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[428]

Stuart's sleepless vigilance gave Lee ample time to bring Hill from his left to Ewell on his right, and the two, advancing eastward to meet Meade, quickly found an admirable defensive line along Mine run, of the Rapidan, which flows directly northward, in a deep stream valley, crossing all the roads, and not far eastward from the right of Lee's encampments. The weather was intensely cold, but this only added to the vigor of Lee's poorly-clad veterans in fortifying their line with material from the adjacent forests and fences, warming themselves by labor and huge fires, so that when Meade appeared in their front on the 28th, they were ready to receive him in a strong line of battle, well punctuated with 150 guns, Johnson, in the meantime, holding the Third corps in engagement along the Rapidan. Finding a front attack uninviting, Meade sent Warren with his Second corps and a part of the Sixth in an effort to turn Lee's right, while Sedgwick thought he had found a weak place from which to attack Lee's left.

Warren took 26,000 men for his movement, which began early on the morning of the 30th; but when he reached the vicinity of Lee's right, he found that his coming had been anticipated, and that during the previous night the Confederates had there thrown up earth and timber works and planted artillery. Driven back with loss, he retired, and as nothing had come of Sedgwick's attempt, and the cold was increasing in intensity, Meade withdrew, in disgust, on the night of December 2d, across the Rapidan to his previous encampments in the vicinity of Brandy Station; not having had the courage, with his greatly superior and far better appointed force, to attack his staunch and ever-ready opponent.

After the Mine Run campaign, Lee's army was permitted to remain undisturbed in its cantonments in Orange county during the remainder of the winter of 1863-64, picketing 20 miles of the front of the Rapidan, from where Ewell's right rested on that river, near the mouth of Mine run, on the east to near Liberty mills, where the highway leading from Gordonsville, by way of Madison Court House, to New Market in the valley, crosses that stream on the west. The Orange & Alexandria railroad, passing between the camps, connected Lee with his base of supplies at Gordonsville, only a few miles away. Ewell established his headquarters at ‘Morton hall,’

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