Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 30, 1863 (Tuesday): Not Going to be Outflanked by Hooker

Chambersburg, PA

June 30, 1863-10. 45 a. m.
Major-General COUCH:
    I am in position between Emmitsburg and Westminster, advancing upon the enemy. The enemy (A. P. Hill) holds Cashtown Pass, between Gettysburg and Chambersburg. Their cavalry, three to five brigades, are on my right, between me and the Northern Central.
     My force is tolerably well concentrated, moving with all the speed that the trains, roads. and physique of the min will bear. I am without definite and positive information as to the whereabouts of Longstreet and Ewell. The latter I presume to be in front of you. The army is in good spirits, and we shall push to your relief or the engagement of the enemy as circumstances and the information we receive during the day and on the marches may indicate as most prudent and most likely to lead to ultimate success. I am anxious to hear from you, and get information of the dispositions of the enemy and his movements, so far as you know them. If you are in telegraphic communication or otherwise with Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, I should like supplies and shoes accumulated, to be thrown to me on the line of the Northern Central or the Susquehanna, as circumstances may require or my movements may make most desirable. Please communicate my dispatch to the General-in-Chief; my communications with him are intercepted by the cavalry of the enemy on my right. Can you keep the enemy from crossing the river? Very respectfully, &c.,

     GEO. G. MEADE,
     Major-General, Commanding.

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, Taneytown,
June 30, 1863-11. 30 a. m.
General [REYNOLDS]:
    Your dispatch is received. The enemy undoubtedly occupy the Cumberland Valley, from Chambersburg, in force; whether the holding of the Cashtown Gap is to prevent our entrance, or is their advance against us, remains to be seen. With Buford at Gettysburg and Mechanicstown, and a regiment in front of Emmitsburg, you ought to be advised in time of their approach. In case of an advance in force either against you or Howard at Emmitsburg, you must fall back to that place, and I will re-enforce you from the corps nearest to you, which are Sickle's, at Taneytown, and Slocum's, at Littlestown. You are advised of the general position of the army. We are as concentrated as my present information of the position of the enemy justifies. I have pushed out the cavalry in all directions to feel for them, and so soon as I can make up any positive opinion as to their position, I will move again. In the meantime, if they advance against me, I must concentrate at that point where they show the strongest force. Please get all the information you can, and post yourself up in the roads and routes of communication. The only news we have beyond yours is that Stuart, with a large cavalry force, was in Westminster last night, and moved toward Gettysburg. Supposed the same force that has been ravaging in our rear.
     Truly, yours,

     GEO. G. MEADE,

P. S. -If, after occupying your present position, it is your judgement that you would be in better position at Emmitsburg than where you are, you can fall back without waiting for the enemy or further orders. Your present position was given more with a view to an advance on Gettysburg, than a defensive point.

Headquarters Army of the Potomac,
Gettysburg, June 30, 1863.
     I entered this place to-day at 11 a. m/   Found everybody in a terrible state of excitement on account of the enemy's advance upon this place. He had approached to within half a mile of the town when the head of my column entered. His force was terribly exaggerated by reasonable and truthful but inexperienced men. On pushing him back toward Cashtown, I learned from reliable men that [R. H]. Anderson's division was marching from Chambersburg by Mummasburg, Hunterstown, Abbottstown, on toward York. I have sent parties to the two first-named places, toward Cashtown, and a strong force toward Littlestown. Colonel Gamble has just sent me word that Lee signed a pass for a citizen this morning at Chambersburg. I can't do much just now. My men and horses are fagged out. I have not been able to get any grain yet. It is all in the country, and the people talk instead of working. Facilities for shoeing are nothing. Early's people seized every shoe and nail they could find.
     I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
     General Pleasonton.

[P. S]-The troops that are coming here were the same I found early this morning at Millesburg or Farfield. General Reynolds has been advised of all that I know.


This information contradicts Kilpatrick's, of Lee being in Berlin.

     Major-General, Commanding.

HARRISBURG, PA., June 30, 1863.
(Received 5. 30 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
As telegraphed previously, part of the rebel forces, if not all, have fallen back toward Chambersburg, passing Shippensburg last night in great haste. I expect every moment to hear that my cavalry, under General Smith, has reoccupied Carlisle. My latest information is that Early, with his 8,000 men, went toward Gettysburg or Hanover, saying they expected to fight a great battle there. At Carlisle they said they were not going to be outflanked by Hooker.

     D. N. COUCH,

HARRISBURG, PA., June 30, 1863.
(Received 6. 15 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
     Scouts report a force of rebels having left Carlisle this morning by the Baltimore pike, and that Ewell, from    York, went northwesterly, which would unite their two forces.

     D. N. COUCH,

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 27, Part 1, Pages  67, 419, 420, 434. 023.

The armies are moving toward each other without full information as to where the various elements are located.  As seen by the dispatches, rebel troops were often not even aware of the Union change in command.  Contact is less than 24 hours away at Gettysburg.

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