CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
October 11, 1863.
The Second Division will cross the river at daylight to-morrow by a bridge to be thrown in front of the Hamilton house. Three batteries of artillery will follow it.
The Third Division will follow the artillery.
General Ayres will take possession of the bald hill (Yew Hill), posting the artillery on the most advantageous points, his infantry behind the crest of the hill, extending well to the right.
The Third Division will be posted on General Ayres' left, and will be made to take advantage of any stone walls or ravines that may be there.
The pickets of these two divisions will precede them and will be thrown well to the front of the position assumed.
The First Division and the remaining batteries will be held ready to cross the river at a moment's notice when so directed from these headquarters.
By command of Major-General Sykes:
FRED. T. LOCKE,
OCTOBER 12, 1863-11. 30 p. m.
(Received 12. 30 p. m.)
This army was yesterday withdrawn to the north side of the Rappahannock. Although the movement was delayed, the enemy offered no opposition till 1 p. m., when the rear guard of cavalry was attacked by cavalry and artillery supported by infantry.
Brigadier-General Buford, who had crossed the Rapidan the evening before and had moved up on the south side as far as Morton's Ford, here met a superior force of cavalry, supported by infantry, who compelled him to recross to the north side and fall back till he effected a junction with the rear guard of the army.
The intentions of the enemy are as yet undeveloped. My cavalry on the right have not as yet reported any movement in that direction, and the strong force in my rear yesterday renders the theory of their intending to get in my rear less probable. In order to ascertain the condition of things in my front, I have ordered Major-General Sedgwick, with two corps and a division of cavalry, to recross the river and advance to Brandy Station, and ascertain if any considerable force is in my front. If Lee will give me battle between the Rappahannock and the Rapidan I will fight him, although in doing so I feel confident I shall have to attack, and from all the information I can get, it is my opinion his forces are nearly, if not quite, equal to mine.
Our losses yesterday will probably amount to 400 killed, wounded, and missing.
GEO. G. MEADE,
OCTOBER 12, 1863-8 p. m. (Received 9 p. m.)
General Sedgwick has advanced to Brandy Station, and General Buford to the vicinity of Culpeper Court-House. A small force of