lead respectively to Madison, Orange Court-House, Louisa Court-House, and Fredericksburg. There are two roads to Madison. That by James City has been used by our troops. It is reported very bad, impracticable for artillery. The ford over Robertson's River is difficult. The other road, which is farther south, is reported as still worse.
The principal roads to Orange Court-House are by Barnett's and Raccoon Fords. The road by Barnett's Ford is the one principally used, being and old stage road. The road by Raccoon Ford is very rough. There are other roads crossing the Rapidan at intermediate fords, one at Rapidan Station and one at Somerville Mills. These are used for local purposes. The road to Fredericksburg through Stevensburg is reported as pretty fair-macadamized in places. It crosses the river at Germanna Mills. The ford here is bad; not much used for many years. There was a bridge at this point, which was destroyed about the time our forces advanced from Catlett's.
The road to Louisa Court-House is reported by Colonel Anisansel as "very bad." The weather was very wet when he traveled it. He had to swim the Raccoon Ford. The road was quite level; the country well wooded.
At Mountain Creek was a good ford. Ten miles south of this he came to Negro Creek, where a bridge had been destroyed. This ford was very bad, with quicksands on both sides. Negroes were at work repairing the bridge. About 4 miles court of this he found a bridge with a foot of water over it. He could not identify this stream. I presume that these streams are the principal forks of the North Anna River. The other streams he crossed offered no difficulty.
As to the other roads south of Culpeper and Madison I ascertained as follows:
From Madison to Stanardsville very bad; crossing mountain spurs; sharp turns in the road, and places which can be easily defended.
Madison to Orange, a bad road; Madison to Gordonsville, stone pike; Stanardsville to Orange, mud road, pretty good, being an old pike leading to Fredericksburg; Stanardsville to Gordonsville, a stone pike. There are cross-roads leading from the Madison and Gordonsville road across the Rapidan to the last-named road. These fords are represented as good, but some of them mentioned in * * * Beaumont's report were the * * * and artillery. I could only find one negro who was acquainted with these fords, and I not time to examine him as thoroughly as I desired.
The banks of the Rapidan are represented as higher on the south bank.
The information which I have obtained I am having put on the map as rapidly as possible.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. C. HOUSTON,
FLAT TOP, July 28, 1862.
Colonel GEORGE CROOK,
Commanding Third Brigade, Meadow Bluff:
Yours of the 26th received. You have very lately asked for re-enforcements in the expectation of being attacked by a superior force.
* Part omitted illegible.