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[248] and forwarded to the army by railroad. The line of supply was therefore parallel, and not perpendicular to his front. This formation is called in technical language forming front to a flank.

The infantry outposts did not extend to within several miles of the river. For a considerable distance on his right, therefore, McClellan's communications were not covered by his infantry. I learned from citizens that the only protection to the railroad was a thin veil of cavalry. Of course, if there were no infantry there would be no fortifications about there.

I saw now that I had discovered McClellan's vulnerable point—the heel of Achilles, and hastened to give Stuart the information. It was a hot day in June; I found him sitting out in the front yard in the shade. All were in high glee; news had just come that Jackson had defeated Fremont and Shields at Cross Keys and Port Republic. Being worn out by a long ride, I laid down on the grass and related to Stuart what I had learned, and told him he could strike a heavy blow at McClellan's communications. After I had finished, he said, ‘Write down what you have said,’ and called to a courier to get his horse ready. I went to the adjutant's office and wrote down what I had told him, but thinking he only wanted it as a memorandum, did not sign it. It was addressed to no one. When I returned, an orderly with two horses was standing ready for them to mount. Stuart read the paper, and told me I had not signed it. So I went back to the office and put my signature to it. He went off at a gallop, followed by the courier. They rode to General Lee's headquarters, a few miles off, and returned in the afternoon. General Lee's orders authorizing the Pamunkey expedition is dated June 11th, the day after my return. Stuart's quick penetration saw the opportunity and instantly seized it. Orders were immediately issued to get ready to march. Activity now succeeded inaction in the cavalry camps. On the 12th we started with about 1,200 cavalry and two pieces of artillery, and, marching through Richmond, moved in a northerly direction on the Brooke road. I rode that day with the old company to which I had belonged when I left Abingdon in the beginning of the war. I knew where we were going, but said nothing. The cavalry headquarters were left in charge of the adjutant. I was present when Stuart told him goodby. The adjutant asked him how long he would be gone. There was a poetic vein in Stuart, as there is in most men of heroic temperament. His answer was ‘It may be for years and it may be forever,’ which suggested the parting from Erin and Kathleen Mavourneen.

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