War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 1044 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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June 4, 1863.

Major-General SYKES,

Commanding Second Division:

GENERAL: By direction of the major-general commanding you will without any delay move with your division and take position on the Rappahannock River, posting one brigade at Banks' Ford, one brigade at United States Ford, with a detachment from the latter to be sent to Richards' Ford and posted there for its protection. You will post the other brigade of your division in reserve at Benson's Mills, that being a central point from whence roads lead to Richards', United States, and Banks' Fords, and from which any portion of your line can be easily re-enforced. The major-general commanding directs me to inclose herewith copies of telegrams received from the commanding general; also a map of the section of the country to be occupied. The major-general commanding directs that you take with you the intrenching tools of the supply train, and direct your subordinate officers to immediately prepare defenses, such as rifle-pits, epaulements for batteries, and to make every disposition to check, retard, and prevent the crossing of the river at the potints whose defense is intrusted to them. There are now two batteries of light 12s posted at Banks' and United States Fords. Two rifled batteries have been ordered to these points to report to you. The major-general commanding directs that you will instruct the several commanding officers at each of the places occupied to immediately make themselves acquainted with the woods, paths, &c., leading from their posts up and down the river and back into the country, to keep up communications with the posts on their right and left, and you will discuss and arrange witht hem a plan of operations in case the enemy should force a passage at any point, in which case you will concentrate all your command within sytriking distance as rapidly as possible, and hold the enemy in check the longest possible time, falling back, when pressed, on the main army at this place. You will be careful to see that yoru command takes with it a full supply of ammunition, and you will issue rations so as to have always two days' wagons well in rear, and caution them to consider themselves on advance picket duty, requiring the utmost vigilance and activity. The major-general commanding desires that you will give your personal attention to the posting of your troops in their respective positions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.



June 5, 1863.


GENERAL: Your divisions will be held in readiness to march at daylight to-morrow morning.

By command of Major-General Birney:


Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.