that I was to exercise caution in crossing. If information is certain, audacity is prudence, and I would respectfully suggest that with the First Corps leading, I would like to have the Fifth and Sixth Corps as a reserve. As to the point of crossing, I know nothing definite of the depth of water, my pickets not being able to approach near enough to obtain it. Morton's Ford, militarily, is half-and-half, according to who attacks, the advantage being on the side of the defense. Raccoon Ford is impregnable. This in both cases is on the supposition that the enemy is in force.
If an attack is to be made, I respectfully recommend a strong column on one point sufficient to compensate for losses. With the First Corps I can carry, I think, any point on the river, except Raccoon Ford, but I must be supported, unless information at headquarters is positive that the enemy has evacuated.
Finally, I respectfully recommend that the First, Fifth, and Sixth corps, in the order mentioned, take the lead and be concentrated on one point. I can go anywhere with such a column.
OCTOBER 9, 1863-7 p. m.
(Received 7. 45 p. m.)
A movement on the part of the enemy has taken place to-day. His force guarding the Rapidan has been visibly diminished. A column of cavalry, artillery, and infantry has been seen moving from Gordonsville to Madison Court-House. What his intentions are is as yet uncertain. Whether falling back from the Rapidan, or making a flank movement against me by way of Madison Court-House and Weaverville, I am unable to say. I have directed one division of cavalry to cross the Rapidan, if practicable, at Germanna, and follow the enemy if in retreat. Another division of cavalry is posted to watch and meet any movement from Madison Court-House. The rest of the army will be held in hand to meet either contingency, to pursue in case Lee is withdrawing, or meet his flank movement in the event of such proving to be his intention.
The enemy's pickets were overheard to say last night that the Yankees would soon find out that more troops had been sent to Bragg, and it is reported three brigades from Ewell's corps have been recently sent.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VA. AND N. C., Numbers 81.
Fort Monroe, Va., October 9, 1863.
* * * * *
IV. Major-General Peck, commanding District of North Carolina, will order the following-named regiments of be prepared to come to this point. The regiments will bring their camp and garrison equipage. Ninth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, Twenty-third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Twenty-seventh Regi-