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9 Series I Volume XXIX-I Serial 48 - Bristoe, Mine Run Part I

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Page 9 Chapter XLI. GENERAL REPORTS.

thine this position, assuming a threatening attitude toward the enemy.

On the 1st of August, Brigadier-General Buford, in command of a division of cavalry, advanced from Rappahannock Station and drove the enemy's cavalry to the vicinity of Culpeper Court-House, where a strong force of infantry being met, Buford was obliged to retire. This reconnaissance, it is believed, had the effect to cause the enemy to withdraw his infantry to the south side of the Rapidan.

About the middle of August, a considerable detachment was withdrawn from this army, under the orders of the General-in-Chief, for duty elsewhere.

On the 1st of September, Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, commanding a division of cavalry, proceeded to Port Conway, on the Lower Rappahannock, where, after driving across the river a force of cavalry and infantry which the enemy had on the north bank, he, by means of his artillery, effectually destroyed the two gunboats recently captured by the enemy on the Potomac, and which they had brought to this point.

On the 13th of September, intelligence having been received rendering it probable the enemy was making a retrograde movement, Major-General Pleasonton, in command of all the cavalry, supported by the Second Corps, Major-General Warren, crossed the Rappahannock at several points, and, after a spirited engagement with the enemy's cavalry, in which he captured 3 guns and many prisoners, drove the enemy across the Rapidan, but found it impossible to force the passage of that river. Major-General Warrenton, with his corps, occupied Culpeper Court-House, taking no part in the engagement, which was entirely a cavalry fight. The result of this movement proved that the enemy had sent Longstreet's corps to the Southwest, but still held the line of the Rapidan in force.

On the 16th of September, the army crossed the Rappahannock, and took up a position around Culpeper Court-House, with the advance of two corps on the Rapidan. An examination of the enemy's position proved it entirely out of the question to attempt to force the passage of the river in his immediate front. The command of all fords was on the south bank, and this obstacle was greatly increased by numerous earth-works and rifle-pits, with batteries in position. Just as a plan of operations for a flank movement had been matured, it was thought proper to withdraw from the army the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps for duty in the Southwest, these leaving on the 24th of September.

Early in October, a portion of the troops withdrawn in August were returned, and about the same time considerable accessions to the force under my command, were made by drafted men.

On the 10th of October, information being received leading to the belief the enemy was about to make some movement Brigadier-General Buford was sent across the Rapidan, with his division of cavalry, with orders to uncover, if practicable, the upper fords, when the First and Sixth Corps, in advance on the river, were ordered to force the passages in their fronts.

On the 10th, before intelligence of Buford's movements was received, the enemy crossed the Robertson's River and advanced from Madison Court-House in heavy force, driving in my cavalry. The indications of the enemy's purpose to pass my flank and threaten my rear being conclusive, on the 11th of October the army was withdrawn to the north side of the Rappahannock. In effecting this op-


Page 9 Chapter XLI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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