eration the enemy followed the rear guard of cavalry, under Major-General Pleasonton, engaging him from Culpeper Court-House to Brandy Station, where General Pleasonton was re-enforced by Buford, who had been compelled to recross the Rapidan after proceeding as far as Morton's Ford. The enemy was held in check till evening, when the cavalry withdrew.
The reports of the officers with the rear guard leading me to believe the enemy occupied Culpeper, on the 12th of October the Sixth, Fifth, and Second Corps recrossed the Rappahannock, advancing as far as Brandy Station, while Bufford's cavalry drove a small force of the enemy into Culpeper. During the night dispatches were received from General Gregg, commanding a cavalry division, guarding the upper fords of the Rappahannock, and that the enemy were crossing at Sulphur Springs and Waterloo in heavy force.
As it was too late when the intelligence reached me to attempt to gain Warrenton in advance of the enemy, the army, on the 13th, was withdrawn to Auburn and Catlett's Station, and on the 14th to Centreville. This retrograde movement was effected without molestation from the enemy till the 14th, on which day he skirmished at Auburn with the Second Corps, Major-General Warren, and, on the afternoon of that day, attacked General Warren at Bristoe Station. The attack was most handsomely repulsed by General Warren, who captured 5 pieces of artillery and some 450 prisoners.
On the 15th of October, the army remained in position at Centreville, the enemy's cavalry and artillery advancing and skirmishing with the Second Corps at Blackburn's Ford and the Third Corps at Liberty Mills. Finding the enemy did not advance beyond Broad Run, I was about recrossing Bull Run when, on the 16th, a severe rain-storm occurred, which rendered Bull Run unfordable, and required the sending for the pontoon bridges, which were in the rear with the main supply train of the army.
On the 17th, the enemy's cavalry appeared on my right flank with artillery and reported infantry, indicating a further attempt to out-flank my position. At the same time reports from prisoners and deserters indicated a movement on the part of the enemy. The 18th was spent in efforts to ascertain the precise position of the enemy, which resulting in the conviction he was retiring, the army was put in motion on the 19th and advanced to Gainesville. Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, in the advance, drove the enemy's cavalry through Buckland Mills, beyond which, he advanced with one brigade as far as New Baltimore, when a division of the enemy's cavalry some up from Auburn and endeavored to cut of his retreat. General Kilpatrick, however, extricated himself by taking a road to Hay Market, but no without considerable loss, from the superior numbers he was engaged with.
On the 20th, the army occupied Warrenton without opposition, the enemy retiring to the south bank of the Rappahannock. It was then ascertained the enemy had completely destroyed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad from Bristoe Station to the Rappahannock. Through the energy and skill of Colonel McCallum, Superintendent of Military Railroads, the road was put in order to Warrenton Junction by the 2nd of November. At this period I submitted to the General-in-Chief the project of seizing by a prompt movement the heights of Fredericksburg, and transferring the base of operations.