“To Gain Kilpatrick's Rear at Buckland”
While we were at Fredericksburg the Army of Northern Virginia lay quietly in camp along the south bank of the Rapidan, General Meade's forces being mostly beyond Culpeper Court House. Our life now was quite monotonous for a month. One division of Yankee cavalry were in camp about two miles from Falmouth and picketted the river opposite us. The pickets were civil enough not to shoot at each other.
About the middle of August we went into camp at Harrison's house, (brother of the historian of Virginia), our headquarters being in his yard. He was extremely civil to us and seemed pleased to have us near him.
In the latter part of the month Colonel Owen was sent with a detachment of 200 men from the 1st and 3rd Virginia and 1st Maryland Cavalry to cross the Rappahannock at Port Royal, come up on the other side, and cross the ford, (at low tide), just above Fredericksburg after dark. The object of this expedition was to intimidate the marauding parties from [H. Judson] Kilpatrick's Division who were daily going down the river depredating upon the people.1 I went along as adjutant of the command.
We went into camp 1st night near Port Royal and next day succeeded after great difficulty in getting from the infantry division stationed there, possession of an old pungy and a barge [at] about 12 noon.2 One of these wouldn't carry horses. The other one took about 8 at a time. It was soon found, however, that we couldn't cross in time unless the horses were carried faster. So the men who went in the pungy held their horses by the bridle, they swimming the while. It was soon found that many would be drowned in this way so they were turned loose and swam safely over.