enemy all day, and occasionally efforts have been made at one or two points to throw over infantry, but they have been repelled. There is no doubt, however, they can cross whenever they bring a sufficient force to bear. Railroad trains were arriving all night and day, and much cheering on their arrival. I think Lee will concentrate all his available force to resist any attempt on my part to cross the river. His position, immediately in my front, is very strong, and the attempt to force a passage very critical. The river might possibly be crossed by a flank movement, but this would expose my communications or involve the danger of detachments.
I am so far from my base that, should Lee not be so much reduced as we suppose, he might, by crossing at Falmouth, interpose between my army and Washington. This renders me very doubtful of the expediency of advancing farther without some very definite and positive information of his position and numbers. I regret the duty of guarding conscripts could not have been assumed by General Heintzelman at Alexandria, as the 500 men taken from the Eleventh Corps are greatly needed for defending the railroad.
GEO. G. MEADE,
CULPEPER, September 16, 1863-12. 15 a. m.
(Received 1 a. m.)
General S. WILLIAMS,
Dispatch in regard to movements received. General Warren has just left. I have opened as directed. Will forward at once. Please tell General Patrick that I will be ready to turn over the town as soon as he shall arrive. I have one regiment I will lend him.
ALEX. S. WEBB,
FIFTH CORPS, September 16, 1863-1 a. m.
General S. WILLIAMS:
I have received the order directing a movement for to-morrow. The dispatch does not state where I shall cross the Rappahannock, nor what troops have precedence, the First or Fifth Corps. I hear nothing of the bridge that was to the thrown over the river for me near Beverly Ford. Therefore conclude I am to across at Rappahannock Bridge.
SEPTEMBER 16, 1863-1 a. m.
Commanding Officer Cavalry Corps:
Your dispatch of 11. 30 p. m. received. The commanding general does not think it expedient to throw General Warren forward until the army is within supporting distance of him, as if you were driven back, he, too, would probably be overcome by numbers.