War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0273 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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APRIL 28, 1863.

Commanding Officer, Cavalry Corps, Warrenton Junction:

One of Colonel Sharpe's men just in from Kelly's Ford says in his opinion no large body of infantry there. Held mostly by cavalry and artillery. Rebel sympathizers on this side believe enemy have fallen back beyond Rapidan, meaning to make that their line of defense. Says also that Fitzhugh [W. H. F.] Lee has taken place of Fitz. Lee, between Kelly's and Culpeper. Latter gone to Valley, to join Hampton and Jones. Enemy's artillery horses said not to be able to move their guns. They think our cavalry move a feint, and that the crossing will be made at United States Ford, where they are still at work.

The above is forwarded for your information and that of any one in your neighborhood.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Morrisville, Va., April 28, 1863.

Commanding Officer, Fifth Corps:

I am directed by the major-general commanding to request that you will exercise all of your accustomed zeal and devotion in hastening the passage of the troops across the Rappahannock. He feels assured that you will.

It is a great object to effect the passage of the Rapidan to-morrow, as you well know, and in so doing the United States Ford will be uncovered, and our line of communication established with the left wing of the army.

I inclose herewith copies of instructions to Major-General Slocum, Brigadier-General Pleasonton, and Captain Comstock, and also reports of the strength of the enemy's forces holding fords on the Rappahannock above its junction with the Rapidan. I hope that you will be able to pick up some of them. Use your cavalry freely, and send them well out, to bring you timely information. Would it not be well to detach a division to seize the ford? From the most reliable information in our possession, the ford must be a good one now. The cavalry can ascertain.

The general will join you as soon as he can-probably not until the United States Ford is opened. A portion of Couch's corps now hold it on our side. The general will direct two aides-de-camp to report to you to furnish him with information. Use them freely. Brigadier-General Warren will report as soon as you cross the Rapidan.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. L. CANDLER,

Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

[Inclosures.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Morrisville, Va., April 28, 1863.

Major-General SLOCUM,

Commanding Eleventh and Twelfth Corps:

I am directed by the major-general commanding to inform you that so long as the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps are operating on the same line, you will exercise the command of both.

18 R R-VOL XXV, PT II