the left was extended in the direction of Brandy Station
The enemy's cavalry, well supplied with artillery, fought with great stubbornness, and it was one o'clock in the day before I made any communication with Gregg
He informed me that he had been actively engaged all day; that the enemy were running trains full of infantry from Culpepper
to Brandy Station
, and massing them in the woods near the residence of John Minor Botts
was then directed to withdraw and recross the river at the railroad bridge, which he did without difficulty.
I held my position, covering Beverly ford, until Gregg
's crossing was assured, and then withdrew.
The last gun was fired at seven in the evening.
Such was the action of Beverly ford, which General Longstreet
calls Brandy Station
It was a roconnoissance in force, in which some of the hardest fighting of the war had to be done.
It accomplished more than was expected, by not only establishing the fact that Lee
was at Culpepper
in force, but it apprised General Hooker
of General Lee
's intention to invade the North
In reporting to General Hooker
the result of my reconnoissance, I stated I was of the opinion that Stuart
was not now likely to cross the river.
The General, however, thought it best for my command to remain in the vicinity of Warrenton Junction until the 16th of June, and Stuart
never made any attempt to cross the river during that time.
Such, then, was one result of the attack on the 9th.
A second result was to change the direction of Lee
's army toward the Shenandoah
, instead of attempting to cross the Potomac
, forcing that army to operate on an exterior line.
The third result was to give the Army of the Potomac the initiative, based on the knowledge of General Lee
Did General Lee
know that Stuart
's papers had been lost?
Did he or Stuart
suppose they were in my possession?
At all events, General Longstreet
's experienced military sagacity impressed him with the necessity of changing the plan of campaign, and with their whole force make a determined effort to crush me. No ordinary attack, which had been repulsed, would have been considered by Longstreet
as worthy of any such distinguished attention.
I claim, therefore, that the services of the nine thousand splendid soldiers of my command could not have been more brilliant or more important to the army and the country in their results.
On the evening of the 16th of June, the cavalry corps encamped near Manassas
, the Army of the Potomac occupying positions between that point and Fairfax Court-House.
After consultation with General Hooker
it was decided that I should proceed by the