HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
September 13, 1863-8 p. m. (Received 8. 30 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
In accordance with the telegram I sent you on the 11th instant, General Pleasonton, in command of the cavalry, advanced this morning against the enemy, supported by the Second Corps, General Warren. At the last dispatch received, 5 p. m., General Pleasonton had driven the enemy beyond Culpeper Court-House, which was occupied by General Warren.
General Pleasonton had only encountered cavalry and artillery. He reports a slight loss and the capture of 3 guns and 41 prisoners. He further states that all the information he has been able to gather tends confirm the reported retrograde movement of the Confederate army.
Both Generals Pleasonton and Warren have been cautioned that their movement was to be restricted to a reconnaissance for obtaining information of the enemy's position, and they were not to compromise matters so as to force on a general engagement, but to retire to the line of the Rappahannock, if the superiority of the force brought by the enemy should compel them to do so. Should the enemy have withdrawn from the Rapidan, or should he permit of its being done without too great a sacrifice, Culpeper Court-House may be retained by the cavalry.
GEO. G. MEADE,
SEPTEMBER 13, 1863-2 p. m.
Commanding Officer Cavalry Corps:
Remember the object of your expedition is a reconnaissance predicated on the report that the enemy has made a retrograde movement.
I do not desire to bring on a general engagement, and the infantry force was sent to enable you to withdraw with safety in case the enemy appears in such force as to compel or require you so to do.
GEO. G. MEADE,
(Copy to commanding officer Second Corps.)
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
Bristoe, September 13, 1863-10 p. m.
Brigadier-General VON STEINWEHR,
Commanding Second Division:
GENERAL: The scouts from Bull Run Mountains report no news from the enemy. Culpeper is in our possession. General Pleasonton captured three guns and a lot of prisoners. Have you any news from General King?
O. O. HOWARD,