HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
March 9, 1863.
COMMANDING OFFICER SIXTH ARMY CORPS:
GENERAL: The commanding general expects that you will have your command in complete readiness for service at any day; that the supply of arms, clothing, equipments, pioneers' tools, ammunition, and all the necessary material will be so complete that by no possibility can there be the slightest delay, in consequence of want of preparation, whenever you may be ordered to move. The general will hold you responsible in the premises.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. MIDDLE DEPARTMENT, EIGHTH ARMY CORPS,
Baltimore, March 9, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Whipple has been ordered to Philadelphia to take the command at that post, of which you have been relieved by the War Department, and you will turn everything over to him when he arrives.
By order of Major-General Schenck:
W. H. CHESEBROUGH,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Yorktown, Va., March 9, 1863.
Colonel D. T. VAN BUREN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Virginia:
SIR: It having been reported to me from several sources that a considerable force of the enemy's cavalry and artillery had approached to the neighborhood of Gloucester Point, I crossed the lines this morning, attended by Brigadier-General Busteed and an escort of troopers, and discovered the ground they had occupied. Along a space of a little more than a mile in the road to Gloucester Court-House the enemy's cavalry and artillery remained in column from 12 o'clock Friday night till Saturday morning at drawn and then turned back. The head of their column was within a mile and a half of our pickets, and the remains of fires every twenty or thirty yards corroborate their presence. An old intelligent contraband who met the column and passed along its whole length told me they filled the road, and that it was General Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry. He was questioned continually by the rebels, and after examining him carefully myself I am convinced that they were under the command of that officer and that they numbered about 2,000 cavalry and two pieces of artillery. It has been reported by two constrabands that General Robert E. Lee came down with the cavalry. This report I do not altogether credit, though it is stated with great assurance that the old general was riding about with his two sons.
I remain, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
E. D. KEYES,