with the country, were sent to General Early
, in the hope of obtaining a guide.
But while Early
could not furnish them a guide, he concerted with them signals, which, being communicated to the pickets, would enable them to re-enter his camp at any hour of the night, and himself conducted them through the lines of General Joe Davis
Protected by the darkness, they soon found themselves in the midst of Grant
's moving army, and made the discovery that the troops from Chancellorsville
had been moved up to Spottsylvania Court-House, and that the centre of Grant
's camp was south thirty degrees east from a particular house which had been marked on General Lee
's diagram of the country, and furthermore that the Federals
were throwing up earthworks.
As soon as this information was communicated to General Lee
, he turned to his map, and, drawing the line as the scout had reported, appeared greatly pleased.
He said to the officers around him: “I am in the right position.”
On the evening of the 9th, the cavalry followed Sheridan
in his raid on Richmond
, and had desperate fighting with his rear guard.
On the 10th, the Black Horse
, under command of Captain A. D. Payne
, charged a party of the enemy and captured a number of prisoners.
On the 11th, the Confederate cavalry, still in pursuit of Sheridan
, renewed the fight at the Yellow tavern
, near Richmond
, in which General Stuart
was mortally wounded.
On the 12th, they engaged the head of Sheridan
's column, at Meadow bridge
, on the Chickahominy
, but, overwhelmed by the weight of superior numbers, were compelled to withdraw.
In the execution of this order, Lieutenant Colonel Randolph
, a former captain of the Black Horse
, was instantly killed.
A braver and more beloved officer never perished on the field.
's arrival near Richmond
, a desperate engagement occurred near Harris
' shop, in which the Southern
cavalry behaved with great gallantry, fighting for many hours as infantry, and for the greater part of the day resisted and obstructed the advance of Grant
's whole army, until Lee
to get his troops up from his line of battle and deliver the heavy blow which the next day he inflicted on the Federal
army at the Second Cold harbor.
In this sanguinary engagement the Black Horse
lost more than half the men taken into action.
Soon after, at Trevellyann's Station, General Hampton
fought, perhaps, the bloodiest cavalry fight of the war, in which the Fourth Virginia Regiment behaved with conspicuous gallantry, sustaining again a heavy loss.
was now compelled to retire upon the