crossed at the same time at Kelly's Ford
Agreeably to orders from the corps commander, Colonel Dufie
proceeded at once to Stevensburg
to take position, while Gregg
marched directly upon Brandy Station
, which, owing to the number of miles to be marched and obstructions met in the roads, he did not reach until some hours after Buford
's attack had been made.
Upon an open plain, his brigades, led by Colonels Kilpatrick
, fell upon the enemy so furiously that General Stuart
's headquarters were captured.
There were no reserves, but at once the entire command charged the enemy, and here, at last, were two forces of cavalry, on favorable ground, all mounted, struggling for victory with sabre and pistol.
Brigade met brigade, and the blue and the gray met in hand-to-hand strife, and many gallant horsemen went down that day on a field whose glories have not often been surpassed.
Moving on a short interior line, the mass of the rebel mounted force was speedily concentrated at the point of danger, so as to give it largely the preponderance in numbers.
's command, at Stevensburg
, having encountered there some of the enemy, could not be gotten on the field in time to take part in the engagement; still the contest was maintained until the arrival of rebel infantry from Culpepper
; after this a junction was made by the two divisions, and toward evening, leisurely and unmolested, all recrossed the Rappahannock
The object of the reconnoissance had been fully accomplished --the numbers, position, and intentions of the enemy fully discovered.
On the morrow this cavalry giant was to have marched for Pennsylvania
No further objection was offered to his departure, as we felt sure his stature was somewhat shortened, and his gait would show a limp.
Our total loss in killed, wounded, and a small number of prisoners, was about five hundred; the enemy's, from reports published in the Richmond papers, greater.
The result of this engagement created the greatest enthusiasm in our regiments; the virtues of those who fell were fondly told by their surviving comrades, and acts of conspicuous gallantry and daring were applauded and remembered for imitation on other fields.
Even now, when there is a meeting of any of those who fought at Brandy Station
, and the talk falls upon the fight, the pulse quickens and the eye brightens as the story is repeated.
Our cavalry was again reorganized in two divisions, commanded respectively by Generals John Buford
and D. McM. Gregg
, and to each division were attached two light batteries.
Everything necessary was done in preparation for an active campaign.
The division formerly commanded by General Averill
(who had been transferred