expressed, I have ordered the army to cross the Rappahannock, and shall take up a position to-morrow with my left at Stevensburg and right at Stone-House Mountain. I will then picket the Rapidan with infantry, and thus relieve the cavalry, and will endeavor, by means of the latter, to obtain more information.
I have no doubt Longstreet's corps has gone south through Richmond. I have heard of no troops passing through Lynchburg from Gordonsville, but he can take the road from Petersburg. He has undoubtedly gone to re-enforce Bragg. I am satisfied Lee has still Ewell and Hill with him; not less than 40,000 or 45,000 infantry and over 5,000 cavalry. I hardly think he will cross the Rapidan to meet me at Culpeper, unless he is ignorant of my actual force. If he does not, it will be a difficult problem to attack him or compel him to fall back, as he has such advantages in the line of the Rapidan, enabling him, by means of artillery and rifle-pits, to hold it with much less force than is required to force the passage. I will not make the attempt unless I can see my way clear, and I do not much expect any greater success than requiring him to fall still farther back.
I am a little concerned about my line of communications, which well be lengthened by this movement some 20 miles, and I would be glad if the cavalry now in Washington belonging to this army could be sent out, and this arm increased by re-enforcements. I will advise you further by telegraph.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
September 15, 1863-8. 30 a. m.
Commanding Second Cavalry Division:
GENERAL: General Kilpatrick will connect with you to-day and give you assistance to push the enemy in front of you across the river, if you think it can be done. You will occupy the line of the Rapidan until further orders, picketing well above and to your flank, and keeping me fully advised of anything that occurs. Send your train back for supplies, and, if you can spare the men, send to my headquarters for your share of new horses out of the 1,000 just from Washington. Let the officers see Lieutenant Spangler about them. He is to be found near my headquarters, north of the Rappahannock.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1863-1. 30 p. m.
Commanding Officer Sixth Corps:
The commanding general directs that you concentrate your corps at Sulphur Springs to-day prepared to cross the river. You will leave a sufficient guard at Warrenton to protect the depot at that place until broken up. Please acknowledge.