Interesting account of the Recent operations of Gen. Lee's army.
[Special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Army of Northern Virginia. October 24, 1863.
I purpose writing a more elaborate account of the movements of the Army of Northern Virginia than any I have seen published in the Richmond
On the evening of the 9th inst, Gen. J. R. B. Stuart
, with one division of his command, left camp, on the Rapidan
, and moved in the direction of Madison C. H. One brigade, commanded by Col. J. R. Chambliss
, of Gen. Fitz Lee
's division, was ordered by Gen. Stuart
to proceed promptly from the vicinage of Raccoon Ford
and cross the river at Peyton's Ford and picket the Robertson river
, and keep up the line of pickets unbroken until he could swing around by way, of Madison C. H. and cross the Robertson
in this neighborhood.
, leaving his bivouac early on the morning of the 10th, crossed the Robertson
above James City
, and captured a number of the enemy's cavalry.
He soon came up with the 120th New York regiment of infantry on picket at Bethesia, and ordered a charge, and came nigh capturing the entire regiment.
A few only made their escape by flying rapidly to the mountains.
Late in the evening of the same day Gen. Stuart
engaged a heavy force of the enemy's cavalry at James City
, and succeeded in repulsing it, after a pretty hot engagement.
From what your correspondent discovered of the movements of the enemy from Thoroughfare Mountain
on that evening he anticipated a sanguinary engagement to ensue early on the next morning, the 11th inst.; but for some cause during the night the enemy evacuated James City
, and retired slowly on a road leading to Culpeper C. H. A. signal message reached Gen. Stuart
apprising him that the immense camps of the enemy near Culpeper C. H. were enveloped in dense smoke, and that Gen. Meade
, with his whole army, was moving rapidly in the direction of the Rappahannock
Upon the receipt of this intelligence Gen. Stuart
, with his command, pressed rapidly to Culpeper C. H., arriving there in time to engage Meade
's rear guard, consisting of one brigade of infantry and the whole of his cavalry, commanded by Gen. Pleasanton
. Gen. Stuart
ordered a charge, which was led by Brig.-Gen. J. B. Gordon
, one of the most dashing cavaliers I know.
This charge resulted in a total rout and confusion of the enemy, which was followed up in fine style by Gen. Stuart
until be reached the crimsoned stained fields of Brandy.
There the enemy belted, and evinced a stubborn determination to hold the ground.
In the meantime Gen. Fitz Lee
, who is always a whale in a fight, was not idle.
He had been left with his command near Raccoon Ford
to check any advance of the Yankees
on the Rapidan
While this flank movement was progressing they had a severe fight with the enemy at Raccoon Ford
on the same day, and repulsed him handsomely, reaching Brandy in time to participate in the fight with General Stuart
The engagement closed shortly after twilight, leaving a large number of killed and wounded on the field.
We lost in this engagement some gallant spirits, among them Capt. Wm. B. Newton
, of the 4th Virginia.
During the night they retired, under cover of their guns, on the opposite side of the Rappahannock
, not manifesting any inclination to fight.
The next morning, at 12 o'clock, Gen. Stuart
proceeded on the Rixeyville
road to Warrenton Springs.
Before arriving at this point he came up with Gen. Gregg
's command, with a portion of it dismounted, placed in rifle pits on the slope of the heights near the river.
After skirmishing with them for some time, and failing to dislodge their sharpshooters, General Stuart
, with a squadron of the 12th Virginia regiment, led a bold and successful charge, driving the enemy pell-mell in every direction, capturing a very large number of prisoners.
It is a matter of surprise to me how Gen.
S. has escaped uninjured in this war. He is in every skirmish and battle, and his apparel has been perforated time and again by the enemy's bullets, but one has never made the slightest impression of his skin yet. He is one of the "bravest of the brave," and is a terror to the enemy.
Defeating the enemy at Warrenton Springs, Gen.
S., dashed off to Warrenton
and took the road leading to Auburn
, his object being to make a reconnaissance.
On his arrival at this point he discovered that he was cut off from all communication with Gen. R. E. Lee
, a corps of the enemy had moved up from Rappahannock bridge on the Auburn
road, placing itself between Gen. Lee
and himself.-- Gen.
S. succeeded in sending some of his couriers through the enemy's lines, thereby enabling him to apprise.
of his position and what was transpiring around him. At early dawn the next morning, the 14th instant, Gen. Ewell
moved forward with his command and attacked this corps and soon repulsed it. Gen Stuart
also had a pretty sharp fight with the enemy.
, with great bravery, led his old regiment, the 1st N. C., and captured a whole regiment of infantry; but a very superior force of the enemy arriving at this juncture, he was compelled to release it. In this charge, which has scarcely a parallel for gallantry and for the handsome manner in which it was executed, Gen.
G. had the heel of one of his boots shot away, and a spent ball struck him a hard blow on the side of his nose.
fell mortally wounded.
He was a fine officer, and was highly esteemed for his many noble traits of character.
After considerable skirmishing here and in the neighborhood of Bristow
the enemy fell back to Manassas
S., determined that they should not have any time to rest, followed close upon their heels to this old battle ground.
He fought them here with the same success that he had on other fields, driving them across Bull Run
In speaking of individual heroism, I cannot fail to mention the name of Capt. T. W. Haines
, commanding company H. 9th Virginia cavalry, who was severely wounded at Manassas
while gallantly leading his sharp shooters.
His loss is deeply regretted by his command.
The defeat of Gen. Kilpatrick
at New Baltimore by Gen. Stuart
was of the most complete character.
early on the morning of the 19th, and walloped him severely, driving him ten miles or more, capturing two hundred and fifty prisoners; also, a large number of ambulances and wagons, filled with hospital stores, together with three large field desks containing all the official papers at Gen. Custer
's headquarters Gen. Fitz Lee
participated in this battle, and deserves much praise for his gallantry.
An incident that I must not fail to chronicle took place on the arrival of our cavalry at Hazel river
This stream was very much swollen by heavy ralus; several ambulances containing the wounded broke down in the river, and the drivers found it impossible to get them out without aid. Dr. J. B. Fontaine
observing, the dilemma of the wounded dismounted and plunged into the stream up to his neck; he was soon followed by Gen. Stuart
and others, and with great exertions they succeeded in getting all the wounded across safe.
was in the river for an hour or more, and did not hesitate to put his shoulder to the wheel in getting his ambulances and artillery across the Hazel
Everything is quiet here at present.
I am inclined to think that the fail campaign will soon close in Virginia
Then, perhaps, our army will go into comfortable quarters.
You may expect to hear from me again soon.