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[96] moved on to Carlisle, which was held by a considerable body of militia. During the night of July 1st, he learned through dispatches from General Lee, that the army was at Gettysburg, and had been engaged on that day.

The late Judge James D. Watters, of the Third Judicial Circuit of the State of Maryland, then in Harry Gilmor's command, has related to the writer more than once, his thrilling experience connected with carrying these dispatches. He was ordered to report with a small squad of well mounted men at General Lee's headquarters. Each man of the squad received sealed orders, addressed to General Stuart, with the injunction to scatter and find Stuart at the earliest moment possible, and if there was danger of capture, destroy the dispatches, but reach Stuart at any hazard and direct him to join General Lee with the least possible delay. Stuart according to the narrative, was found and the dispatches delivered. With a brief rest for the messengers, and with orders for the command to follow, Stuart set out in hot haste for Lee's headquarters.

The larger part of Stuart's forces reached the army during the day of the 2nd, in time, he says, to thwart a movement of the enemy's cavalry upon the Confederate rear, from the direction of Hunterstown. His ammunition, he says, was nearly exhausted from his numerous skirmishes, and his men and horses greatly jaded. During the previous marches, he said, whole regiments slept in the saddle, their faithful animals keeping the road unguided. In some instances they fell from their horses, overcome with physical fatigue and sleepiness.

Stuart, however, did not forfeit the confidence of Lee, as will appear by the cordial correspondence between them after the battle, on the retreat to the Potomac, where Stuart was again in his element and rendered most valuable service. In one of these letters, signed by General Lee, he says, ‘I know it to be a difficult, as well as a delicate operation, to cover this army, and then withdraw your command with safety, but I rely upon your good judgment, energy and boldness to accomplish it, and trust you may be as successful as you have been on former occasions.’

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