War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0203 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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through their picket of infantry, and a line of infantry one-fourth of a mile back from the river, and passed out in the country over 2 miles. Saw about one division of infantry passing down the river. He says there is great excitement-never so great as now. The enemy sent for re-enforcement yesterday when the Twelfth and Second Corps marched to the river. They expected an attack last night at Ely's Ford. They have all their dismounted cavalry and one brigade of infantry there. The scouts is very much exhausted, or I would send him through to you to-night. The above is all the information he has to impart.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier General of Vols., Commanding Third Division.


September 18, 1863.

General S. WILLIAMS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Your communication of yesterday has been received. I have examined the country in the immediate vicinity of Raccoon Ford, and am satisfied that we could not force a passage of the river at this point, nor can we prevent the enemy from crossing. The advantage in position in entirely with the enemy, the ground on the opposite side commanding every position on this side. I shall park my train well in rear on the road leading to Culpeper. I now think it will be advisable, in case I am obliged to fall back, to have one division, with its train, move on the road to Stevensburg, and the other on the direct Culpeper road. I shall make a careful examination of both roads as soon as possible.

The enemy guard the river at this point very carefully. They fire upon our pickets at sight, and will not allow any person to approach the banks of the river.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

SEPTEMBER 18, 1863-1. 20 p. m.

Commanding Officer Twelfth Corps:

The major-general commanding directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of to-day's date, and requests that you will examine the river below Raccoon Ford, and particularly at Morton's Ford, to ascertain the practicability of effecting a passage. He is informed that a passage can be forced by him at Morton's Ford.

He desires your views upon the subject as soon as you have made the requisite examinations. He wishes you also to take into consideration the nature of the position this army can take after crossing. He further requests me to say that the examination should be concealed from the enemy, so that the passage, should one be made, may not be anticipated by them.


Major-General, Chief of Staff.