September 15, 1863-11 a. m.
I think preparations should be made to at least threaten Lee, and, if possible, cut off a slice of his army. I do not think the exact condition of affairs is sufficiently ascertained to authorize any very considerable advance. I will write more fully to-day.
H. W. HALLECK.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
September 15, 1863-4 p. m. (Received 4. 30 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
The latest intelligence from the front is to 10 a. m., when General Pleasonton reports that the enemy have increased their forces, both infantry and artillery, at the several crossing places threatened by our cavalry. The enemy have likewise a force of infantry and artillery on this side of the Rapidan (at the railroad crossing), evidently to defend and dispute the possession of the bridge at that place. General Warren remains at Culpeper, to which point our trains run, and the telegraph is being opened to Mitchell's Station, the rebels having left their line intact. Two scouts have arrived from below, having been some 5 miles south of Chancellorsville. They confirm the report of the departure of Longstreet's corps, but heard nothing of Ewell's or Hill's corps leaving.
Your telegram of 11 a. m. this day has been received. I have given orders to concentrate and mass the different corps at the several crossing places on the Rappahannock, but shall await your letter before making any further forward movement.
GEO. G. MEADE,
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 15, 1863.
Major-General MEADE, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: After preparing my telegram to you this morning, I received a note from the President, of which I send you a copy. I do not understand this note as materially differing from my dispatch. The main objects are to threaten Lee's position, to ascertain more certainly the actual condition of affairs in his army, and, if possible, to cut off some portion of it by a sudden raid, if that be practicable. And especially every effort should be made to ascertain if any considerable forces have gone by the Valley Railroad toward East Tennessee River. It was to enable Rosecrans to strengthen his right that Burnside was ordered to move on Chattanooga. Hurlbut and Sherman were also ordered to concentrate