directed General Pleasonton to maintain his position on the Rapidan, to cross if practicable, and in the meantime to endeavor to obtain more definite information. General Warren, with the Second Corps, will remain in position at Culpeper. I should be glad to have your views as to what had better be done, if anything.
If Lee's army is as much reduced as the intelligence now received would lead us to believe, when the detached troops from this army return, I ought to be his superior in numbers, and should be able to require him to fall back. At the same time, I see no object in advancing, unless it is with ulterior views, and I do not consider this army is sufficiently large to follow him to Richmond (in case that should prove practicable), and lay siege to that place, fortified as we know it to be.
Moreover, the change of base, in case much a movement were effected, must be determined-whether it shall be to the Fredericksburg railroad or the James River.
I should be glad if you would communicate the views of yourself and the Government at the earliest possible moment.
GEO. G. MEADE,
SEPTEMBER 14, 1863-7. 30 P. M.
Commanding Officer Second Corps:
Your dispatch of 6. 30 received. The commanding general does not deem it expedient at this moment to throw an infantry force across the Rapidan, and he wishes the operations on that river to be confined to the cavalry, unless you think it best to support General Gregg with, say, a brigade of infantry. Information, to be received within a day or two, may lead the commanding general to move the entire army in the direction of Gordonsville, but for the present your position will be Culpeper.
SEPTEMBER 14, 1863-8. 30 p. m.
Commanding Officers Second Corps:
Please send the following to General Pleasonton by special messenger.
GEO. G. MEADE.
8. 30 p. m.
Commanding Officer Cavalry Corps:
In consequence of the information thus far received, leading to the opinion that you cannot effect a crossing of the Rapidan unless strongly assisted by infantry, and as I am not prepared at the present moment to make a general movement of the army in that direction, I desire you to hold the line of the Rapidan, picketing well above and below your position, and obtaining all the information you can respecting the movements of the enemy.