Army Correspondence the fight in Culpeper
— another crossing by the Yankees
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch]
Friday night last a force of the enemy's cavalry, estimated at three brigades, crossed, or were reported to be crossing, the Rappahannock
at Kelly's Ford
's cavalry brigade were on picket at the time, their line extending from Kelly
's to Beverly's Ford.--By morning the entire Yankee force engaged were across, and began a bold advance towards Brandy Station
Their force greatly outnumbering ours, Hampton
's brigade commenced falling back slowly, the pickets having been previously driven by the enemy back to the main body.
After falling back a mile or more, the brigade halted and checked the enemy's advance for a considerable time.
The enemy's movements were covered, in a measure, by woods, of which they availed themselves; but whenever the opportunity and ground favored, were frequently and most gallantly charged by our regiments and driven back.
The day thus passed with successive skirmishing, fighting, and charging, until between four and five o'clock P. M., when within about a mile and a half of Culpeper
two regiments of infantry from Anderson
's division — the 12th Va., of Mahone
's brigade, and the 2d Miss
, of Posey
's brigade — were thrown out as skirmishers, and advanced to the support of our cavalry.
perceiving these supports coming up, "about-faced" and "skedaddled" across an open field, or other open space of ground, in our front.
The pursuit was continued until the enemy escaped out of sight, and, it is believed, recrossed the river that night.
We had not more than one battery of artillery engaged, which poured at intervale a number of rounds of grape and cannister into the enemy's ranks with great effect.
Six or eight of our artillerymen were wounded, three of them mortally.
had at least two batteries engaged; but most of the casualties among our men were caused by their sharpshooters, their artillery on this occasion having been an ineffective auxiliary.
It is alleged that our artillery would have done greater execution but for the deficiency of rifle ammunition provided.
being yet disabled from returning to the field by his wound, the brigade, as you have probably learned, was commanded and admirably handled by Col. Baker
, of the 1st North Carolina regiment.
Our loss is, at this writing, unknown, but will probably be covered by 75 or 100 killed and wounded.
The purpose of this movement was a reconnaissance, doubtless, to feel the position of our army.
Excepting this spirited affair the period elapsed since the two armies entered the section they now occupy has been unprolific of important news that could be communicated with propriety.
have freely indulged their devilish proclivities.
Their depredations extended to the destruction of growing and harvested crops of grain, and the shooting of cattle, mules, horses, and everything of the kind — Such has been their course, it is reported, since they reinvade the State
, which, it is hoped, will be the last time.
They have rebuilt the bridge at Rappahannock Station, where the Orange and Alexandria railroad crossed the river, and are said to be running trains regularly.
Meads seems to be proceeding with great caution in his movements, so much so as not to have yet developed his designs fully.
Whenever and wherever he may decide to join the fearful issue of battle, he will find Gen Lee
on the qui vive,
as usual, and prepared to meet him. Our gallant men are now on their own soil, and well may Meads be cautious how he risked the already precarious tenure of his position.
All has been quiet since Saturday, and nothing from the enemy except a report that they have occupied Culpeper C. H. in force.
August 4th, 1863.
A body of the Yankee
cavalry crossed the river at Rixeyville
early this morning, and were repaired by the 11th Va. regiment, on picket of the time.
attacked them in the afternoon and drove them back to the river.
They had artillery planted on the other side of the river.
No further particulars yet.