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[128] satisfied that the main body is retiring from the mountains I shall continue my flank movement. I am going to direct Couch to move down the Cumberland Valley, to threaten their rear.

About noon General Meade received a report from General Sedgwick saying that he had pushed the enemy's rear-guard as far as Fairfield Pass, which was of such a nature that a very small force placed there could hold him in check for a considerable length of time, though he could finally take it, and that, in his judgment, it would involve delay and waste of time to endeavor to push the enemy any farther on that road.

At 2 P. M., soon after receiving the above, the following report was received from General Sedgwick:

‘I am satisfied that Hood's Div. with one battery hold the Gap to cover the trains and that Ewell's whole (Div.) is on the mountains. I think they will withdraw to-night. Mr. McKenzie will give you the result of Neill's operation. Howe has gone up with his whole Div. I shall hold on until further orders. I think Newton and Birney should be a little nearer, but I cannot believe the enemy will attack me and therefore do not wish to fatigue the troops by unnecessary marching. I have just sent in one hundred prisoners, a few more have since been taken. When a general movement takes place will you please send orders to Newton or Birney direct as I am so far away from them that time would be lost in communicating with them.’

Upon receiving the above, General Meade decided to move the whole army down toward Middletown, and accordingly issued the following order:

July 6, 1863.

Commanders and other Independent commands, and Chiefs of Staff Departments, will at once proceed to carry into effect the orders of march of July 5th, temporarily suspended. Headquarters will be to-night at the same place as last night and to-morrow at Frederick.

By Command of Major General Meade,

(Sd.) S. Williams, Asst. Adjt. Genl.

Immediately upon the issue of this order, General Meade sent at 2 P. M. the following report to General Halleck, at Washington:

Yesterday I sent General Sedgwick with the 6th Corps in pursuit of the enemy towards Fairfield and a brigade of cavalry

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