War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0328 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 15, 1863-4 p. m. (Received 4. 20 p. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

I have an abundance of artillery, perhaps more even than can be used to advantage, but I should be very glad to have all the infantry and cavalry you can send me.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS, October 15, 1863-4 p. m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

There is considerable cannonading in the direction of Brentsville, going on now. General Kilpatrick sent an officer just now to ask what the firing here meant, and I told him. He said nothing important was passing along the part of the line he was conversant with. I am more and more convinced that all that is going on in my front is mere humburg. It is meant to cover either a retreat or a flank movement. General Buford is probably in a position to settle which it is. No damage done by the cannonading.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 15, 1863-3 p. m.

Major-General MEADE,

Army of teh Potomac:

Advices from Rosecrans that Jeff. Davis was with Bragg's army on Saturday, and promised them more re-enforcements. Reports from Richmond make Lee's present force only 55,000. Is he not trying to bully you, while the mass of the rebel armies are concentrating against Rosecrans? I cannot see it in any other light. Instead of retreating, I think you ought to give him battle. From all the information I can get, his force is very much inferior to yours.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

OCTOBER 15, [1863]-7 p. m.

General MEADE:

The firing of General Buford toward Brentsville (I suppose it was him near that place) seemed very much to disconcert the enemy in my front. They soon after retired without any special demonstration from me. This force consisted of a battery, one gun (a Whitworth), supported by a pretty large force of cavalry (a brigade at least visible), and some footmen, perhaps 1,000 strong. General buford seemed to drive the enemy all the time.

I think Lee's game is blocked, and that he will retreat when pressed. It may be, though, that he still contemplates an advance around