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[386] division up to Buckland Mills, at the crossing of Broad Run, on the south bank of which Hampton took post, under the personal direction of Stuart, who here planned a skilful manoeuvre to defeat his opponent. Kilpatrick having forced the crossing by turning the flank of Hampton, Stuart fell back slowly towards Warrenton with the view of permitting Fitz Lee's cavalry division to come up from Auburn and attack the Union cavalry in flank and rear. This plan was carried out with some success. Fitz Lee arriving just below Buckland surprised Kilpatrick's force on the flank, and Stuart, hearing Fitz Lee's guns, pressed vigorously in front with Hampton's division. A stubborn resistance was offered, but a charge au fond finally forced Kilpatrick's command to give way, and he retreated in some confusion.1 Lee retired behind the Rappahannock.

The Army of the Potomac being pushed forward as far as Warrenton, General Meade was compelled to halt there to await the repairing of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. This work, undertaken with much energy, was accomplished early in November; and on the 7th, the whole army continued the advance towards the Rappahannock in two columns. General French had command of the left wing, composed of the First, Second, and Third corps, and General Sedgwick had command of the right wing, composed of the Fifth and Sixth corps. The left column was directed to cross the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, and the right column at Rappahannock Station. Lee held position south of the Rappahannock, in the vicinity of Culpepper, with outposts at Kelly's Ford on the south bank, and at Rappahannock Station on the north bank. The Third Corps under Birney had the advance on Kelly's Ford, and on reaching that point, Birney crossed over a division by wading, without waiting for the laying of the pontonbridges, and advancing an attacking party, composed of Berdan's

1 Stuart says, ‘great confusion.’ ‘I pursued them from three miles of Warrenton to Buckland, the horses at full speed the whole distance, the enemy retreating in great confusion.’—Stuart's Report. But the reports of Custer and Kilpatrick are naturally not so frank as to avow this.

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