War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0017 (Untitled)

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verse are picked up, to prevent their communicating any

information to the enemy.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Major-General, Chief of Staff.


JUNE 6, 1863.

Commanding Officer Fifth Corps:

The general would like to have you get him information. Can you not feel the enemy, and cause him to develop his strength and position at various points along your front? Let your pickets chat enough not to tell him anything, but to find out his regiments.


Major-General, Chief of Staff.



Commanding Officers Second and Eleventh Corps:

The commanding general directs that you have on hand in your command three day's rations in haversacks, wagons loaded with small stores, and trains in readiness for any order to move. Pickets not to be withdrawn, but the be supplied. Orders may possibly be given to move early to-morrow. Please acknowledge.


Assistant Adjutant-General.


HEADQUARTERS, SECOND DIVISION, FIFTH CORPS, Camp at Benson's Mills, June 6, 1863-10 p. m.

General MEADE,

Commanding Fifth Corps:

General: I have received the dispatch from General Butterfield asking for information of the enemy, and also asking it the enemy could not be felt, &c. I am opposed to any movement across the river with the forces I have at Banks' and United States Fords. At the former, the crossing is exceedingly difficult, and the ravines and woods on the south bank are of such a nature that force such as I could send, once on the order side, could not get back if the enemy chose to prevent it. At United States Ford, although I am of the opinion, from what I saw yesterday, that cavalry are the only troops on picket, yet I cannot answer that the old camps between that ford and Chancellorsville are not now occupied. They are so remote from the stream that it is difficult to decide that point. I beg to say that the development by the enemy to meet such demonstrations as I would have it in my power to make, would not determine a great deal about his strength. To place the Rappahannock behind a small force would be extremely hazardous, and the inexpediency of it is so apparent to me that I will not direct it unless more positive instructions are received from higher authority. I will send directions to the commanders at the fords to ascertain by brief conversation with the enemy's pickets if any information can be gained from them. But I must say, that it is hardly to be