ties at Ceder Run, who will repair the railroad bridge. Both parties were to be there early this morning and the bridge finished to-day. It is necessary to know, not only for the safety of these parties, but also for other reasons, all the movements of the enemy's cavalry in your front and on your flank. The major-general commanding directs that you will keep him advised of the movements of the enemy, if they move away from you, the direction they have taken, and their apparent. The reduced condition of their supplies will undoubtedly lead them to make a dash at any point they could have any hope of re-enforcing their commissariat.
The commanding general directs me to advise you that many straggles from your command, without proper passes, come into our picket lines. He directs that you cause such orders to be given as to prevent any men from being sent back without a pass in writing from his division commander, station the object and purpose for which he is sent. These individual men are liable to capture by guerrillas of bushwhackers, and should not be sent back except in small parties.
The general commanding desires exact information with regard to the condition of the Rappahannock railroad bridge, and also desires that full information, whit all particulars, may be sent up with regard to your progress, position, and movements of the enemy. At this distance the commanding general is dependent upon you for all information regarding your movements or intended and those of the enemy.
In order that the necessary arrangements may be made for promptly replenishing your supplies, should this become necessary, the commanding general wishes to have a report at once of your condition and position, and showing also to what extent the present storm has impeded your operations.
Very respectfully, &c.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
April 21, 1863-11 p. m.
HIS Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
Advices from Major-General Stoneman of today inform that he has not been able to effect a passage of the river, from the depth of water at the fords. I have given direction for him to remain in position for the present, as his presence above tends to deceive the enemy.
As I can only cross the river by stratagem without great loss, which I wish to avoid, it may be a few days before I make it. I must threaten several points, and be in readiness to spring when a suitable opportunity present itself.
Deserters inform me that the talk in the rebel camp is that we cross the river it is their intention to fall in our rear and attack our deport at Aquia. The recent arrival of a pontoon train at Hamilton's Crossing lends plausibility to these reports.
I forward herewith copies of the last Richmond papers; but little news.
Stoneman will receive forage for his animals via the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, now open to Rappahannock Station.
Very respectfully, &c.,