as one might supposend venerable edifice. Within its walls, in the palmy day of his imperial declamation, the great orator Patrick Henry, the forest-born Demosthenes, had pleaded the celebrated Parsons' cause in a speech the traditions of which yet live freshly in Virginia. It is a small building of red brick, pleasantly situated on a hill commanding a pretty view, several miles in extent, of fertile fields and dark-green woods, and a clear stream, which winds like a silvery thread through the distant valley. Th
Chapter 5: Opening of the summer campaign in Virginia. adventure at Verdiersville. the first cavalry. fight at Brandy Station. fight at Cunningham's citude, just in time to form hurriedly our lines and dash onward with the wild Virginia yell to the rescue of the 7th. Occupying the place of honour in front of the rger which saved me at Verdiersville by his fleetness, an excellent coal-black Virginia horse, of medium size, well-bred and strongly built, but one of the fleetest acent lines of Hampton's brigade now appeared in brisk pursuit on the left, our Virginia horsemen, under Fitz Lee, had just joined us, and every one burned with the dede their appearance, but were driven back with little difficulty. The part of Virginia through which we were passing abounds with delicious peaches, and as this fruicers, the soldiers, the negroes, the horses, the mules, all wrapped in the dolce far niente which marked the termination of our eventful summer campaign in Virginia.
exhilaration more delightful, than when we ascended the opposite bank to the familiar but now strangely thrilling music of Maryland, my Maryland. As I gained the dry ground, I little thought that in a short time I should recross the river into Virginia, under circumstances far different and far less inspiring. The passage of the Potomac by the column occupied about two hours, and was attended with some difficulty to our artillery, as the water in many places rose quite up to the middle of sted ears of corn, which he had promptly seized the earliest occasion of stealing from a neighbouring farm. In the mean time our great commander-in-chief had decided to recross the Potomac, and transfer his weakened army again to the soil of Virginia. Nothing could be accomplished by remaining longer in Maryland. Even had the battle been renewed with the most satisfactory results for our arms, General Lee had not men enough for the continued occupation of the country. General Lee has ofte
g, and passage of the Potomac by night. camp at Martinsburg and Charlestown. Virginia partridges and a Virginia plantation. escape of a spy. advance and repulse oeral saddles. At the same instant was heard the war-cry of a squadron of our Virginia horsemen sent by General Stuart to my relief. Their onset and the terrible efssing had been safely effected, and we all felt thankful to regain the soil of Virginia, after a loss in killed and wounded comparatively trifling when considered wits of the Potomac but slightly guarded, determined upon a forward movement into Virginia, and had already crossed the river with a considerable body of his troops at Bad taught a severe lesson to his pursuer, and attempts to follow our army into Virginia were for some time abandoned. An old friend and comrade of Pelham's, Captang village, the county seat of one of the richest and most fertile counties of Virginia-Jefferson-and fixed our headquarters upon the farm of Colonel D., about half a
n another. Nowhere, perhaps, in the wide limits of the State, could one have formed a better idea of the refined manners and profuse hospitable life of dear old Virginia, and before the breaking-out of the war The Bower had rarely been without its guests. The proprietor at the time I knew the place was a kind-hearted intelligent the day having prevented him from retiring. Here we obtained compensation for the loss of our dinner in an abundant supply of cold meat, and cut into a capital Virginia ham with a greater amount of destruction than we had done during the day into the ranks of the enemy. The following day there came some important documents abe by Louis XIV., at whose morning toilet all the world was accustomed to assemble, never created half the sensation at Versailles, that was made in the woods of Virginia by the investment of Jackson in this new regulation uniform. Reaching our camp again in the evening, I was informed by General Stuart that he was to start th
g, and his great seizure of horses, and also learned that our daring band of horsemen was already on its rapid return to Virginia. I availed myself of the opportunity while in Shepherdstown of paying my respects to Mrs L., by whom and the other ladinths and months, not to mention numberless barbarities, never sanctioned in civilised warfare, by the Federal cavalry in Virginia. General Stuart gave me a gratifying proof that he had been thinking of me in Pennsylvania, by bringing back with hirs, cavalry division, October 14, 1862. To General R. E. Lee, Through Colonel R. H. Chilton, A. A. General, Army of Northern Virginia. Colonel,--I have the honour to report that on the 9th inst., in compliance with instructions from the Commanding General, Army of Northern Virginia, I proceeded on an expedition into Pennsylvania with a cavalry force of 1800 men and four pieces of horse-artillery, under command of Brig.-Gen. Hampton and Cols. W. H. F. Lee and Jones. This force rendezvoused
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 10: (search)
ington. The right wing of the Federal 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 townre invited to supper by a prominent citizen, at whose pleasant house we greatly enjoyed a warm cup of tea, a capital old Virginia ham, and afterwards a pipe of Virginia tobacco before a roaring wood-fire. Our troops bivouacked about two miles froVirginia tobacco before a roaring wood-fire. Our troops bivouacked about two miles from town; and as on a march, for the sake of the example, we never took up our quarters beneath a roof, we left our hospitable entertainer about midnight, and established ourselves in an open field under some old locust-trees, near several large fodderption all the beautiful autumn day through the smiling county of Loudoun, one of the fairest and most fertile regions in Virginia, passing many fine estates with extensive corn-fields and large orchards, until we arrived in the evening in the vicinit
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