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I looked for a letter from you last evening but as I did not get one I will write you a few lines to let you know that I came out of the skirmish alright.
All the men and horses that were fit for duty left camp on the morning of the 21st. Buford’s Division took the left and Kilpatrick the right. Then we started for a raid on the enemy to cut off their supplies in the direction of Orange Courthouse. Marched all day without finding any of the enemy. Halted at sun-down near Madison and just this side of the Robinson River [a tributary of the Rapidan]. The 2nd Regt. went into camp for the night. Company E of the Ninth were detailed for pickets in the rear and some of the 6th N. Y. in the advance. Everything went off smooth through the night, unless it was a sweet potato patch and a chicken coop. We took breakfast as soon as it was fairly day-break of fried chicken and sweet potatoes.
At six o’clock we were ordered in and over- took the column at Madison (is a very nice town.) We lay there an hour or two and found that our First Regt. went in there at 11 o’clock at night, skirmished with the enemy, drove them out and took 7 prisoners. Two of them lay drunk in jail. The Rebs did not have time to get them out. At 8 o’clock we started again, the 9th ahead as usual. We came on the enemy pickets about three miles from Madison and drove them across the Rapidan. They made no very strong stand until they crossed. We might have driven them out and captured a train but orders would not allow it. On our right Kilpatrick had a pretty warm time. We had an old battery with us which threw a few shells at the train but they might as well have set the men at work throwing stones. They would have done as much good.
One Lieutenant from Company K was wounded and one of Company G. Also, one of Co. C. was captured. We took 9 prisoners, four of them Commissioned Officers. Five of the prisoners came from Richmond the day before to join Mosby. They were recruits and had not been mounted. They were the best dressed and the best looking Secesh I have seen. They had on blue pants and gray coats. They seemed to feel pretty well but .I guess they will have long faces after they lay in prison five or six months and have the body lice as big as woodchucks run over them and nestle so cosily in every seam of their clothes. That will be fun that I would not like, for we have enough of them here.
I suppose we get our pay today. The paymaster is now paying off the Regt. I looked for a letter from Chaut. Co. last evening but I guess I will get one tonight from some of you. The army is moving now. The report is that we are going to fall back but I hope not.
We have just gotten our pay. I send $10.00 for Peter and will send ten in my next.
I must close in order to send this out today. My love to all. Write as soon as you get this to let me know if it goes alright, Rachel.
Your affectionate brother,