War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0392 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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WASHINGTON, D. C.,

October 27, 1863-2 p. m.

Major-General MEADE,

Army of the Potomac:

Please report condition of affairs in your army and front.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

OCTOBER 27, 1863-8 p. m.

(Received 9 p. m.)

Major-General HALLECK:

Yesterday the enemy advanced a force of infantry and cavalry from the railroad crossing of the Rappahannock, driving in our cavalry pickets and forcing back Buford's cavalry till they reached their infantry support in the neighborhood of Bealeton. A column was reported as crossing at Kelly's Ford, and there were other indications of an advance. This morning, however, the enemy retired to the river and his former position, which appears to be between the railroad crossing and Kelly's Ford, with a force on this side of the river at the crossing.

Last night a supply train coming from the depot at Gainesville was attacked between New Baltimore and Warrenton and some one hundred animals taken from it. The train had an escort, which was in front and rear, but was unable to reach the center of the train before the guerrillas had made off with the animals. The wagons were left untouched.

The railroad will be repaired to Catlett's Station, within 1 1/2 miles of Warrenton Junction, by to-morrow night.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,

October 27, [1863]-12 m.

Lieutenant Colonel C. ROSS SMITH:

The firing this morning I cannot understand, unless it is reconnaissance I sent to Kelly's. I will let you know as soon as I hear. I am pushing the enemy from the country between Bealeton and the river. Nothing but cavalry have been seen this morning, and no force. Ewell and Johnson were over here at Bealeton yesterday, with two brigades (Steuart's and Walker's) that I know of. I believe they came after railroad iron, as portions of it below Bealeton have been removed.

Where shall I make my picket line if the rebels are on the south side of the river? Please give my division trains [instructions] what to do.

Respectfully,

JNO. BUFORD,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

[P. S.]-Prisoners say Ewell's corps is at Brandy. The command that came across yesterday left their camp pitched.