army crossed the Rapidan at Germanna and
Camp of the Military telegraph Corps, Brandy Station, Va. other fords and moved in the direction of Mine Run.
The season was not favorable.
The weather was bitterly cold and the roads were difficult.
General French with the Third Corps, crossing the Rapidan at Germanna Ford, became engaged with the enemy on the 27th at Payne's Farm.
He advanced through heavy undergrowth and an almost impassable tangle and was sharply resisted by the enemy — Edward Johnson's division and Gordon's brigade.
French's advance was checked.
Part of the Sixth Corps was hurried forward to French's support but took no part in the action.
Night coming on, a further attempt to advance was deemed unadvisable.
Meanwhile, and several miles to the left, on broader and better roads, the other corps of the army had passed the Rapidan and had moved out to the position of Mine Run.
This little stream runs northward into the Rapidan through a valley bordered on both side