General Averill's command consisted of the two brigades of his division, Davis's brigade of Pleasanton's division and Tiddall's battery, numbering in all about 4.000 men, while opposed to him on the line from Brandy to Rappahannock Station was General W. H. F. Lee with two regiments (Ninth and Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry) with one gun. General Lee with his small force fell back before Averell's advance, one squadron only being kept near the enemy to retard his progress, until the Rapidan was crossed, when he disposed his his men and one gun above the ford near the station, to give battle if the attempt was made to cross. The approach of the enemy was announced by the discharge of his cannon, as also by a feeble attempt to cross a ford a mile or two above the station. The day following, General Lee according to his own report, was engaged all day with one or two brigades of cavalry. One charge was made by Colonel Beale with one squadron to draw them out, took 30 prisoners, but could not bring them off; were pressed very hard. The charge thus sententiously started by General Lee was made for the purpose of developing the enemy's strength, and was made by a rapid trot to the river and dash through it, under the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, who were forced back on their main line a half mile or more distant. Nothing but the temporary confusion and surprise caused by the suddenness of this dash permitted the squadron to wheel and retreat successfully. Two men of the 9th Regiment, M. U. F. and J. C. Wright, (brothers) borne too far by the impetuosity of their charge, or overtaken in retreating, were made prisoners, and the younger one was basely shot and severely wounded after his surrender. The elder of the two, M. U. F., was taken into the presence of General Averell, who questioned him closely as to the troops opposed to him, their number, etc. Wright replied to the inquiries that there was no cavalry in front of him except W. H. F. Lee's brigade, but that the trains had been hurrying down all the morning from Gordonsville crowded with infantry and artillery. Precisely what effect this answer had on the mind of General Averell, cannot be definitely stated. All the circumstances seem to indicate that it had great weight, for no attempt was made to push his command farther. At 6:30 P. M. that day, the day of the Chancellorsville battle, General Hooker sent a dispatch to Averell, through Captain
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The battlefields of Virginia .
The address of Hon. John Lamb .
Historical memorial of the Charlotte Cavalry .
Some war history never published.
Mr. Davis 's Version of it.
Yankee gunboat Smith Briggs. from the Times-dispatch, March 18 , 1906 , and July 15 , 1906 .
First battle of Manassas .
Mrs. Eggleston 's address.
William Smith , Governor of Virginia , and Major-General C. S. Army , hero and patriot.
Fellow-citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia .
Roll of brave men.
List of Virginia chaplains, Army of Northern Virginia .
Location of the guns.
The Berkeley brothers from the Richmond News-leader, January 21 , 1907 .
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