HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS, White House, Va., July 5, 1863.
GENERAL: I have not hastened to answer you dispatch of this morning, as the movement against Bottom's Bridge has been suspended. There was no need of waiting for rations. They could have been sent after you - bread in wagons and beef on the hoof. Your command was, as one of your staff informed me, rationed to the 6th. You were at liberty to move in two columns or one, as you should have thought best. It was left to your discretion. The night attack you refer to was very fierce on the part of the enemy, so far as burning powder was concerned; but we did not lose a man. Our entire loss, as Colonel West informs me (18 killed, wounded, and missing), was sustained in skirmishing before night. But these matters are now unimportant. The call for another brigade defeats the movement. I have nothing here but one regiment of Gordons division, and part of one of Getty's regiments, doing provost-guard duty. If I were to permit Spinola's brigade, which is already supporting you (one regiment within a mile of your headquarters), to go with you, and General Getty should need re-enforcements, I should not be left with a single regiment to guard the camps and the public property on the bank of the river. The movement must, therefore, be abandoned. I yield with the greatest reluctance, and only on the joint representation of yourself and brigade commanders that an additional force is indispensable.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
JOHN A. DIX,
JULY 6 - 1 p. m.
GENERAL: Some of the enemy's cavalry attacked our pickets. Infantry skirmishers, also, were reported advancing, but of that there is some doubt. We gave them a few shells at long range. A cavalry scout has just gone out to investigate.
E. D. KEYES,
JULY 6-1. 30 p. m.
GENERAL: From a vedette on my right, I have a report of the advance of rebel infantry in that direction. Will you notify General Spinola to keep a good lookout in that direction? From my scouting party sent out to the front, I have just received a report that a line of rebel infantry is discovered in a field near Paul's house; also that another body is making a detour to come in on the Long Bridge road.
E. D. KEYES,