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ill, at the second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and the scores of minor engagements which marked almost every day upon the outposts. He missed the battle of Chancellorsville, greatly to his regret, having gone home, after an absence of two years, to witness the bombardment of Charleston and see his family. It was soon after his return in May that the fatal moment came which deprived the service of this eminent partisan. At the desperately contested battle of Fleetwood, in Culpeper county, on the 9th of June, 1863, he was sent by General Stuart to carry a message to Colonel Butler, of the 2d South Carolina cavalry. He had just delivered his message, and was sitting upon his horse by the Colonel, when a shell, which also wounded Butler, struck him upon the right knee and tore his leg in two at the joint. He fell from the saddle and was borne to an ambulance, where surgical assistance was promptly rendered. His wound was, however, mortal, and all saw that he was dying.
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., Major R--‘s little private scout. (search)
ajor R— determined himself to take the initiative, and see if he could not bring on a little fight, all on his private account. He would thus relieve his bosom of the perilous stuff which preyed upon his heart. It had, indeed, become absolutely necessary to his peace of mind to come into collision with his friends across the way, and he set about devising the best plan for arriving at his object. The Southern cavalry to which the Major was attached, at that time occupied the county of Culpeper, and picketed along the Rappahannock. So did the enemy's horsemen, and the Federal pickets were stationed on the southern bank at every ford. This was the case at Warrenton Springs, where a bridge, afterwards destroyed, spanned the Rappahannock; and at this point Major R— determined to bring on the little affair which had become so necessary to his happiness. He intended to combine pleasure with business by visiting some young ladies at a hospitable mansion not far from the bridge; and h