War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0436 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, SPOTTSYLVANIA CO.,

Telegraph Road, 14 miles from Fredericksburg, April 20, 1862.

GENERAL: I have accurate information of the force of the enemy at Fredericksburg - 5,000, eight pieces of artillery. Reports of troops landing at Aquia Creek, this not ascertained. By last accounts they had not crossed the river, but supposed to be preparing to do so. I have taken a position here favorable for a stand if I have some re-enforcement. My effective force, all told, is about 2,000. I fell back to this point in order to place the streams subject to high water between me and the enemy. My cavalry are in rear, half the distance perhaps. Give me two or three regiments of infantry and I think we may be able to make formidable resistance here to a force not much exceeding what is represented.

It is reliably ascertained that in our skirmish with them we killed some 25 or 30; their own statement to a spy. Our own loss not known to be more than 3 or 4 killed and wounded, 8 or 10 perhaps captured and scattered; most probably the latter.

Very respectfully,

CHAS. W. FIELD,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Would it not be well to send the telegraph operator late of Fredericksburg to locate himself at Milford immediately and prepare for operations?

Respectfully,

CHAS. W. FIELD,

Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

GENERAL: I forward note just handed by Mr. Gordon from Mr. Barton to yourself. Mr. Gordon also brings a message from Mr. Slaughter (at 5 p. m. yesterday). He had had an interview with Augur, who states that he (Augur) has three brigade (13,000 men) with him, and that McDowell brings twelve more (25,000 men). I have sent the company to Guiney's with full instructions to report to you and me. Your note to station a picket at Chancellorsville just in. Will do so. Some hours previous to its receipt had sent Captain Crutchfield, who knows the country well, in charge of a scouting party to that point. Will report when he arrives.

Everything quiet on our front so far. Have taken and shall take every possible precaution within my power to guard against surprise.

Respectfully,

J. E. JOHNSON,

Colonel, Commanding Ninth Virginia Cavalry.

[Indorsement.]

These papers are just received. I send them for the information of the general commanding.

C. W. FIELD.

[Sub-inclosures.]

FREDERICKSBURG, April 19, 1862.

GENERAL: You have been advised of the proceedings of the mayor and council, our resolutions, and an appointment to meet General Augur, commander of brigade, & c.