War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0472 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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suspect reserves of troops within call. The intimation was so strong that immediate and full instructions would come from Washington that it will not do move till that matter is settled. Meanwhile we shall get better information of the rebel plans. Some skirmishing in front with scouting parties. I hear one passed your right and intercepted your mail. Is that so?

J. D. COX,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

MEADOW BLUFF, July 13, 1862.

General COX,

Commanding:

The rebels have three regiments and some 800 cavalry, besides their batteries, at Salt Sulphur; they expect a re-enforcement of 3,000 more men, and intend attacking me in a couple of days. This information comes from so many corroboratory sources, and from their suspicious movements I am satisfied it is all so. General Loring will command probably. I will fight right here. Can't you send the whole of the Eleventh to my assistance at once, which will be quite sufficient? The rebels may, to get in my rear on Big Sandy, have the regiment make forced marches. We have some six days' provisions on hand. Pitch in.

GEORGE CROOK,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

NEAR WARRENTON, VA., July 14, 1862.

Colonel GEORGE D. RUGGLES:

A dispatch just received from General Hatch, dated 13th, reports al quiet at his headquarters. Major Deems' Maryland cavalry returned from the front this morning; had some skirmishing with the enemy's cavalry, in which they left Lieutenant--mortally wounded. He reports that the party sent to burn small railroad bridges by mistake of orders destroyed the Rapidan Bridge. The people there believe that a large force is moving against us.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA, Washington, July 14, 1862.

Major General N. P. BANKS,

Commanding Second Army Corps:

Your dispatch has been received. I regret very much indeed that any orders were given to burn any railroad bridges, great or small. The object of your movement was to preserve the road, not to destroy any portion of it. We are advancing and shall continue to advance, and the roads must be preserved for our use. I again beg of you to dismiss any idea that there is any purpose whatever to retreat from the positions which you are instructed to take up or that there is any design whatever to await any attack of the enemy. I wish the roads kept