Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/147

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137
General R. E. Rodes' Report of the Battle of Gettysburg.

On the 8th, finding that a long march was ahead of us, and that the supplies had to be closely looked to, I ordered all the baggage, tents, &c., that could be spared to be sent to the rear. By this means each brigade was enabled to transport three days' rations in its train, in addition to an equal amount in the division commissary train, the men also carrying three days' rations each in his haversack. Hence, when the division resumed its march, it was supplied with full nine days' rations.

On the 9th, anticipating an order to do so, I moved the division towards Brandy Station to the support of General Stuart's cavalry. Halting, under Lieutenant-General Ewell's orders, at Botts' place, I subsequently, under orders, advanced to Barbour's house in advance of the station, but did not get in reach of the enemy, he having apparently been repulsed by the cavalry. Resumed the road, under orders, and after a ten-mile march bivouacked on Hazel river, near Gourd Vine church. Next day the route was resumed at an early hour, and on, without exception, the worst road I have ever seen troops and trains pass over. The route designated for the division led by Newby's × roads to Washington, but finding the portion of the road between these two points absolutely impracticable, and the men and horses well nigh exhausted by the severe march to Newby's × roads, I was compelled to proceed by Gaines' × roads. Before taking that route, however, I found that the movements of the division were not likely to be discovered by the enemy, and hence that there was no necessity for taking the more tortuous and difficult road by Washington. The route via Gaines' × roads to Flint Hill being a good one, we reached the latter place early in the afternoon, and halted an hour or more to await the passage of Early's division, which I knew was to precede mine, and which was to have entered the turnpike upon which I was marching at Flint Hill. Ascertaining that General Early had been compelled to abandon his prescribed line of march, by reason of the impracticable character of the Fodderstack road, and acting under orders from Lieutenant-General Ewell, I resumed the march, and bivouacked about one and a half miles north of Flint Hill, having marched about fifteen miles.

On the 12th of June, having received orders to proceed in advance of the other divisions of the corps, my command crossed the Blue Ridge, through Chester Gap, passed through Front Royal, forded both forks of the Shenandoah river, and halted for a few hours near Cedarville. Here the Lieutenant-General fully unfolded his