War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0345 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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Chantilly road, by about 75 cavalry under Mosby. Three have escaped and arrived here. I am sending out four companies of infantry. I have no cavalry. I have sent word to Colonel Lowell.

MICHAEL CORCORAN,

Brigadier-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 18, 1863-12 m.

Major-General MEADE,

Army of the Potomac:

Reported from Harper's Ferry that the enemy attacked Charlestown at 7 o'clock this morning.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 18, 1863-11 a. m.

Major-General MEADE,

Army of the Potomac:

If Lee has turned his back on you to cross the mountains, he certainly has seriously exposed himself to your blows, unless his army can move 2 miles to your 1. Fight him before he again draws you at such a distance from your base as to Harper's Ferry, you must not give him time to take that place you go to its aid. Of course, it cannot hold out long if attacked by his main force.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

OCTOBER 18, 1863-1 p. m. (Received 1. 40 p. m.)

Major-General HALLECK:

The cavalry report the enemy as having withdrawn from Bristoe, supposed toward the Rappahannock. A reconnaissance to Thoroughfare Gap found the gaps strongly picketed by the enemy's cavalry, but could hear of no large force of teh enemy passing through the gap. Stuart, with 4,000 cavalry and six pieces of artillery, passed in the direction of Aldie last evening, doubtless with the intention of making a raid on my rear. I have sent all my available cavalry to watch and oppose him. It is impossible to move this army until I know something more definite of position of the enemy. If he is in the valley, any movement in the direction of the Rappahannock would be lost time. So, also, would any movement be toward Harper's Ferry, if he is retiring to the Rappahannock, which, as far as I can judge, is his direction. Have you any information as to the character of the force at Charlestown this a. m.? Whatever route he has taken, it is too late for me to overtake him in any short time.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.