Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 8, 1863 (Saturday): The Bristoe Campaign Begins

General Robert E. Lee

October 8, [1863]-11 a.m.
Major-General FRENCH,
Commanding Third Corps:
    The following dispatch from General Sedgwick is sent for your information, and for that of the division commander at James City;
Brigadier-General Torbert reports that appearances indicate a movement of the enemy to our right; that wagons and artillery were moving in that direction last night. I have sent for further information.


      A. A. HUMPHREYS,
      Major-General, Chief of Staff.

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 29, Part 1, Page 324.

Thus began the Bristoe Campaign, with Lee moving around Meade's flank and gradually forcing him back, ultimately by 40 miles.  The audacity required for so a move in the face of a superior enemy cannot go without comment.  Without Longstreet's Corp Lee could not strike a hard blow, but at least he was able to keep up appearances and reenforce the idea in Washington he possessed more men than he did in reality have.

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