They cleared this like deer, and moved to the northwest.
The rifled guns returned to Martinsburg
, and the regiment remained in the orchard, but it was two days before all those race-horses found their way back to the regiment.
Blooded horses proved unfit for the service; they fretted and exhausted themselves on a quiet march, and proved to be unmanageable in field engagements.
June, 1863, witnessed the most spectacular tournament in which the cavalry of the opposing armies in Virginia
The Army of Northern Virginia was entering upon the campaign that was to culminate in the three days battle of Gettysburg
, and the entire cavalry force had been assembled for review, at Brandy Station
. General Pleasonton
, commander of the Union
Cavalry Corps, wished to cross the Rappahannock
to ascertain the disposition of General Lee
Two fords led across the river in that vicinity, Beverly
's, and these were promptly approached by the inquisitive Northerners.
The second and third divisions of cavalry and a brigade of infantry were ordered to cross at Kelly's Ford
; the first cavalry division, with another brigade of infantry, was ordered to cross at Beverly Ford.
Several batteries of artillery accompanied each column, and never were batteries more gallantly served or skilfully commanded.
On the morning of the 9th of June, the Eighth New York Cavalry crossed at Beverly Ford.
One company of the Sixth Virginia, under Captain Gibson
, formed the picket at this point.
's headquarters had been on Fleetwood Hill
from which, however, he had, luckily, removed his baggage at an early hour.
's force of Federal cavalry which crossed at Beverly Ford was, in the opinion of all of us, quite enough to satisfy the wishes of reasonable men, and Stuart
had not reckoned on a further assault on his rear.
But General Gregg
, with another division of Federal cavalry, crossed at Kelly's Ford
, and thus had Fleetwood Hill
, which was the key to the situation between the two hostile forces.