HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION, August 3, 1863-7. 10 p. m.
Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps:
All is quiet now along my picket line. The enemy undoubtedly attempted to reconnoiter here to-day, but has slipped up. He has not seen anything but my force, and if he intended to attack, has reconsidered. This morning my "to horse" put them in commotion. A
signal that my signal officer read, addressed to A. P. Hill, announced that "Two regiments of Yankees were intrenching". It could not mean me. Devin has gone to Kelly's. Rumor in camp says I may be attacked. I feel secure. My horses are failing unaccountably fast, unless it is the hot weather. How the newspapers lie!
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION, August 3, 1863-midnight.
To-day, by virtue of you instruction, I sent Colonel Devin to picket in front of Slocum's corps, apposing they were on this side of the river. The result is the following dispatch:
HEADQUARTER FIRST BRIGADE, BUFORD'S CAVALRY DIVISION, Near Kelly's For-7 p. m.
Captain T. C. Beall,
Assistant Adjutant-general, First Cavalry Division:
Captain: I have the honor to report that, on arriving at Kelly's Ford, I found the infantry division had been withdrawn to the north side of the river. No notice appeared to have been given of our coming, and the infantry occupied the rifle-pits on our appearance. I crossed the river, and reported to General Slocum, who thought it unwise and altogether unnecessary for me to remain on the south side., as I could effect nothing by so doing, unless by going to a distance, which would be unsafe with my command. He has the whole north bank picketed to Ellis' Ford. He desired me to go into camp on the north side to-night, and report to him in the morning, when he would give me my instructions as to observing the country on the front and left. I am in camp on the hill fronting the river, on the south side of the road leading up from Kelly's Ford to Holly Church, on the Morrisville road.
Very respectfully, j
Thos. C. Devin,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
I have ordered that my pickets should be in communication with his. i am disgusted and worn out with the system that seems to prevail. There is so much apathy and so little disposition to fight and co-operate that I wish to be relieved from the Army of the Potomac. I do not wish to put my self and soldiers in front where I cannot get a support short of 12 miles. The ground I gain I would like to hold. The reconnaissance made on the 1st of August was a success, yet the First Corps gets the credit of saving me from disaster. I am willing to serve my country, but I do not wish to sacrifice the brave men under my command.
All safe and secure in my front. The rebels, if they attack in overwhelming numbers can drive me back, but I feel secure, I apprehend no attack.
Brigadier-general of Volunteers.