War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0774 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[CHAP. XXXIII.

Junction. I have three days' rations, and as soon as I cross the river I strike a rich agricultural district, where I will find no difficulty in obtaining forage for a much greater number of animals than I now have. I will also be able to gather a considerable quantity of provisions. But at Bowling Green it will be easier for me to draw them from Port Royal than from any point north of the Rappahannock. As it was proposed to have provisions forwarded up that river, cannot I rely on their being there three days from to-morrow morning? They should be able to forward them from Washington in one-half that time; then our advance can be uninterrupted.

This movement, made at once, will find the enemy unprepared, for they count on our delay in landing supplies, and also in crossing the Rappahannock, and, of course, if the movement could be continued to Richmond, we would find the enemy but illy prepared to receive us. We should, at least, avoid any position the enemy may assume for defense on our contemplated line of advance, which, God knows, we had enough of under McClellan. After the line of our operations is discovered, it seems to me that an invading army should do nothing but advance by the most rapid marches.

The lateness of the season demands unusual vigor in the prosecution of the campaign. If Jackson was at Chester on Chester Gap on Friday last, we ought to be able to reach Richmond in advance of the concentration of the enemy's forces.

I regret that the major-general commanding did not keep up the show of an advance on the line via Gordonsville, and even now I would recommend a demonstration, with a strong infantry and cavalry force, in that direction. It appears that the rebels are as much in the dark with regard to our movements as we have heretofore been of theirs.

I send you herewith one of the latest dates from Richmond. The enemy, it seems, have counted on the McClellan delays for a long while, and have never failed in their calculations. I feel more anxious concerning this movement, as I learn, informally, that we are to experience a delay of several days in the erection of bridges over the Rappahannock.

Your friend and servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General, Commanding Grand Division.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,

Deep Run, November 19, 1862-3.30 p.m.

Lieutenant-Colonel DICKINSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Center Grand Division:

COLONEL: Last evening, when my command at Sulphur Springs was withdrawing, the enemy opened several guns from the opposite side of the river. The section with our troops replied, and covered the withdrawal of the force. The enemy crossed two squadrons, and followed up about 2 miles. The regiment was the Sixth Cavalry, and a section of Pennington's battery. The enemy did not disturb their march any further. We had no loss. I have relieved General Bayard's command at all the fords to this point, and the general, as well as the infantry with him, are now en route to their several commands. My dispositions are as follows: Three squadrons picketing the fords from Kelly's to