Clellan had been compelled to withdraw his army from the Peninsula, and that General Lee, released from the defence of Richmond, was marching our way. For once, rumor was correct. It was not many days before the whole of Lee's army was hunting to find an unguarded point at which to cross the river.
About noon on the day after our crossing, I was watching the movements of some of our cavalry who still remained on the other side of the river. I was standing on the top of one of the highest knolls in the vicinity, from which I had a splendid view of the country for a long distance southward. For nearly two miles the land was clear of timber or fences or any obstacle which could impede the movements of cavalry. Observing that our cavalry seemed to be coming back at rather a livelier pace than usual, I noticed what appeared to be either a large regiment or a small brigade of Confederate cavalry emerge from the woods to the south of the plain. They formed their lines and moved to the attack.
Our men, also, were soon in motion. As they approached each other the two bodies increased