If, nowever, you find you can succeed in crossing the river without hazarding the safety of your command, or risking a severe engagement, you will, of course, do so. The telegraph wire is now in working order to Culpeper, and I wish you to communicate with me frequently, and kept me fully advised of all that transpires in your vicinity.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
September 14, 1863.
Major General JOHN NEWTON,
Commanding First Corps:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 13th, instant in reference to the detail of the Second Corps to support the cavalry reconnaissance sent in front of the army yesterday, has been laid before the commanding general, who regrets to learn that the detail has occasioned a feeling of disappointment among the officers and men of your corps.
The considerations which led the commanding general to select the Second Corps for this service were chiefly that the First Corps formed part of a line the continuity of which the general did not wish to break, as he could not foresee the consequences which might flow from our advance, and he was by no means certain that the reconnoitering party, together with its support, might not be driven back upon that line, and moreover, he had in view the fact that the First corps had for some weeks occupied an advanced position, requiring on its part unusual watchfulness, and far more exhausting duties than had been performed by the corps in rear. The commanding general trusts that this explanation will satisfy you that in assigning the Second Corps to the duty above indicated no distrust was entertained of the qualifications of the First Corps to perform the service equally well.
I am directed to add that, while the commanding general has given in this instance his reasons for issuing a particular order, he does not admit the right of any subordinate commander to call in question his acts, and he regrets that you should have thought it proper to do so.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
September 14, 1863-1 p. m.
Three guerrillas captured two horses between Union Mills and this place, about half past 10 o'clock to-day. We have sent out cavalry and infantry after them. No train has been captured or interfered with.
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.