made that day the army was withdrawn that night to a better position on the west side of Mine Run, where it has since remained.
The enemy advance don the 28th to the east side of the creek immediately in our front, but has made no effort to attack. he has thrown up earth-works along his line and makes a great display of artillery, but I have not been able to discover his purpose. General Fitz. lee, with his division, was left to guard the upper fords of the Rapidan after the withdrawal of our army, and on Friday drove back Kilpatrick's cavalry, which crossed at Morton's and Raccoon Fords and attacked him. the same day Major Mosby fell upon a train of wagons at Brandy Station and destroyed a number of them, bringing off 112 mules and a few prisoners.
On Saturday, the enemy still remaining quiet, General Stuart, with Hampton's division of cavalry, endeavored to penetrate to his rear. He met a body of cavalry near Parker's Shop, where he had a sharp skirmish, but was recalled by a report that the enemy was moving on our right.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
December 3, 1863.
GENERAL: My letter of the 2nd instant will have informed you of the condition of affairs up tot he preceding night. Preferring to receive an attack rather than assume the offensive, our army remained in its position all day on the 1st instant. During the day information was received that the Sixth Army Corps, under General Sedgwick, had advanced on the plank road, and appearances indicated that the enemy was massing to our right. This was rendered more probable by the withdrawal of some batteries and the retiring of his pickets in front of our extreme left.
Anderson's and Wilcox's division were withdrawn from the trenches at 3 a. m. on the 2nd and moved to our right, with a view to make an attack in that quarter. As soon as it became light enough to distinguish objects, it was discovered that the enemy's pickets along our entire line had retired, and our skirmishers were sent forward to ascertain his position. Finding that he had retired from our front, the army was put in motion, Hill's corps on the plank road and Early's on the old turnpike. General Stuart, with Hampton's division of cavalry, was directed to sweep around on our right as far as Chancellorsville, and, should he not find the enemy pursuing the roads leading to Spotsylvania, to press down to the Rapidan.
It was soon discovered that a portion of the enemy's force had taken the road to Germanna and the other portion toward Ely's Ford. General Hill's corps was halted after advancing 8 miles on the plank road. General Early and General Stuart proceeded as far as Germanna Ford, and discovered that the enemy's whole force had recrossed the Rapidan and proceeded to their former position on the Rappahannock. The army was then returned to its former line son the Rapidan.
The movement of General Meade, and all the reports received as