I send this by a fast express. Please acknowledge its receipt, and send me some note paper and envelopes, for I am nearly out, and then my dispatches will stop, for want of a supply.
This is the most important information we have yet received, and I trust it is in time for the general to turn it to good account.
November 9, 1862 - 1.45 p. m.
GENERAL: A young man who left Culpeper day before yesterday, at 12 m., has just come in. He is running away to avoid the conscription.
He says there is a large force at Culpeper; he thinks about 40,000 or 50,000 men, the most of them encamped the other side of the town. Heard Longstreet was there. Saw three battalions of artillery; thinks there were some fifty pieces; but this was not all they had. Saw good number of wagons. Soldiers miserably clad, and nothing but beef and flour, without salt. Soldiers want to stop fighting, and said there would be no battle this fall unless we brought it on. Army without tents. I shall send him to headquarters.
Another citizen has been brought in from Hazel River, 9 miles from Culpeper. Says a negro told him he heard Stuart's cavalry had orders to leave from there this morning.
Forage is becoming rather scarce in these parts.
Very respectfully, general, yours,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
P. S. - General Averell is sick, and, by the advice of his doctor, has gone to Warrenton.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,
Corbin's Cross-Roads, November 10, 1862 - 9.30 a. m.
GENERAL: I find there are four roads between this and Woodville that pass down to Culpeper from Chester Gap, each of which should be strongly guarded, to prevent the rebel trains passing down.
The rebels are now using Thornton's Gap for their trains, Chester Gap being guarded by Jackson. Jackson has no trains with him, but is supplied by the farmers in Page County. His trains are hauling supplies to Culpeper. Jackson's plan, when we move to Culpeper, is to stride for Warrenton Junction and Rappahannock Station. If we attack him in the gap, he will retreat up the valley toward Staunton. This is what he wants, to draw us off from Culpeper. His army, it is said, is composed of the picked fighting men of the whole. The army at Culpeper, I am told, is a good deal demoralized, and will not stand much of a shock.
The negro that came in from Jackson yesterday tells me that if we can get our army to Madison, we shall cut Jackson off from the road to Richmond, from its connection with Culpeper, and would break up the Culpeper army.