previous next

[576] simultaneously with the advance of our troops on the south side.

About twelve M. a small party surprised part of the train, and captured some ambulances and mules, which were, however, soon recovered, and some prisoners taken, who gave information that a more considerable Federal force had crossed the river.

About four P. .M General Trimble, supported by General Hood, (who was the advance of Longstreet's command,) had a sharp engagement with this force, in which, after gallantly charging and taking a number of prisoners, they drove the residue, with severe loss, across the river, under the protection of the guns of the main body of the Federal army, on the opposite side. In the mean time the command passed Freeman's Ford, which it found strongly guarded, and moved on to a point opposite the Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, where we found the bridge destroyed, and other evidence that the enemy was in close proximity.

In the afternoon of the twenty-second, the Thirteenth Georgia, Colonel Douglas, Brown's and Dement's batteries of four guns each, and Early's brigade, crossing over, took possession of the Springs and adjacent heights, and taking some prisoners and incurring some risk from the rain and sudden rise of the water, which for a few hours cut off communication with the main body. In this critical situation, the skill and presence of mind of General Early was favorably displayed. It was deemed advisable not to attempt a passage at that point, but to proceed higher up the river.

By dawn, on the morning of the twenty-fourth, General Early, by means of a temporary bridge, which had been constructed for his relief, had his troops and artillery safely on the southern side.

On the twenty-fourth, there was a fierce cannonade between General Hill's artillery and that of the enemy across the river. In the mean time, General Stuart, who had preceded me, crossed the Rappahannock, striking the enemy in his rear, making his brilliant night attack upon his camp at Catlett's Station, capturing many prisoners, personal baggage of General Pope, and his despatch book, containing information of value to us in this expedition. In the evening, we moved near Jeffersonton. Pursuing the instructions of the commanding General, I left Jeffersonton on the morning of the twenty-fifth, to throw my command between Washington City and the army of General Pope, and to break up his railroad communication with the Federal capital. Taking the route by Amissville, crossing Hedgeman River, one of the tributaries of the Rappahannock, at Henson's Mill, and moving via Orlean, we reached the vicinity of Salem, after a severe day's march, and bivouacked there for the night.

On the next day, (twenty-sixth,) the march was continued, diverging to the right at Salem, crossing the Bull Run Mountain through Thoroughfare Gap, and, passing Gainesville, we reached Bristoe Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad after sunset.

At Gainesville, I was joined by General Stuart, who, after leaving the vicinity of Waterloo Bridge, about two o'clock A. M., had, by a rapid march, come up in time to render all useful assistance. He kept upon my right flank during the residue of the day. My command was now in rear of General Pope's army, separating it from the Federal capital and its base of supply. As we approached Bristoe Station, the sound of cars coming from the direction of Warrenton Junction was heard, and General Ewell divided his force so as to take simultaneous possession of the two points of the railroad. Colonel Munford, with the Second Virginia cavalry, cooperated in this movement. Two trains of cars and some prisoners were captured, the largest portion of the small Federal force at that point making its escape. Learning that the enemy had collected at Manassas Junction, a station about seven miles distant, stores of great value, I deemed it important that no time should be lost in securing them. Notwithstanding the darkness of the night, and the fatiguing march, which would, since dawn, be over thirty miles, before reaching the Junction, Brigadier-General Trimble volunteered to proceed there forthwith, with the Twenty-first North Carolina, (Lieutenant-Colonel Fulton commanding,) and the Twenty-first Georgia, (Major Glover commanding,) in all about five hundred men, and capture the place. I accepted the gallant offer, and gave him orders to move without delay. In order to increase the prospect of success, Major-General Stuart, with a portion of his cavalry, was subsequently directed to move forward, and, as the ranking officer, to take command of the expedition. The duty was cheerfully undertaken by all who were assigned to it, and most promptly and successfully executed. Notwithstanding the Federal fire of musketry and artillery, our infantry dispersed the troops placed there for the defence of the place, and captured eight guns, with seventy-two horses, equipments and ammunition complete, immense supplies of commissary and quartermaster stores, upward of two hundred new tents; and General Trimble also reports the capture of over three hundred prisoners, and one hundred and seventy-five horses, exclusive of those belonging to the artillery, besides recovering over two hundred negroes. The next morning, the divisions under command of Generals Hill and Taliaferro moved to Manassas Junction, the division of General Ewell ramaining at Bristoe Station. About a mile before reaching the Junction, Colonel Baylor encountered and dispersed a regiment of Federal cavalry. Soon after the advance of the troops from Bristoe Station reached the Junction, they were fired upon by a distant battery of the enemy posted in the direction of the battle-field of Manassas. This artillery was soon driven off, and retreated in the direction of Centreville. Soon after, a considerable body of Federal infantry, under Brigadier-General Taylor, of New Jersey, came in sight, having, it is believed, that morning left Alexandria in the cars, and boldly pushed forward to recover the position and stores which had been lost the previous night. The advance was made


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)
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.
24th (2)
25th (1)
22nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: