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[251] our lines south of the Rapidan. General Stuart, with Hampton's division, moved on the right of the column. With a portion of his command he attacked the advance of the enemy near James City on the 10th, and drove them back towards Culpeper. Our main body arrived near that place on the 11th instant and discovered that the enemy had retreated towards the Rappahannock, removing or destroying his stores. We were compelled to halt during the rest of the day to provision the troops, but the cavalry, under General Stuart, continued to press the enemy's rear guard towards the Rappahannock. A large force of Federal cavalry in the meantime had crossed the Rapidan after our movement began, but was repulsed by General Fitz. Lee and pursued towards Brandy station. Near that place the commands of Stuart and Lee united on the afternoon of the 11th, and after a severe engagement drove the enemy's cavalry across the Rappahannock with heavy loss. On the morning of the 12th the army marched in two columns, with the design of reaching the Orange and Alexandria railroad north of the river and intercepting the retreat of the enemy. After a skirmish with some of the Federal cavalry at Jeffersonton we reached the Rappahannock at Warrenton Springs in the afternoon, where the passage of the river was disputed by cavalry and artillery. The enemy was quickly driven off by a detachment of our cavalry, aided by a small force of infantry and a battery. Early next morning (13th) the march was resumed, and the two columns reunited at Warrenton in the afternoon, where another halt was made to supply the troops with provisions. The enemy fell back rapidly along the line of the railroad, and early on the 14th the pursuit was. continued, a portion of the army moving by way of New Baltimore towards Bristoe station 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, 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,


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