night of heavy downpour and darkness, preventing the crossing of more troops.
By morning the river was swollen past fording, and Jackson
's advance, under Early
, was isolated on the further shore.
's main body had continued to hold its position, near the railway, on the 22d, as he was unwilling to remove further from his expected reinforcements from Fredericksburg
Apprehensive of an attack from Longstreet
, he did not care to move farther to his right to intercept Jackson
's movement, concerning which he as yet had no reliable information.
still held him at bay.
On this same 22d, Lee
initiated one of the boldest of his. deceiving strategic movements.
During the forenoon he dispatched Stuart
, with the main body of his cavalry, by concealed roads behind his army, to Waterloo bridge, four miles above Warrenton Springs, held by Jackson
, and where the graded highway from Warrenton
to Little Washington crosses the Rappahannock
, with 1,500 men and two guns, crossed the river and began a rapid march for Pope
's rear, to break the railway leading to Washington
and gather information, just as he had recently done in his grand ride around McClellan
With a good road to march on, he reached Warrenton
unopposed, in the afternoon.
After halting there for a short rest, he continued eastward, by Auburn Mills, to Catlett
's station, on the Orange & Alexandria railroad, intending to destroy the bridge over Cedar creek
near that place.
The downpour that had swelled the Rappahannock
, caught Stuart
on the march, and he reached his objective in the midst of rain and darkness; but an intercepted and captured negro led him to a camp where were the headquarters wagons of General Pope
quickly captured with one of the Federal
commander's staff and his personal baggage and official papers.
His efforts to destroy the wagon trains and the railroad bridge were but partially successful, in consequence of the rain and the darkness.
He began his return march before daylight of the 23d, bringing off 300 prisoners, and recrossed the Rappahannock
in the evening of the same day, without molestation, after having taught Pope
a second lesson on the subject of rear guards, and infused an element of fear into the Federal
army as to the safety of its lines of retreat; also bringing off the captured correspondence between Pope