Fighting on the Rapidan.
full particulars of Friday's fight — capture of an Ordnance train — capture of a train of cars by Mosby
— the two armies in line of battle.
[from our own correspondent.]
Army of Northern Virginia. Near Orange C. H.
, Nov. 27, 1863.
There was cannonading for several hours yesterday in the direction of the lower fords on the Rapidan
, to wit: at Raccoon
, Morton's, and Summerville fords
At these points it is understood that the enemy made demonstrations as if intending to cross.
It is now believed that this was a feint, whilst his true purpose has been to cross in force at Ely's and Germanna fords, which it is now believed they accomplished last night.
This morning everything is astir, and it is generally supposed that a fight is imminent, and that it will occur somewhere in the vicinity of the old Chancellorsville
Our troops are in fine condition, and you may rely upon it will give a good account of themselves.
Some cannonading has been heard from below this morning.
The Yankee army is believed to have been largely augmented.
Army of Northern Virginia, Nov. 28, 1863.
The enemy have at last undertaken an advance, in good faith, I suppose, and the result has been a collision about eighteen miles below here, on the turnpike and plank road leading to Fredericksburg
The enemy began his forward move on Wednesday last.
He started on this campaign with eight days
rations, which, according to computation, will give out on Wednesday next.
The enemy have their force largely strengthened by the return of the troops sent to New York to enforce the draft and those sent to Pennsylvania
to influence the elections, besides those drawn from the fortifications at Washington
As early as Wednesday last it was evident that there was some move on hand with the Yankee
On Thursday morning demonstrations were made at Morton's, Sommerville, and Raccoon fords
, but these were merely made to divert our attention while their forces effected crossings almost unopposed (for we had only cavalry picket, at the lower fords) at Jack's, Germanna, and Ely's fords.
So soon as the enemy had crossed his whole force, he turned the heads of his columns up the river towards Orange C. H.
The true purpose of the enemy was developed on Thursday evening, at which time they commenced to cross the river, and by Friday morning they had thrown over their whole army at the points designated.
On Friday morning a good port of our army, which had been lying around Orange C. H.
, moved down the plank road, and it at once became evident that a battle would be fought somewhere between Orange C. H.
, and most probably in the vicinity of the Chancellors ville battle-ground.
On Friday, about 10 o'clock, skirmishers from Johnson
's division, which was the head of Ewell
's column, came up with the enemy, who were advancing up the road leading from the Fredericksburg turnpike
to Raccoon ford
, about a mile below Burtley's mill, in Spotsylvania county
, some eighteen miles below Orange C. H.
, and some twenty-two miles above Fredericksburg
, and about twelve miles above the Chancellorsville
brigade, under Gen. Hufford
, first became engaged, and afterwards the whole division of Gen. E. Johnson
, consisting of the Stonewall brigade, under Gen. Walker
, Gen. G. H. Stuart
's brigade, and Gen. J. M. Jones
's brigade, took part in the battle.
The force of the enemy engaged consisted of French's and Birney
Skirmishing began about ten o'clock in the morning, and was kept up quite briskly until about three in the evening, when the whole line of this division became engaged, and from this time until night there was quite a severe and brisk fight.--During the fight we drove the enemy, who were the attacking party, back full a mile, capturing a few prisoners.
The fight was altogether an infantry affair.
Little or no artillery was brought into action on our side — we could get but two pieces into position.
The enemy, it is said, fired only twice with their artillery.
Our loss will be fully five hundred in killed and wounded.
Early's and Rodes
's divisions also had lines of skirmishers out, which were slightly engaged, but the principal fighting was done by Johnson
It is also said that Heth
's division, of Hills corps, was engaged for a while in skirmishing on another part of the line, but with tiffing damage.
Of the loss of the enemy I am not advice, but I am now disposed to doubt if it was as heavy as our own. They fought, I am told, quite well, and fired more accurately than usual.
There was no fighting to-day, save some slight skirmishing.
Our line of battle reaches from the Rapidan
across some six or seven miles, in a line running at right angles with the river.
Our army faced down the plank-road towards Fredericksburg
, and the enemy's line was formed facing up the plank-road, with its back towards Fredericksburg
. --Among the casualties on our side are Lt.-Col. Walton
, 23d Va., killed; Gen. J. M. Jones
, slightly wounded in head; Lt.-Col. Coleston
, 2d Va., leg amputated; Major Terry
, 4th Va., slightly wounded; Lt.-Col. Brown
, 1st N. C., slightly wounded; Capt. Boyce
, 1st N. C. cavalry, wounded in heel; Capt. Preston
, slightly wounded; Col. Nelligan
, 1st La., severely wounded in shoulder; Lt. Joyce
, 1st La., slightly in arm; Capt. Merrick
, Gen. Hafford
's Staff, severely in face; Capt. McClellan
, 1st L., in arm; Lt. Gooding
, 15th La., severely in leg; Capt. Knowlton
, 10th La., severely in leg; Lt. Suare
, 10th La., severely in breast; Adj't Kenna
, 1st La., killed; Lt. Cotton
, 2d reg't, killed.
The color-bearer of the 1st La. was killed.
I could not learn his name, but he is the same who was captured at Gettysburg
, and put his colors under his shirt, and thus saved them, and afterwards escaped.
The country where the fighting occurred is densely wooded, and similar in every respect to the country about Chancellorsville
, it being, indeed, but a continuation of that description of country.
During the fight Gen. Ed. Johnson
had a horse shot under him, and Gen. Stuart
was slightly wounded, but soon resumed command.
There was, also, some cavalry fighting at the upper fords on Friday, but it did not amount, I think, to much.
The wounded began to arrive here yesterday evening, and were being sent off all night last night to Gordonsville
, where they will be properly cared for, it being impossible to provide for them here.
You have, of course, heard of Gen. Rosser
capturing seventy wagons near Wilderness Tavern, fifteen miles above Fredericksburg
and five above Chancellorsville
, in rear of the enemy's lines.
He destroyed fifty, brought off twenty, besides one hundred and fifty mules, and same number of prisoners.
Sunday Morning,Nov. 29--11 A. M.
There was a little skirmishing yesterday, but it did not amount to anything.
Both armies are in line of battle.
The rain yesterday doubtless interfered with the fighting.
It is cloudy this morning, but not raining.
There has been no cannonading, but parties from the front give it as their opinion that a battle will occur to-day or to-morrow.
, who has been absent from the army for two weeks or more, passed Orange C. H.
this morning on his way to the army to resume command of his corps, much improved, I am glad to hear, in health.
and his hand came upon the rear of Meade
's wagon train, near Brandy Station
, just before daylight Friday morning, capturing one hundred and twelve mules and twenty prisoners. --They also destroyed between thirty and forty wagons, and came very near capturing Gen. French
, of the Yankee
's men report the line of the Orange Railroad abandoned, and think Meade
will go to Fredericksburg
The mules captured are all of the finest kind. X.