War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0019 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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I am also instructed to say that as the cavalry pickets on your front on the south side of the Rappahannock, and as you have a force on that bank, the picketing of the river by your infantry on this side hardly seems necessary. General Buford is authorized to withdraw a portion of his cavalry to this side the river, leaving, however, a force sufficient for a strong picket, and reserves in your front sufficient to resist any attack until supported by the infantry. The portion withdrawn to this side (to the nearest point for grazing and water), is directed to hold itself in readiness to move to the front in the event of its being required there.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General, and Chief of Staff.

AUGUST 8, 1863-5. 30 p. m.

Officer Commanding First Corps:

I am instructed by the major-general commanding to say that it is not intended to relieve your pickets from Rappahannock Station to Wheatley's Ford by the pickets of any other corps; that part of the river is still to be covered by your corps, and the fords in that space heretofore guarded by your corps are still to be guarded by it.

The suggestion in reference to your pickets on this side the river had reference to the pickets or sentinels thrown out by the detachments guarding each ford, and was made subject to your own judgment. Along that part of the river where you have no force ont he other side, you may still find them necessary.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General, and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS

Beverly Ford, August 8, 1863 . (Received 6 p. m.)

General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

The engineers have thrown a bridge across teh Rappahannock some 200 yards above the ford. An infantry force was sent over to protect the outlet of the bridge. General Ayres thinks that General Meade designed the bridge to cross the river below or opposite Hamilton's house. The engineers did not come near me, and the first I knew of their presence was through General Garrard, who furnished the covering force for the bridge. I will throw the remainder of General Garrard's brigade on the right bank of the stream. A few cavalry pickets belonging to the enemy are hovering around. The woods are so dense that they can easily keep themselves hidden. I have three batteries in position and two in reserve, but the whole north bank of the river is commanded by the ground on the other side.

I am, sir, respectfully,

GEO. SYKES,

Major-General, Commanding.