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 march to Richmond, that at the very time that he was thundering on McClellan's flank at Cold Harbor, Banks was fortifying at Strasburg against an expected attack from him. I well remember how profoundly ignorant the men, and even the higher officers, on the march were as to our destination. At Charlottesville we expected to march into Madison county to meet a reported move of Banks' across the mountains. At Gordonsville the Presbyterian pastor, Rev. Dr. Ewing, told me, as a profoud secret, which he had ‘gotten from headquarters,’ that we would move at daylight next morning towards Orange Courthouse and Culpeper to threaten ‘Washington.’ We did ‘move at daylight’ (we generally did), but it was towards Louisa Courthouse. There and at Frederick's Hall and at Hanover Junction we expected to move on Fredericksburg to meet McDowell, and it was really only when we heard A. P. Hill's guns at Mechanicsville, on the evening of June 26th, that we took in the full situation, and there rang along our moving columns for miles shouts of anticipated victory, as the Foot Cavalry hurried forward ‘to take their place in the picture near the flashing of the guns.’ The evening that Jackson spent at Frederick's Hall, Mrs. Harris sent him an invitation to take breakfast with her the next morning, and he courteously thanked her and said, ‘If I can, I will be happy to do so.’ But when the good lady sent to summon him to breakfast, his famous body servant Jim met the messenger with a look of astonishment and said, ‘Lor, you surely didn't spec to find the General here at dis hour, did you? You don't know him, den. Why, he left here at 1 o'clock dis morning, and I spec he is whipping de Yankees in de Valley agin by now.’ The truth is, he had ridden into Richmond, a distance of fifty miles, to have an interview with President Davis and General Lee, and receive his final instructions as to the part he was to take in the great battle that was impending, and he did it so secretly that the army knew nothing of his absence, and Richmond nothing of his presence within her walls. It was on this ride that a characteristic incident occurred. Before day Mr. Mathew Hope, a respected citizen living in the lower part of Louisa county, was awakened by the clatter of horses' hoofs in front of his house. Asking ‘Who is there?’ he received for an answer: ‘Two Confederate officers who are on important business, and want two fresh horses to ride into Richmond. Have you two good horses?’
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