“One of the Best Cavalry Fights
of the War”
Our brigade now marched via Bowling Green to Mangohick Church in King William County and went into camp. We didn't build huts but had about ten tents to a company to which we built wooden chimneys, got straw to put on the ground for our beds, and made ourselves tolerably comfortable.
Our horses only fared tolerably well getting sometimes five or six pounds of corn and same amount of wheat straw, sometimes nothing but top fodder. Horses were now worth from $400 to $800 Confederate money according to quality.
Our mess cook, Effard Jenkins, was taken by the Yankees while having a turkey cooked at a house near Middleburg in November. We had now, (Matthews, Palmore and I), two yellow boys from Ca Ira, Robert and Thruston Smith, and a black boy, Giles, belonging to Palmore, as our servants.1 The first was an excellent cook, the other two attended to the horses[,] blacked our boots, etc., for blacking was not too dear to be used in camp. We had a rude table made of pine plank laid on some poles, a tolerable dinner service of tin plates and cups and plain knives and forks. Sweet potatoes sold for $2.50 a bushel, turkeys about $5 each.
On the 9th day of February we marched for Culpeper Court House via [Mt. Carmel] Church and Summerville Ford on the Rapidan. We encamped on a piece of woods north of the Court House 1 1/2 miles belonging to Reverend Mr. George. Nothing occurred to interrupt the monotony of a dull camp life till March.
Hampton's Brigade had gone off to the Southside counties to forage. Our's had to picket the river from the confluence of the Rappahannock