belonging to Fitzhugh Lee's brigade, but both are intoxicated, and unable to give me any information of a reliable character. One of them states that his company has been picketing at Gaines' Cross-Roads, to ascertain what force, if any, is there. The regiment has orders to remain at and hold the Cross-Roads. The enemy had 3 mounted men posted at the ford, who galloped off on our arrival at that point. At all points on the road, citizens reported these 3 mounted men as moving as fast as their horses could carry them. The rebels have been collecting and driving off all the cattle, horses, and sheep in this county. I have just heard of flock of 300 sheep but a short distance from this place, under charge of rebel cavalrymen. I have sent a force to capture them. The citizens express the opinion that Lee intends to abandon Virginia entirely. As soon as I had crossed the ford at the Rapidan, a negro reported that Longstreet's column passed Gaines' Cross-Roads this morning at an early hour, marching south, but this I do not credit. One of the stragglers from Fitzhugh Lee's command, taken to-day, said in a bantering way that "about one day's march from here" we would meet some troops we never met before, who would "give you all you would want. " He is unacquainted with the country, and probably refers to Culpeper as the point "one day's march from here". I will try to obtain reliable information to-morrow of the enemy's whereabouts. I intend pushing a considerable force in the direction of Culpeper, at the same time holding, it possible, Gaines' Cross-Roads. My train was stopped by General Meade at Piedmont. I wish it could be loaded at Warrenton with supplies, as soon as that line is open, and ordered to me. Very respectfully, &c.,
G. A. CUSTER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Linden, Crest of Manassas Gap, July 23, 1863-8. 45 p. m.
Commanding Sixth Corps:
The major-general commanding directs that you move your corps to this place to-morrow, leaving at 3 o'clock in the morning, bringing your ambulances and ammunition train. Upon reaching this point, you will report the arrival of your corps. The major-general commanding will be found at the front, about 2 1/2 miles from this place.
A. A. HUMPHREYS.
Major-General, and Chief of Staff.
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 23, 1863.
Under the circumstances in which this army finds itself placed, and in view of the uncertainty which exists as to when it may be possible to replenish the subsistence supplies, it is enjoined upon