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Report of Major-General Stuart of operations from the advance of the army till it reached the Rappahannock.

headquarters cavalry division, army of Northern Virginia, February 5, 1863.
Brigadier-General R. H. Chilton, Assistant Adjutant and Inspector-General, Army of Northern Virginia:
General: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command during the period of the army's advance to the Rappahannock, in August last:

My command, at that time, consisted of Hampton's brigade, left on observation on the Charles City border, where the enemy's demonstrations left us in some doubt about his intentions; Fitz Lee's brigade, at Hanover Court-House, (where also were my headquarters,) and a battery of horse artillery to each. On the sixteenth of August, 1862, in pursuance of the commanding General's (R. E. Lee) secret instructions, I put this brigade on the march for the vicinity of Raccoon Ford, near which point the army under his command was rapidly concentrating. General Fitzhugh Lee was directed by me to proceed the next day from near Davenport's Bridge, opposite Beaver Dam, across to the vicinity of Raccoon Ford, where I promised to join him on that evening, (seventeenth.) I proceeded, on the cars, directly to the commanding General, whom I found near Orange Court-House. My command was now augmented by the addition of another brigade, Robertson's, and it was intended to concentrate the bulk of this force near Raccoon Ford, cross, and attack the enemy's communications in rear of Culpeper Court-House, simultaneously with a blow by the main body in front. I rode down to Verdiersville, a point on the plank road, opposite Raccoon Ford, where I expected confidently to meet Lee's brigade that evening. I found no one there, except the few inhabitants, who had heard nothing of the brigade. It was night; but as it was highly important to communicate with Lee's brigade, with a view to crossing the next day, I sent my Adjutant-General, Major Fitzhugh, on the road on which General F. Lee was to have marched, to look for him, remaining myself at Verdiersville. At early dawn, next morning, I was aroused from the porch where I lay, by the noise of horsemen and wagons, and walking out bareheaded to the fence near by found that they were coming from the very direction indicated for General F. Lee. I was not left long in this delusion, however, for two officers, Captain Mosby and Lieutenant Gibson, whom I sent to ascertain the truth, were fired upon and rapidly pursued. I had barely time to leap upon my horse, just as I was, and, with Major Von Borcke and Lieutenant Dabney, of my staff, escaped by leaping a high fence. The Major, who took the road, was fired at as long as in sight, but none of us were hurt. There was no assistance for ten miles. Having stopped at the nearest woods, I observed the party approach and leave in great haste, but not without my hat and the cloak which had formed my bed. Major Fitzhugh, in his searches for General Lee, was caught by this party, and borne off as a prisoner of war. General Lee's brigade did not arrive till the night of the eighteenth, a day behind time. Not appreciating the necessity of punctuality in this instance, he changed his course after leaving me, and turned back by Louisa Court-House, following his wagons, which I had directed him to send by that point for provisions, &c. By this failure to comply with instructions, not only the movement of the cavalry across the Rapidan was postponed a day, but a fine opportunity lost to overhaul a body of the enemy's cavalry on a predatory excursion far beyond their lines. By the great detour made by this brigade it was not in condition to move on the nineteenth upon a forced march to the enemy's rear; but, in accordance with instructions from the commanding General, a copy of which, marked A, accompanies this report, the nineteenth was devoted to rest and preparation, moving down for bivouac near Mitchell's Ford late in the evening. During the day the order of battle, marked C, and subsequent instructions, marked B, were received from the commanding General, from which, it seemed, the enemy had escaped attack. At moonrise, on the twentieth, about four A. M., General Lee's and Robertson's brigades were moved across the Rapidan at two adjacent fords, and pushed rapidly forward — Lee's directly by Madden, in pursuit of the enemy in the direction of Kelley's and Ely's Fords, on the Rappahannock, and Robertson's, which I accompanied, via Stevensburg, (a village four miles east of Culpeper Court-House,) toward Brandy Station. Brigadier-General Fitzhugh Lee, whose written report has not been furnished, found the enemy's rear near Kelley's Ford, and, by vigorous attack, secured several prisoners and a cavalry color. One of Robertson's regiments, with the artillery of his brigade, had been, by my direction, left on the upper Rapidan. Colonel T. T. Munford, who commanded that regiment, was ordered to keep on the left of Jackson's wing, and keep pace with its movements. Robertson's brigade encountered the enemy first, between Stevensburg and Brandy, the immense dust raised preventing our movement being conducted with secrecy. Colonel Wm. E. Jones, (Seventh Virginia cavalry,) being in advance, captured a party of the enemy's cavalry, but was kept at bay for some time by the enemy occupying a wood near Brandy; but having received a fresh supply of ammunition, pushed boldly forward this regiment by the road, General Robertson, with his main body, Sixth, Twelfth, and Seventeenth Virginia cavalry, keeping, by my direction, to the left, so as to sweep across the open country toward Barbour's, and flank the enemy's position. The enemy's force engaging us appeared to be cavalry only, and gave way gradually along the road toward Rappahannock Station; but, about midway between Brandy and Rappahannock, made a determined stand, in solid columns of squadrons, on the ridge, with skirmishers, mounted, deployed to the front,

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