If, from your delay, Culpeper or Gordonsville should be found to have been re-enforced with infantry of considerable number, he suggests that you go around them. If the enemy has brought his forces on to the Rappahannock, he can have nothing in rear, and when his railroad bridges are destroyed he has no means of following you when you pass him. This can only be ascertained by feeling them.
Please advise me the moment you determine to resume your forward movement.
In consequence of the Bull Run Bridge having been carried away by the freshest, and in the absence of the bridge at Bristoe, it was found that you could not be supplied by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in season to be of service to you.
Very respectfully, &c.,
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
April 18, 1863.
Commanding Officer, Cavalry Corps:
Your dispatch of 12 m. yesterday has been received and laid before the commanding general. With respect to procuring supplies for you command via the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, I am instructed to say that the road has latterly been in running order to within a few miles of Manassas; that the freshest occasioned by the storm has carried away the bridge at Bull Run; that the bridge at Bristoe has never been rebuilt; that these bridges cannot be replaced for a week or ten day to come, and that, even if the road were open to the Rappahannock, it could not be rendered reliable as a means of communication with the Alexandria depot without a much larger force to guard it than is now available for the purpose. the commanding general therefore considers that you must look to the depots here along for the supplies you may have to draw.
I am instructed to add, for your information, that you have two small brigades of cavalry opposed to you, numbering between 4,000 and 5,000 sabers. The prisoners from there state that they are wretchedly mounted, as we know they must be. Your force of cavalry and artillery is more that double that of the enemy.
Very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Numbers 106. Camp near Falmouth, Va., April 18, 1863.
I. Brigadier General Henry Baxter, volunteer service, will report person to the major-general commanding the First Army Corps for assignment to a brigade in that corps.
* * * *
By command of Major-General Hooker:
* This dispatch was sent to General Stoneman April 19, at 8.20 a. m.