corps commanders to caution their men to husband their rations, and to endeavor to make them hold out considerably beyond the time for which they were issued. It is hoped that by the economical use of rations the occasion calls for, the present supplies may be made to suffice for at least one-third longer than was anticipated at the time they were drawn. There is an abundance of fresh beef on hand, but the small-stores may be short in quantity. By command of Major-General Meade:
ALEXANDRIA, July 23, 1863-11. 20 a. m.
General RUFUS KING, Centreville:
Yesterday morning, on returning from a reconnaissance to White Plains, I passed the western-bound train at Burke's about 5 a. m. Conductor reported that his train had been fired into at Accotink, 8 miles from Alexandria. As I had no train guard with me, I returned to Fairfax, procured two companies, and scoured the woods about Accotink, but found no enemy. Fresh horse-tracks, however, were numerous. I learn this morning that, before the train passed, rails had been taken out, and obstructions placed on the track by these guerrillas, but some of the track-men had seen and repaired the damage. These men are supposed to be part of Mosby's gang. I heard of them the evening on which I was over the Gap road as being at Wolf Run Shoals, and I also heard of the proximity of Mosby's men at Thoroughfare and other points. To enable us to operate the road with any security, we must have cavalry pickets along the Occoquan and at the gaps of the Blue Ridge; also patrols through the country. Every citizen of suitable age for draft who is not in the army should be regarded with suspicion and closely watched, for I am told that many men have been exempted from draft on condition of joining Mosby's band, who are guerrillas at night and farmers by day. Our trains will be run as much as possible by daylight and with train guards, but with a heavy business we cannot avoid running at night, and train guards afford but little protection. Please send copy of this to General Gregg. I wish to examine the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad as far as protection can be afforded to our railroad forces. Can you or can General Gregg ascertain by a cavalry reconnaissance the condition of railroad and bridges between Culpeper and Manassas?
In Charge of Military Railroads.
CENTREVILLE, July 23, 1863. (Received 5. 30 p. m.)
Brigadier General HERMANN HAUPT, Washington:
Your dispatch is received. I will employ my cavalry as far as possible in scouting along the line of the Orange and Alexandria