War of the Rebellion: Serial 048 Page 0406 OPERATIONS IN N.C., VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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of military movements until the results has been obtained. The announcement was erroneous, but still that information received by the enemy would serve to place him upon his guard.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS, Near Warrenton Springs, October 13, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that General Meade's army has been compelled to retire north of the Rappahannock by the movements of this army upon his right flank. I am still moving, with the views of throwing him farther back toward Washington. Two division have already crossed the Rappahannock at this place and the remainder are now following. The enemy were apprised of our movements and withdrew so rapidly that we have not been able to come up with his main body, that there have been a number of encounters between his cavalry and that of General Stuart, in which the latter has been uniformly successful, capturing more than 600 prisoners and inflicting serious damage upon the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR,

Richmond, Va.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Bristoe Station, October 15, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that after my letter of the 13th instant the army continued its movement, with the view of turning the right flank of the enemy and intercepting his line of retreat. He was marching by a number of parallel roads leading directly toward Washington, while it was necessary for us to make considerable detours. We were consequently unable to do him any considerable damage, as his retreat was rapid. It is easy for him to retire under the fortifications of Washington and Alexandria, and we should be unable to attack him advantageously. It is impossible for us to remain where we are, as the country is destitute of provisions for men or animals, and the railroad bridges on this side of the Rappahannock (and I learn at the river) have been destroyed. The counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, and Prince William have been relieved for the time being, but when we retire may be reoccupied. Though the enemy has suffered less than I wished, some good may yet results from the fact of his being compelled to fall back before us.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR,

Richmond, Va.