the important duties intrusted to you. Captain McEntee, representative of Colonel Sharpe's department, is in the vicinity of Bealeton or Warrenton; General Pleasonton will tell you where. Information is the thing most desirable, that you may act advisedly. General Meade, General Birney, and General Pleasonton will be directed to communicate all information received by them to you as well as here. Should the movement of the enemy develop itself to be toward Maryland, or the Upper Potomac, above Harper's Ferry, it will probably involve our marching on the inner circle, and attack them, if opportunity offers. It is desired particularly to guard against their getting in advance of us, if their movement is that way, and coming in through Manassas Gap, and getting in a measure between this army and Washington. It may be that they have only intended a cavalry raid, and moved their infantry in the vicinity of Culpeper to support it. It may be also that they intended their cavalry raid should cover the movement of the bulk of their infantry around our right. In view of the lack of information concerning their movements the position is a delicate one, requiring energy and vigilance. A. P. Hill's corps still remains here. The reports of two contraband make Ewell's and part of Longstreet's corps at Culpeper, and passing through Culpeper. The enemy must on no account be permitted to get on the line of retreat of your wing by Manassas to Alexandria, or a position in front of Washington. This may not be intended, but it is one of the events in the relative position of the right and left of this army, and of the enemy, that is to be guarded against. A signal party is ordered to report to you. It is found that telegraphic commu-nication often fails at the time when most needed. It is necessary to bear this in mind, to be prepared for such an emergency. Should the movement of the enemy prove to be toward our right in the Shenandoah Valley, the general will move up with the forces here as soon as it is definitely ascertained. Since writing the above, the general directs me to say that he shall probably withdraw from this line to-night to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
[CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS Army of the POTOMAC, Camp near
Falmouth, Va., June 13, 1863.
Commanding Officer Fifth Corps:
The commanding general directs me to say that probabilities now indicate the transfer of this army to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. In this event, you will move on the line of the orange and Alexandria road, and possibly to-night or to-morrow. He desires that you work off your trains toward Morrisville, or in that direction, that the movement of your troops may not be embarrassed by them. All information received here tends to show that Longstreet's and Ewell's corps passed through Culpeper, whether to turn our right or to pass on through the Shenandoah Valley toward Maryland or Pennsylvania, is not evident.