HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, August 20, 1863-9 a. m.
(Received 9. 40 a. m.)
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: General Kilpatrick reports there is every indication that the enemy is in large force in and above Fredericksburg. The smoke of their camp fires can be seen along the line of the railroad. Their pickets and stragglers in Fredericksburg, opposite Falmouth, number upward of a thousand men. One of our scouting parties surprised a camp of guerrillas in the night. We recaptured 1 man, 2 negroes, and 3 horses. The party made their escape, but are being pursued by a squadron.
Four Richmond papers are herewith forwarded. It will be seen by an advertisement in the paper of the 17th instant that A. P. Hill's headquarters are near Orange Court-House.
The telegraph to Kilpatrick is completed, and only needs an operator. Can you send him one?
General Gregg reports that his scouting party sent to Hopewell Gap yesterday morning found nothing, and all was quiet beyond.
The two regiments that went to Salem an Manassas have returned, and report that they found nothing but scattered parties of the enemy. They brought in 6 prisoners, supposed to be scouts of the enemy.
General Merritt reports all quiet toward Dumfries and Stafford Court-House. No signs of the enemy.
MORRISVILLE, August 20, 1863.
The following is just received from General Kilpatrick:
I have reliable information that the enemy is in large force opposite United States Ford; that it is believed our army is retiring on Centreville and Washington. Fitzhugh Lee, with 2,000 men and six pieces of artillery, moved yesterday from Fredericksburg to the vicinity of United States Ford. I am of the opinion that he contemplates crossing at Blind Ford, just above United States Ford. His object will be to gain information. I am ready to meet him.
G. K. WARRENT,
Respectfully referred to Major-General Humphreys, chief of staff.
Transmit to Major-General Slocum for his information.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Chief of Staff.