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[394] and out of the Gap; during which, Lee moved rapidly southward, passing around our right flank and appearing in our front when our army again looked across the Rappahannock.

So soon as it was known that Lee had started for the North with all the force that lie could muster, Gen. Dix, commanding at Fortress Monroe, was directed to make a demonstration on Richmond. Gen. Keyes was appointed to lead it. Starting1 from White House, about 5,000 men of all arms, under the more immediate command of Gen. Getty, with at least as many more behind at call, Keyes moved up to Baltimore Crossroads, whence some 1,500 cavalry were sent forward to burn the Central Railroad bridge over the South Anna, which they effected. There was some skirmishing at various points, with the advantage oftener on the side of the enemy; the upshot of all being that Keyes retreated without a serious fight, and without having accomplished any thing worth the cost of the movement. As Richmond was defended by a single brigade under Wise, with such help as might be hastily summoned from points farther south or obtained from her officeholders and other exempts organized as militia, it seems obvious that a more determined leader, who would not have fallen back without knowing why, was badly needed. A spirited, resolute dash might have given us Richmond on the same day that Grant took possession of surrendered Vicksburg and Lee recoiled from Meade's unshaken front at Gettysburg.

Gen. Buford, with his cavalry division, pushed2 across the river, at Rappahannock Station, and crowded back, first a brigade, then a division, of Stuart's cavalry nearly to Culpepper Court House, when their infantry compelled him to retreat, fighting, till lie was supported by the 1st corps; when the foe in turn desisted. Our loss this day was 140, including 16 killed.

Gen. Kilpatrick next crossed3 at Port Conway below Fredericksburg, driving before him a Rebel force stationed on this side, and burning two gunboats recently captured by the Rebels on the Potomac, and run into the Rappahannock for future use.

Gen. Pleasanton next crossed4 the Rappahannock at Kelly's and other fords with most of our cavalry, in three divisions, under Buford, Kilpatrick, and Gregg, pressing back Stuart's cavalry to Brandy Station and Culpepper Court House, and thence across the Rapidan, capturing two guns and quite a body of prisoners. Otherwise, the losses on either side were light. Gen. Warren, with the 2d corps, supported our cavalry, but was at no time engaged.

This reconnoissance having proved that Lee had depleted his army to reenforce Bragg in Tennessee, Gen. Meade crossed5 the Rappahannock in force, posting himself at Culpepper Court House, throwing forward two corps to the Rapidan; which he was preparing to cross when he was ordered from Washington to detach6 the 11th and 12th corps, under Hooker, to the aid of our army at Chattanooga. Being reenforced soon afterward, he sent7 Gen. Buford, with his cavalry division, across the Rapidan

1 July 1.

2 Aug. 1.

3 Sept. 1.

4 Sept. 13.

5 Sept. 16.

6 Sept. 24.

7 Oct. 10.

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