as full as it should be. It may therefore be found incomplete in some parts, and to comprise much which should have been made the subject of separate reports.
In the movements of the Army of Virginia, made, I presume, for the purpose of drawing on it the enemy's army from Richmond, and then of holding that army in check till a junction could be effected by our forces with the troops from the Peninsula, the Third Army Corps consisted in the first place of King's and Rickett's division and Bayard's cavalry brigade.
On the 7th of August, when we first felt the advance of the enemy, King's division was on the north bank of the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg. Rickett's division, with the headquarters of the corps, was between the Rappahannock and the Rapidan, about 3 miles east of the little down of Culpeper Court-House. Bayard's cavalry brigade was well to the front, in the forks of the Rapidan and its principal northern tributary, Robertson's River, with his outposts thrown forward, watching the enemy's line, which was on the south or right bank of the Rapidan, from a point some 3 miles to the east of the crossing of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, to the left of Buford's cavalry, which watched the front from the Rapidan to the Blue Ridge. The Rapidan from the left of Bayard's line to the Rappahannock and thence to Fredericksburg was watched by the First Rhode Island, First Mine, Fifth New York, and Harris' Light Cavalry, making a line of cavalry posts from the Blue Ridge to the Potomac. The distance between King's division at Fredericksburg and Rickett's at Culpeper was too great for either to join the other in case of its being attacked, and so far apart as to leave a wide opening for the enemy to get between them by moving down the Rapidan and crossing near its confluence with the Rappahannock.
The weakness of this disposition of the corps early engaged your attention, as it had my own, and you would have remedied it in the beginning by bringing away King's division, but that to do this before the arrival of troops from the Peninsula would cause us to abandon Fredericksburg and the line from that place to Aquia, which at the cost of months of labor had been placed in condition for service, and heavily supplied with railroad rolling stock and other materials for large operations that it was thought might soon have to be undertaken from that point. General King, was, however, held in readiness to leave at the shortest notice, and our cavalry was kept far to the front, so as to give timely warning of the movements of the enemy.
It was at midnight of the 7th of August that the line was broken by the enemy's crossing the Rapidan above the mouth of Robertson's River, driving in Bayard's outposts, and following them early on the morning of the 8th on the road leading across Robertson's River, and thence along the northwest base of Cedar Run (or Slaughter) Mountain, toward Culpeper.
Early on the morning of the 8th General Bayard sent Lieutenant-Colonel Karge with a battalion of the First New Jersey to get around the enemy's left flank, while the general himself held them in check in front with part of the First Pennsylvania, under its colonel, Owen Jones, and part of the First New Jersey, under Major Beaumont. Slowly falling back toward Robertson's River he was rejoined by Lieutenant-Colonel Karge (who had been successful in his flank movement, capturing 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, and 24 privates), and after passing his command over the river under a fire of the enemy's artillery the general destroyed the bridge, thus delaying the enemy's advance, and gaining