War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0544 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[CHAP. XLI.

morning, and that wagons were heard to move on the Criglersville road last night from left to right.

Have your right connect with General Custer's left at Mitchell's Ford. Custer's officer reports that your officer will not come up as far as Mitchell's Ford.

Very respectfully,

C. ROSS SMITH,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Chief of Staff.

CULPEPER, VA.,

December 5, 1863.

Colonel C. ROSS SMITH:

The right of my line of pickets rests to the right of the Rixeyville and Culpeper road, on Muddy Run, this side of Mrs. Major's house. The parties sent out for information in regard to enemy's movements have not yet reported. I will send information as soon as received. The enemy crossed at Somerville Ford to destroy house and havy stack used by our pickets for defense. He has returned to south side of the river.

W. MERRITT,

Brigadier-General.

CULPEPER,

December 5, 1863.

Colonel C. ROSS SMITH,

Chief of Staff:

Captain Sweitzer, commanding the picket on Gaines' Mill road, does not know what the wagons heard were. He did not hear them himself, but they were reported by his advanced vedettes this morning. I had sent out a party on the road toward James City and Madison Court-House before your order reached me. It has orders to find if there is any movement of the enemy.

A staff officer visited Pony Mountain, and reports large camps near Dr. Morton's house, and everything else as far as visible about as it was before the movement. The enemy's camps and position as they were. My picket line connects with General Custer at Somerville Ford, thence runs to the right along Cedar Run a mile and a half beyond Gaines' Mill, southeast of Stone-House Mountain, with right resting on Rixeyville road, near Muddy Run, with Culpeper as a center. It is a curved line, with radius from 4 to 5 miles long. If I throw my line farther to the front, the extent of country is greater than I can cover.

I send parties out daily to reconnoiter well to the front on the principal roads. Captain Clark, just in from a scout, reports the enemy picketing this side the Rapidan, between Morton's and Raccoon Fords; also they are said to be building a bridge between these two fords.

Very respectfully,

W. MERRITT,

Brigadier-General.