War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0930 Chapter XLI. OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CORPS,

November 30, 1863-11.30 p. m.

[Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS:]

I respectfully report that I think the changes made by the enemy to-day on his left, in strengthening his lines and increasing the number of troops, render it doubtful wherter the position could now be corried. I think it could have been carried this morning without gread loss.

JOHN SEDGWICK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,

November 30, 1863.

[General SEDGWICK:]

I believe the chances of success materialy diminished by the delay, owing to changes by the enemy in the position of batteries, strengthening of his lines, and additional troops, and a strong suspicion, if not certainty, of the position of our forces. If the attack is made it is vital that it be made at once.

H. G. WRIGHT,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,

Morton's Ford, November 30, 1863-2 p. m.

[Colonel C. ROSS SMITH,

Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps:]

Two contrabands, who crossed the river near Rapidan Station last night, report that the enemy is moving all his trains toward Gordonsville. One contraband stated that he had counted over 500 wagons moving from Orange Court-House to Gordonsville. There was scarcely any guards with the train. A man belonging to my command who was taken prisoner two weeks ago at Raccoon Ford, made his escape from the enemy and has just come in. He reports that he has been at Orange Court-House for one week; that now there are but rery few troops at that point, all having been marched toward Fredericksburg. He confirms the report which states that the trains of the enemy are moving to Gordonsville. He was dressed in the rebel uniform, and associated freely with the rebel soldiers after making his escape.

They are all aware of Bragg's disaster and expect that Lee's army will be forced back. The enemy have withdrawn all infantry from the fords above this point, and do not show as large a force of cavalry as usual. I can cross Morton's Ford at my pleasure. A few minutes ago I received through General Merritt's headquarters a dispatch from you, stating that our batteries would open at 8 a. m. The dispatch was dated 7 a. m.

G. A. CUSTER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.