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The cavalry fight in Culpeper — further particulars.

The fight which took place in Culpeper county, on Tuesday, was upon a much more extended scale than the first reports received seemed to indicate. According to the telegram of Gen. Lee to Gen. Cooper, it commenced at 5 o'clock in the morning and lasted till 5 in the afternoon. The reports brought to the city by passengers on the Central train yesterday evening, are more than usually conflicting, and it is exceedingly difficult from them to arrive at anything approaching accuracy, as to the attack of the enemy, the loss sustained on either side, or the locality and duration of the fight. All seemed to concur in the opinion, however, that our forces were surprised, and did not know of the presence of the enemy until reports of his artillery were heard. This would hardly seem probable, but there is a singular concurrence of testimony to that effect.

As well as we can judge from these confused reports, the fight occurred on the farm of James Barbour, Esq., near Brandy Station, and about six miles North of Culpeper C. H. There can be no doubt that the ball was opened by the enemy, who made the attack a little after daylight in the morning. When they first opened their batteries they were in rear of the headquarters of Gen. Stuart, which they shelled furiously. As a matter of course the camp was thrown into some confusion; but, under the lead of gallant and efficient officers the men rallied and prepared themselves for the conflict.

At the first charge of the enemy's cavalry a number of our men were made prisoners. Some accounts state that we lost seven hundred in this way, whilst others assert that our loss in prisoners will not exceed three hundred, and that these were principally of the 9th Virginia cavalry. Our loss in killed and wounded is variously estimated, and those who bring reports from points near the battlefield assume a wide range in stating the number. We have heard our loss in this respect estimated as low as sixty and as high as six hundred. From this fact the reader may form some idea of the difficulty of getting up anything approximating an accurate report of the battle.

After our troops rallied, a charge was made by our cavalry upon the Yankee battery in rear of Gen. Stuart's headquarters, and they succeeded in capturing and bringing off three of the six pieces the enemy had engaged.--For some time the cavalry fighting between the contending forces was very severe, and the loss on both sides heavy. Our loss in officers was, as usual, very considerable. Among those killed we have heard the names of Col. Hampton, brother of Gen. Wade Hampton, of Hampton's Legion; Col. John S. Green, of Rappahannock county, and Col. Solomon Williams, of the 18th North Carolina regiment. The latter was married only one week ago. Among the wounded, we have heard of Col. Lee, son of Gen. R. E. Lee, who was shot through the thigh, and Col. Butler, of South Carolina, who is reported to have lost a leg.

We had only cavalry and artillery engaged in the fight, the enemy having retired before our infantry came up. In their charge upon the enemy's battery, our cavalry was subjected to a severe infantry fire from several regiments of the enemy who were supporting the battery. In this charge our loss is represented to have been pretty severe.

We were unable to learn what particular forces we had in the fight. One gentleman reported that the active fighting was done by Hampton's Legion, a North Carolina regiment of cavalry, commanded by Col. Williams, and the 4th and 5th Virginia cavalry, but that the brigade of Gen. Jones, lately from the Valley, was also engaged.

After our men recovered from their surprise, we gained a favorable position, which was held throughout the day, although repeated at tempts were made by the enemy to dislodge our forces. About the time our infantry arrived the enemy gave way, and pursuit was made by our cavalry, and some three or four hundred prisoners taken. This was late in the afternoon, and when, perhaps, our cavalry was too much exhausted by the incessant fighting of the day fully to follow up the advantage gained.

From the meagre accounts we already have we are led to conclude that the fight of Tuesday was one of the heaviest cavalry battles that has occurred during the war, and perhaps the severest ever fought in this country. We fear that our loss may turn out to be much larger than is generally supposed.

We append the dispatch of Gen. Lee to Gen. Cooper, which furnishes the best idea as to the length of time the fighting continued:

Culpeper, June 9, 1863.
To General S. Cooper:
The enemy crossed the Rappahannock this morning at 5 o'clock A. M., at the various fords from Beverly to Kelly's, with a large force of cavalry, accompanied by infantry and artillery. After a severe contest till 5 P. M., Gen. Stuart drove them across the river.

Another account which we received late last night from an officer who took part in the battle represents that we lost not less than seven Colonel in the engagement. The same authority states that a regiment of our cavalry was dismounted and thrown forward as sharpshooters to operate against the artillery of the enemy, and pick off their gunners. This force was charged by a largely superior force of the enemy, and, being without bayonets with which to meet the charge, they fired and then retreated. In the retreat a large number were cut off, and many of them made prisoners. The regiment consisted of nearly seven hundred men. The horses of the dismounted men were stampeded by the shells of the enemy, and many of them had not been recovered at last accounts. It is stated that our loss in horses will reach from 500 to 600.

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R. E. Lee (5)
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