The nature of the enemy's position at Rappahannock Station will be sufficiently indicated by the statement that he holds a small redoubt on this side, near the railroad bridge, with rifle-pits, the redoubt and rifle-pit on the hill on the opposite bank on the right of the road, and the wooded hill on the left of the railroad, which commands the level ground on this side of the river and on the line of the railroad on the other. This hill extends a considerable distance nearly parallel with the line of the railroad. Upon this hill and others on the right of the railroad, it is highly probable that defensive works have been thrown up. There is some high ground upon this side the river, near Norman's Ford, which it is understood, will admit of several batteries being placed in position against the wooded hill on the opposite bank.
The contingency should be held in view of your being withdrawn from Rappahannock Station and thrown across at Kelly's Ford, in the event of your not being able to dislodge the enemy from his position at Rappahannock Station.
General Buford's cavalry division is directed to operate upon the right flank and force a crossing at Rixeyville. He will be directed to communicate and co-operate with you.
A copy of General French's instructions is inclosed herewith. * He is furnished with a copy of yours.
A rought sketch of the vicinity of Rappahannock Station, made by Captain Mendell, accompanies this. A tracing of the map, including Rappahannock Station and Kelly's Ford, has already been sent you.
Very respectfully, &c.,
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
November 6, 1863-3. 15 p. m.
In the movements ordered for to-morrow, November 7, general headquarters will be at Carter's house, on the road to Kelly's Ford that leaves the road from Bealeton to Morrisville about midway between the two places, instead of at Payne's house, as heretofore indicated.
By command of Major-General Meade:
NOVEMBER 7, 1863-12 m.
Do you think you can hold the fords in the vicinity of Rappahannock Station with two of your divisions and all your artillery? If the column from Kelly's Ford advances and engages in battle, I desire to make it as strong as possible, as it will, undoubtedly, have to meet the main rebel army, and I ought to leave some force at Kelly's Ford. Let me know at once.
GEO. G. MEADE,
*See p. 426.