War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0028 (Untitled)

Search Civil War Official Records

Shortly after crossing the two ford, the routes you will be likely to take intersect, and the major-general commanding suggests that you keep your infantry force together, as in that condition it will afford you a moving point d'appui to rally on at all times, which no cavalry force can be able to shake. It is believed that the enemy has no infantry. Should you find this to be the case, by keeping your troops well in hand, you will be able to make head in any direction. The general also recommends that you make use of the forest and the cavalry to mask the movements of the infantry from the enemy's forces, and to keep the enemy ignorant of their presence as long as possible, in order that at he proper time you may be able to cut off and destroy great numbers of them.

The general further suggests that you throw out strong pickets in the direction of the Ely and Germanna Fords, and that you hold Stevensburg with not less than a regiment and a section of artillery, with special instructions to look after Raccoon Ford. All the fords on the Rappahannock below Kelly's Ford will be instructed to lend you such aid as may be in his power, and it is hoped will be able to throw out on the Culpeper road a sufficient force, in conjunction with your cavalry at Stevensburg, to secure your flank from any force in that direction.

Captain Dahlgren, aide-de-camp, will deliver this to you, and it is desired that he should remain until you recross the river, and that you communicate with headquarters as often as practicable. He will hand you some maps of the direction in which you are operating. Having received no reply from Washington as to the force to be sent to your assistance from General Heintzelman's command, you will not be able to count upon any assistance from there.

Very respectfully,

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General, Chief of Staff.

----------------

CONFIDENTIAL.]

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp near Falmouth, Va.,

June 7, 1863.

Commanding Officer Fifth Corps:

The following extract from a letter of instructions to Brigadier-General Pleasonton, directing an attack on Culpeper, is furnished for your information:

The general further suggests that you throw out strong pickets in the direction of the Ely and Germanna Fords, and that you hold Stevensburg with not less than a regiment and a section of artillery, with special instructions to look after Raccoon Ford. All the fords on the Rappahannock below Kelly's, and including it, are held by our forces.

The major-general commanding directs that you will furnished such assistance from your forces under General Barnes as General Pleasonton may need, for compliance with these suggestions given above.

Very respectfully, &c.,

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General, Chief of Staff.