HDQRS. EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Berne, N. C., July 29, 1863.
In accordance with General Orders, No. 105, headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, Brig. General Ignis N. Palmer, U. S. Volunteers, hereby assumes command of the Eighteenth Army Corps, Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
By command of Brig. General I. N. Palmer, commanding corps:
J. A. JUDSON,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
July 30, 1863.
The river is falling, making about 4 feet 6 inches on the Rappahannock Ford. I am induced to believe this ford is the deepest on the river. I inclose a report of a reconnaissance made yesterday by a squadron of Devin's.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
July 29, 1863.
Captain C. W. WADSWORTH,
I have the honor to report that the party I dispatched this noon to reconnoiter the country between the two forks of the Rappatannock above Beverly's Ford, has returned, after accomplishing the object of the reconnaissance, by discovering and observing the enemy's picket line on the south side of Hazel River, from the fork to the crossing near Rexeyville, on the Jefferson and Sulphur Springs road.
Captain Corrigan, of the Ninth New York Cavalry, in command of squadron, reports that, in compliance with my instructions, he crossed the Rappahannock at Freeman's Ford, and leaving part of his squadron in reserve at the forks of the road, divided the remainder of his force into three parties; one striking Hazel River a mile above the fork; one going north to Oak Shades, and striking at Rixey's Ford; and the third at a point midway between; the three parties connecting in the center, falling back upon the reserve, when the squadron returned, and recrossed the river.
They found the south bank of Hazel (or Aestham) River strongly picketed. At Rexey's Ford a troop came down at a trot to meet the party, and their presence generally seemed to create much excitement.
At Rixey's the enemy were busy felling trees and digging. A force of infantry is reported at Rexeyville; also a force in Brown's woods. A force of our cavalry was reported at Jefferson, which may account for the preparations at Rixeyville; also a force in Brown's woods. A force of our cavalry was reported at Jefferson, which may account for the preparations at Rixeyville. The roads were rough, much cut up, and washed. The south bank of the river commands all the approaches visited.
The party captured 1 prisoner, claiming to be on furlough-a private in the First Virginia Artillery, Brooke's battery. No force of