previous next

[541] and the rest, accompanied~ by the main body of the cavalry, proceeding to the same point by Auburn Mills and Greenwich. Near the former place a skirmish took place between General Ewell's advance and the rear guard of the enemy, which was forced back and rapidly pursued.

The retreat of the enemy was conducted by several direct parallel roads, while our troops were compelled to march by difficult and circuitous routes. We were consequently unable to intercept him. General Hill arrived first at Bristoe Station, where his advance, consisting of two brigades, became engaged with a force largely superior in numbers, posted behind the railroad embankment.

The particulars of the action have not been officially reported, but the brigades were repulsed with some loss, and five pieces of artillery, with a number of prisoners, captured. Before the rest of the troops could be brought up, and the position of the enemy ascertained, he retreated across Broad Run. The next morning he was reported to be fortifying beyond Bull Run, extending his line toward the Little River Turnpike.

The vicinity of the intrenchments around Washington and Alexandria rendered it useless to turn his new position, as it was apparent that he could readily retire to them, and would decline an engagement unless attacked in his fortifications. A further advance was therefore deemed unnecessary, and after destroying the railroad from Cub Run southwardly to the Rappahannock, the army returned on the eighteenth to the line of that river, leaving the cavalry in the enemy's front.

The cavalry of the latter advanced on the following day, and some skirmishing occurred at Buckland. General Stuart, with Hampton's division, retired slowly toward Warrenton, in order to draw the enemy in that direction, thus exposing his flank and rear to General Lee, who moved from Auburn, and attacked him near Buckland. As soon as General Stuart heard the sound of Lee's guns he turned upon the enemy, who, after a stubborn resistance, broke, and fled in confusion, pursued by General Stuart nearly to Haymarket, and by General Lee to Gainesville.

Here the Federal infantry was encountered, and after capturing a number of them during the night, the cavalry slowly retired before their advance on the following day. When the movement of the army from the Rapidan commenced, General Imboden was instructed to advance down the valley, and guard the gaps of the mountains on our left. This duty was well performed by that officer, and on the eighteenth instant he marched upon Charlestown, and succeeded, by a well-concerted plan, in surrounding the place, and capturing nearly the whole force stationed there, with all their stores and transportation; only a few escaped to Harper's Ferry. The enemy advanced from that place, in superior numbers, to attack General Imboden, who retired, bringing off his prisoners and captured property, his command suffering very little loss, and inflicting some damage upon the pursuing column. In the course of these operations, two thousand four hundred and thirty-six prisoners were captured, including forty-one commissioned officers. Of the above number, four hundred and thirty-four were taken by General Imboden.

A more complete account, with a statement of our killed, wounded, and prisoners, will be forwarded as soon as the necessary official reports have been received.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General. Official: John Withers, A. A. G.

General Stuart's report.

Buckland, Va., Oct. 20, 1863.
General: After offering some considerable resistance to the advance of the enemy at this point yesterday, in accordance with the suggestions of Major-General Lee, I retired with Hampton's division slowly before the enemy, until within two miles and a half of Warrenton, in order that Major-General Lee, coming from Auburn, might have an opportunity to attack the enemy in flank and rear. The plan proved successful. The enemy followed slowly and cautiously after Hampton's division, when, on hearing Major-General Lee's guns on their flank, I pressed upon them vigorously in front. They at first resisted my attack stubbornly, but once broken, the rout was complete. I pursued them from within three miles of Warrenton to Buckland, the horses at full speed the whole distance, the enemy retreating in great confusion.

Major-General Lee had attacked them in flank just below Buckland. We captured about two hundred prisoners, eight wagons and ambulances, arms, horses, and equipments. The rout was the most complete that any cavalry has ever suffered during this war.

Crossing at Buckland, General Fitz Lee pushed down the pike toward Gainesville, while I with the few men of Gordon's and Rosser's brigades, who could be collected after our unusually long chase, moved around to our left, and pressed down toward Haymarket. Here I encountered, besides a large cavalry force, the First army corps, who retired a short distance beyond Haymarket, on the Carolina road. I attacked their infantry pickets by moonlight, and scattered them over the fields, capturing many. General Lee pressed down to within a short distance of Gainesville, when he encountered their infantry, and captured prisoners from the First army corps on that road also. The pursuit was continued until after dark. The cavalry force was commanded by Kilpatrick, and composed of ten regiments.

Most respectfully,

(Signed) J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General. Official: John Withers, A. A. G. See Fights along the Rapidan.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. E. B. Stuart (5)
Fitz Lee (5)
R. E. Lee (4)
J. D. Imboden (3)
Hampton (3)
John Withers (2)
Rosser (1)
Robert E. Lee (1)
B. J. Kilpatrick (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
W. J. Gordon (1)
R. S. Ewell (1)
Buckland (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 20th, 1863 AD (1)
18th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: