, and a wellaimed volley, which brought down several of the fugitives.
Hour after hour passed away in anxious expectation of the combat; but though the skirmishing at times grew hotter, and the fire of the artillery more rapid, long intervals of silence again succeeded.
As usual, the hostile batteries were not chary of their ammunition; and whenever a group of officers showed itself plainly within range, it was at once greeted with a couple of shells or solid shot.
Having to ride over to Fitz Lee, who, with the greater part of his brigade, was in reserve, I met Dr J., whose acquaintance I had made during one of our raids.
He was just driving up to the General in his buggy, which, besides its hospitable inmate, contained an excellent cold dinner and a bottle of whisky for our solace.
We had scarcely, however, begun to unpack the chickens and biscuits, and the cork was still on its way through the neck of the whisky bottle, when, instead of the cluck announcing its complete extra
as to be married to Dr Fontaine, one of our comrades then acting as surgeon to Fitz Lee's brigade.
That we could accept it seemed impossible; for on the very same daone horses in less than a week.
According to the recommendation of my report, Fitz Lee's brigade, which for months had been having a comparatively good time, was at to treat us in this way. That gentleman there (pointing to me) is the great General Lee himself; the other one is the French ambassador just arrived from Washingtonmet Stuart; and in the evening we all went by invitation to the village, where Fitz Lee's men had got up a negro-minstrel entertainment, and, with the assistance of Sn showing her gratitude for some service we had rendered her son, a private in Fitz Lee's brigade.
Culpepper Court-house is a pleasant village of several hundred with much agitation of manner, reported that the General had been engaged with Fitz Lee's brigade in a sanguinary battle against far superior numbers of the enemy, an
icturesquely bordered in the distance by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Only W. Lee's and Fitz Lee's brigades were with us. The former picketed the fords in the immediate vicinity of Culpepper, nd found there W. Lee's brigade in line of battle, and two batteries of artillery in position.
Fitz Lee's command arrived soon afterwards; and on this spot, so favourable for defence, Stuart decided o leave William Lee's brigade behind to impede as much as possible Stoneman's advance, and with Fitz Lee's command to fall again upon the enemy's flank.
By the time we reached Racoon's Ford it was ale chase altogether, when we halted, and General Stuart despatched Captain White of our Staff to Fitz Lee, with the order to send on one of his regiments as quickly as possible, and to follow slowly hiwo of these were captured by Stuart himself.
At the end of an hour's tedious ride we came upon Fitz Lee's column trotting onward to the field of action, whither the 2d Virginia had already preceded t
emy's whole forces would be defeated, and that their principal line of retreat would be in the direction of Ely's Ford, Stuart was ordered to proceed at once towards that point with a portion of his cavalry, in order to barricade the road, and as much as possible impede the retrograde movement of the enemy.
In this operation we were to be joined by a North Carolina infantry regiment, which was already on its way towards the river.
Leaving the greater part of the brigade behind us under Fitz Lee's command, we took only the 1st Virginia Cavalry with us, and, trotting rapidly along a small by-path, overtook the infantry about two miles from the ford.
Riding with Stuart a little ahead of our men, I suddenly discovered, on reaching the summit of a slight rise in the road, a large encampment in the valley to our left, not more than a quarter of a mile from where we stood, and further still, on the opposite side of the river, more camp-fires were visible, indicating the presence of a la
eries acting in concert with the infantry.
General Lee, with Anderson's and McLaws's divisions, prasses.
About half-past 10 we had news from General Lee, informing us that, having been pressing stploughing up the ground in all directions.
General Lee expressed himself much satisfied with our o now considerably exhausted our troops, and General Lee, having sent me off at about 11 o'clock A. nd early in the evening it was reported to General Lee that, after a sanguinary conflict, our troog.
By this firm and tranquil demeanour did General Lee inspire confidence and sanguine hope of sucstablished his headquarters.
Here we found General Lee and Stuart seated by a small bivouac-fire d marched the whole six triumphantly back to General Lee, by whom he was highly complimented for hisry headquarters, and presenting my prize to General Lee, he eyed me with his calm penetrating glancg and a great part of the night.
Meanwhile General Lee had determined to assault the enemy in thei
cksburg, General Stuart and his Staff started with Fitz Lee's brigade towards Spotsylvania Court-house, where in the morning calling me up to ride with him to General Lee's, whose headquarters were fixed in the old spotater we were making our way through the woods with Fitz Lee's brigade in the direction of Gordonsville.
After, a request was despatched by Governor Letcher to General Lee to have my body forwarded, and claiming the privionours of the State of Virginia.
To this demand, General Lee sent the following characteristic reply: Can't sperry talk and laughter round the camp-fires.
For General Lee his admiration and affection were alike unboundeden say, All the credit of my successes belongs to General Lee; they were his plans on which I acted, and I only executed his orders.
But General Lee knew full well how to appreciate the great military qualities of his liete corps of three divisions, commanded by Hampton, Fitz Lee, and William Lee. About the 18th of May, General L
le, where our cavalry separated into several commands, with instructions to move by different roads towards the Potomac.
Stuart, taking with him Robertson's and Fitz Lee's commands, the latter of which turned off towards Aldie, proceeded in the direction of Middleburg, which place he and his Staff, galloping ahead of the troops, crossing point of several of the principal roads, was a point of considerable strategical importance.
Early the following morning a report was received from Fitz Lee announcing an encounter with a strong body of Federal cavalry near Aldie, which had ended in the repulse of the enemy and the capture of 60 prisoners, among whomonth of February 1865.
There I was saved the grief of being an eyewitness of the rapid collapse of the Confederacy, and the downfall of a just and noble cause.
Lee's glorious army is no longer in existence: the brave men who formed it have, after innumerable sufferings and privations, bowed to the enemy's power and numbers, a