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[563] two regiments of that brigade — viz: the Second North Carolina and the Tenth Virginia--being on detached duty) to contend, as best he could, with Stoneman's cavalry, numbering, by the return of April 30, 1863, an aggregate present for duty of 13,398, or “actually available for the line of battle,” 11,079--and which force all crossed the river with Stoneman, except three regiments under Pleasanton, which were retained by Hooker for service with his army. Fitz. Lee's brigade alone accompanied Stuart. It crossed the Rapidan at Raccoon ford on the night of the 29th April, and moved down the Plank road towards Chancellorsville. Couriers were sent to Germanna and Ely's fords to notify the Confederate pickets of the enemy's approach. These couriers were captured, and hence the notice was not received by them. By the good management of Captain Collins, of the cavalry, the enemy's advance was checked for some time at Germanna, and his wagons and implements saved — for he was fortifying it — though some of his men were captured. At Wilderness tavern, the intersection of Stuart's route with the road from Germanna, the marching column was again met, attacked and delayed. The Third Virginia cavalry was then in its front to check its march; but hearing that Meade, via Ely's ford, had already reached Chancellorsville, the march of the cavalry was directed to Todd's tavern, which was reached on the night of the 30th. Stuart, with his staff, then proceeded towards Fredericksburg, to report in person to General Lee, but had not gone a mile before he was confronted by the enemy's cavalry. He sent back for a regiment. The Fifth Virginia was sent, which attacked and routed the force in his front. Another body of the Federal cavalry then came up in rear of the Fifth, to whose assistance the remainder of Fitz. Lee's brigade marched; when, by a series of charges in the bright moonlight of that night, the enemy were defeated and scattered. This force proved to be the Sixth New York cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel McVicar, who was returning from a reconnoissance made from Chancellorsville towards Spotsylvania Courthouse, and whose gallant commander was killed, for I know well he rode at the head of his men.

The Third and Fourth cavalry were placed on General Lee's right flank, as he was moving on Chancellorsville; the First, Second and Fifth Virginia on his left, and these five regiments, with a portion of the Fifteenth Virginia, did duty for the Army of Northern Virginia.

Military critics, in charging that Stuart was not in Hooker's front

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J. E. B. Stuart (4)
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