before it was seized by the Confederates
, was the second victory of Meade
in the strategic game.
withdrew and on the 19th of October Meade
began again to follow him, moving out toward Thoroughfare Gap, New Baltimore and Warrenton
, which was reached on the 22d, and a halt of over two weeks was made.
Camp was broken on the 7th of November, and an advance made to the Rappahannock River
, where Lee
was found occupying a strong position along the south side of the river and with a considerable force on the north bank, at Rappahannock Station.
The Sixth Corps arrived opposite the position at the station, and found the enemy stationed as follows:
A strong redoubt on the bluff, at the point where the railroad had crossed the river on a high bridge, was occupied by a battery and a full complement of soldiers for a garrison, a line of rifle pits extending up the river until a bend in the river interrupted it. A pontoon bridge spanned the river just above the ruins of the former bridge.
These entrenchments were occupied by the 5th, 7th and 54th North Carolina regiments and a Louisiana brigade formerly commanded by Stonewall Jackson
, and a famous New Orleans battery.
The railroad approached the river by an embankment of considerable height.
The writer stood on that embankment and watched the battle as long as it was light enough to see. The charge upon the redoubt was made before it was really dark, and the approach of the attacking brigades under the partial protection of the railroad embankment, the rapid formation of the assaulting column, the desperate conflict on the ramparts and in the fort itself transpired under his full view.
The assault on and capture of the breastworks to the left of the fort were revealed only by the flashes of the