HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Camp near Culpeper Court-House, November 18,1862-2 p.m.

Lieutenant General THOMAS J.JACKSON, Commanding,&c.:


Your letter of the 17th is just received.* I think there must be some mistake about the enemy's being re-enforced at Harper's Ferry, inasmuch as information from Washington states that nearly all the troops near the city have been advanced into Virginia. I fear I was said to be threatening Staunton had retired beyond at Alleghanies. I therefore have ordered the First South Carolina Cavalry and Stribling's battery to Gordonsville. I think the force there, with Imboden operating in advance, will be sufficient to protect that place, as in a short time the roads in that country will be impassable.

If the report that the enemy is returning in force to Middleburg is correct, it must be owing to your presence in the valley and the operations of the cavalry; but, in that event, it would appear that they are in great force at all points from Harper's Ferry to Fredericksburg. There must be error somewhere, and it is important to discover it. In a telegraphic

*Not found.


dispatch sent you half an hour since I have you in substance the result of my information. I will report more in detail.

The reports from our cavalry, individual scouts, and citizens, represent that the enemy has abandoned Warrenton, fallen down to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and is moving in force to Fredericksburg. Their progress and direction is confirmed by their camp-fires at night, which are said to be plainly visible. A large force was reported yesterday, in addition, at Brentsville, at Brentsville;it had come from the direction of Alexandria. The cavalry, with light artillery, reached Falmouth yesterday about 3 p.m. Their infantry were said to have reached Hartwood last night; their camp-fires distinctly visible, extending continuously back toward the railroad. An intelligent scout reports this morning that it was Sumner's corps, and that no other troops had passed up to late yesterday. The enemy's cavalry were prevented from crossing the Rappahannock last evening by our troops in Fredericksburg, nor have I yet heard of its occupation. There are in Fredericksburg a regiment of cavalry, one of infantry, and two additional companies, and two light batteries. McLaws' division marched this morning for that place; also Lee's brigade of cavalry, and Ransom's division from Madison. The rest of Longstreet's corps is prepared to move, and only awaits confirmation of intelligence.

Stuart, with his cavalry, was directed to cross the Rappahannock to-day, and endeavor to ascertain what was in our front and what movements were being made by the enemy. I presume I shall not hear from him till to-morrow; but unless you think it is advantageous for you to continue longer in the valley, or can accomplish the retention and division of the enemy's forces by so doing, I think it would be advisable to put some of your divisions in motion across the mountains, and advance them at least as Sperryville or Madison Court-House. I telegraphed you to this effect to-day. I learn that there are not transports at Alexandria; nothing but a few gunboats and tugs. I see, therefore, no preparation for the transfer of the enemy's troops south of the James River as yet; nor is there anything to develop their ultimate plan. It is possible that the may attempt to seize Winchester, Culpeper, and Fredericksburg, which would embrace their favorite strategic plan of advancing in three columns, but I think by so doing they will much expose themselves. I hope we may be able to take advantage of it.

I hope more shoes and blankets have arrived for your men, and that you will be enabled to keep them comfortable and in health.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Robert E. Lee



On the night of July 31, the enemy laid pontoon bridges at a point below Kelley's Ford and at Rappahannock Station , and crossed the river with two or three divisions of cavalry a large body of infantry . The cavalry , supported by three brigades of infantry, advanced toward Brandy Station , being retarded in their progress by Hampton's brigade of cavalry , under the command of Colonel Baker , of the First North Carolina Regiment , which fell back gradually before them to ourline of infantry , about 2 miles this side of Brandy . Our infantry skirmishers were then advanced , and drove the enemy back a mile beyond the station . Hampton's brigade behaved with its usual gallantry , and was very skillfully handled by Colonel Baker . General Stuart was in the front with the brigade the whole day . Our loss was small , , but among our wounded , I regret to say , are those brave officers , Colonel Baker , commanding the brigade , Colonel Young , of Cobb's Legion , and Colonel Black , of the First South Carolina cavalry . I am , &c. ,

R. E. LEE,

General .

Numbers 569. Report of Colonel John L. Black, First South Carolina Cavalry, of engagement at Brandy Station.

CULPEPER COUNTY, VA. , June 10, 1863.


I respectfully submit the following report relative of the movements of the regiment under my command, in the action near Brandy Station on the 9th: My regiment was formed at sunrise for the purpose of moving to a new camp. About this time, brisk firing was heard, and, being near General Stuart's headquarters, I instantly reported there, and was ordered forward on the road leading to Rappahannock Station, and halted at a point designated by Lieutenant [C. ] Dabney, of General Stuart's staff. I here found the first squadron of my regiment [Captains [M. T. ] Owen and [S. H. ] Jones] dismounted and skirmishing with the enemy on my left. This squadron had been ordered to this point on the evening of the 8th, and remained there through the night. I immediately dismounted a party of sharpshooters from the fifth squadron, and moved them forward to support this squadron, at the request of Major [C. E. ] Flournoy, commanding [Sixth] Virginia Regiment, drawn up on the right of the line; but about the time the second line came up, a report reached me that the enemy was advancing on the road from Kellys' Ford and Rappahannock Station. Communicating with Major Flournoy, I at once withdrew my second line, and moved to the right, crossing the railroad, and selecting a position at the junction of the roads leading to Kelly's and Rappahannock Station Fords, not knowing at the time that General Robertson' brigade was in front of me. Soon after I had changed position, Captain Owen, commanding my first squadron, retired from Major Flournoy's left. This was done by a misconstrued order, delivered by a courier. As the ammunition of this squadron was exhausted, I at once replaced it with my fifth squadron [Captains {Niles} Nesbitt and Fox], which retired from this position, as I am informed, by the direction of the officer in charge of this part of the line. At this time I was ordered to join General Hampton's brigade, on the north side of the railroad. Here, by direction of General Hampton, I dismounted first my fifth squadron, and deployed them as sharpshooters, under Captain J. R. P. Fox; afterward the fourth squadron, under Captains [L. J. ] Johnson and [J. S. ] Wilson, in command of their respective detachments of sharpshooter; one company of the second squadron, under Lieutenant [F. A. ] Sitgreaves, the other company of this squadron [Captain [E. ] Sharpe] having been left deployed as flankers on the extreme right. These companies deployed and moved forward steadily, and although they, with the sharpshooters from the other regiments of the brigade, were charged by the enemy's cavalry, they held their ground and charged on foot in return, and held their position until ordered by General Hampton to retire, which they did in proper order, coming out with very few rounds of ammunition in their bowes. Before my sharpshooters could remount, I moved rapidly to the left, toward Brandy, as ordered, following Colonel Young, of the Cobb Legion, to support him. This march was made in column of squadrons. As the head of the Georgia Legion was near General

page728 N. C. , V. , W. VA. , MD. , PA. , ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Stuart's headquarters, the enemy was seen approaching on my then left. Colonel Young immediately changed the head of his column to the left, and charged. A portion of the enemy's force turned to the right, along the railroad, to avoid Colonel Young's column. I immediately changed the head of my column to the half left, and ordered my first squadron to charge, and immediately after ordered the second squadron to charge, changing its direction at right angles to the direction of the first, to intercept the enemy escaping in that direction. Both squadrons charged in gallant order, as well as the second squadron, which was in rear. The companies in this charge were Captains Owen, Jones, [J. D. ] Trezevant, [T. W. ] Whatley, Sharpe, and Fox [Lieutenant [Frederick] Horsey commanding the latter, Captain Fox having previously been severely wounded]. In this charge, the first squadron was separated from the others entirely. The second and third were checked by a cut in the railroad, but the men delivered the fire of their rifles on the retreating enemy with effect. The squadrons were soon joined by the first on the hill, as a support on the left of our batteries. From this position I was ordered to rejoin General Hampton south of the railroad, and, by order, changed position several times. The fourth change of position brought my regiment into line in the ravine between General Stuart's headquarters and Brandy, on the east side of the run, my right resting on the road. Here I was directly in rear of our battery, on which the enemy were firing rapidly, and a storm of shells passed over the regiment, one exploding in the column as the regiment was coming into line, but, fortunately, inflicted little damage, though many exploded near by. I was here ordered to move to the left, to support Brigadier-General [W. H. F. ] Lee, and moved up the ravine for that purpose, and reported to Colonel Chambliss, commanding Lee's brigade, before coming into action. Here I was ordered to return to General Hampton, near Brandy, and from thence was ordered to hold the road leading from Brandy to Madden's, where I remained until ordered into camp. There were 14 or more prisoners and as many horses captured by the regiment under my command. Some of the latter were turned over on the field, besides arms and equipments. The loss of the regiment in action was 3 killed, 9 wounded [1 since dead], and 5 missing. I regret to report the fall of Captain Robin Ap. C. Jones, who fell, gallantly leading his company in the charge, near division headquarters. A gallant and accomplished officer, his loss cannot be easily repaired. Captain J. R. P. Fox was severely wounded early in the action while in charge of the sharpshooters from his squadron, which he fought and managed well. I fear he fell into the enemy's hands in leaving the field. Fully satisfied that every man under my command did his duty, and his whole duty, and at the same time proud that not a man who left camp with the regiment at sunrise left it during the day, without first being wounded or ordered off on duty, until marched back at night, I have the honor to be, respectfully,

your obedient servant.

Colonel First South Carolina Cavalry.

Captain T. G. BARKER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

OCTOBER 31,1863.-Affair near Weaverville, Va.

Report of Private William A. Bolick, First South Carolina Cavalry, with commendation of General Robert E. Lee, C.S. Army.

[NOVEMBER -,1863.]

Saturday morning, October 31, at sunrise, Private Isaac Curtis, of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry Regiment, and myself passed the


enemy's pickets, stationed at a mill near Weaverville, entering the enemy's camp, passing their pickets after daylight, whistling so as not to cause suspicion. We were disguised in Yankee overcoats.

Going to the house of Mrs. Weaver, in Weaverville, we saw a sentinel in the front yard. We passed him without his noticing us in rear of the house. We discovered three Yankee tents. Riding around to these tents we dismounted and proceeded to capture 6 Yankees who were asleep in them, and 6 horses, which we made them saddle and mount, and then rode back in the same direction, whistling as we passed the pickets. These men were a cattle guard, and were well armed.

We brought out 3 pistols, 1 carbine, and 1 saber. We were unable to bring off the cattle for the want of them enough to drive them. One of the Yankees escaped after we had passed the pickets of the enemy. The other 5 were delivered at Richards' Ford.

General Meade's headquarters were near Weaverville-in less than 800 yards. The capture was made about sunrise in the morning.

Respectfully submitted.

Private, Company K, First South Carolina Cavalry.




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