November 8 — Last night at twelve o’clock we received orders to march at daylight this morning to Culpeper Court House. The Yankees have crossed the Rappahannock and our army is falling back toward the Rapidan. At daydawn this morning we started for Culpeper Court House; we had rough road part of the way, as we came through a hilly country. As we neared Culpeper Court House we heard artillery firing in the direction of the Rappahannock. We halted at Culpeper Court House for further orders and remained there until nearly sunset; then we were ordered to Stevensburg, a little village about three miles south of Brandy Station and about six miles from the Rappahannock River.
We started for Stevensburg immediately after we received the order, but before we got to the little village we learned that the Yankees had already taken possession and were holding it, consequently we took a circuitous route and moved back toward the Court House; when we arrived within a mile of the town we were ordered to Brandy Station. It was then night and very dark, but we moved a mile in the direction of Brandy, and our horses being tired and fagged we came back to the Wallet house and bivouacked for the night. The Wallet house is near Culpeper Court House, and on the direct road to Brandy Station.
It was about eight o’clock when we arrived here and camp-fires were blazing and gleaming in every direction by the hundreds, yes, thousands, kindled by General Lee’s infantry. Here at the Wallet house all the negro quarters and outhouses are on fire and burning rapidly, which throws a dancing golden-reddish glare on the black curtain of night.
I heard cannonading on our left this evening at dusk. This evening as we were going toward Stevensburg I saw some of our infantry throwing up breastworks about a mile southeast of Culpeper Court House. From infallible indications and general appearance of all the surroundings and movements to-night I think that our army is preparing to move behind the Rapidan. Cold and windy to-night.