If the necessary information can be obtained to-day, and, if it shall be of the character the commanding General anticipates, it is his intention to advance upon the enemy to-morrow. In this event, the position of your corps on the south bank of the Rappahannock will be as favorable as the General could desire. It is for this reason that he desires that your corps should not cross the Rappahannock.While Hooker was thus hesitating and vacillating,2 the Rebels were acting. No longer dreading an offensive
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1 Monday, May 4.
Dispatch this moment received. Withdraw; cover the river, and prevent any force crossing. Acknowledge receipt.Sodgwick had accordingly brought across most of his force, under a heavy fire of shell; when, at 3:20 A. M., he received this dispatch, dated 20 minutes later than the foregoing. but of course based on one intermediately received from him, (S.) saying that he could hold on south of the river if required:
Yours received, saying you could hold position. Order to withdraw countermanded. Acknowledge both.When this came to hand, it is needless to add that its execution was impossible.
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