From the Rapidan to Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Report of General R. S. Ewell.
Colonel,—When General Grant crossed the Rapidan, R. D. Johnston's North Carolina brigade, of Rodes' division, was at Hanover Junction; the Twenty-first Georgia, of Doles' brigade, same division, and Hoke's brigade, of Early's division, were in North Carolina. About 13,500 effective infantry and two thousand artillery were present. By order of General Lee, his corps and division commanders met him on Monday, 2d of May, 1864, at the Signal Station on Clark's Mountain. He then gave it as his opinion that the enemy would cross by some of the fords below us, as Germania or Ely's. They began to do so next day. About noon of the 4th we moved from our camps on the Rapidan towards Locust Grove, on the old turnpike from Orange Courthouse to Fredericksburg. Johnston's division and Nelson's battalion of artillery bivouacked two miles south of Locust Grove; Rodes just behind them, and Early at Locust Grove. The artillery was close behind Early. Ramseur's brigade, of Rodes' division, with three regiments from each of the other divisions, was left on picket. Next morning I moved down the pike, sending the First North Carolina cavalry, which I found in my front, on a road that turned to the left towards Germania Ford. About 8 A. M. I sent Major Campbell Brown, of my staff, to General Lee to report my position. In reply, he instructed me to regulate my march by General A. P. Hill, whose progress down the plank-road I could tell by the firing at the head of his column, and informed me that he preferred not to bring on a general engagement before General Longstreet came up. Advancing slowly with J. M. Jones' brigade, of Johnston's division, in advance, prepared for action, I came, about 11 A. M., in sight of a column of the enemy crossing the pike from Germania Ford towards the plank-road. The ‘Stonewall’ (Walker's) brigade had been sent down a left-hand road, driving in the enemy's pickets within a mile and a half of Germania Ford. Being a good deal ahead of General Hill, I halted, and again reported through LieutenantCol-onel A. S. Pendleton, of my staff, receiving substantially the same