War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0043 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION CAVALRY CORPS,

August 14, 1863.

Captain COHEN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: The inclosed communication is forwarded for the information of the major-general commanding Cavalry Corps.

I most respectfully suggest that the force now at Georgetown, under Major Cooke, can be safely reduced to one strong regiment, as the object of this force is but to watch and not to fight. I can then move to General Custer's assistance, with four regiments and the batteries, at any moment.

Respectfully submitted.

J. KILPATRICK,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

CAVALRY OUTPOST,

Falmouth Road, August 13, 1863.

Captain JACOB L. GREENE,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

I have a scout of my own regiment who has just returned, having been across the river and in the camps of the enemy. He crossed half a mile below United States Ford. Had to swim the river. Found extensive camps. Longstreet's corps, 10,000 strong; also, 5,000 mounted men-mostly mounted infantry-armed with Enfield rifles; likewise some regular cavalry. He went through the camp as a member of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry. He saw some 500 negroes at work near United States Ford, cutting timber into logs from 10 to 30 feet in length. Report among the men in camp was that they were to cross in great force, getting in the rear of General Meade's army, and on to Washington. Said they were diverting General Meade to the left, while their forces come this way.

This man is a very square fellow; still I hardly know how much reliance to place in the report. He staid over some time; took dinner with them; saw large quantities of commissary stores. This report, taken with the remark in the private letter intercepted to-day-" the coming great battle" -may be of significance. Scout said the boys said this was to be their last great struggle. If successful, they would be recognized. If not, all was up.

W. D. MANN,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 14, 1863-4. 30 p. m.

Major-General MEADE:

Washington:

Dispatch from signal officer at Watery Mountain:

A large cloud of smoke is rising between Orange Court-House and Gordonsville; very near the letter place. Can see the enemy's camp smoke south of Clark's Mountain. There is not so much smoke in vicinity of Culpeper as heretofore.

TAYLOR

Signal Officer.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff.