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Doc. 97.-Generals Meade and Lee.

General Lee's despatch.

headquarters Army Northern Va., July 21, 1863.
General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General, C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:
General: I have seen in Northern papers what purported to be an official despatch from Gen. Meade, stating that he had captured a brigade of infantry, two pieces of artillery, two caissons, and a large number of small arms, as this army retired to the south bank of the Potomac, on the thirteenth and fourteenth instants.

This despatch has been copied into the Richmond papers, and as its official character may cause it to be believed, I desire to state that it is incorrect. The enemy did, not capture any organized body of men on that occasion, but only stragglers and such as were left asleep on the road, exhausted by the fatigue and exposure of one of the most inclement nights I have ever known at this season of the year. It rained without cessation, rendering the road by which our troops marched to the bridge at Falling Waters very difficult to pass, and causing so much delay that the last of the troops did not cross the river at the bridge until one P. M. on the fourteenth. While the column was thus detained on the road a number of men, worn down with fatigue, lay down in barns and by the roadside, and though officers were sent back to arouse them, as the troops moved on, the darkness and rain prevented them from finding all, and many were in this way left behind. Two guns were left in the road. The horses that drew them became exhausted, and the officers went forward to procure others. When they returned the rear of the column had passed the guns so far that it was deemed unsafe to send back for them, and they were thus lost. No arms, cannon, or prisoners were taken by the enemy in battle, but only such as were left behind under the circumstances I have described. The number of stragglers thus lost I am unable to state with accuracy, but it is greatly exaggerated in the despatch referred to.

I am, with great respect,

Your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General.

General Meade's despatch.

headquarters of the army of the Potomac, August 9, 1863.
Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
General: My attention has been called to what purports to be an official despatch of General R. E. Lee, Commander of the confederate army, to General S. Cooper, Adjutant and In|spector General, denying the accuracy of my telegram to you of July fourteenth, announcing the result of the cavalry affair at Falling Waters.

I have delayed taking any notice of General Lee's report until the return of Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, absent on leave, who commanded the cavalry engaged on the occasion referred to, and on whose report from the field my telegram was based.

I now inclose the official report of Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, made after his attention had been called to General Lee's report. You will see that he reiterates and confirms all that my despatch averred, and proves most conclusively that General Lee has been deceived by his subordinates, or he would never, in the face of the facts now alleged, have made the assertions his report contains.

It appears that I was in error in stating that [350] the body of General Pettigrew was left in our hands, although I would not communicate that fact until an officer from the field reported to me that he had seen the body.

It is now ascertained from the Richmond papers that General Pettigrew, though mortally wounded in the affair, was taken to Winchester, where he subsequently died. The three battle-flags captured on this occasion and sent to Washington belonged to the Forty-fifth, Forty-seventh, and Fifty-fifth Virginia regiments of infantry. General Lee will surely acknowledge that these were not left in the hands of “stragglers asleep in barns.”

Respectfully yours,

George G. Meade, Major-General Commanding.

General Kilpatrick's report.

headquarters Third division cavalry corps, Warrenton Junction, Va., August 7, 1863.
To Col. A. J. Alexander, Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps:
Colonel: In compliance with a letter just received from the headquarters of the cavalry corps of the army of the Potomac, directing me to give the facts connected with my fight at Falling Waters, I have the honor to state that at three o'clock, on the morning of the fourteenth ultimo, I learned that the enemy's pickets were retiring in my froot.

Having been previously ordered to attack at seven A. M., I was ready to move at once. At daylight I had reached the crest of hills occupied by the enemy an hour before, and at a few moments before six o'clock General Custer drove the rear-guard of the enemy into the river at Williamsport.

Learning from citizens that a portion of the enemy had retreated in the direction of Falling Waters, I at once moved rapidly for that point, and came up with the rear-guard of the enemy at half-past 7 A. M., at a point two miles distant from Falling Waters.

We pressed on, driving the enemy before us, capturing many prisoners and one gun. When within a mile and a half from Falling Waters the enemy was found in large force, drawn up in line of battle on the crest of a hill, commanding the road on which I was advancing. His left was protected by earthworks, and his right extended to the woods far on my left.

The enemy was, when first seen, in two lines of battle, with arms stacked. Within less than one thousand yards of this large force a second piece of artillery, with its support,, consisting of infantry, was captured white attempting to get into position. The gun was taken to the rear.

A portion of the Sixth Michigan cavalry, seeing only that portion of the enemy behind the earthworks, charged. This charge, led by Major Weber, was the most gallant ever made. At a trot he pressed up the hill, received the fire from the whole line, and the next moment rode through and over the earthworks, passed to the right, sabring the rebels along the entire line, and returned with a loss of thirty killed, wounded, and missing, including the gallant Major Weber killed.

I directed General Custer to send forward one regiment as skirmishers. They were repulsed before support could be sent them, and driven back, closely followed by the rebels, until checked by the First Michigan and a squadron of the Eighth New-York.

The Second brigade having come up, it was quickly thrown into position, and after a fight of two hours and thirty minutes, we routed the enemy at all points, and drove him toward the river.

When within a short distance of the bridge General Buford's command came up and took the advance. We lost twenty-nine killed, thirty-six wounded, and forty missing.

We found upon the field one hundred and twenty-five doad rebels, and brought away after-ward fifty wounded. A large number of the enemy's wounded were left upon the field in charge of their own surgeons.

We captured two guns, three battle-flags, and upward of one thousand five hundred prisoners.

To General Custer and his brigade, Lieutenant Pennington and his battery, and one squadron of the Eighth New-York cavalry, of General Buford's command, all praise is due.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. Kilpatrick, Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding the Division.

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