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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 5, Ch. XIV–Union Correspondence.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

CHAPTER XIV.
OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, NORTHERN VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA.
August 1, 1861-March 17, 1862.
(Carnifex Ferry, Ball’s Bluff)
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UNION CORRESPONDENCE.

{p.552}

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 7.}

HEADQUARTERS A. O. W. V., Clarksburg, Va., August 3, 1861.

The line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from Cumberland to Wheeling, and the Northwestern Virginia Railroad from Grafton, with the military posts, stations, and depots thereon, will, until further orders, constitute a special military district, to be called the District of Grafton.

Brig. Gen. B. F. Kelley, U. S. Volunteers, is assigned to the District of Grafton.

...

By order Brigadier-General Rosecrans:

[No signature.]

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HDQRS. ARMY OF OCCUPATION OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Clarksburg, Va., August 4, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: Lower Cheat River region appears to be entirely free of rebel forces as far as Winchester. Eight thousand militia reported at Harrisonburg, 2,000 between Monterey and Cheat Mountain Pass. I think the rebel forces in Western Virginia are mostly about Lewisburg.

I have directed the building of small field works below Gauley Bridge, and Cox to open communication with Tyler at Summersville. Two Ohio regiments sent to Kanawha; Twenty-first Ohio (three-months’ men) ordered out; Twenty-second Ohio at Parkersburg, on its way out; Seventeenth Ohio, the last, at Weston to-night, on its way home. One of the Ohio regiments coming up will move to Elk River by Bulltown and scour that country. A detachment from Glenville also scours a region now infested with guerrillas. Ten days will probably complete all this work, and, were we prepared to hold it, enable me to seize Lewisburg, which is but five days’ march from head of steamboat navigation on the Kanawha; propose a provision depot of ample size, properly fortified, there. In twenty days I shall have a packed train for 5,000 men-ten days’ rations.

As soon as the new Ohio regiments begin to come in, so that we can secure this front here, I shall begin to dispose matters for the movement on Wytheville and East Tennessee. I propose to seize that place, and take possession of the railroad as far down as Abingdon; break the railroad bridges down east of Wytheville, so as to prevent the enemy from coming in that direction; make a fortified depot of it and a good road from thence to the Great Falls of the Kanawha, and there concentrate all the troops we can spare on that line. In the interim shall make every effort towards the restoration of peace, law, and order in Western Virginia.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

{p.553}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH, Near Harper’s Ferry, Va., August 4, 1861.

Colonel LEONARD, Thirteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers:

SIR: The general commanding directs that you proceed to Sharpsburg, Md., near the Potomac River, and there take post until further orders. You will detach from your regiment the following number of companies, to take post as follows:

Two companies at Antietam Ford two companies at the ford a short distance below Shepherdstown; one company at the ford at Shepherd’s Island, some distance above Shepherdstown; one company at the ford a short distance below Dam No. 4.

You will instruct the commanders of these detachments to be particularly on the alert, in order to put a stop to all contraband trade in the vicinity of their posts; to put a stop to all treasonable correspondence, without interfering with the United States mail, should there be one, and to arrest all persons engaged in treasonable acts, against whom sufficient proof can be obtained. It is the general’s wish that travel between Maryland and Virginia be stopped, except with persons of proved loyalty to the United States Government. He relies freely upon the discretion, energy, and good judgement of yourself and your subordinates for carrying out the above instructions.

The detachment of U. S. cavalry now at Antietam Ford will be relieved from duty at that post upon the arrival of your detachment.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. I. MCDOWELL, Comdg. Department of Northeastern Virginia, Arlington, Va.:

Information I have received induces me to caution you to be carefully on your guard to-night and to-morrow morning against an attack by the enemy. Let hunt hold at least two batteries ready to move to this side, if necessary, at the shortest notice. Communicate this to Kearny, Blenker, and Sherman.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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CAMP TENNALLY, August 6, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I made this morning a reconnaissance of the country reported last evening to be occupied by time enemy, by an officer I had sent to examine the country in front of the point at which my pickets communicate with those of Colonel Smith, of the Vermont regiment. I discovered that what he had supposed to be camps of the insurgents proved to be, under the scrutiny of the glass, only clusters of whitewashed houses, negro cabins, and fences on the opposite side of the Potomac.

I afterwards prosecuted the examination of both banks of the river as far as the head of the aqueduct, but discovered no signs of the presence {p.554} of the enemy on that section of the river lands. I was told by a man who lives about 5 miles from this camp that he had heard the drum the night before on the hills opposite. No camp was visible.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. A. MCCALL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

AUGUST 7, 1861-6.45 a.m.

P. S.-I received at 3 a.m. a dispatch from Colonel [W. F.] Smith, saying he had received your dispatch directing him to be “particularly cautious about an attack to-night.” My brigade was immediately under arms and is still in order of battle, but I have no intelligence of the advance of the enemy yet.

GEO. A. MCCALL.

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HEADQUARTERS, SANDY HOOK, Near Harper’s Ferry, Va., August 6, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I was much gratified to receive the order authorizing the transfer of stores, &c., to Frederick. Immediate measures will be taken to carry it into effect and to bring the war regiments here. The telegram advising the withdrawal of stores from Hagerstown to Sandy Hook was duly received, and orders were given to the quartermaster to hold them in readiness for removal; but there were no buildings at Sandy Hook, and the camp covers were exhausted in protecting our own stores. We were preparing buildings at Knoxville when the order of yesterday was received. Prisoners taken from the Virginia side of the river speak to those they think prisoners of their expectations that Johnston will enter Leesburg shortly with a large force. The general tenor of our intelligence is of an advance in that direction, if any is made. We have now nearly 12,000 men, and the regiments are rapidly improving in discipline and drill.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, August 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Commanding, &c., Clarksburg, Va.:

It is said that Lee intends attacking Cheat Mountain Pass. It is advisable for you to push forward rapidly the fortifications ordered by General McClellan on that mountain and near Huttonsville. No intelligence of any move on Red House via Romney.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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CLARKSBURG, VA., August 6, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

Every day’s experience with volunteer troops convinces me of the absolute necessity of having some officers of military education among {p.555} them. Whole regiments are mustered into the service and sent upon active duty without a single officer who knows thoroughly company drill, much less the organization or drill of a regiment. I am convinced that the detail of a second lieutenant from the Military Academy to act as major even would in six weeks increase the military power of a regiment at least one-third. If, then, the volunteers will this year cost the Government $300,000,000, this would produce the same amount of military at $100,000,000 less. This seems enormous, but I have no doubt of the truth of it. Can nothing be done I Appears there will be no difficulty in effecting this arrangement with all the regiments now forming. Are there not plenty officers in California that could be brought here? Please present this matter to General Scott.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General.

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CLARKSBURG, VA., August 6, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington:

Tell General Scott his dispatch is received. I hare ordered the Seventeenth Indiana to Beverly, seven of the Fourth and nine of the Tenth to Buckhannon, [and] a vigorous prosecution of the work in Cheat Mountain, on the Huntersville road. Cox moved a body of his forces to Summersville to join Tyler and from thence to threaten Huntersville. Sent Lieutenant Wagner to fortify at mouth of Gauley. Appointed Benham acting inspector-general. Sent him also to thoroughly examine troops of the Kanawha Brigade, supervise the defenses, and select a provision depot for 30,000 to 40,000 men, to be stationed near the head of steamboat navigation on the Kanawha. Will have a packing train ready in twenty days for 4,000 men-ten days’ rations. Ask the General, for Heaven’s sake, to make some such provision as I have suggested for the military instruction of the reorganized and new regiments, which by this means may soon be put to service. Could not the Academy term be made to open, say, in November, and the cadets detailed, one for each regiment, as instructors of tactics or drill-masters? But my choice is to have at least majors from the young officers of the Army.

Please let me know also whether I am to have a brigade of regulars and a major-general over me.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 7, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, Commanding Department of the Ohio, Clarksburg, Va.:

General Dix telegraphs that he is reliably informed that Lee and Johnston are actually on their march to crush you in Western Virginia. It is probable that they will move either on Huttonsville or Gauley. Complete as rapidly as possible the intrenchments near those places. Get your artillery in position, drawing, if necessary, on Allegheny Arsenal for heavy guns. These intrenchments must be as strong as the locality and the means at your hands will permit. They cannot be too strong. Place eight regiments near the Gauley Pass, one at Summersville, {p.556} one at Bulltown, eight near Huttonsville, two at Beverly, one at Parkersburg and vicinity, perhaps one at Clarksburg, one at Grafton, five at Red House. If you have more than this number of regiments available, post them in preference at Beverly, or Leadsville, and the Gauley. Establish your own headquarters at Buckhannon for the present, and at once establish a telegraphic communication thence to the Gauley. In no event permit the enemy to re-enter Western Virginia. Carry out these instructions immediately. What progress is being made in the organization of Virginia troops? Report frequently. Push your patrols and pickets well to the front. No more regular officers can at present be sent to you. The pack-train movement does not seem advisable under present circumstances. The desired object can be better effected by a different arrangement, for which, probably, orders will soon be given.

By order of Lieutenant-General Scott:

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Fort McHenry, Mid., August 7, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army:

COLONEL: I received the telegraphic dispatch of the General-in-Chief, to send General King and two Wisconsin regiments to Washington, this afternoon, at 5.15 p.m. The orders have been issued and the regiments will leave the moment transportation can be provided. General King returned to Washington this afternoon. When the dispatch was received my force in this State had been disposed as follows: First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, at Annapolis and Annapolis Junction; Fourth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, at Relay House; Fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, at West Baltimore street; Fifth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, at McKim’s mansion; Sixth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, at Patterson’s Park; Twentieth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, on Northern Central Railroad; Third Regiment New York Volunteers, at Fort McHenry; Twenty-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers, near Fort McHenry; Fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, at Federal Hill; Fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, six companies on Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad; Fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, four companies at Mount Clare; Second Regiment Maryland Volunteers, five companies at Mount Clare; Second Regiment Delaware Volunteers, five companies at Havre de Grace. The time of these five last-named companies is about to expire, and they are to be replaced by the four companies of the New York Fourth at Mount Clare.

I had occupied all the important eminences nearest to Baltimore. The removal of the Fifth and Sixth Wisconsin compels me to abandon two of them. It is very desirable that they should be occupied as soon as possible. Two companies of cavalry have arrived; both are without arms, and one without horses. I must request that the General-in-Chief will order sabers and pistols to be sent to me from Washington. There is nothing here but Hall’s carbines, and they are without slings. The Third and Fourth New York Volunteers came here from Fort Monroe in a state of disorganization. I am doing all I can to restore order among them. They were recruited in cities, and this is a bad place for them.

{p.557}

One has been shut up in the fort and the other is to be scattered as a guard to the railroad bridges between Baltimore and Havre de Grace.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, August 8, 1861.

Brigadier-General ROSECRANS, Commanding Wester Virginia Department, Grafton, Va.:

SIR: The governor of Virginia having applied to the Department for the arms, ammunition, and camp equipage recently captured in the operations in Western Virginia, for the purpose of arming and equipping the Union men in that section of the country, you will, if it can be done without injury or inconvenience to the public interest, please cause the property referred to to be delivered to Governor Peirpoint, at Wheeling, Va., and take his receipt therefor.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS A. SCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

Memorandum.

WASHINGTON, August 9, 1861.

At Potomac Creek, just below Aquia, they have a camp with four field pieces below the creek, and above the creek there is every appearance of a heavy battery, although it has not been fired to our knowledge. At Aquia Creek it has been reported that they have taken over flat-boats and scows from the Rappahannock. The steamer Page is there ready for service when she can get out.

For the past few days there have been very few persons seen about there. The flags on the batteries have been hauled down. From these circumstances, and from the apparent quiet on the river, I have augured that some operation is going on.

At Mathias Point, from the best information I can obtain, which is through the blacks, there are 300 or 400 men about 2 miles back from the point. A picket is said to be kept on this point, although they have never been seen in the daytime, but have several times been heard talking and laughing. It is said that they are throwing up breastworks on the point, though as yet they have no batteries.

There are several other points on the river where their troops are stationed, and, in my opinion, in all the inlets and creeks the enemy are collecting flat-boats and several boats of all kinds, which should be destroyed.

R. H. WYMAN, Lieutenant-Commander, Commanding Steamer Yankee.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 11, 1861.

Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I have to request that you will proceed with the force placed under your command to the vicinity of Poolesville, and there {p.558} observe the Potomac River from the Point of Rocks to Seneca Mills. You will keep the main body of your force united in a strong position near Poolesville, and observe the dangerous fords with strong pickets, that can dispute the passage until re-enforced. Keep up a constant communication with General Banks’ pickets near Point of Rocks, as well as with those of General McCall and Colonel Smith, until the telegraphic communication is established. Make such arrangements as will enable you, in the event of an attack in force, to fall back on General McCall, or to enable him to move up to your support at some strong position which we can hold with the force at our disposal. Should you see the opportunity of capturing or dispersing any small party by crossing the river, you are at liberty to do so, though great discretion is recommended in making such a movement. The general object of your command is to observe and dispute the passage of the river and the advance of the enemy until time is gained to concentrate the reserves of the main force. I leave your operations much to your own discretion, in which I have the fullest confidence.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS, August 12, 1861.

Major-General BANKS, U. S. A., Commanding, &c., Sandy Hook, Md.:

Brigadier-General Stone has been assigned, with six regiments, a battery, and a company of cavalry, to watch the ferries and fords between Great Falls of the Potomac and Point of Rocks. His headquarters will be at Poolesville. He will communicate with you on his arrival.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., August 12, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army:

COLONEL: The importance of this city, not only in its relations to the State of Maryland, but to the capital of the country, suggested to me at an early day after assuming the command of this department the necessity of a better system of defense than we have now. The few regiments in position here are scattered over too large a surface to support each other, and, with the exception of one within the public grounds which surround Fort McHenry, none of them are covered by defensive works. They occupy eminences, not one of which could be held against a superior force. The hostile feeling which exists in the city, and which does not even seek to disguise itself, indicates the absolute necessity of occupying and fortifying a commanding position nearer than Fort McHenry. The latter may reduce the city to ashes, but it is too distant to assail particular localities without injury to others. I do not underrate the value of this fort. It controls the commerce of the city, and I think it needs to be protected from a possible bombardment from a Leight about 200 feet more elevated, and about 2 miles distant, in a northerly direction. Of this I shall speak hereafter.

But I desire first to call the attention of the General-in-Chief to the propriety of intrenching Federal Hill. He is no doubt familiar with {p.559} the locality. It is about 80 feet above the basin, overlooks it throughout its whole extent, and is about 800 yards from the wharves and the railroad running through Pratt street. About a fortnight ago I requested Major Brewerton to survey it, and ascertain its capacities for defense by a strong intrenchment-one which could be held against a large force on the land side and covered on the water side with a heavy battery, overawing the city, and capable, from its proximity, to single out and assail particular localities in case of an outbreak. When I requested Major Brewerton to make the examination the place was occupied by the Eighteenth Regiment of Pennsylvania Militia. It is now occupied by Colonel Duryea’s Fifth Regiment of New York Volunteers, or the National Zouaves. They have a rifled cannon, three howitzers, and some field pieces, belonging to Fort McHenry. They are becoming well drilled as artillerists, but have no breastworks. I propose, then-

1. That Federal Hill should be strongly intrenched. The Zouaves will do the greater part of the work.

2. That the height before referred to should also be strongly intrenched. It not only commands Fort McHenry, which should be rendered secure from bombardment, but it commands every other eminence from which the fort can be assailed and overlooks a part of the city which is rank with secession. This work should be at least as extensive as Fort Corcoran, and should be furnished with a battery of heavy cannon and mortars. This work can be chiefly done by the volunteer regiments if I can have the force, which in my letter of the 24th of July I considered necessary for the security of the city and State.

I am not quite satisfied with Fort McHenry. It is very strong on the water side, but, like most of our harbor fortifications, was constructed with no special reference to attack by land. The approach from Baltimore is faced by a curtain, which was only designed for infantry. Major Morris, who has done all for the work it is capable of, has placed some mortars behind it, but there is no room for cannon. I suggested to Major Brewerton the construction of an outwork between the two bastions which this curtain connects. It should be a permanent work, and, with the prevailing indications, it would be wise to make preparations for a long-continued contest. If the suggestions I have made are carried out, I think the city of Baltimore can be controlled under any circumstances. I have thought proper to make them before asking the engineer for plans, for the reason that a gentlemen for whose judgment I have a great respect thought such indications of a determination to overawe the city would increase the bad feeling existing there. I do not agree with him. I do not think the secessionists could be more intemperate than they are now, and the Union men would be encouraged and strengthened by such a demonstration.

I am, respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 1.}

HDQRS. CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Rockville, August 12, 1861.

By virtue of orders from Headquarters Division of Potomac, dated August 10, 1861, the undersigned assumes command of the forces of the United States along the line of the Potomac between Point of Rocks and Seneca Falls, including the forces at both places.

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General.

{p.560}

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, August 13, 1861.

Major-General BANKS, U. S. A., Commanding, &c., Sandy Hook, Md.:

You are authorized to withdraw your batteries and troops from Maryland Heights and Harper’s Ferry, leaving a guard to observe the enemy, and to take such position with your army as you deem best, between Frederick and the Potomac and on either side the Monocacy, to observe the enemy across the Potomac and protect the canal. If involved in or threatened with active operations you may absorb the upper part of Stone’s command or, in an extreme case, the whole of it within your reach.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Rockville, August 13, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Division of Potomac:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I arrived here yesterday morning with Battery I, First U. S. Artillery. Found here the Tammany [Forty-second New York] Regiment and Second New York State Militia [Eighty-second New York Volunteers].

The streams are swollen by the heavy rains and the roads are heavy and badly cut up.

Inexperienced management of the trains has caused delay in the arrival of a large portion of the wagons of the Tammany Regiment, and it cannot advance until some of the delayed wagons arrive.

I go to-day to Seneca, and shall, if practicable, move the artillery and one regiment of infantry to Darnestown.

The Second New York Regiment is weak in numbers and greatly disorganized. No dependence can be placed in it for same time to come.

Very respectfully, I am, major, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, August 14, 1861.

Maj. ALBERT J. MYER, Signal Officer:

SIR: You will at once and with the utmost expedition establish a system of signals along the line of the Potomac through Maryland, connecting the column under Major-General Banks with those under Brigadier-Generals Stone and McCall and the forces in and about this city. Should you find it necessary, you are authorized to purchase a small telegraphic train, to aid you to communicate with those points which cannot be reached by signals, to be paid for out of the telegraphic fund. Major-General McClellan will be directed to give you the necessary aid by details of officers and men from the respective columns and also Major-General Banks.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS A. SCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

{p.561}

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 14, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Commanding U. S. Army:

GENERAL: I am informed by Brigadier-General McDowell that 62 non-commissioned officers and privates of the Second Regiment of Maine Volunteers have formally and positively, and in the presence of their regiment, refused to do any further duty whatever, falsely alleging that they are no longer in the service of the United States. I concur in the suggestion of General McDowell that this combined insubordination, if not open mutiny, should be immediately repressed-and I approve of his recommendation that the insubordinate soldiers should be immediately transferred in arrest and without arms to the Dry Tortugas, there to perform such fatigue service as the commanding officer there may assign to them, until they shall by their future conduct show themselves worthy to bear arms.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, D. C., August 14, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, &c., Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: The brigade commander of the Seventy-ninth Regiment New York Volunteers having reported that the regiment is in a state of open mutiny, Major-General McClellan directs that you proceed with a battery, the two companies of the Second Cavalry, at the Park Hotel, and as many companies of regular infantry as you may deem proper, to the encampment of that regiment. On your arrival there you will order such as are willing to move to march out of the camp, leaving the disaffected portion of the regiment by themselves. You will then order the latter portion to lay down their arms, and will put them under a strong guard. The ringleaders you will put in double irons.

You are authorized, if necessary, to use force to accomplish the object. Report the result as soon as possible.*

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* See report No. 1, of reconnaissance September 11, 1861, to Lewinsville, &c., p. 168.

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WHEELING, VA., August 15, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

Lee has one body of 8,000 men near Monterey, in Highland; another force of equal if not greater strength is this side of Huntersville. Still another body of considerable size is marching by the way of Mingo Flats on to Huttonsville. We have no force guarding the Mingo Flats road. Rosecrans is at Clarksburg, a respectful distance. For God’s sake send us more troops and a general to command, or else we are whipped in less than ten days. {p.562}

The Huntersville force and Wise and Floyd’s force are all moving on us by the way of Mingo Flats, and we are without any guard or fortifications to that pass.

JOHN S. CARLILE.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH, August 15, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: In obedience to instructions by telegram of the 13th and by order of the 14th instant, both of which were duly received, I have made preparations to change the position of this column to a point between Frederick and the Potomac River, leaving at this post a corps of observation, and providing for the protection of the canal and river as directed. A portion of our force (Colonel Geary’s regiment) was sent to Point of Rocks on Tuesday evening. The movement of the main part of the column will be speedily completed. Everything is quiet at that point now. A few rebels have shown themselves opposite Sharpsburg, where a regiment (Thirteenth Massachusetts, Colonel Leonard) is stationed. I send an intercepted letter from Richmond,* which represents the opinion of a portion of the people there.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS, August 16, 1861.

Major-General BANKS, Commanding, &c., Sandy Hook, Mid.:

In approximating your forces to those lower down the Potomac, I think it best to cross the Monocacy, in order to have that river as a line of defense.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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WASHINGTON, August 16, 1861.

General BANKS, Commanding, Sandy Hook:

From information received this evening it is deemed important that the change of position ordered by General-in-Chief should be made without delay. What part of your command has been moved?

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., August 16, 1861.

EDWARD MCK. HUDSON, Aide-de-Camp:

SIR: I am directed by Major-General Dix to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 15th instant, addressed to Brigadier-General Dix, commanding Department of Baltimore, and inclosing paragraphs from newspapers published in this city.*

He requests me to say that he is the major-general commanding the Department of Pennsylvania, composed of the States of Pennsylvania, {p.563} Delaware, and all of Maryland except the counties of Alleghany and Washington, which belong to the Department of the Shenandoah, and the counties of Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s, which belong to the Department of Washington. If any changes have been made in his command he has no information, official or unofficial, in respect to them. He received last evening a dispatch, signed Lawrence A. Williams, aide-de-camp, in the name of the commanding general of the division, and though it contained nothing more definite in regard to the authority from which it emanated, he assumed that it came to him by direction of the Government, and immediately sent for the agent of the Sun newspaper, the proprietor being absent, and he thinks the result of the interview will be to cause a discontinuance of exceptionable articles like those which have recently appeared in that paper.

Major-General Dix requests me to say to Major-General McClellan that his attention, since he assumed the command of this department, has been so engaged by official duties that the course of the secessionist papers in Baltimore was not noticed by him until the early part of this week. He has been considering whether the emergency would not warrant a suppression of the papers referred to, if, after warning them of the consequences of a persistence in their hostility to the Union, they should refuse to abstain from misrepresentations of the conduct and motives of the Government and the publication of intelligence calculated to aid and encourage the public enemy. It was his intention in a matter of so much gravity-one affecting so deeply the established opinions of the country in regard to the freedom of the press-to ask the direction of the Government as soon as he should feel prepared to recommend a definite course of action. In the mean time it will give him pleasure to do all in his power to suppress the publication of information in regard to the movements, position, and number of our troops, as Major-General McClellan requests, as it is possible that orders may have been issued affecting his command and by accident not have reached him.

Major-General Dix will be glad to receive any information you may have in regard to the modification, if any has been made, of General Orders, No. 47.**

I am, very respectfully, yours,

WM. D. WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Not found.

** Of July 25, 1861. See p. 763, Vol. II, of this series.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Commanding Department of the Ohio, Clarksburg, Va.:

Telegram of the 16th received. Do not abandon the Gauley. Hold Bulltown, Huttonsville, and the works in front of it. One regiment, or at most two, should now suffice for Red House and Grafton. Clarksburg and the line of railroad may be temporarily weakened or abandoned. Attack the enemy on Cranberry or wherever he debouches, always having intrenchments in your rear. You have the advantage of a central position within the mountains. Must use your intrenchments to check the enemy with small forces, while by rapid movement you attack his columns in succession with overwhelming forces. Never {p.564} wait for him to attack your main column, but crush the enemy nearest to you and then go after the next. Take no tents in your movements, and march with the utmost rapidity. You have a most brilliant opportunity. Two regiments have been ordered from Ohio to Fremont; all the rest are at your disposal as they are organized. I need here for the defense of the capital every regiment that can be spared, and ought to take all that Ohio can furnish. It would be better to use in person the regiments you now have before asking for any more.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Commanding Department of the Ohio, Clarksburg, Va.:

The reason of my communication was that I have learned from the most reliable authority that Cheat Mountain Pass was not fortified as I directed, but only in a temporary way. This is confirmed by date of August 15. Carry out my previous instructions to the fullest extent. Leave at the Red House the minimum force necessary to hold the works near there. Occupy Kanawha Valley with the minimum force necessary to hold the Gauley Pass. Secure Grafton and the railroad line thence to Benwood by the smallest possible force. Disregard, for the present, the interior of Western Virginia, or else hold it with your worst troops, who are not fit to take the field. Concentrate the remainder of your available force in the vicinity of Huttonsville, placing a strong reserve at that point, and occupying the works on the Cheat Mountain and the Huntersville road with a force sufficient to hold them until support can arrive. Strengthen both of these fortifications as rapidly as possible, and take there all your available artillery. Make a strong reconnaissance in the direction of the enemy’s works towards Huntersville, and if possible drive them out before their works are completed and their force concentrated. Communicate this at once by telegraph to Reynolds.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4.}

HDQRS. DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 16, 1861.

All passes, safe-conducts, and permits, heretofore given, to enter or go beyond the lines of the U. S. Army on the Virginia side of the Potomac are to be deemed revoked, and all such papers will hereafter emanate only from the War Department, the headquarters of the U. S. Army, or of this division, or from the provost-marshal at Washington. Similar passes will be required to cross the river, by bridge or boat, into Virginia.

Strict military surveillance will be exercised within the lines of the Army on the northern side of the Potomac, and upon all the avenues of every kind, by land and water, leading to and from the city of Washington, as well over persons holding passes as all others. Passes will not be required at or within the lines of the Army north of the {p.565} Potomac, but disloyal or suspected persons will be liable to arrest and detention until discharged by competent authority, and contraband articles will be seized.

Officers and soldiers of the Army will obtain passes as heretofore ordered.

All complaints of improper arrests, seizures, or searches, made or purporting to be made under military authority, will be received by the proper brigade commanders or provost-marshals, who will at once investigate the same, and in each instance make report to these headquarters.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SANDY HOOK, NEAR HARPER’S FERRY, August 17, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: We greatly need more artillery. Major Doubleday’s battery is very heavy for field service. Excluding that, we have but fourteen pieces. This is wholly insufficient for active service in the new position we are to occupy. Captain Tompkins has recruited a company in Rhode Island, which arrived here last night. The battery is in Washington; the company here. Either the battery should be sent to us or the company ordered to Washington. We wait instructions upon this subject. I most earnestly press upon the Commander-in-Chief our necessities for an increase of artillery, and hope that a liberal supply will be ordered to us for service in the new position we are to occupy.

We leave one regiment at Harper’s Ferry, the Second Massachusetts, Colonel Gordon; one at Sharpsburg, Colonel Leonard, Thirteenth Massachusetts; one at Berlin, Colonel Donnelly, Twenty-eighth New York. Colonel Geary is at Point of Rocks since Wednesday night. The rest of our column is en route for a position between Frederick and the Potomac east of the Monocacy, according to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief. The country is quiet in this section. No more than the usual cavalry scouts are seen, though they are more bold and active. Some miles south of Point of Rocks Colonel Geary observed a force moving in the direction of the Potomac. It is the same probably that has been seen at Lovettsville, Morrisonville, and towns in that neighborhood, and is from 1,500 to 2,000 strong. The river is rising and rain falls lightly this morning.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., August 17, 1861.

Col. G. W. CULLUM, Aide-de-Camp, Headquarters of the Army:

COLONEL: I inclose a map of the city of Baltimore, on which I have marked the eminences we examined in our hasty reconnaissance of yesterday. I have numbered them in the order in which we visited them, and I have added the ascertained elevation of each. A few memoranda may fix more firmly in your mind what you wished to remember:

{p.566}

1. Federal Hill, 83 feet 6 inches above mean high tide.–It is to be immediately intrenched by order of the General-in-Chief in accordance with the suggestions in my letter of the 12th instant. Next to Fort McHenry it is the most important position in the harbor of Baltimore. It commands the railroad through Pratt street to the President-street depot, the entire basin, the whole lower part of the city, and in the hands of an enemy might be dangerous to Fort McHenry, from which it is 2 miles distant. The distance to Pratt street at the head of the basin is about 800 yards.

2. Patterson’s Park, 124 feet 9 inches above mean high tide.–A commanding position, 2 miles from Fort McHenry, and would be very important if No. 3 (Potter’s Race Course) were not to be fortified. It is surrounded by a loyal population, and its present occupation is not as necessary as that of No. 4 (the McKim mansion). A regiment has been encamped there until recently. It has been unoccupied since the 7th instant, when the Sixth Wisconsin Regiment was ordered to Washington.

3. Potter’s Race Course, 180 feet above mean high tide.–A strong work on this height is indispensable to the safety of Fort McHenry, which it commands, and from which it is less than 2 miles distant. It also commands Patterson’s Park, and is the only point, with the exception of the latter and No. 4, from which the eighth ward, one of the most disloyal in the city, can be assailed. It is to be immediately fortified by order of the General-in-Chief.

4. McKim’s Mansion, 119 feet 9 inches above mean high tide.–It is in the eighth ward, and commands that portion of the city as effectually as Federal Hill commands the lower portion and the basin. For controlling the population of the city and suppressing outbreaks this position is second only to the latter. It was occupied by the Fifth Wisconsin Regiment until the 7th instant, when that regiment was ordered to Washington. If I had a regiment to spare I should place it here in preference to Patterson’s Park. It has excellent and ample ground for battalion drill.

5. Steuart’s Mansion, Mount Clare, 184 feet 7 inches above mean high tide.–This position is important from its vicinity to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Mount Clare depot on that road as well as from the relation it holds to the direction from which the city is most likely to be assailed from without. It is occupied by the Fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, numbering 823 men, and Nims’ Boston Light Artillery, numbering 156. The Second Maryland Regiment (six companies) is encamped on the line of the same railroad and in the same neighborhood with 579 men. I have therefore in this locality 1,558 men.

My force is disposed as follows:

Fort McHenry, inside: Regulars, 194; outside: Third New York Volunteers, 795; Twenty-first Indiana Volunteers, 845. Total, 1,834.

Federal Hill: Fifth New York Volunteers, Colonel Duryea, 1,028.

Mount Clare: Fourth Pennsylvania, 823; Second Maryland, 579; Nims’ Light Artillery, 156. Total, 1,558.

Agricultural Ground, north of the city: Two companies of Pennsylvania Cavalry, unequipped, 213. Grand total, 4,633.

My effective force is under 4,000. I need three regiments more. The first I shall place at No. 3 (Potter’s Race Course) to work on the proposed intrenchments; the second at No. 4 (McKim’s mansion) to take care of the eighth ward, and the third at No. 2 (Patterson’s Park) until No. 3 is fortified. The home guard is in course of organizing in the city, and I think can be armed next week. It will number 850 men.

{p.567}

We have nothing for them but flint-lock muskets or Hall’s breech-loading rifles, also with flint locks. With this force I should feel safe except from external attack. In case of an advance from the Potomac we should need to be strengthened in some proportion to the number of our assailants.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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POOLESVILLE, MD., August 17, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that this command arrived here the day before yesterday. The main body is encamped around the village, while Edwards Ferry, Conrad’s Ferry, and the Monocacy are occupied by strong pickets.

Small bodies of the enemy appeared yesterday opposite Edwards Ferry and fired on a canal-boat passing down. The fire was returned by the pickets of the Minnesota regiment, without result, I think, on either side.

The Thirty-fourth New York Regiment remains at Seneca. Pickets are thrown out to connect with those of General McCall at Great Falls.

The weather remains most unfavorable for any movements, and the river has risen considerably in consequence of the rains. Fording is now rendered difficult and dangerous.

I have been unable as yet to discover the presence of any large force opposite.

Very respectfully, I am, major, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 15.}

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, August 17, 1861.

The Departments of Washington and Northeastern Virginia will be united into one, to which will be annexed the Valley of the Shenandoah, the whole of Maryland and of Delaware, to be denominated the Department of the Potomac, under Major-General McClellan-headquarters Washington-who will proceed to organize the troops under him into divisions and independent brigades.

By command of Lieutenant-General Scott:

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 18, 1861.

Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE, U. S. A.:

GENERAL: Your letter of August 17, 10 p.m., has been received. Information received from General Banks to-day confirms the belief that the enemy intends crossing the Potomac in your vicinity and moving on Baltimore or Washington. There are also strong indications of their {p.568} intention of attempting the passage of the Potomac south of this city, near Aquia Creek, where they are erecting strong batteries, or at some other point. I will recommend to you the utmost vigilance, and that you continually bear in mind the necessity of securing your retreat towards Rockville should you be unable to prevent the passage of the enemy.

General Banks will be instructed to move up to your support in case of necessity, and will also be instructed to effect his retreat in the same direction in conjunction with you should it become necessary. It is still my wish that the enemy’s passage and subsequent advance should be opposed and retarded to the utmost of your ability, to give me time to make my arrangements and come up to your assistance.

A general order has been issued merging the Departments of Northeastern Virginia, the Shenandoah, and Baltimore into the Department of the Potomac, under my immediate command.

Steps have been taken which will secure us a large re-enforcement during the coming week.

...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, August 19, 1861-1 p.m.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Division Potomac, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Your letter No. 1, of yesterday’s date, is just received. I have made and caused to be made the most careful examinations practicable of the opposite side of the Potomac in front of my position, and believe that the only force in the immediate vicinity is a regiment of Mississippi troops at Leesburg and one of Mississippi or South Carolina troops on Goose Creek. The enemy appear to be throwing up additional intrenchments about 3 1/2 miles back from Edwards Ferry, on the Leesburg road, in an excellent position for guarding the approach to Leesburg, but good for nothing for offensive operations. These works were commenced previous to the battle at Bull Run, and are now being extended, according to report. These works might be reached by shot from a rifled gun planted on the heights above Edwards Ferry.

The troops of this command are now posted as follows, commencing on the right: Three companies of the Second New York Militia [Eighty-second Volunteers] are stationed at the mouth of the Monocacy, with pickets thrown out 2 miles above and the same distance below, connecting above with pickets of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, of General Banks’ command. This outpost is supported by the remainder of the Second Regiment, 300 strong only, stationed one-half mile from Poolesville, on the Monocacy road. A picket of cavalry patrols the vicinity of the Monocacy. The Tammany [Forty-second New York] regiment (Cogswell’s) is stationed 1 mile from Poolesville, on the road to Conrad’s Ferry, and has four companies detached to watch that ferry. The strength of this regiment is 531 in camp, besides the four companies on outpost. The outpost at Conrad’s throws out pickets to meet those from the Monocacy above and those from Edwards Ferry below. The Minnesota regiment (Gorman’s), 788 strong, is stationed 2 1/2 miles from {p.569} Poolesville, on the road to Edwards Ferry, furnishing an outpost of four companies to that ferry. This outpost throws out pickets to meet those from Conrad’s on the right and those from Seneca on the left. Seneca being 8 miles from this point, I have left an entire regiment there at the crossing of the river road and the road from Rockville. An outpost is kept on the river bank, throwing out pickets to meet Gorman’s above and General McCall’s below. One section of Hascall’s battery is stationed on the heights above Edwards Ferry. The road from Edwards Ferry to Seneca is very hilly and rough, almost impracticable for artillery or wagons.

The constant rains for the past week must have made the roads very bad on the low grounds on the opposite side of the river and have made the fords at least a foot deeper. If there exists reliable information that a crossing is intended here, I would respectfully recommend that two additional regiments be sent here and a few long-range guns. If I might be permitted to express a preference, I would ask for the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment, now in Washington, and the Ninth New York State Militia [Eighty-third Volunteers] now with General Banks. There was a rumor here yesterday that 5,000 men of General Banks’ command had arrived near the Monocacy, but I was at the outpost there about sunset, and could see nothing of troops, camps, or smokes.

A negro, who crossed yesterday from near the Monocacy, informed me that two regiments of Southern troops were said to have passed up from Leesburg towards Hillsborough, Waterford, and Lovettsville on Wednesday and Thursday last, and this story was confirmed by a civilian belonging to Washington, who came yesterday from the Virginia side near the Point of Rocks.

Very respectfully, I am, general, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General.

The enemy keep small pickets near Edwards and Conrad’s Ferries, but apparently none near the Monocacy. Their pickets fire on ours and on canal boats passing occasionally.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., August 19, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Division of the Potomac:

GENERAL: In obedience to the direction contained in your dispatch by telegraph of last evening, I have the honor to inclose a return of the troops in this department. They are scattered not only by regiments, but by companies, over a large surface, and I am unable to furnish a complete return of all up to a later date than the 1st instant. All but one are up to the 16th instant.

I also inclose copies of two letters-one of the 12th, and the other of the 17th instant-to the General-in-Chief concerning the defense of this city.* The latter, intended as a memorandum or memoir, shows the disposition of my force in this immediate neighborhood and the aggregate of each regiment and corps from the morning reports of the 16th instant. Accompanying these letters is a map of the city, illustrating the proposed plan of defense.

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ANNAPOLIS.

The First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, headquarters at Annapolis, has six companies there and four at Annapolis Junction, with detachments from both stations guarding the intermediate bridges and cross roads.

Contraband goods are carried across this line to the lower counties on the Western Shore of Maryland bordering on the Potomac, and sent into Virginia at Mathias Point and other places.

To watch it effectively five more companies are needed; a regiment would be better.

THE RELAY HOUSE.

The Fourth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers is stationed at the Relay House, 9 miles from Baltimore, at the junction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Washington Branch. It has one company between the Relay House and the Annapolis Junction, and has detachments on both roads, all within the range of 9 miles from the headquarters of the regiment.

PHILADELPHIA, WILMINGTON AND BALTIMORE RAILROAD.

The Fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, with its headquarters at Havre de Grace, is guarding the Baltimore, Wilmington and Philadelphia Railroad. It is disposed as follows:

At Perryville, on the east side of Susquehanna, one company.

At Havre de Grace, on the west side of Susquehanna, three companies.

At Perrymansville, 9 miles from Susquehanna, one company.

At Bush River, 12 miles from Susquehanna, two companies.

At Gunpowder River, 24 miles from Susquehanna, two companies.

At Back River, 7 miles from Baltimore, one company.

NORTHERN CENTRAL RAILROAD.

The Twentieth Regiment Indiana Volunteers is guarding the Northern Central Railroad and the Pikesville Arsenal. Its headquarters are near Cockeysville, 15 miles from Baltimore, where there are three companies. There is one company at the Pikesville Arsenal, 8 miles from Baltimore, and the other six are scattered along the line of the railroad in detachments, guarding some 65 bridges and culverts in Maryland and a few across the Pennsylvania line. The position and strength of all the other regiments and corps in Maryland are shown by the inclosed copy of my letter of the 17th instant to Colonel Cullum, aide-de-camp, intended as a memoir for the information of the General-in-Chief.** They are all in and around Baltimore. The New York Third and the Indiana Twenty-first, outside of Fort McHenry, are subject to heavy details for detached service. One company of the former is guarding a powder-house three-quarters of a mile from the fort. Two companies of the latter are under instruction in the fort as artillerists, and two others are guarding steamers engaged in the transportation of supplies between Baltimore and Washington. The charters of these steamers are about to expire.

There are less than 200 artillerists in Fort McHenry to man 72 guns.

{p.571}

To supply this deficiency two companies of the Twenty-first Indiana Volunteers are in training.

The only two regiments intact are the Fifth New York Volunteers and the Fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Fort Delaware has a garrison of less than 50 artillerists. It ought to be immediately re-enforced by another company.

The Fifth New York Volunteers is well drilled in the schools of the soldier, the company, and the battalion. The Third and Fourth New York Volunteers are tolerably well trained. The residue of the regiments under my command are new levies, and have been so much cut up by detached service that they have had no opportunity of being instructed, except in the school of the soldier and the company.

In regard to this city I feel safe for the moment, even with my present inadequate force; but if the Confederates should cross the Potomac into Maryland, it would need to be doubled in order to secure us against an outbreak on the part of the disloyal population. I have never put my estimate of the troops required in and around Baltimore at less than 7,000.

I am sorry to say that the Third and Fourth Regiments New York Volunteers are greatly demoralized. I had serious difficulty with the former a few days ago; but by prompt and rigorous measures the insubordination was quelled.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-It has been nearly impossible to get correct returns from the volunteer regiments which arrived here the last of July, those particularly which were immediately broken up and put on detached service. Those around the city, and thus within our reach, make their morning reports regularly, but with the others we have great trouble. Our arrangements are now made to get reports from them every Monday morning, and I hope to be able, within the next two or three days, to send you a full return up to this morning.

Since finishing my letter the Sixteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers has arrived, and, by order of the General-in-Chief, goes into camp here.

* See, under these dates, pp. 558, 565.

** See p. 565.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH, August 19, 1861.

Colonel KENLY, First Maryland Regiment:

SIR: The general commanding directs that upon receipt of this communication you at once detach from your regiment as follows:

Two companies at Antietam Ford, to relieve the detachment of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment at that place.

Two companies at Shepherdstown Ford, to relieve the detachment of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment at that place.

One company in vicinity of locks and ford at Shepherd’s Island, also to relieve a detachment of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment.

One company at Dam No. 4, to relieve a detachment of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment.

Headquarters of the regiment with the remaining companies to be at Williamsport.

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The Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment, on being relieved, will be governed by orders from these headquarters.

In view of the recent proclamation of the President, the general directs that, as far as is in your power, you put a stop to all intercourse whatever with the State of Virginia in the vicinity of your posts.

It is not thought probable that any serious attack will for the present be made upon any of your posts. Should you be forced to call them in and retreat, you will retire upon Frederick. The headquarters will after to-day be for the present in the vicinity of Hyattstown.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 20, 1861.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Commanding, &c., Baltimore, Md.:

GENERAL: Inclosed I send you an order for Captain De Russy’s company (K), Fourth Artillery, to proceed without delay to this city to be mounted. The services of that company are indispensably necessary at this place with a light battery. I desire that you replace the company at Fort McHenry by one or more of the best volunteer companies under your command. The First and Fourth Regiments of Pennsylvania Volunteers, now under your command, are required here, to complete General McCall’s division. I wish you to forward them to this city as soon as they are relieved by other troops, and in place of them you are authorized to detain in Baltimore and its vicinity any three regiments that are there, except Colonel Black’s Pennsylvania regiment and the Rhode Island regiment.

This, together with the Sixteenth Massachusetts, will give you two additional regiments. As soon as there are troops enough here to make the capital perfectly secure, I propose to increase your command; but for the present I think the safety of Baltimore can better be secured by concentrating troops in this vicinity than by leaving them there.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., August 20, 1861.

His Excellency THOMAS H. HICKS, Governor of Maryland:

SIR: I should be glad to know your opinion in regard to the measures which should be adopted to break up the active communication manifestly going on between the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Western Shore of Virginia. There have been rumors for some time that there is a rebel camp in Northampton County, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. If this be so, it appears to me that it should be broken up. Whatever we do should be well considered, and then carried out with promptness and vigor.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, August 20, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: The importance of keeping open the navigation of the Potomac is so obvious that no argument is necessary on the subject. So far as is possible this Department has and will continue to discharge its duty in this matter by an armed flotilla; but there are one or two points where shore batteries can be made to interrupt communication, and, in view of that danger and recent information, I would most urgently request that immediate measures be taken by the War Department to fortify and intrench Mathias Point. A single regiment, aided by two of our steamers, could heretofore, and perhaps may still, take possession of and secure it. But if more than a regiment is required, it appears to be indispensable that the requisite number should be furnished. Attention on repeated occasions has been called to the particular necessity of holding that place as absolutely essential to the unobstructed navigation of the Potomac. The Navy will at any moment contribute its efforts towards seizing and holding that place, and 1 apprehend there should not be any delay. Cannot a sufficient force be sent down forthwith to seize and, in connection with such armed vessels as we can order for that purpose, hold Mathias Point, and thus keep open the navigation of the Potomac? I understand that troops will be sent to the Lower Maryland counties, to keep the peace and prevent batteries from being erected on the left bank. This is a timely and wise precaution, but it is equally necessary that we should take possession of Mathias Point. Should the insurgents get possession of that point, it will require a very large force to dispossess them.

I remain, sir, very respectfully, &c.,

GIDEON WELLES.

[Indorsement.]

Respectfully referred to the immediate attention of the Lieutenant-General.

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, August 20, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Headquarters Division of the Potomac:

MAJOR: The condition of this command remains good, and to all appearances the positions of the enemy have not changed opposite us Since my letter of yesterday’s date to the General Commanding.

I am still under the impression that there is no very large force in my immediate front, but of course it could be held within one day’s march of either of the ferries and yet be out of view.

The river is not deemed fordable here to-day in consequence of the recent rains; but should the rain cease, the water will probably fall in forty-eight hours so as to render three fords passable.

I have received no news from General Banks’ command directly; shall send up the river to learn something of his position this evening.

If there is any reasonable chance of an attempt to cross here, I would respectfully ask for at least two more regiments and additional artillery.

{p.574}

My cavalry force is so weak, that I cannot make the use I desire to of that arm without breaking down both horses and men.

Very respectfully, I am, major, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH, Near Buckeystown, Md., August 20, 1861.

General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Washington, D. C.:

I have near here 10,860 infantry, 549 artillerymen, 333 cavalry, and fourteen pieces light artillery. At Frederick the First Maryland Regiment, nearly 750, and the Fourth Connecticut Regiment, nearly 750. At Sharpsburg nearly 1,000. Detailed report will be sent by mail. No news here this evening.

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH, August 20, 1861.

Colonel GEARY, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment:

SIR: The General Commanding directs that you station detachments from your regiment at the different fords on the Potomac River from Harper’s Ferry to the Monocacy Aqueduct. These will relieve Colonels Donnelly’s and Gordon’s regiments. You will at once send the four pieces of the Rhode Island Battery, now at Point of Rocks, to rejoin its brigade at this place. On being relieved by your detachments, Colonels Donnelly’s and Gordon’s regiments, with the two guns of the Rhode Island Battery, now at Berlin, will rejoin their respective brigades.

The General wishes you as far as possible to put a stop to all intercourse with the State of Virginia in the vicinity of your posts. Should you be forced to retire by largely superior forces of the enemy, you will endeavor to concentrate your regiment as much as you can in retreating and retire upon Hyattstown, where your brigade will be for the present. You will at once send off all your baggage, except that which is absolutely necessary. In case you are forced to retreat, you will destroy the railroad and telegraph as far as possible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC, August 20, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, U. S. A., Provost-Marshal, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Major-General McClellan directs that throughout the day to-morrow you hold in readiness to march at a minute’s warning a light battery, two companies of cavalry, and as many companies of infantry as you may deem necessary, to put down a mutiny in Colonel Baker’s California Regiment.

{p.575}

Should any portion of that regiment mutiny (and there is now some reason to suppose that they will), you are authorized to use force if necessary to quell it. If they refuse to obey, you are authorized to fire on them.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. I.

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 20, 1861.

In accordance with General Orders, No. 15, of August 17, 1861, from the headquarters of the Army, I hereby assume command of the Army of the Potomac, comprising the troops serving in the former Departments of Washington and Northeastern Virginia, in the valley of the Shenandoah, and in the States of Maryland and Delaware.

The organization of the command into divisions and brigades will be announced hereafter.

The following-named officers are attached to the staff of the Army of the Potomac:

Maj. S. Williams, assistant adjutant-general.

Capt. A. V. Colburn, assistant adjutant-general.

Col. R. B. Marcy, inspector-general.

Col. T. M. Key, aide-de-camp.

Capt. N. B. Sweitzer, First Cavalry, aide-de-camp.

Capt. Edward McK. Hudson, Fourteenth Infantry, aide-de-camp.

Capt. Lawrence A. Williams, Tenth Infantry, aide-de-camp.

Maj. A. J. Myer, signal officer.

Maj. Stewart Van Vliet, chief quartermaster.

Maj. H. F. Clarke, chief commissary.

Surg, C. S. Tripler, medical director.

Maj. J. G. Barnard, chief engineer.

Maj. J. N. Macomb, chief topographical engineer.

Capt. C. P. Kingsbury, chief of ordnance.

Brig. Gen. George Stoneman, volunteer service, chief of cavalry.

Brig. Gen. W. F. Barry, volunteer service, chief of artillery.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF OCCUPATION, Clarksburg, W. Va., August 20, 1861.

To the Loyal Citizens of Western Virginia:

You are the vast majority of the people. If the principle of self-government is to be respected, you have a right to stand in the position you have assumed, faithful to the constitution and laws of Virginia as they were before the ordinance of secession.

The Confederates have determined at all hazards to destroy the Government which for eighty years has defended our rights and given us a name among the nations. Contrary to your interests and your wishes they have brought war on your soil. Their tools and dupes told you you must vote for secession as the only means to insure peace; that unless you did so, hordes of abolitionists would overrun you, plunder {p.576} your property, steal your slaves, abuse your wives and daughters, seize upon your lands, and hang all those who opposed them.

By these and other atrocious falsehoods they alarmed you and led many honest and unsuspecting citizens to vote for secession. Neither threats, nor fabrications, nor intimidations sufficed to carry Western Virginia against the interests and wishes of its people into the arms of secession.

Enraged that you dared to disobey their behests, Eastern Virginians who had been accustomed to rule you and to court your votes and ambitious recreants from among yourselves, disappointed that you would not make good their promises, have conspired to tie you to the desperate fortunes of the Confederacy or drive you from your homes.

Between submission to them and subjugation or expulsion they leave you no alternative. You say you do not wish to destroy the old Government under which you have lived so long and peacefully; they say you shall break it up. You say you wish to remain citizens of the United States; they reply you shall join the Southern Confederacy to which the Richmond junta has transferred you, and to carry their will there, Jenkins, Wise, Jackson and other conspirators proclaim upon your soil a relentless and neighborhood war. Their misguided or unprincipled followers re-echo their cry, threatening fire and sword, hanging and exile, to all who oppose their arbitrary designs. They have set neighbor against neighbor and friend against friend; they have introduced a warfare only known among savages. In violation of the laws of nations and humanity, they have proclaimed that private citizens may and ought to make war.

Under this bloody code peaceful citizens, unarmed travelers, and single soldiers have been shot down, and even the wounded and defenseless have been killed; scalping their victims is all that is wanting to make their warfare like that which seventy or eighty years ago was waged by the Indians against the white race on this very ground.

You have no other alternative left you but to unite as one man in the defense of your homes, for the restoration of law and order, or be subjugated or driven from the State.

I therefore earnestly exhort you to take the most prompt and vigorous measures to put a stop to neighborhood and private wars. You must remember that the laws are suspended in Eastern Virginia, which has transferred itself to the Southern Confederacy. The old constitution and laws of Virginia are only in force in Western Virginia. These laws you must maintain.

Let every citizen, without reference to past political opinions, unite with his neighbors to keep these laws in operation, and thus prevent the country from being desolated by plunder and violence, whether committed in the name of secessionism or Unionism.

I conjure all those who have hitherto advocated the doctrine of secessionism as a political opinion to consider that now its advocacy means war against the peace and interests of Western Virginia. It is an invitation to the Southern confederates to come in and subdue you, and proclaims that there can be no law or right until this is done.

My mission among you is that of a fellow-citizen, charged by the Government to expel the arbitrary force which domineered over you, to restore that law and order of which you have been robbed, and to maintain your right to govern yourselves under the Constitution and laws of the United States.

To put an end to the savage war waged by individuals, who without warrant of military authority lurk in the bushes and waylay messengers {p.577} or shoot sentries, I shall be obliged to hold the neighborhood in which these outrages are committed responsible; and unless they raise the hue and cry and pursue the offenders, deal with them as accessaries to the crime.

Unarmed and peaceful citizens shall be protected, the rights of private property respected, and only those who are found enemies of the Government of the United States and peace of Western Virginia will be disturbed. Of those I shall require absolute certainty that they will do no mischief.

Put a stop to needless arrests and the spread of malicious reports. Let each town and district choose five of its most reliable and energetic citizens a committee of public safety, to act in concert with the civic and military authorities and be responsible for the preservation of peace and good order.

Citizens of Western Virginia, your fate is mainly in your own hands.

If you allow yourselves to be trampled under foot by hordes of disturbers, plunderers, and murderers, your land will become a desolation. If you stand firm for law and order and maintain your rights, you may dwell together peacefully and happily as in former days.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., August 21, 1861.

Capt. EDWARD MCK. HUDSON, Aide-de-Camp:

SIR: The Secretary of the Navy is in error in supposing that I have the means of effectually blockading the Patuxent. I have but two revenue cutters at my disposal, both sailing vessels, the Forward and the Hope. The former belongs to the revenue service, but is in bad order and ought to be hauled up for repairs. The latter is a yacht, which her owner, who commands her, offered for gratuitous service. She lies opposite Fort McHenry, and has been very useful and efficient. She is entirely unsuited to the service which would be required of her in the lower part of the bay. Armed steamers are indispensable. The Secretary of the Treasury promised me four steamers of from three to four hundred tons. With these I thought the whole commerce of the Chesapeake north of the Potomac could be effectually controlled. I inclose a copy of a letter to him of the 8th instant,* explaining the necessity for such a force. My opinion still is that nothing short of it will suffice to break up the illicit commercial intercourse carried on between the Eastern Shore of Maryland with Virginia through the Patuxent and Potomac.

I have twice called the attention of the Government to the fact that there is a rebel camp in Northampton County, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, which is a nucleus of disaffection for Accomac and the counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland up to the Delaware line. It is very important that it should be broken up. Two regiments, with a discreet commander, could march through this important district and put down all opposition.

I am, respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

* Printed in Series III, Vol. I. 37

{p.578}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH, Near Hyattstown, Md., August 21, 1861.

Colonel LEONARD, Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment:

SIR: In view of instructions, received this day from headquarters of the Army in Washington, it becomes necessary for you to take post in the vicinity of Harper’s Ferry. The Commanding General directs that you proceed with your regiment to Sandy Hooky and to take post on the Maryland side of the Potomac, so as to prevent an enemy from crossing at the ford or ferry, and to hold the Maryland Heights.

Very respectfully,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, August 22, 1861.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, U. S. A., Commanding Department of the Potomac:

SIR: The General-in-Chief directs me to say that, on information considered by the War Department as important and reliable, orders were given to Major-General Dix, commanding in Baltimore, to stop, until further orders, all boats between Baltimore and Saint Mary’s or the neighboring counties of Maryland and Virginia. This order was given the 15th instant. Permission was given the 18th for a steamboat to make one trip to bring away families left behind.

The Hon. Reverdy Johnson, of Baltimore, proposes that the boats shall be permitted to renew their trips for the purpose of carrying freight only, without the privilege of taking passengers, under such guard or regulations as may be necessary for the public safety. The object of this arrangement would be to enable the loyal people of Maryland to send their produce to the Baltimore market, as they have been in the habit of doing. The General-in-Chief wishes you to refer this proposition to Major-General Dix, and if he thinks well of it, to have it carried into effect.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SENECA, August 22, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Division of the Potomac:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the Major-General Commanding, that all is quiet throughout my lines; no change opposite.

This morning there was cannon firing near Leesburg, either two salutes or practicing; more probably the latter.

General Banks is at Hyattstown, some 9 1/2 or 10 miles northeast of Poolesville, connecting with my position by a reasonably good road, and with Rockville by an excellent one.

I fear there is too much nervousness on my right-that is, in the command of Colonel Geary, at Point of Rocks. His ambulances came hastily into my camp this morning, having been sent off at 10 p.m. last night. The river is not fordable for wagons or artillery at this time.

{p.579}

I am unable to discover any signs of raft or boat preparation, and the only signs of the enemy on the bank are small pickets, while there are no signs of large camps except at Leesburg and on Goose Creek. Those two do not appear very extensive, say for one or two regiments each. With a long-range rifle cannon I could stir up the intrenchments erected for the defense of Leesburg, and perhaps make them betray the power of their guns, if they have any in position, which I doubt.

Major Myer, signal officer, arrived at Poolesville this morning, and will make trials to-night between my left and General Banks’ position.

I would respectfully request that General McCall’s force at Big Falls may be instructed to throw out pickets, say 4 1/2 miles above that position, to meet the pickets of the Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers.

Five negroes crossed the river yesterday, running away, as they say, from being sent to Manassas to work on the fortifications. I respectfully ask instructions as to the disposition to be made of them. They say there is no large camp opposite this place for 3 miles back.

Very respectfully, I am, major, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding Corps of Observation.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington. D. C., August 23, 1861.

Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE, Commanding Brigade:

GENERAL: Major-General McClellan directs me to inform you that it is a very well authenticated fact that the enemy are suffering severely with the small-pox, measles, and camp fevers. They have fallen back from Vienna to Flint Hill, taking all their sick with them. They moved even those who were so very sick that one or more died on the march. The pickets have been drawn back throughout the whole length of the line. They will probably change their plan of operation, as they see that we had divined their original plans and had made preparations to frustrate them. This is written simply to keep you posted. The general does not wish you to be the less watchful because appearances indicate a retrograde movement on the part of the enemy.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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OFFICE CHIEF OF ARTILLERY, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 23, 1861.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: In obedience to your directions I have the honor to submit the following:

To insure success, it is of vital importance that the Army of the Potomac should have an overwhelming force of field artillery. To render this artillery the most effective, the field batteries should as far as possible consist of regular troops. At present, of the twenty-five batteries of your army thirteen are regulars and twelve are volunteers. With every disposition to do their best, the volunteer artillery do not possess the knowledge or experience requisite for thoroughly efficient service. I would therefore recommend that companies of regular artillery be withdrawn from many of the forts on the Atlantic and Pacific {p.580} seaboards and ordered to this point at as early a date as possible, to be mounted as field artillery. For this purpose I am of the opinion that four of the seven companies at Fort Monroe, one of the two companies at Fort McHenry, and seven of the eleven companies on the Pacific coast-in all twelve companies-can very well be spared. Their places in the forts might be very well filled by companies or battalions of volunteer artillery. For this latter purpose I would recommend that corps of volunteer artillery be raised for this special service exclusively. In many of our cities and large towns in the immediate vicinity of the seaboard forts, portions of the militia have been drilled at or have otherwise become familiar with the seacoast guns. It is believed that many such persons, who would not enlist under ordinary circumstances, would readily enroll themselves for the sole purpose of garrisoning works in the immediate vicinity, and intended for the defense of their homes and places of business.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM F. BARRY, Brigadier-General, Chief of Artillery.

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OFFICE CHIEF OF ARTILLERY, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, August 23, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding:

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a proposed organization of the artillery for the Army of the Potomac. This organization is based upon an establishment of 100,000 men, and as it is presumed a large majority of the troops will not be over-well disciplined or instructed, the artillery, to give them confidence and steadiness, is arranged upon the basis of three pieces to 1,000 men: Three pieces to 1,000 men-two-thirds guns of which one-fourth are 12-pounders, three-fourths are 6-pounders, and of each of which one-half are rifled; one-third howitzers, of which one-eighth are 32-pounders, one-eighth are 24-pounders, and three-fourths are 12-pounders, the whole distributed as follows:

For the infantry, two pieces to 1,000 men-light 12-pounders, Parrott 10-pounders, James 13-pounders, or 6-pounder guns and 12-pounder howitzers, assembled in mounted batteries.

For the cavalry, two pieces to 1,000 men-6-pounder guns and 12-pounder howitzers mixed, and 12-pounder howitzers alone, assembled in horse artillery batteries.

For the reserve, one piece to 1,000 men-one-half 6-pounder horse artillery and mounted batteries and one-half 12-pounder mounted batteries.

As the troops improve in discipline and become veterans by experience and continued service the ratio of guns to men might be reduced one-half, and thus a force of three hundred guns would amply suffice for an army of 200,000 men. Seven thousand five hundred men and 5,000 horses will be required to equip an artillery force of the above organization.

With regard to the artillery of the field works erected and erecting for the defense of Washington, I have the honor to state the defensive works at present completed mount seventy-eight guns. Of these, thirty are shell guns, five are rifle guns, and thirty-four are 24 and 32 pounders, the remainder being field-guns for flank defense. The new defensive works in process of construction will mount about fifty guns. One thousand one hundred men will be required for the service of these guns.

{p.581}

These men can be readily furnished by details from the volunteer foot regiments assigned as garrisons for the works.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM F. BARRY, Brigadier-General, Chief of Artillery.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., August 23, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:

GENERAL: The inclosed letter, which I think of sufficient importance to be submitted to you, only conveys intelligence which I am every day receiving from numerous sources. The secessionists are active and confident throughout the counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and the friends of the Government discontented and to some extent depressed. They ask for arms, and in some cases for the presence of Federal troops. I am satisfied there are from 1,000 to 1,500 rebels embodied at Eastville, Northampton County, Virginia, and at other points. Two regiments marched from Salisbury, the terminus of the railroad from Wilmington, down to the southern extremity of the Eastern shore would break up an immense traffic in contraband, disperse the rebels, and give courage to the friends of the Union.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

NEWTOWN, August 12, 1861.

Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Commanding Department of Annapolis:

DEAR SIR: I have given my friend C. C. Adreon, esq., a complete statement of affairs in this region. I have endeavored to show to him the necessity for troops to protect our citizens in their persons and rights. They have become most insulting and threatening towards us, and are actually driving men suspected of holding Union sentiments from the State, Virginia, and some of them, a Dr. Stickney and family, are here in Newtown now for protection. There Is a secession flag at this time waving in sight of me whilst I write. I have been informed that some of our Union men here doubt the practicability of sending troops to the line at and below this place, but I know these men to have personal considerations at the bottom of their prudence. Mr. Sharpe passed through here last week, having in his possession several rifles; was showing them at the hotel of Mr. Dryden, where he amused his disunion friends by showing them the facility by which they were loaded and discharged. They were Sharp’s and Merrill’s patents, and numbered eight or ten. Mr. Adreon can give you his experience among the Virginians and all other particulars you may require. They have at their command about eight good, serviceable cannon, and about 800 men in a camp, armed with good muskets and rifles. The balance of the men in the camp (about 1,500) are armed with shot-guns and fowling pieces without bayonets. They have also several other pieces of cannon they can mount in battery. Those eight pieces are nice brass guns and mounted. They are beginning to throw up earthen fortifications along the shore of their different rivers, and the sooner troops are sent, in my judgment, the better it will be. For further information I refer you to Mr. Adreon.

Your humble servant,

GEO. S. MERRILL.

{p.582}

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HEADQUARTERS, Alexandria, Va., August 24, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I received information a few days ago which led me to believe that a correspondence between the Maryland and Virginia sides of the river was kept up by means of small boats, which were kept hidden when not in use in marshes near the mouth of Hunting Creek. I sent to the commanding officer of the Perry, the vessel of war which lies off the town, and asked him to send a boat with a guide, whom I would furnish, to look after these small boats, and if possible catch the men engaged in this business. Yesterday he called to see me, and informed me that he could not make the search without direct orders from the Secretary of the Navy. I then asked him if he would search such boats as might be caught in the act of passing and he declined, on the ground that officers of the Navy must be very careful in making searches of boats, &c. I report these facts because the matter in question is important, and in case of emergency it might be necessary to get an order from the Secretary of the Navy to fire on the enemy on the same principle.

Very respectfully,

W. B. FRANKLIN, Brigadier-General, Commanding Alexandria.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, August 25, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Am-my of the Potomac:

MAJOR: There is nothing of importance to report since my report of last night. The enemy have fired a few cannon-shot this morning from Conrad’s Ferry. In all, they have fired at that point about eighty shot and shells, causing damage to the ferry houses, but only two very slight wounds to our men.

Very respectfully, I am, major, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, August 28, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that in the recent firing across the river on my outposts the enemy are reported to have lost by our riflemen 3 killed and 7 wounded, while on our side 3 men were contused; none wounded or killed.

I can see no indication of an increased force opposite, but have information that there are two regiments of Mississippi troops at Leesburg and one of South Carolina and one of Virginia troops at Lovettsville and Waterford respectively, while a corps of irregular cavalry, three or four companies, move up and down the river from Goose Creek to Point of Rocks.

Major-General Banks informs me that he has ordered General Hamilton’s brigade to this point for temporary service.

{p.583}

I caused a few rounds to be fired yesterday from the Rhode Island section rifled 6-pounders, and find that with guns of that class we can reach the outworks of Leesburg.

The Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment joined this command yesterday morning.

Very respectfully, I am, major, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS GENERAL BANKS’ DIVISION, Near Darnestown, AID., August 31, 1861.

General STONE:

SIR: Major-General Banks directs me to inform you that he arrived at this place day before yesterday. He requests that you will at your earliest convenience send him, by some responsible agent, some information as to your pickets, their posts, the position of your main body, &c., and that you will communicate to him any information in your possession concerning the positions, numbers, &c., of any troops which may be between Darnestown and Washington. He requests that you will order the section of the Rhode Island Battery now with you to join him at your earliest convenience.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, September 2, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that two or three regiments broke up their camp near Leesburg this forenoon, and marched nearer the river, the bulk of two regiments approaching Conrad’s Ferry. They strengthened all their pickets throughout the line. There is no appearance of re-enforcement.

My impression is that the movement was caused by a feeling of alarm lest we should attempt a crossing in force, as one of the advanced pickets of the Tammany regiment crossed the river last night and cut out and brought over a large ferry-boat.

I have caused the outposts to be strengthened by infantry and artillery, but do not anticipate any advance of the enemy.

Very respectfully, I am, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CAMP NEAR DARNESTOWN, September 4, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War, &c.:

SIR: I visited the Potomac at Edwards Ferry, opposite Poolesville, last evening. There are no indications of movement more than for a month past. Their force at Leesburg appears to be about three or four regiments. Two or 3 miles from the river they have thrown up a slight {p.584} breastwork and the pickets have been increased, but this is perhaps on account of some encroachments by our troops on the Virginia side. Above Point of Rocks there is no increase of rebel forces. The cavalry seems to be chiefly of local character. Last night we were informed that the troops at Leesburg were moving westward, which would take them towards Lovettsville, but this is not well authenticated.

Our force is about 14,000 men. Of this Geary’s regiment is at Point of Rocks; Leonard’s (Thirteenth) at Harper’s Ferry; Kenly’s (First Maryland) at Williamsport. They guard the river from the mouth of the Monocacy to the country above Williamsport.

We are much in want of clothing, shoes, &c. We have now but eight pieces of artillery, and are deficient in staff officers, upon which I have addressed you a note.

The news of the capture of the forts in North Carolina has given to our troops the greatest satisfaction and spirit. I congratulate you upon this evidence of a turning tide in the affairs of the country.

Nearly all our insurgent men are returning to duty. The division is in excellent health.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, D. C., September 4, 1861.

Col. EDWARD D. BAKER:

You will march with your brigade immediately and report to General Smith at his position, in advance of the Chain Bridge. You will bring with you two days’ cooked rations. You will have the men bring their overcoats or blankets, leaving as small a guard as necessary to guard your camp and baggage left at your present position.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, D. C., September 4, 1861.

Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE, Commanding, &c., Poolesville, Md.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 1st instant. The Commanding General directs me to invite your particular attention to the importance of keeping a careful watch upon the Potomac in front of your position. It is believed, from recent information derived from sources deemed reliable, that the enemy still entertains the design of crossing the river in force at some point above Washington.

There being now no separate military department within the district of country occupied by the Army of the Potomac, the Commanding General is the only person who, under the sixty-fifth article of war, is competent to appoint general courts-martial for this army. Should you find it necessary to make application for a general court-martial, you are requested to furnish at the same time a suitable detail for the court, including the judge-advocate.

The commanding general will at an early day request the War Department to appoint a board to examine into the qualifications of officers.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.585}

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WASHINGTON, D. C., September 4, 1861.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS, Commanding, &c., Darnestown, Md.:

SIR: The Commanding General directs me to invite your particular attention to the importance of keeping a careful watch upon the Potomac in front of your position. It is believed from recent information derived from sources deemed reliable, that the enemy still entertains the design of crossing the river in force at some point above Washington.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, Md., September 4, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Your telegram of this date I have had the honor to receive, and its requirements have been complied with, so far as making preparations for marching promptly, with two days’ provisions cooked.

There are three camps in the immediate vicinity of Leesburg, one apparently large enough for two regiments, the others for one each.

Movements of troops were believed to be heard last night opposite Conrad’s Ferry, going west, but I cannot satisfy myself from the reports of the pickets that any considerable body moved.

The Eighth Virginia Regiment now furnishes the pickets opposite ours at Edwards Ferry, while Mississippi troops are posted opposite Conrad’s.

The troops of this command are in good spirits, and, with the exception of the First Minnesota, in good health. In the latter the measles is increasing the sick report.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, September 5, 1861.

Hon. S. CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have most urgently to-request that the following-named companies of regular artillery be ordered to report to me with the least possible delay, viz:

Seven of the nine companies of the Third Regiment of Artillery, now stationed on the Pacific coast.

Four of the eight companies now stationed at Fortress Monroe, Va.

The necessity for an increase of the regular artillery force under my command is most pressing.

I have also to request that all the officers belonging to Companies E and H, First Regiment U. S. Artillery, be ordered to join their respective companies without delay. These companies, now mounted as light artillery, have but one officer each on duty with them. In this condition they are not and cannot be efficient.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient, servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

{p.586}

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 89.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF OCCUPATION, W. VA., Sutton, Va., September 6, 1861.

The command will move to-morrow morning in the direction of Summersville at-o’clock and in the following order, viz:

1. General Benham’s brigade in the order named: Tenth Ohio Volunteers, McMullin’s battery, Thirteenth and Twelfth Ohio Volunteers. Cavalry as the general may direct.

2. Colonel [R. L.] McCook’s brigade, Ninth, Twenty-eighth, and Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteers. Cavalry under direction of the colonel.

3. Colonel [E. P.] Scammon’s brigade (with the exceptions hereafter named), Mack’s battery, Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers.

...

The colonel commanding Third Brigade will detach four companies of the Thirtieth as a guard for this depot. The remaining six will accompany and guard the train.

...

By order of General Rosecrans:

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington City, September 6, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to suggest the following proposition, with the request that the necessary authority be at once given me to carry it out. To organize a force of two brigades of five regiments each of New England men for the general service, but particularly adapted to coast service. The officers and men to be sufficiently conversant with boat service to manage steamers, sailing vessels, launches, barges, surf-boats, floating batteries, &c. To charter or buy for the command a sufficient number of propellers or tug-boats for transportation of men and supplies, the machinery of which should be amply protected by timber, the vessels to have permanent experienced officers from the merchant service, but to be manned by details from the command. A naval officer to be attached to the staff of the commanding officer. The flank companies of each regiment to be armed with Dahlgren boat guns and carbines with water-proof cartridges; the other companies to have such arms as I may hereafter designate, to be uniformed and equipped as the Rhode Island regiments are. Launches and floating batteries, with timber parapets, of sufficient capacity to land or bring into action the entire force. The entire management and organization of the force to be under my control and to form an integral part of the Army of the Potomac.

The immediate object of this force is for operations in the inlets of Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac, by enabling me to transport and land troops at points where they are needed. This force can also be used in conjunction with a naval force operating against points on the seacoast. This coast division to be commanded by a general officer of my selection. The regiments to be organized as other land forces. The disbursements for vessels, &c., to be made by the proper departments of the Army, upon the requisition of the general commanding the division, with my approval.

I think the entire force can be organized in thirty days, and by no means the least of the advantages of this proposition is the fact that it {p.587} will call into the service a class of men who would not otherwise enter the Army.

You will readily perceive that the object of this force is to follow up, along the coast and up the inlets and rivers, the movements of the main army when it advances.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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WASHINGTON, September 7, 1861.

General MCCLELLAN:

DEAR SIR: A dispatch from our master of transportation, Mr. William P. Smith, received last evening, says:

Have just heard that Confederates have taken up about 9 miles of the iron on our track above Martinsburg for repairs of their roads toward Richmond, and have also removed a considerable portion of our telegraph wires for transfer in the same direction. All this is in addition to five locomotives and some $40,000 worth of valuable machinists’ tools and materials for railroad repairs, &c., lately taken from our Martinsburg shops, and of which they stated they were greatly in need at the South. The engines were hauled by turnpike through Winchester to Strasburg or some other point on Manassas road. They will require heavy repairs, however, before use.

With the wear and tear upon the Southern roads, caused to an extraordinary extent by military transportation, and with the blockade preventing their obtainment of materials and machinery for repairs, it will not require much calculation to determine the to them almost inestimable value of this property of which they have just robbed our company. Thus the great capabilities of our road to aid the Government in the suppression of the rebellion, if our line were connected through, are used in part to facilitate the operations of the rebels. I know that you will appreciate the bearings of this late outrage more readily than probably any other person, and that as soon as you have the means placed in your hands you will remedy the matter, or rather prevent its repetition.

It may be desirable for you to know that at Piedmont we have about as much of a stock of materials and machinists’ tools as was taken from Martinsburg, and probably half as much at Cumberland also. The great value of such things to the Confederates at this time, irrespective of other considerations, may tempt them to make raids in that direction also.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. SULLIVAN, General Transportation Agent Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, September 8, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Your note of yesterday* is received. I concur in your views as to the exigency of the present occasion. I appreciate and cordially thank you for your offers of support, and will avail myself of them to the fullest extent demanded by the interests of the country. The force {p.588} of all our arms within the immediate vicinity of Washington in nearly 85,000 men. The effective portion of this force is more than sufficient to resist with certain success any attack on our works upon the other side of the river. By calling in the commands of Generals Banks and Stone it will probably be sufficient to defend the city of Washington from whatever direction it may be assailed.

It is well understood that, although the ultimate design of the enemy is to possess himself of the city of Washington, his first efforts will probably be directed towards Baltimore, with the intention of cutting our lines of communication and supplies, as well as to arouse an insurrection in Maryland. To accomplish this he will no doubt show a certain portion of his force in front of our positions on the other side of the Potomac, in order to engage our attention there and induce us to leave a large portion of our force for the defense of those positions. He will probably also make demonstrations in the vicinity of Aquia Creek, Mathias Point, and Occoquan, in order still further to induce us still further to disseminate our forces. His main and real movement will doubtless be to cross the Potomac between Washington and Point of Rocks, probably not far from Seneca Falls, and most likely at more points than one. His hope will be so to engage our attention by the diversions already named as to enable him to move with a large force direct and unopposed on Baltimore. I see no reason to doubt the possibility of his attempting this with a column of at least 100,000 effective troops. If he has only 130,000 under arms, he can make all the diversions I have mentioned with his raw and badly-armed troops, leaving 100,000 effective men for his real movement. As I am now situated, I can by no possibility bring to bear against this column more than 70,000, and probably not over 60,000, effective troops.

In regard to the composition of our active army, it must be borne in mind that the very important arms of cavalry and artillery had been almost entirely neglected till I assumed command of this army, and that consequently the troops of these arms, although greatly increased in numbers, are comparatively raw and inexperienced, most of the cavalry not being yet armed and equipped.

In making the foregoing estimate of numbers I have reduced the enemy’s force below what is regarded by the War Department and other official circles as its real strength, and have taken the reverse course as to our own. Our situation, then, is simply this: If the commander-in-chief of the enemy follows the simplest dictates of the military art we must meet him with greatly inferior forces. To render success possible, the divisions of our army must be more ably led and commanded than those of the enemy. The fate of the nation and the success of the cause in which we are engaged must be mainly decided by the issue of the next battle to be fought by the army now under my command. I therefore feel that the interests of the nation demand that the ablest soldiers in the service should be on duty with the Army of the Potomac, and that, contenting ourselves with remaining on the defensive for the present at all other points, this army should be re-enforced at once by all the disposable troops that the East and West and North can furnish.

To insure present success the portion of this army available for active operations should be at least equal to any force which it may be called to encounter. To accomplish this, it is necessary that it should be at once and very largely re-enforced. For ulterior results and to bring this war to a speedy close, it will be necessary that our active army shall be much superior to the enemy in numbers, so as to make {p.589} it reasonably certain that we shall win every battle which we fight, and at the same time be able to cover our communications as we advance.

I would also urgently recommend that the whole of the Regular Army, old and new, be at once ordered to report here, excepting the mounted batteries actually serving in other departments and the minimum numbers of companies of artillery actually necessary to form the nucleus of the garrisons of our most important permanent works. There should be no delay in carrying out this measure. Scattered as the regulars now are, they are nowhere strong enough to produce a marked effect. United in one body, they will insure the success of this army.

In organizing the Army of the Potomac I have selected general and staff officers with distinct reference to their fitness for the important duties that may devolve upon them. Any change or disposition of such officers without consulting the Commanding General may fatally impair the efficiency of this army and the success of its operations. I therefore earnestly request that in future every general officer appointed upon my recommendation shall be assigned to this army; that I shall have full control of the officers and troops in this department, and that no orders shall be given respecting my command without my being first consulted. It is evident that I cannot otherwise be responsible for the success of our arms. In this connection I respectfully insist that Brig. Gens. Don Carlos Buell and J. F. Reynolds, both appointed upon my recommendation and for the purpose of serving with me, be at once so assigned. In obedience to your request I have thus frankly stated in what manner you can at present aid me in the performance of the great duty committed to my charge, and I shall continue to communicate with you in the same spirit.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S BRIGADE, Cramp Union, September 8, 1861.

Colonel COWDIN, Commanding First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers:

The major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac is informed that two companies of rebel troops and other small portions were seen this morning in the direction of Upper Marlborough and extending down the Patuxent towards Lower Marlborough. For this and other reasons the brigadier-general commanding the brigade directs that you proceed with your regiment to Upper Marlborough by the most direct route, and from that point send out scouting parties in direction of Alexandria and Lower Marlborough. For this service two companies of cavalry will be ordered to report to you, and the whole of your command will march, provided with five days’ rations and forty rounds of ammunition and with a dozen axes and spades. Your men will take their overcoats and blankets, and you may require five or six wagons. Let their loads be light, so as not to embarrass your progress. You will watch the enemy and report at once anything of importance that may occur. It is possible that the parties seen were local troops, which should be captured; also, all supplies intended for {p.590} their use or that of the rebel forces. You will use your cavalry freely, and collect all the information possible about the enemy’s movements, and will also hold your force in hand and not permit them to commit depredations upon the citizens.

As General Sickles will send the same amount of force to Patuxent as your own, it is desirable that your parties should connect between that and Upper Marlborough. You will exercise great care to prevent your scouts firing on those of Sickles’ brigade. You will report to me regularly twice a day, and will make special reports of anything of consequence that occurs.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. DICKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WHEELING, VA., September 9, 1861.

THOMAS A. SCOTT:

We are suffering greatly for the want of arms. There are 4,000 musket, at Bellaire, in charge of Crispin. They would answer for our Home Guards, and are useless for any other service. Can’t you let us have them? I am informed by the field officer in the Second Virginia Regiment that out of 250 altered muskets in that regiment 50 of them are useless. Can they not be furnished with a good gun immediately?

F. H. PEIRPOINT, Governor.

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UPPER MARLBOROUGH MD., September 10, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOSEPH HOOKER:

SIR: In accordance with orders received from your headquarters* we proceeded from Bladensburg to this place, arriving here at 6.30 p.m., and are now encamped in the wood upon the outskirts of the village. There are also here five companies of Sickles’ brigade, under command of the lieutenant-colonel. They are located in the village, in the rear of the court-house.

From my own convictions, upon investigation, and from consultation with Lieutenant-Colonel Potter, of the other detachment, I am satisfied that no companies of rebel troops are in this vicinity or have been for some time. There is no doubt but that troops have been raised here for the rebel army, and that the sympathies of the people are with the Confederates. The commanding officer of the Sickles detachment has sent out scouting parties in the direction of Alexandria Ferry and Lower Marlborough, and has seen nothing to warrant the belief that any bodies of armed men exist in this country, if at all on this side the river.

The cavalry that was to join us has not arrived, and there are but 9 attached to the Sickles detachment. I await your further instructions by return of messenger.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel, Commanding First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.

* Dickinson to Cowdin, September 8, p. 559.

{p.591}

UPPER MARLBOROUGH, MD., September 10, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOSEPH HOOKER:

SIR: I have to inform you that the cavalry, under command of Captain Hamblin, arrived here at 1 this p.m. Lieutenant-Colonel Potter, having received definite instructions, leaves immediately for Butler and Queen Anne, and shall proceed to-morrow morning towards Lower Marlborough, covering the ground that has not already been explored by Lieutenant-Colonel Potter’s command, and, if found expedient, shall go still farther down the country.

During the day I have been trying to gain such information as may aid me in future operations. I find by conversation with leading men of the town that Federal troops have been expected here for some time past, and they therefore were not disappointed in seeing us come.

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel, Commanding First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, September 10, 1861.

Maj. S. WILLIAMS, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report for the information of the major-general commanding that while there seems to be no increase of force on the opposite side of the river there was considerable activity to be noticed in improving the defensive works on the road from Edwards Ferry to Leesburg. The same works cover the approaches to Leesburg from the Chain Bridge and Alexandria turnpike. The pickets have many of them been withdrawn from opposite Conrad’s Ferry and patrols are less frequent.

The work on the intrenchment above noticed is carried on so ostentatiously, that it may be a stratagem to deceive us as to their real intentions, but I am inclined to think not.

Two colored teamsters deserted from Waterford on the 7th instant and reached our lines yesterday. One of them is quite intelligent. They report that the Eighth Virginia Volunteers is at Waterford and a corps of cavalry 300 strong have headquarters at Lovettsville; that two Mississippi and one South Carolina regiment occupy the vicinity of Leesburg. They also state that the rebel forces have sufficient beef, corn meal, coffee, and sugar, but are short of salt; that until within a few days they had no coffee or sugar, but received a supply from Manassas Gap; that the people in Loudoun County are destitute of coffee, sugar, and salt, none being offered for sale in any of the village groceries.

They report that the Eighth Regiment Virginia Volunteers had plenty of ammunition, one of the teamsters stating that he drove an ammunition wagon loaded with forty boxes, while the men carried their cartridge-boxes full. One of these men brought off the diary of a cavalry officer, in which I find that the force which recently passed from Leesburg to Lovettsville, &c., consisted of two regiments infantry, 200 cavalry, and two pieces of cannon. One of these regiments has since returned to Leesburg.

The health of this command is good, and its discipline constantly improving.

Very respectfully, I am, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.592}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF OCCUPATION, W. VA., Camp Scott, near Cross-Lanes, Va., September 11, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. D. Cox, Gauley Bridge, Va.:

GENERAL: Yesterday we reached the Cross-Lanes at 2 o’clock; drove in the rebel pickets; followed them closely up to their intrenched camp, which was situated in a dense forest. Reconnoitered so closely that our reconnaissance was about to change into an assault, when, night coming on, we drew our weary and exhausted troops out of the woods and bivouacked on our arms about three-quarters of a mile from the intrenched camp. At 5 o’clock in the morning our pickets found their camp was evacuated, and was taken possession of by one of our companies. It was found to contain a large quantity of plunder, commissary stores, quartermaster’s stores, &c. A few prisoners were taken, and about 30 of Lytle’s men sick in hospital on the other side of Gauley, and their ferry-boats destroyed.

We heard your cannonading yesterday, and presume you proved another tough nut to crack. We have not been able to follow them into the defile of Meadow River for want of a ferry or means of making one, and our provision train being behindhand. We are encamped advantageously, and will hurry our preparations to unite the two forces as soon as possible. You will probably have discovered our movements and have sent up a strong force on the New River road to watch and follow Wise’s retreating column. If you have not, do so at once on the receipt of this, starting your men with three days’ cooked rations in their haversacks, their blankets, and forty rounds in cartridge-boxes, and let the provision train follow your column. Your adversary Wise begins to respect you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS.

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HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, September 12, 1861.

Col. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

COLONEL: I would respectfully call the attention of the major-general commanding to the condition of this command as it is to be when existing orders shall be executed.

It now consists of five regiments of volunteer infantry, one troop Fifth Cavalry, one company regular field artillery, one company (half full) volunteer artillery.

By Special Orders, No. 43, the cavalry company is now detached from the command and two companies of volunteer cavalry ordered to replace it.

From our position, guarding 22 miles of river and canal, embracing three fords, well-instructed cavalry vedettes are peculiarly-necessary to prevent surprise on the one hand and needless alarms on the other.

My labors will be vastly increased by having uninstructed cavalry, and the proper training of this arm of volunteers more than any other requires the contact of regular troops of the same arm. I hope that it may be found consistent with the interests of the service to have one regular cavalry company here.

Colonel Gorman, commanding First Regiment Minnesota Volunteers, has been appointed by the President brigadier-general and ordered to report in person at Washington. If practicable, I deem it important that he should be near this regiment, which requires his experience and military knowledge.

{p.593}

I understood from the major-general commanding that eight regiments were to be ordered here as soon as that number of troops could be spared, and in such case General Gorman might perhaps have command of a brigade within this command. This I throw out merely as a suggestion, should there be no more important pressing duty for him. I shall be somewhat uneasy about the condition of the First Minnesota Regiment should General Gorman be immediately detached.

Very respectfully, I am, colonel, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS GENERAL BANKS’ DIVISION, Near Darnestown, Md., September 12, 1861.

Colonel GEARY, Twenty-eighth Regiment Pa. Vols., Point of Rocks, Md.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date.* I have submitted it to Major-General Banks, who instructs me to say that he has requested General Stone to send you two pieces of cannon, if they can be spared.

I send, you 10,000 caps for Major Gould. The general instructs me to say that you will at once send to these headquarters the reasons why you have kept Major Gould’s command this long without reporting the deficiency.

The general instructs me to say that, having selected you to fill a very difficult and exceedingly important position, on account of qualities he believed you possessed, he is surprised at the feeling you evince at the first approach of an enemy in any force. He directs me to say that, in case you are attacked by a greatly superior force, you will defend the crossings over which you have command as long as it is possible for you to do so without endangering the safety of your whole command. In case you are forced to retreat, you will, if possible, fall back upon General Stone, at Poolesville, and for this purpose will keep yourself in daily communication with him. Should you be unable to unite with General Stone by the intervention of an enemy in sufficient numbers to Oppose your progress, you will retire upon Monocacy Junction breaking up the railroads and cutting the telegraph wires as you retire.

The general-instructs me to say that he expects you to make good your position along the line of your pickets against any force not exceeding 3,000 men. Your wagons will be sent you as soon as arrangements can be made for them to leave. He instructs me to say that you will communicate with these headquarters daily the state of your command along the river, and for this reason are authorized to employ two reliable messengers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Not found.

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POINT OF ROCKS, MD., September 12, 1861.

Capt. ROBERT WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have to report that the enemy still continues to threaten my lines at Harper’s Ferry and above and below that place for 2 or 3 miles {p.594} each way. I have just received a report from Major Gould, in which he says:

The attack on us is not made, but there is a jubilant force near. There was a skirmish yesterday at Shepherdstown between the rebels and our troops. A canal-boat was passing at the time and 1 boatman was mortally wounded. The Confederates seem to know our weakness in numbers, and are becoming saucy.

I am credibly informed that there are now about 6,000 troops in Jefferson County ready to push, and intend to do so, on our lines.

I received your note, and thank you for your activity in my behalf. I hope General Banks will look favorably on my petition for a field piece, for, in obedience to your orders, I do not wish to be driven from this place.

Since I wrote, last night, I furnished caps to him, which I have received from Washington City, and will also furnish him those you sent me to-day.

I am making preparations to resist any attack at all hazards and have given orders at every point of the line to that effect.

Since I commenced writing I received your communication of to-day and have carefully noted its contents. I sincerely thank General Banks for his promptness in ordering up a couple of pieces of artillery, and the caps you sent are already on the way to the major.

In obedience to General Banks’ orders, I will state that when Colonel Leonard passed this place en route to join your command on or about the 3d instant, upon my inquiry whether he had mustered and inspected his regiment on the 31st of August, he informed me he had done so. I asked him if his regiment was sufficiently supplied with ammunition. He informed me it was.

Upon assuming the command of the detachment under Major Gould, I directed him to keep me promptly advised of all his wants, either as to provisions or ammunition. The letter which I forwarded you this morning from him was the first intimation that he wanted caps. If I have been derelict in this matter, it certainly has been most unintentionally so, and I trust that by future attention and watchfulness to continue to merit the general’s confidence, which it has been my greatest pleasure to enjoy. As to any feeling I may have expressed in my letter of last night, I was not aware that I had expressed any, for the note was a hurried one, written when just aroused from sleep, and I trust the general will overlook the whole matter.

My command is in good order and is ready and anxious to meet the enemy, and I most confidently assure you it will give a good account of itself if an opportunity is afforded. All the orders of the Major-General will be carried out to the letter. Your last order to communicate daily will be strictly obeyed.

I am pushing the general’s instructions with regard to Wilson as rapidly as I can.

With assurances of high regard, I am, your obedient servant,

JNO. W. GEARY, Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Pa. Vols., Comdg. Post.

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HEADQUARTERS GENERAL BANKS’ DIVISION, Near Darnestown, Md., September 12, 1861.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff to General McClellan, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: Major-General Banks directs me to ask if there is any possibility of his obtaining any more artillery and cavalry for his division. He instructs me to say that he has now but eight effective pieces of artillery.

{p.595}

Captain Best has six pieces, but two of them are non-effective, for want of men. His pieces are smooth bore, and, therefore, not so’ good for preventing a passage over a river of such width as the Potomac. Besides, the guns of the enemy are rifled, and by their long range our smooth-bore guns could be easily driven from the banks of the river or their vicinity. After to-day we shall have but two companies of cavalry, and they irregular. It is not possible for this command, called upon to prevent an enemy from crossing the Potomac for a distance of over 50 miles, to do so in its present condition. The enemy can easily cross, and even have time to erect breastworks and batteries to cover his passage in any force he may wish, before we could even fire a gun against him from the main body of the division. The nearest point of the Potomac from this position is about 4 miles. It would take us at least an hour and a half to reach that point in force sufficient to oppose a passage with any hopes of success. Should we immediately send our artillery and cavalry, from the nature of the country, wooded and hilly, it would only be to lose them. The fords and ferries in our vicinity are from 8 to 15 miles distant, and the same reasons would hold with much more force.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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LOWER MARLBOROUGH, MD., September 12, 1861.

General HOOKER, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Yesterday we proceeded down the river towards Lower Marlborough. After proceeding 5 or 6 miles and finding everything quiet I had determined to return to Upper Marlborough. I was met by a lieutenant belonging to Colonel Dwight’s regiment, of Sickles’ brigade. He showed me his instructions, which were from Colonel Dwight, directing the lieutenant to find the regiment belonging to Hooker’s brigade, and to inform the colonel commanding that regiment that he, with his command, was expected to form a junction with Colonel Dwight at Lower Marlborough. I accordingly proceeded to a spot near Lower Marlborough and encamped for the night. This morning, subsequent to sending my courier to you, I received from Colonel Dwight a dispatch, of which the following is a copy:

“SEPTEMBER 12-4 p.m.

Colonel COWDIN:

COLONEL: I shall proceed towards Benedict by an easy march. I shall reach there to-morrow. At Prince Fredericktown there is a company of cavalry, and each house known to contain a member will have to be searched. I hope to see you in my vicinity, near Port Tobacco, by Saturday noon.

Very respectfully,

WM. DWIGHT, Commanding.

I addressed him a communication, of which the following is a copy, directing it to Col. William Dwight, jr., commanding on west side of Patuxent River:

HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS, Lower Marlborough, Md., September 12, 1861.

Col. WILLIAM DWIGHT:

COLONEL: I propose to proceed back from this place to a point which will enable me to march either north or south, where I shall await instructions from General {p.596} Hooker. My present instructions will allow me to advance no farther than Lower Marlborough.

I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel.

I intrusted this communication to Lieutenant Candler, of Company A. Lieutenant Candler reported to me that he saw Colonel Dwight and had a long interview with him, in the course of which Colonel Dwight showed him all his instructions from General Sickles. Extracts from these instructions I herewith submit.

First order, early Monday morning, between 2 and 3; received between 4 and 5 a.m.:

After effecting a junction with the detachment from Hooker’s brigade, you will proceed along the Patuxent and make a thorough reconnaissance of the country, moving with circumspection and with the utmost vigilance to detect the presence, in whatever force he may be, and destroying, dispersing, and capturing such of the enemy as you may be able to encounter successfully. You will lose no precaution to keep open a line of communication with the base of operations and with the detachment from Hooker’s brigade.

Subsequent order, written September 11, at 8 p.m.; received September 12 (this morning):

I have received express instructions from headquarters to extend this expedition to Port Tobacco, with a view to its capture and occupation. The whole force afloat might co-operate with you. I would then take 1,500 picked troops with you. Be sure and visit Frederick. I was informed of the operation of the force sent from General Hooker’s brigade. It was to move down the Patuxent in conjunction with your force, which will move in the same direction.

Lieutenant Candler also reports that Colonel Dwight intends to move to Port Tobacco, remaining upon the west side of the river, and that he had marked out for us to take the following route: From Lower Marlborough to Huntingtown, from Huntingtown to Fredericktown, from Fredericktown to Mackall’s Ferry; thence to cross the river, and form a junction at Benedict with Colonel Dwight’s force, which will proceed to that point direct; thence, by different routes, to Port Tobacco. Lieutenant Candler further said that Colonel Dwight would call on me at 2 p.m. and talk the matter over.

At 2 o’clock a messenger from Colonel Dwight handed me the following communication, together with the message that Colonel Dwight was waiting on the other side of the river, and would receive me or any other person I might wish to send:

SEPTEMBER 11, 1861.

COLONEL COMMANDING FORCES FROM GENERAL HOOKER’S BRIGADE:

COLONEL: Your courier arrived here last night, as did the lieutenant I had sent out to communicate with you. As their statements did not entirely agree with each other, or with my instructions from headquarters, I detained your courier until I should have heard once more from headquarters. In order to cross your force to this side it will be necessary to use some of the larger river crafts. It seems that that means can be used as well below here as at this point; therefore I think my instructions will be best carried out by your moving down the river to Prince Fredericktown on your side of the river, while I move to Benedict, on my side. There is a schooner here which I shall have dropped down the river as we march. I shall send couriers to her four times a day with any intelligence I may have for you, and you will please to keep me notified by couriers sent often to her. If you meet any considerable force of the enemy I can easily throw you re-enforcements, and you can cross to me at any moment I deem it necessary, if it should be necessary before you reach Prince Fredericktown. I move very slowly and carefully, and, as I hear there are cavalry of the enemy on your side, it will be necessary that you should do the same. I am not able to say certainly whom I am addressing, as your courier does not know the name of the colonel. I take it to be Colonel Cowdin, of the First Massachusetts, and I shall be happy to meet him.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,

WM. DWIGHT, Colonel, Commanding Expedition.

{p.597}

I returned to Colonel Dwight a communication, of which the following is a copy:

HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS, Smithville, Md., September 12, 1861.

Colonel DWIGHT:

SIR: My instructions from headquarters do not contemplate any movement below Lower Marlborough. If you have received any orders applicable to this command, please forward to me copies thereof, in order that my movements may be governed thereby. My present intention is to move down to Lower Marlborough, and, unless I receive through you or otherwise some different instructions, then, in compliance with my original orders from General McClellan, I shall return towards Upper Marlborough to-day, and shall reach that place some time to-morrow. It will give me great pleasure to meet you, if possible, and exchange compliments, and consult upon the state of affairs in this section of the country.

I am, sir, yours, very respectfully,

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel First Massachusetts Volunteers.

As I cannot gather from my instructions that the regiment is to be detached from your brigade to occupy Port Tobacco, under the command of Colonel Dwight, I shall proceed to a point from which I can move easily in either direction, and await further orders from you. If I move at all, it will be towards Upper Marlborough. I can find no indications of any enemy in this neighborhood, except that negroes report that some thirty or forty of the residents here meet occasionally for cavalry drill, and that they seem to keep up partially their old militia organization.

While preparing this dispatch Captain Wild has come in from a scouting party and I inclose his report.*

As our stores have run low, I shall be obliged to make requisitions upon the country for supplies. In relation to the lamented death of Lieutenant Hogg, I learn that the accident was caused by the unseaworthy condition of the boat, which gave way under the weight of the men and horses on board. I should be glad to be instructed by you whether I shall cause the houses to be searched in which I am informed there are single cavalry sabers and uniforms.

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel.

P. S.-Later-4 p.m. I am now on my way towards Upper Marlborough.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S BRIGADE, Camp Union, September 13, 1861.

Col. ROBERT COWDIN, Commanding Detachment, &c.:

SIR: The report of your operations, dated 2 p.m. on the 12th instant, reached here this morning. Prior to its receipt I had advised you of the views of the brigadier-general commanding in regard to your future movements, and also informed you that additional rations for your command would be forwarded to you this morning. They have left, and will reach you to-day, even if you should still be at Lower Marlborough.

Prom the spirit of the general’s instructions from headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, he is of the opinion that it was not contemplated that you should extend your reconnaissance farther to the south than

{p.598}

Lower Marlborough; nor can it be at this time, unless you should be in possession of information which you have failed to communicate, which I presume is not the case.

It is impossible to make your instructions any other than general, where the extent and character of your operations must depend mainly on information which it is your object to acquire from observation and intercourse with the people around you. If I may form an opinion from the extracts you have furnished me from Colonel Dwight’s instructions, I conclude that his instructions warrant him in covering a much larger field of operations than was intended for your command, and unless you have reliable information that the rebels are in force at Port Tobacco, or that an extensive trade in contraband goods was going on from that point, which it will require your assistance to destroy, I would not advise you to take part in the operations of Colonel Dwight in that direction. If this movement was suggested at headquarters, and it was designed that you should participate in it, it is quite probable that I would have been so advised. Be that as it may, I desire that you will keep open your communication with Colonel Dwight, and hold yourself in readiness to support him in all times of need.

The general requests that you will keep a good lookout in the direction of the Potomac while Colonel Dwight is operating in the direction of Port Tobacco; but at all times observe and be governed by your own instructions, rather than the alleged ones of others. The general is gratified with your adherence to them, so far as he is informed. It is not advisable to direct houses to be searched for individual arms, and in no case unless you have good reasons to suppose that they are used by the rebels as places of deposit for arms and contraband stores.

Be pleased to have the wagons and escort sent you to-day returned without delay.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. DICKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, September 13, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith the report of the Sanitary Commission.*

Proper arrangement in field and hospital for the sick and wounded of an army is one of the most imperative, and has always been found one of the most difficult, duties of a government. From its very nature it should be under the immediate direction of the commanding general, and the whole organization intrusted to him, free from the tedious delays, inconvenient formalities, and inefficient action incident to every bureau system, however ably administered.

The Medical Bureau of the United States, like every other branch of the military service, was organized in reference to a very small army, operating generally in small divisions, and in time of peace, and hence it could not fail to be inadequate to the sudden and enormous exigencies of the present war, while its failure affords no ground of imputation, or reproach against the distinguished medical officers intrusted with its administration. By no administrative talent can a system {p.599} devised for the purposes of small divisions of an army (not exceeding in the whole 12,000 men) be adapted to the necessities of an army of 100,000, actively operating upon a great theater of war. To meet their wants, there must be a medical system commensurate with the army, and the nature of its operations so organized as to be in harmonious action with every other branch of service and under the same military command. The humane and disinterested services of the Sanitary Commission have enabled them to make several judicious suggestions, and their labors entitle them to the gratitude of the Army and of the country.

The following suggestions by them are worthy of approval and immediate adoption:

1st. The appointment of a medical director of the Army of the Potomac by its commanding general, with such powers as he may deem proper from time to time to commit to such director.

2d. The immediate organization of an ambulance corps, to act under the medical director’s command.

3d. The employment of an adequate corps of male and female nurses by the medical director, to act under his supervision.

4th. That “the relations of the Sanitary Commission and the Medical Bureau be placed on a basis of entire confidence and co-operation; that their disinterested counsel be received without jealousy.”

These suggestions of the Commission merit and receive the cordial sanction of the Commanding General. He concurs with them in their judgment “that they have earned the right to the confidence of the Department which originally, with generous reliance, called them into being, and does not doubt that they still enjoy this confidence”; and he agrees with them in the wish “to see it extended fully from the Medical Bureau.”

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. ARMY OF OCCUPATION OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Camp Scott, near Cross-Lanes, Va., September 14, 1861.

Brigadier-General Cox:

SIR: Colonel McCook, commanding a provisional brigade to cross the Gauley this morning and open communications with your forces, reported to be on the Lewisburg road, and at the same time to reconnoiter Wise’s position, reported at Dogwood Gap. Should he be found there we shall prepare to attack him as soon as we have thoroughly reconnoitered; sooner, if there be signs of retreat. Dispose your command to follow up the movement if we deem it advisable. To this end have your provision and ammunition trains inspected and numbered, arranging for the ammunition to give, with what they have in cartridge-boxes, 100 rounds to each man.

Leave a regiment to hold the mouth of the Gauley and protect the provision and ammunition trains below. Report your opinion and the facts on which it is based with respect to the present rebel force west of the Kanawha. We shall start our provision trains to draw supplies from your lines of transportation. Send Wagner forward to reconnoiter and report on the topographical and military features of the road to Lewisburg, the report to be sent through to me if possible.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS.

{p.600}

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SANDY HOOK, September 14, 1861-4 p.m.

Capt. ROBERT WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: The threatening attitude of the rebels upon this portion of my line has induced me to remain here to-day.

The report now is that 3,000 infantry and Captain Ashby’s command of cavalry will visit Harper’s Ferry this evening. I do not place much confidence in the story; it comes from the town itself.

A messenger from Capt. John W. Wilson, commanding near Sharpsburg, stating that his camp is being attacked by a large force, consisting of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, supposed to be about 600, asking aid from me. The cannonading is still going on from the rebel side, but thus far has produced no casualties on our side. As soon as scouts now out return I will decide upon the matter of his request.

For sake of prompt communication along my extended front, I have agreed to permit Mr. Smith, master of transportation on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to reconstruct that portion of the telegraph line which was destroyed by Colonel Donnelly’s order at Berlin, and to place an office here, under the supervision of Major Gould, with the understanding that if we are at any time attacked by an overwhelming force the line and office should be destroyed. As a consideration for this permission, Mr. Smith proposes to keep a train of cars and an engine to transport my troops without delay to any point to defend against sudden attack. This seems to me to be [an] admirable arrangement, and I trust it will meet the approbation of General Banks.

Lieutenant-Colonel De Korponay is in command of my camp at Point of Rocks, and he informs me that everything is quiet upon all parts of my command below.

Major Burbank, of the Twelfth Massachusetts Regiment, was here to-day. He informed me that he was ordered to Monocacy Aqueduct with two companies, and wanted to know where he should be provisioned from. I told him if he had orders to report to me I would furnish him from Point of rocks, but if he was to be under General Stone’s command, he would be furnished from that quarter. He requested me to communicate my general instructions to him, which I did, and stated to him if he was ordered to report to me I would give them to him in writing.

Another excellent 6-pounder (iron cannon) has been brought over front Virginia to-day, and will be mounted here for the defense of this point.

The Massachusetts men captured three mules from the secessionists to-day.

Considerable skirmishing is occasionally going on across the river between our pickets, 1 or 2 miles above, and several of the enemy have been killed and wounded; some horses also killed.

Rest assured a perfect defense of the line will be made.

With high regard,

JNO. W. GEARY, Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Pa. Vols., Comdg. Post.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S BRIGADE, Camp Union, Md., September 14, 1861-7 a.m.

Col. ROBERT COWDIN, Commanding, &-c., near Patuxent:

COLONEL: I am directed by the brigadier-general commanding to inform you that he received late last evening from the headquarters of {p.601} the Army of the Potomac instructions for you to proceed to Fredericktown and Saint Leonard’s, and gain all the information possible regarding the designs and movements of the enemy, capturing such organized parties as you may meet with, and taking all the arms and munitions of war you may fall in with; but you will not allow your men to depredate upon citizens who attend to their own legitimate business and do not afford aid to the enemy, even if they are secessionists. When this is executed, you will return to Lower Marlborough and await further orders.

The general is also informed that Colonel Dwight is ordered to Port Tobacco. The necessary supplies will be forwarded to you; but in order to do this it is necessary for you to report, the strength of your command and the most direct route over which they should be forwarded to Lower Marlborough. This you can determine from your own observation. Stores forwarded to you yesterday were dispatched in season to reach you at Lower Marlborough that day, and it was expected that on the receipt of this information you would have halted your command if on the march, if you did not return to that point. If, on inquiry, you should find that you have not on hand rations for your whole command for the time necessary for you to execute the foregoing instructions, you will divide it, and send forward as large a party as you are able to find. If the teamsters return in season, additional supplies will be sent from here to-morrow, and should be able to reach Lower Marlborough the same night.

It is presumed that you are senior officer to Colonel Dwight.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. DICKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 15, 1861.

General W. B. FRANKLIN, Fort Williams:

For important reasons, I desire you to push forward to completion the defensive works around your position as rapidly as possible (especially that work on the south side of Hunting Creek), with all your available force.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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LOWER MARLBOROUGH, MD., September 16, 1861.

Brigadier-General HOOKER, Commanding Hooker’s Brigade:

GENERAL: We are now quartered near Lower Marlborough, on the road to Prince Fredericktown. In regard to the number of the cavalrymen, we were informed by the commanders that there were 130 men, but since find that they have only 90, and have not been re-enforced. Some of their men who have been sent as messengers have not reported themselves back, and the conduct of the whole force during their connection with me has been anything but satisfactory. I shall march with my whole force to Fredericktown to-day.

In answer to the inquiry as to how long it will take to perform the expedition, I would say that we can probably return to Lower Marlborough {p.602} by Friday night. You will please forward rations for five days, complete, to Lower Marlborough, and three boxes of ammunition, as some of ours got wet.

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel, Commanding First Regiment.

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PRINCE FREDERICKTOWN, MD., September 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOSEPH HOOKER:

GENERAL: I arrived at this place this evening. I find that there have been organized in this town two companies-one of cavalry and one of infantry. I have sent out scouting parties to-day and shall send more to-night. I shall remain here to-morrow, and shall send forward a detachment of cavalry to Saint Leonard’s, if nothing occurs to change my plans.

The majority of the citizens are opposed to the Government, and many fled the town at my approach, as has been the case in many other secession places. The professed object of the two companies organized is home protection, in case of negro insurrection. I shall thoroughly investigate the matter, with the view of ascertaining the true state of affairs.

I received a dispatch from Colonel Dwight to-day and replied. He was at a short distance from Benedict, moving on towards Port Tobacco.

ROBERT COWDIN, Commanding First Massachusetts Volunteers.

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LOWER MARLBOROUGH, MD., September 16, 1861.

Col. WILLIAM DWIGHT:

COLONEL: Your message is just received. My instructions contemplate a visit to Prince Fredericktown and Saint Leonard’s and a return to this place. I am also instructed to keep open a communication with yourself. I cannot, upon my own responsibility, exceed these instructions, unless you should be attacked or are in danger of being cut off, neither of which contingencies seem to me probable. In case either should occur, however, I will take every means in my power to render you immediate assistance. I feel very much indebted to you for the use of the steamer yesterday, which saved my men a very fatiguing march.

I am, sir,

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.

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HDQRS. ARMY OF OCCUPATION, WESTERN VIRGINIA, Camp Cross-Lanes, Va., September 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. D. Cox, Camp at Spy Rock, Va.:

GENERAL: The Commanding General directs that you advance with the main body of your column only far enough to occupy a good camping ground in a strongly defensible position, and wait for your tent and baggage trains to come up. Send forward a strong advance guard, if practicable, to the top of Big Sewell. If that cannot be done, send one {p.603} as far forward as practicable without endangering its safety, and push your outposts well to the front, ordering the most advanced ones to ambush and capture all scouts from the rebels. Bring everything into the most perfect order, and have daily drills until we can get our ammunition and provision trains up, when we will cross over also. Keep up daily line of couriers to end of telegraph and to Gauley. As soon as Tyler gets down call up all your available force, and order Tyler to prepare for the construction of Gauley Bridge for the crossing of our trains.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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HDQRS. ARMY OF OCCUPATION WESTERN VIRGINIA, Camp Cross-Lanes, Va., September 17, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. J. REYNOLDS, Elk Water:

A pressure of occupations prevented me from announcing to you, as I should have done, that after a march of 15 miles on the 10th we attacked Floyd’s intrenched camp at 3 o’clock p.m., but were prevented from carrying the intrenchments by coming on of night and the exhaustion of our troops. We withdrew from the woods which covered his front into the fields, three-fourths of a mile distant, where we lay overnight in order of battle. The next morning we took possession of his camp, which he had evacuated during the night. Having destroyed the ferry and all means of passing, we were unable to pursue. The rebels had five or six regiments, at least eight pieces of artillery, and three companies of cavalry. Wise’s force consisted of three or four regiments, and they were met by one from Carolina and one from Georgia, 15 miles from here, on the Lewisburg pike, making from ten to twelve regiments. As soon as we could send word General Cox advanced. We have added a brigade to him. Both forces are now on the Lewisburg road. We are preparing to join them. The rebels have retreated over Big Sewell, if not to Meadow Mountain. They may join forces and try to crush us with their augmented strength. They cannot crush you. I will dispatch you again this evening.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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HDQRS. ARMY OF OCCUPATION, WESTERN VIRGINIA, Camp Cross-Lanes, Va., September 17, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. J. REYNOLDS, Elk Water, Va.:

In my dispatch of this evening you have the result of our first battle at Carnifix Ferry. The information of following up the movement; the importance of the Kanawha Valley to the rebels; the immense length and dangerous direction of our line of communication with the depots; taking immense trains over bad roads, and requiring guards at so many points; the necessity of adding a portion of the moving column to Cox’s brigade, and the fact that it takes six days to reach you, and other considerations, have induced me to throw this column on the Lewisburg and Kanawha pike, adding to it the Kanawha Brigade, confiding in your ability to hold the forces in your front. Watch them, therefore, with all care; open well the road to your front; {p.604} keep it clear; hold your position securely, and the moment you see any signs of an opportunity, fall on them, and worry and harass them, if you can do no more. If your troops move lightly, carrying the necessary provisions to go and return, you can so harass them that you may prevent their leaving their position and stop any force they can bring against you. Hasten up your troops, and when your column is re-enforced, we may have the opportunity to strike a decisive blow. Keep well advised.

Yours,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., September 19, 1861.

Maj. Gen. G. B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: There are several companies in Caroline, Queen Anne, and Carroll Counties under arms once or twice a week drilling. They are composed exclusively of secessionists, and are armed with rifled muskets. I have not been able to ascertain whether they are organized in every instance under the laws of this State, but it makes no difference. If they are, they are acting in violation of the order of the governor, who called on them some months ago to give up their arms. If they are unauthorized organizations, they ought to be broken up. If you approve of the suggestion, I will send a few policemen, with a competent military force, from 50 to 100 men in each case, and take their arms from them. I know the governor approves the measure, and I propose to consult him in each case before I act. We can get a few hundred arms of the best quality, and take them out of the hands of men of the worst character.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 80.}

WAR DEPT., ADJ’T GEN.’S OFFICE, Washington, September 19, 1861.

I. The Military Department of Ohio will in future consist of the State of that name, Indiana, and so much of Kentucky as lies within 15 miles of Cincinnati, under the command of Brigadier-General Mitchel, of the U. S. Volunteers; headquarters, Cincinnati.

So much of Virginia as lies west of the Blue Ridge Mountains will constitute in future a separate command, to be called the Department of Western Virginia, under Brigadier-General Rosecrans. Headquarters in the field. The latter will continue to draw re-enforcements by requisitions upon the governor of Ohio as heretofore, or by order addressed direct to the U. S. commander in that State, as often as may be necessary.

...

By order:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

{p.605}

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LOWER MARLBOROUGH, MD., September 20, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOSEPH HOOKER, Commanding Hooker’s Brigade:

GENERAL: Your communications of the 18th and 19th are received.* I took up my line of march at 6 o’clock last evening and arrived here this morning at 1 o’clock, after having visited, by detachments, among others, the following places: Plum Point, Huntingtown, Parker’s Creek, Mackall’s Ferry, Buzzard’s Creek, Battle Creek, Saint Leonard’s, Drum Point, Cove Point, Fishing Creek, Port Republic, Buena Vista, and Point Patience, which is at the extreme end of the Peninsula. There is no doubt that the march of the regiment through this part of the country has had a good effect, and has broken up or paralyzed all military organizations in this vicinity, and I am of the opinion that there will be no new organizations created, the leaders having fled and a large majority of the members having expressed their determination not to oppose the Government.

In your communication of the 18th instant you say rumors have reached you of irregularities committed by my command. I am aware that such complaints have been made, but have no doubt that the accounts of them have been much exaggerated. All cases brought to my notice have been investigated and the parties punished. I believe that some of the cavalry, while on detached duty, have been chiefly the cause of these complaints, it being almost impossible to control them. Numbers of them have been intoxicated and unfit to perform their duty. I have hesitated to make this report, it having been my endeavor, since their connection with my command, to make them conduct themselves as soldiers.

I have been unable to find any trace of contraband trade, and think that if it exists on this side of the Patuxent it must be on a very small scale. I am also of the opinion that the object of the expedition has been accomplished as far as lies in my power, and that there is no further necessity of a large body of troops remaining in this vicinity.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

ROBERT COWDIN, Colonel First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, September 25, 1861.

General ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Cross-Lanes, Va.:

No blow has been struck at you. That phrase objectionable.* Draw re-enforcements and supplies as before. According to your means, clear as much of Western Virginia of the enemy as practicable. No precise instruction can be safely given from this distance, either for attack, pursuit, or falling back. You are a soldier, a scientific general, and confidence is reposed in your judgment and discretion, as well as in your zeal and valor; consequently good results are expected from you. There are two Illinois regiments at Camp Dennison subject to your call, through the governor, or, preferably, Brigadier General Mitchel. Captain Gilbert’s company is serving in the Western Department, and cannot be withdrawn. The captain was ordered to report to you for {p.606} such light duty as he could do, as judge-advocate, and while suffering from his wound. Your staff-McLean, Burns, Dickerson, and Dr. Wright-are not to be taken from your orders.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

* The dispatch thus answered not found.

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CAMP TYNDALE, POINT OF ROCKS, September 28, 1861.

General CHARLES P. STONE, Commanding Corps of Observation:

DEAR GENERAL: I have reliable information, and such as should be believed, that there are about 27,000 men in the neighborhood of Leesburg, General Johnston commanding in person. Their intention is to attack my lines in several places and to make a crossing in the neighborhood of Noland’s Ferry, or at Mason’s Island, about one mile and a half above that point. My informant is Mr. Buxton, who is now here, and left Leesburg this morning.

Now, if all this be true, it behooves us to be up and doing. With some more troops and a couple more pieces of artillery I feel very confident I can make a successful resistance. I hope therefore, that you will lend me your aid when the trying hour comes, for, without counting numbers, I will stoutly resist.

Yours, truly,

JNO. W. GEARY, Colonel.

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DARNESTOWN, MD., September 28, 1861.

General STONE:

SIR: I received your letter of this morning at 7 o’clock. We have sent the Twelfth Indiana, a good regiment, with a section of Captain Best’s artillery, to the relief of Colonel Geary. They start at once, and will reach Noland’s Ferry by nightfall.

Very truly, yours,

N. P. BANKS.

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WASHINGTON, September 28, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with your instructions I went down the Potomac yesterday as far as Mathias Point, In company with me were Lieutenant Wyman, U. S. Navy, of the Potomac flotilla, and Sherburne, late of the rebel army. Lieutenant Wyman’s knowledge of the river was of great service in pointing out the different localities. The first point available to the enemy for the erection of batteries to obstruct navigation is Whitestone. The lower part of this point is a bluff about 100 feet high, the face of which may have an extent of five or six hundred yards. From this bluff batteries would rake the channel below as far as shot or shell would reach. It is thickly wooded up to its very edge, and through a portion of the extent the woods extend down the face of the bluff to the water’s edge. The river opposite Whitestone Point is but slightly over a mile wide. The next location requiring notice is Hallowing Point. This point is mostly level and cleared; elevation only from 20 to 30 feet. Batteries on this point would be very effective, but it is so low and open to observation that we can prevent their construction {p.607} or make it very difficult to hold them if constructed. High Point comes next. The river is full 2 miles wide here. In the military sense of the term the channel could not be “obstructed” by a battery so distant. Commercial vessels would, however, be reluctant to pass under its fire. The point I should not judge to be more than 30 or 40 feet high. It is wooded, too, within a few yards of the crest of the bluff. The water is so shoal for a mile or more in front of it that our own vessels of war cannot efficiently shell it. I think we may soon look for a battery here. Freestone Point comes next, and a battery exists there, supposed to have five guns, one of which (perhaps two) is said to be a rifled 30-pounder. In passing down the ship channel I found it impossible to distinguish this battery-the weather was not clear-but I can readily judge of its position. Its elevation is probably 50 or 60 feet, the gun rising still higher behind it, and, though its front was concealed by a skirt of wood, a corn field extends behind it one or two hundred yards, and then woods again clothing the elevation behind. To the left and southward are open slopes extending down to the water. Probably, therefore, the rear of the battery would be quite accessible, so far as physical obstacles are concerned, to an attack. Why has a battery been placed here so far from the ship channel of the Potomac? Not unlikely it is for defensive purposes, as I presumed those at Aquia Creek five weeks ago to be.

Cockpit Point is 40 or 50 feet high, with a very low spit projecting a few hundred feet into the river. The height is wooded, if I recollect rightly. From this point to the Quantico the river bank rises in irregular hills, partly wooded, partly open, offering numerous points where batteries could be established to bear by cross-fire on the channel. Even here, however, the narrowest part of the river after passing Hallowing Point until Mathias Point is reached, vessels can keep themselves from one and a half to two miles from the batteries. Shipping Point (Evansport) lies between the Quantico and Chopawamsic. A plateau, generally cleared, forms the termination of this peninsula, very near behind which the hills rise, and are generally wooded. The point next the Quantico is the most favorable for a battery, but it is level, open, and not more than 20 or 30 feet high, and easily accessible to our vessels. After passing the Chopawamsic the river widens, and the shores recede too much from the channel to offer favorable locations for batteries. The batteries of Aquia and Potomac Creeks need no special allusion in this brief communication. They are evidently defensive. Mathias Point is the one of the whole river (except perhaps Whitestone) where the navigation could be most effectually closed. The favorable location for batteries is the northern extremity, comprising an area of no great extent, and thickly covered with young pines. Why has not this point been before this occupied by hostile batteries? Simply, I believe, because it would require a good many guns and a good many men to protect those guns at a remote point, where the men and guns would be lost for any other purpose than this subordinate one of interrupting our navigation. The enemy would not risk a battery here without either a strong field work for 1,000 men or a large field force in the vicinity. Such a field work we are perfectly sure has not been built, and the evidence is in favor of the opinion that there are no batteries there. The best way to prevent their construction seems to me to cut or burn off the pine wood. A regiment, I think, would cut it off in a few hours if protected by our vessels. It the timber will burn standing, an operation on a smaller scale will do the business. In the same manner the construction of batteries on Whitestone Point may be prevented.

{p.608}

Batteries at High Point, at Cockpit Point, and thence down to the Chopawamsic, cannot be prevented. We may, indeed, prevent their construction on certain points, but along here somewhere the enemy can establish, in spite of us, as many batteries as he chooses. What is the remedy? Favorable circumstances, not to be certainly anticipated nor made the basis of any calculations, might justify and render successful the attack and capture of a particular battery. To suppose that we can capture all, and by new attacks of this kind prevent the navigation being molested, is very much the same as to suppose that the hostile army in our own front can prevent us building and maintaining field works to protect Arlington and Alexandria by capturing them one and all as fast as they are built. As long as the enemy is master of the other shore he can build and maintain as many batteries as he chooses. If we cannot take his batteries, we can counter-batter them-that is, we can on Stump Neck and Budd’s Ferry Point establish superior batteries to his, and it is probable we can so molest him on all points where his batteries could be effectually treated as to cause him to abandon his effort. It must be considered, however, that this is an operation costly in men and munitions. We must have numerous and powerful guns; we must have several strong field works, the location of which may have to be changed by some unexpected change in the disposition of an antagonist’s batteries. I should estimate that we should require ten to twenty heavy guns on Indian Head and fifty established on the shore from opposite Cockpit Point to opposite Evansport. In the same manner, should the enemy actually succeed in establishing batteries on Whitestone Point and Mathias Point, we could counterbatter them from the opposite shores. At Mathias the shore just north of Upper Cedar Point and the bluff north of Pope’s Creek furnish, at 2 miles’ distance, good employment for batteries. My apprehension that the enemy will actually occupy those points is not sufficient to induce me to recommend (particularly should the timber be cut off) the construction of the necessary batteries and the inclosing field works as a preventive measure. As to counter-batteries for the portion of the river between High Point and Evansport, I would wait until the disposition and ability of the enemy seriously to molest the navigation is more fully developed before commencing.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient,

J. G. BARNARD, Brigadier-General and Chief Engineer.

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UNITED STATES STEAMER POCAHONTAS, September 29, 1861.

Major-General MCCLELLAN:

SIR: Since making the excursion down the Potomac with General Barnard I have been trying to come to some conclusion regarding the reason why the enemy should have selected Freestone Point as a site for a battery. It commands nothing; is merely an annoyance on the river and no more. It does not even prevent landing should such be desired at Occoquan Mills or below the point. I feel confident that it is merely a ruse, a blind, to draw our attention from the other points to that until they are prepared at their more important points, such as High Point, Cockpit Point, and the bluff just above Evansport, on the south side of the Quantico Creek. I consider these three points as meriting the first attention. There is one circumstance that strikes me with {p.609} regard to Freestone Point, viz, that their workmen there were not so carefully concealed as usual, and to me it appears that they were intentionally exposed to view, as there was no necessity for bringing them at all outside the thick growth of trees until ready, and then they would have cut the trees at night and opened their battery at daylight. Besides this, a week or so before about 20 men were seen going up towards this bluff from the northward. This exposure is not in keeping with their usual maneuvers, and besides the road direct lies on the south side of the bluff. I called yesterday morning to speak to yourself or General Barnard in regard to this matter, but not finding you in, my duties did not permit me to wait, and I trusted that I might have found an opportunity to call before going down the river. As I shall go probably by 10 to 11 a.m. to-morrow, I take the liberty of writing, in accordance with the permission given by yourself.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. WYMAN, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Steamer Pocahontas.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, September 30, 1861.

Brigadier-General LOCKWOOD, Cambridge:

SIR: I am authorized by Major-General McClellan to disarm any companies on the Eastern Shore of Maryland which are training with supposed hostile intentions toward the Government. There is a company at Riall’s Landing, on the Nanticoke River, commanded by Captain Moore, and called the Tyaskin Guards, which ought to be disarmed. Will you please see that is done?

I am, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS EXCELSIOR BRIGADE, Good Hope, September 30, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report my return to camp last night. The order of yesterday, to hold my command in readiness to march at short notice, reached me at Piscataway, where the force detached under the command of Colonel Dwight was encamped. Regarding this order as superseding the instructions heretofore received (to halt the detachment at Piscataway until further orders), I directed Colonel Dwight at noon to break camp and move to Good Hope, where the column arrived at 6 p.m.; a march of 15 miles. A rumor prevailed among the men that an action would take place to-day, so they prevailed upon their officers not to halt, and they did not.

On Friday I examined the position of the battery at Freestone Point. It seems not well placed to impede the navigation of the Potomac. Observing how close to the shore the channel runs at Cockpit and Hallowing Points and other places on the Virginia side, and where as yet no batteries have been disclosed, the inference is suggested that {p.610} the works now on the river have for their main object a river line of defense, and that they are not seriously thought of by the enemy as menacing the navigation of the Potomac. The considerable bodies of troops encamped near the batteries at Aquia Creek, Occoquan, Freestone and Mathias Points corroborate this suggestion.

The shores on each bank of the Potomac abound in excellent places for the embarkation and landing of troops, from some of which commanding positions are easily and quickly accessible. Between Dumfries and the mouth of Powell River, on the Virginia side, there is a good shore for disembarkation, while from Budd’s Ferry or Chapman’s Point, on the west bank, a very large force could be conveniently and secretly put on board transports. If it were thought advisable to effect a landing lower down the river, menacing Fredericksburg and the enemy’s line of communications, Pope’s Creek and Lower Cedar Point, on the Maryland side, and the line from Roder’s Creek to Monroe Creek, on the opposite shore would deserve consideration, in view of the facilities afforded by an accessible open country for an advance.

The general commanding having directed my particular attention to Hilltop, in Charles County, I have to observe that it is a commanding position, overlooking an extensive valley to the left (southeast), unbroken almost to the bank of the Potomac. The valley is about a thousand yards in width, and proceeding east of north towards Budd’s Ferry and the Chicamaxen River there is another range of hills nearly as high as Hilltop, which slopes gradually towards the river. The country is generally wooded, with occasional openings of cultivated land. The roads are bad, often passing through defiles. An advancing force could be impeded and harassed at every step, and for artillery the roads would present many serious inconveniences.

There are other facts and observations which I might add with reference to the topographical and military aspects of the country, but these are omitted; lest this communication might be found tedious. If a more particular report be desired, it will be promptly transmitted.

Several scouts were sent out by Colonel Dwight, but they were in every instance stopped while crossing the river by vessels of our flotilla. On Friday, after communicating with the commander of the Island Belle, from whom I have to acknowledge many courtesies and much valuable co-operation, I was enabled to land on the other side, near Mathias Point, several intelligent scouts, from whom a report may be expected at an early day.

One company, Captain Burgess’ (Fifth Regiment), which was sent to Leonardtown, has not yet reported; it will probably reach camp tomorrow.

Inclosed herewith you will please find Colonel Dwight’s summary of the several daily reports heretofore made, to which I respectfully invite attention.*

The population on his line of march were generally in communication with the enemy. He has, however, made but few arrests or seizures, in view of the very limited authority given to him by my instructions. One of the most important is that of one Jones, the manager of a ferry at Pope’s Creek, who has been actively engaged in conveying men, arms, ammunition, and correspondence for the enemy. He will be sent to headquarters with several others as soon as Colonel Dwight’s report of prisoners arrested and property taken is received.

I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,

D. E. SICKLES, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

{p.611}

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 18.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, September 30, 1861.

...

XI. The works in the vicinity of Washington are named as follows:

The work south of Hunting Creek, Fort Lyon.

That on Shooter’s Hill, Fort Ellsworth.

That to the left of the Seminary, Fort Worth.

That in front of Blenker’s brigade, Fort Blenker.

That in front of Lee’s house, Fort Ward.

That near the mouth of Four Mile Creek, Fort Scott.

That on Richardson’s Hill, Fort Richardson.

That now known as Fort Albany, Fort Albany.

That near the end of Long Bridge, Fort Runyon.

The work next on the right of Fort Albany, Fort Craig.

The next on the right of Fort Craig, Fort Tillinghast.

The next on the right of Fort Tillinghast, Fort Ramsay.

The work next on the right of Fort Ramsay, Fort Woodbury.

That next on the right of Fort Woodbury, Fort De Kalb.

The work in rear of Fort Corcoran and near canal, Fort Haggerty.

That now known as Fort Corcoran, Fort Corcoran.

That to the north of Fort Corcoran, Fort Bennett.

That south of Chain Bridge, on height, Fort Ethan Allen.

That near the Chain Bridge, on Leesburg road, Fort Marcy.

That on the cliff north of Chain Bridge, Battery Martin Scott.

That on height near reservoir, Battery Vermont.

That near Georgetown, Battery Cameron.

That on the left of Tennallytown, Fort Gaines.

That at Tennallytown, Fort Pennsylvania.

That at Emory’s Chapel, Fort Massachusetts.

That near camp of Second Rhode Island Regiment, Fort Slocum.

That on Prospect Hill, near Bladensburg, Fort Lincoln.

That next on the left of Fort Lincoln, Fort Saratoga.

That next on the left of Fort Saratoga, Fort Bunker Hill.

That on the right of General Sickles’ camp, Fort Stanton.

That on the right of Fort Stanton, Fort Carroll.

That on the left towards Bladensburg, Fort Greble.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 19.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, October 1, 1861.

The attention of the General Commanding has recently been directed to depredations of an atrocious character that have been committed upon the persons and property of citizens in Virginia by the troops under his command. The property of inoffensive people has been lawlessly and violently taken from them; their houses broken open, and in some instances burned to the ground.

The General is perfectly aware of the fact that these outrages are perpetrated by a few bad men, and do not receive the sanction of the mass of the army. He feels confident, therefore, that all officers and soldiers who have the interest of the service at heart will cordially unite their efforts with his in endeavoring to suppress practices which disgrace the name of a soldier.

{p.612}

The General Commanding directs that in future all persons connected with this army who are detected in depredating upon the property of citizens shall be arrested and brought to trial; and he assures all concerned that crimes of such enormity will admit of no remission of the death penalty which the military law attaches to offenses of this nature.

When depredations are committed on property in charge of a guard, the commander, as well as the other members of the guard, will be held responsible for the same as principals and punished accordingly.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, October 5, 1861.

Brigadier-General LOCKWOOD, Comdg., &c., Cambridge, Md.:

GENERAL: I am directed by the General Commanding to reply to your letter of the 23d as follows:

With regard to the employment of detectives, the General is unable to place any funds for their employment at present at your disposal. It would be very desirable to destroy any detachment of the enemy on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and the general hopes you may be able to effect that object, but he is not able to furnish you any troops of artillery or cavalry, nor can he supply, it is feared, field guns or artillery or cavalry equipments for any troops of those arms should you raise them. Whatever can be done in this connection, however, the General is disposed to do. For the dispersing of meetings for drill and other purposes hostile to the Government in localities accessible by water the General has directed. General Dix to furnish you a steamer from Baltimore, if one can be spared.

With regard to the long-range arms for the Delaware troops, it has been found impossible to arm the troops of this army with the most desirable arms. Every effort has been made, however, to furnish the best that can possibly be obtained under the circumstances. With these the troops for the present must be content. You are authorized to remove your camp to wherever you may find it to the interests of the public service to fix it. General Van Vliet, chief quartermaster, has been ordered to furnish the transportation for the marches which you may find it necessary to make.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY, Washington, October 6, 1861.

Brigadier-General ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Commanding Cross-Lanes, Western Virginia:

By Tuesday next [8th instant], at the latest, 3,000 men will leave Pittsburgh to join you by boats up the Kanawha to Gauley, or as high up as they can go. Your staff at Cincinnati is ordered through General Mitchel to forward them supplies. It is intended to send you six regiments in all as soon as possible.

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant General.

{p.613}

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POINT OF ROCKS, Sunday, October 6, 1861.

Colonel MARCY:

I arrived this morning at this post, traveling all night from Williamsport. It is my duty to inform you that the Potomac is not properly guarded there, as I came across myself, a little below, in a small boat piloted by a negro, unchallenged.

The movements of troops in Virginia are numerous and uncertain. They are expecting an attack and scarcely know where to look for it. They have been strengthening a place called Brentsville, which is approached from Occoquan Creek and also Dumfries.

The arrangements of Beauregard have been materially interfered with by Johnston and also by the authorities in Richmond. By the orders of the latter, four regiments since last Thursday have left by rail for Tennessee, and the cars up to last night had not returned; and by Johnston’s [order] four regiments (about 2,500 men) have been stationed in the neighborhood of Newtown and Berryville, in the neighborhood of Winchester. Strong pickets are out north and east of these places. I discovered the sole object of this expedition. It has been represented to Johnston that as soon as the river is low enough 1,200 men could cross at Williamsport, take the First Maryland Regiment prisoners, and obtain supplies of salt and other necessaries for which they are in distress. I feel sure this will be attempted unless provided against.

A council of war was held at Manassas on Thursday and immediately afterwards two general officers left for Richmond. The feeling is prevalent among the troops, and it is said to be shared in by Beauregard, that the present rebel army of the Potomac is not large enough to cope with General McClellan’s forces, whilst Johnston prates of their “invincibility.” The forces at Leesburg have been kept up to nearly 27,000. The troops sent north were taken from positions near Middleburg and Falls Church.

I believe there is no intention to cross the river except on the Upper Potomac, where they make sure they could recross, before being interrupted. There is very little ammunition at Leesburg. A messenger was sent there for some for the troops near Winchester; he was told to go farther south, as they had only 24 rounds for each man.

Pardon my suggesting that if the national army advance shortly, and Occoquan Creek could be threatened at the same moment, there would be a general falling back upon Manassas, and that by a prompt movement via Falls Church, and a simultaneous one on the part of General Stone, the whole force at Leesburg might be captured.

While the rebels are less hopeful about Washington, they are very jubilant at the state of things in Missouri. I was in Richmond one whole day, and whilst there was informed that a message had been received by President Davis from General Price, stating that if 6,000 disciplined troops could be sent immediately, he would establish his headquarters in Saint Louis within ten days.

At my request Colonel Geary telegraphed to you immediately upon my arrival to have a man named Larmour, at Baltimore, arrested. He is expected at Manassas again in a week. He has several times taken letters and information, and took letters there with important information just previous to McDowell’s advance.

There are two men now in Baltimore or Washington who have left Manassas on “spying” expeditions; one is named Maddox; he belongs to Loudoun County; was once a medical student at Jefferson College, Philadelphia; said to be a very smart fellow. I should have come to Washington, but these men may have seen me when there ten days ago; {p.614} and as I hope to be of some good service in the future, I had better not be spotted.

The troops are getting impatient; many of the Georgians openly expressing their desire to go home. They have not been paid and their clothes are getting very shabby.

The batteries at Leesburg I ascertained have not been touched. Should anything occur you will have information. At Martinsburg yesterday morning I found two Eastern men, carpenters, who lodge at the house of Mrs. Cushwa, a good Union woman; they both evinced a strong desire to risk their lives for their country; one of them has gone to Leesburg under the pretense of getting employment, and will communicate with the other every movement.

I propose, after I hear from you, to go quickly, which I can easily do, to Richmond, via Winchester, Strasburg, and Manassas, and report at Louisville, to you through General Anderson. I think you will see the importance of this in view of recent movements. I also fear to lie about there too long at a time. I have a splendid foothold, if I can only maintain it till something of importance occurs; and if you desire it, I will remain about the neighborhood of Manassas. I shall await your orders by telegraph.

The expected attack upon the coast is exciting a great deal of feeling, and should it come in Georgia or Louisiana, I believe hundreds of the army here, under pretense of going to the rescue, would go to swear allegiance to the United States.

Will you please authorize Major-General Banks to pay me what you think I am entitled to for sixteen days’ services and risk.*

Should I think of any other point I will send it on.

With great respect, I am, your obedient servant,

BUXTON.

* Some matters of detail omitted.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., October 7, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: In reply to the letter of your assistant adjutant-general, Major Williams, of the 5th instant, inclosing an extract of a letter from General H. H. Lockwood, of the 23d of September, I desire to say that there is not a steamboat or tug at my disposal here, and I do not think there is a single one among those recently purchased fit for the service for which General Lockwood requires one. They all draw too much water. I have not seen one that draws less than 10 feet. Two months ago, about a fortnight after I assumed command here, I asked for four steamers, with suitable armaments, of not more than four hundred tons burden. They ought not to draw over 5 feet of water. With such a vessel one could go up the rivers and enter the numberless inlets and bays on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, breaking up the illicit trade now carried on with Virginia and the meetings which are held at various points in hostility to the Government. Some steamboats have been fitted up here, but they are poor things, heavy, inconvenient, and cramped, with scanty accommodations even for the crews, and utterly incapable of carrying a company of soldiers. I was on board of one, the Hercules, a few days ago. She is a clumsy craft, with one gun, and draws over 10 feet of water. None of these vessels have {p.615} been placed under my control. The only two vessels I have here are the Hope and the Jackson, both revenue cutters, sailing craft, and drawing over 10 feet. If there is a different class of vessels at Washington it would be very well, in case they can be spared, to order two or three of them here. I can send one to General Lockwood and employ the others to a very great advantage. If there are none, it is very important to secure a few by purchase or otherwise.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding,

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POOLESVILLE, October 8, 1861-10 p.m.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of Potomac:

The enemy have evidently been excited by our occupation of Seldon’s Island, and some of the troops which marched from Leesburg yesterday afternoon have appeared in front of it. I think they re-enforced that point by about a regiment.

The island is commanded by the Virginia shore, and the channel between that and the island is only 60 to 80 feet wide and knee-deep. It is hardly safe to occupy so long a space unless in very large force and with considerable intrenching, as well as artillery protection of good proportions. I had a party of 20 on it, all our boats could carry at once, but they are off to-night, as they could be easily captured. The river on this side is from 250 to 300 feet wide and breast-deep. The enemy cannot cross there.

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General.

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MOUNTAIN COVE, VA., October 8, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND:

Withdrawn our forces, 5,200 men, from top of Big Sewell on Sunday. Came to Camp Lookout, 20 miles above Gauley and 14 in rear of Camp Sewell, without accident. We failed to draw the rebels out. Our reasons for this movement were want of transportation, want of force, roads almost impassable. We can, reoccupy this ground whenever we require. Our troops will fall back nearer to the Gauley and get their lay and clothing. Hold a threatening position, and cut off all assault. The troops you send me will be brigaded, and ready as soon as arrived.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General.

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WHEELING, October 8, [1861].

General ROSECRANS:

I learn that the rebels in Calhoun and Wirt have assembled 200 strong, and have killed 7 Union men last week, and are burning property daily. They call for help. Colonel Lightburn’s regiment is full; has four companies at Roane Court-House. He was at Point Pleasant. Can you not order his whole regiment in that direction? They are armed and equipped. Let them quarter and feed on the enemy.

F. H. PEIRPOINT.

{p.616}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., October 9, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY H. LOCKWOOD, Commanding at Cambridge, Md.:

GENERAL: All the disunion companies in Queen Anne County should be disarmed. I much prefer that you should do the work with your Delaware troops. Arms and prisoners should be sent here. I am trying to get a steamer to put at your disposal. If I do not succeed, I must send you our tug at Annapolis. We can spare her two or three days in a week.

If you can get any legitimate authority, executive or military, in Delaware to direct the disbandment or disarming of companies in that State it should be done. In that case I think the arms had better be deposited at Fort Delaware. I have been urging the Government for two months to send a force into Accomac and Northampton Counties, Va., and break up the rebel camps there. General McClellan encouraged me to believe that it would be done, and I trust it will not he delayed much longer.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 1.}

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VA., Camp at Mountain Clove, Va., October 11, 1861.

I. In accordance with General Orders, No. 80, from the War Department [September 19], this department will hereafter be called the Department of Western Virginia, and will comprise so much of the State of Virginia as lies west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

...

By command of Brigadier-General Rosecrans:

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, October 12, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Lieut. Col. B. S. Alexander, of the Corps of Engineers, has been detailed to take charge of the construction of bridge and engineer trains for the use of the Army of the Potomac in its forward movement. I respectfully request authority to have constructed under his superintendence from ten to fifteen of the Birago combined trestle and pontoon equipages. The work should be commenced at once, but I cannot at present determine the exact length of each train or the precise number required. I would be glad to have full authority to arrange these matters as more mature consideration may determine. I learn that the Engineer Department has no funds at its disposal for this purpose, and I would therefore suggest that the expense be defrayed by the Quartermaster’s Department until a special appropriation can be obtained from Congress. General Barnard is favorably impressed with Murphy’s suspension bridge for field purposes. I would ask authority to expend $3,000 in experimenting upon this bridge, should further examination render it probable that it would be successful.

{p.617}

I learn that Company A, Engineers, has arrived at West Point, and request that it may be at once ordered to report to me here with all the serviceable tools and wagons in its possession, and that the recruits ready for it be directed to join it here. I would also request that volunteers may be transferred to this company and the three others recently authorized by Congress without the consent of their commanders. The vital importance of this class of troops renders the course I have suggested absolutely necessary.

Requesting your early attention to this letter, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., October 13, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. G. BARNARD, Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac, Washington:

SIR: In compliance with your request of yesterday, I proceed to state such views as strike me to be important, after one day’s study, in relation to bridge and engineer trains and the organization of engineer troops.

If this army moves from here or from any other point into the territory of seceded States, the war becomes a war of invasion; and considering the numerous rivers that must be crossed, the natural and artificial obstructions of various kinds that must be overcome, the fortifications that may have to be invested and reduced before the war can be terminated successfully, to move forward without bridge equipage, without engineer troops and engineer trains, would be to invite defeat. As well might the army move without its artillery, and rely entirely on its infantry and cavalry, as to go forward without its engineers. Such a course, against such an enemy as we have to meet, we know would result in disgrace and disaster, in whatever numbers we may move.

But we have as yet no bridge equipage, no engineer trains, and no instructed engineer troops. It is true we have one untried pontoon bridge, and one organized company of engineer soldiers, but these are as a drop in a bucket when we contemplate our future wants.

What, then, are we to do? This becomes a grave question, and I could wish that it had been committed to wiser heads than mine.

The answer must be, however, we must make them. Our country is full of practical bridge-builders. We must secure their services. It is full of instructed labor of a kind so nearly akin to that which we require in engineer troops, that we must, if possible, embark it in that channel.

If time permitted, and we had authority from Congress to raise and equip a brigade of engineers, the pay being such as to command the services of the best mechanics in the country, and if we had a year in which to prepare to build our bridges, and learn how to use them under all circumstances, to organize and equip our trains, and to instruct our engineer troops, the problem would become comparatively simple. But we have not the time, nor have we the authority to do these things, as they ought to be done, unless the President shall so order it. We are here in the face of the enemy, and, as I understand the matter, something must be done speedily.

If I were the general commanding, and possessed no more light on the subject than I do at present, I would in the first place direct that {p.618} the four companies of engineer soldiers now authorized by law be filled up to the maximum. This, I believe, may be done by transfers from the volunteer force now assembled near this city.

Let us limit the force here to one hundred regiments, and say we want 500 men. This will call for 5 men from each regiment on an average. If the order inviting or authorizing such transfers should limit the number to be taken from each regiment, without the consent of the colonel, to 10, I believe the four engineer companies may at once be filled, and after an explanation of the absolute necessity for such troops all opposition on the part of regimental commanders would be silenced, or could at least be met by silence. These men should not be taken at random. Only such as are qualified by previous pursuits to make engineer soldiers should be transferred.

This would soon give us a small body of men, but by no means the number that the emergency requires. Without the authority of law to raise such troops, and without the power to raise the pay so as to command the services of good mechanics, I see no other way to supply them than by taking two or three of our best volunteer regiments, detaching them from the line of the Army, and instructing them as best we may with the limited number of officers who have made this a specialty in the duties of engineer troops. I understand that there have been several volunteer regiments organized with a view of being converted into engineer troops. These will probably be the regiments to be selected.

We shall have roads and railroads to build and repair; telegraph lines to put up; bridges to construct and destroy; and fortifications to build, to defend, and reduce. Except in the construction of military bridges, and the investment and reduction of fortified places, it may be hoped with some degree of confidence that after a little experience our engineer troops so obtained would soon become proficient. These two subjects require study. Each of them is a specialty, and I confess that my ideas are not sufficiently matured to enable me to give clear and distinct views on the subject-to direct your attention to something that is fixed and will not require alteration hereafter.

As to bridges, we shall want several equipages. We can therefore afford to begin at the beginning. The India-rubber pontoon bridge that we have ought to be tried, and, if necessary, perfected. Our engineer troops, if a proper proportion of them are sailors, will soon learn to use it. A few trestle bridges may be made, using, say, for one bridge, the common trestle; for another, the Birago trestle; and for another, the Birago trestle and pontoon combined. I made the canvas boats that Lieutenant Ives, of the Topographical Engineers, used in his expedition on the Colorado River. Before letting them go out of my hands I used them on several occasions. I was much pleased with them, and Lieutenant Ives afterwards informed me that they answered his purpose admirably. I confess myself favorably impressed with this boat. A bridge train with these boats for pontoons could be very rapidly made.

We have 100 corrugated-iron wagon bodies now here in the Quartermaster’s Department. This gives us the foundation for still another bridge, which can be readily made. These wagon bodies, if they are as good as the testimonials in relation to them seem to imply, will become very useful. By themselves each one of them is a large boat, and, if properly made, they ought together to be easily converted into a bridge.

I am very favorably impressed with Murphy’s suspension bridge, a {p.619} drawing of which you have in your office. For deep and narrow streams, for torrents, or where ice may be encountered, I have not a doubt but that the suspension principle is the correct one. Three or four spans of this bridge might be ordered, and I should suppose could soon be made. It appears to me, however, that manila rope ought to replace the wire rope for all running rigging, and in all cases, except for the suspension cables. It is easier repaired, and our troops will more readily understand it. We can go to New York and get 10,000 men to splice or put a thimble in a manila rope. By going to Mr. Roebling’s establishment in Trenton it is possible that we might find 20 men who could do the same thing with a wire rope.

These would give us half a dozen complete bridges, adapted to different circumstances. The experience acquired in their construction would lead to improvements and perhaps to the adoption of other bridges. It should not be forgotten that in any advance of our army we ought to avail ourselves of the mechanical skill of our soldiers and the timber of the country to replace all such bridges, where it is possible, by more permanent structures. In many cases ferry-boats may be made to take the place of bridges if we carry the necessary tools with which to construct them and the necessary rigging with which to maneuver them in the engineer trains.

After we shall have obtained the necessary engineer troops, and provided bridge equipages, intrenching and siege tools, we will be prepared to commence the instruction of our troops in the operations of a siege-in making fascines, gabions, and sap-rollers, and in the method of laying out and constructing approaches.

But as I did not propose to enter into any discussion of this subject at present, I will close with only this allusion to it, which will serve to remind us how much we have to do and how much we have to learn before we can place ourselves in a condition to commence the siege of any fortified place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. S. ALEXANDER, Lieutenant-Colonel Engineers.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, October 14, 1861.

Hon. THOMAS A. SCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War:

SIR: On Friday last [October 12] I had the honor to address to the War Department a communication, in which I requested authority to cause the construction of from ten to fifteen of the Birago bridge trains, referring also to other matters pertaining to the engineer service. A more full consideration of the subject has convinced me that we may not have time enough to construct the necessary number of bridge trains of that peculiar pattern, although it is the best now in use in Europe. As the exigency of the case admits of no delay, I would respectfully suggest to be immediately empowered to have bridge trains constructed in such numbers and of such kinds as may prove to be best adapted to our wants. It is necessary to avail ourselves at once of all the resources which the mechanical skill and ingenuity of the country can furnish in this matter. As much time is necessary to prepare these trains, I would respectfully request an immediate answer to this communication, as well as to the other requests embodied in my letter of Friday.

{p.620}

As the four regular companies of engineer troops authorized by the late law of Congress are not yet organized, and when filled will prove totally insufficient for our purposes, I respectfully request authority to detail for this service such regiments of volunteers or such portions of regiments as may prove best adapted to the duty.

Although I have the full authority to detail them on that service, it would be well to have the special authority of the War Department as an additional security for their obtaining from Congress at its next session some increase of pay commensurate with the arduous and difficult nature of their duties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., October 14, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY H. LOCKWOOD, Cambridge, Md.:

GENERAL: I send you the steamer Balloon, Captain Kirwin, which is placed at your disposal for the purpose of aiding you in breaking up the commercial intercourse with the Confederate States of which the Eastern Shore of Maryland furnishes the material. You have, as 1 suppose, ere this taken measures to seize all merchandise brought from Delaware to Salisbury by rail and destined to Virginia. With the aid of the Balloon you may intercept much of that which finds its way down the Chesapeake by water, and I trust be able to confine this illicit traffic to very narrow limits. It is believed that the Balloon will also be of essential use in sending to different points the force necessary to disarm such companies of militia or such unauthorized military bodies as are training with intentions notoriously hostile to the Government. The duty is one of the greatest delicacy, and requires the utmost prudence and discretion. It is not doubted that numbers of individuals on the Eastern Shore of Maryland have been led into the support of disloyal measures by gross misrepresentations of the views and intentions of the Government. While the purpose you have in view should be steadily maintained and carried out with inflexible firmness, those who have been deceived and misled, instead of being confirmed in their prejudices and driven hopelessly off by harshness on our part, should, if possible, be reclaimed by kind treatment, and convinced of their error by correcting the misapprehensions under which they labor. If, in spite of all efforts to induce them to discontinue their acts of hostility to the Government, they persist in carrying on correspondence with the enemy and in giving him aid and comfort, they should be arrested and sent to Fort McHenry; but unless a case of extraordinary urgency should occur, I trust it may not be necessary to make an arrest without first consulting me. I have full authority from General McClellan to act in all cases.

You will bear in mind that we are on the eve of an election in Maryland of vital importance. The preservation of this State is indispensable to the safety of the capital. It is not doubted that all your measures will be so tempered with discretion as to give strength to the cause of the Union; but while all the just rights even of those who are disloyal should be respected, they should be made to feel that no act of open hostility to the Government will be tolerated for a moment.

{p.621}

I inclose copies of letters which have passed between Major-General McClellan, Governor Hicks, and myself in regard to the disarming of military companies.* The one at Westminster has been already disarmed by a force sent from this city. All those on the Eastern Shore of Maryland are left to you, and I consider any company drilling in avowed hostility to the Government as coming within the authority given to me by Major-General McClellan and sanctioned by Governor Hicks, though not specifically named in the letter of the latter. The authority conferred on me is hereby delegated to you, not doubting that it will be firmly and discreetly exercised. It will be advisable to consult with our leading friends in the counties in which you adopt these stringent and delicate measures.

You will please report to me the result of every such movement with all convenient dispatch. Should you deem the co-operation of a police force advisable in any case, please notify me, and it shall be provided.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

* No inclosures found.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 15, 1861.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

SIR: Yours of the 14th instant, relative to the construction of bridge trains, has been duly received. Upon inquiry at the Engineer Office I find that one train is now ready for use, and you will consider yourself authorized to give directions to the Engineer Department for the construction of such others as the wants of the service may require. You have full authority to detail the whole or parts of volunteer regiments for engineer service, and will exercise your own discretion in relation thereto. For such service the Department will recommend that Congress give such increased pay as you may determine to be right and proper.

Respectfully,

THOMAS A. SCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, October 16, 1861.

Brigadier-General NEGLEY, Pittsburgh, Pa.:

Embark your regiments for the Kanawha to-day. Do not delay for artillery and cavalry; they can follow. We are much disappointed that you did not move on Monday, as expected.

THOMAS A. SCOTT.

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POOLESVILLE, October 17, 1861-8.20 p.m.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of Potomac:

A large body of the enemy seems to have suddenly left the vicinity of Leesburg. They took advantage of the thick weather this morning, and their absence was not perceived until this evening.

My impression is that they have marched in the direction of Fairfax, but they may have got off by the Waterford and Hillsborough road.

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General.

{p.622}

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, October 17, 1861.

General ROSECRANS, Big Sewell, W. Va.:

The troops heretofore promised you from Western Pennsylvania have been just ordered to Kentucky instead.

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, October 18, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. G. BARNARD, Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Major-General McClellan directs that yourself and General Barry proceed as soon as practicable to determine the minimum strength of garrisons-artillery and infantry-required for the various works in and about Washington to satisfy the conditions of a good defense. A report is desired as soon as you shall have concluded your deliberations.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* See joint reports of Barry and Barnard, October 22 and 24, pp. 624,626.

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Sketch of a plan to cut the communications of the rebel army now at Manassas Junction.

DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, Fort Lyon, October 18, 1861.

Advance from Lewinsville, Falls Church, Little River turnpike, and on the left towards Elzey’s and Occoquan, when the enemy will fall back beyond Bull Run, if he has not already done so.

The force on the left would by this movement reach the Occoquan and be in position to co-operate with another force to be landed between Occoquan and Dumfries. This force would advance and take possession of the railroad in front of Brentsville or at Bristoe.

To prevent the large force said to be at Aquia Creek from interrupting this movement, have some of the larger men-of-war and transports, with some troops, to ascend the Potomac, attack the batteries, and threaten to land troops to attack them in the rear, thus preventing any force from being detached towards Dumfries.

The smaller vessels and gunboats and transports could ascend the Potomac to cover the crossing between Occoquan and Dumfries. A portion or all the troops preparing for the expedition at Annapolis can be brought here, as well as a portion of those above on the Potomac. This would only delay this secret expedition a few days.

As the transports could not carry a sufficient force at one time, a portion can march down on the Maryland side.

S. P. HEINTZELMAN, Brigadier-General.

{p.623}

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C., October 20, 1861.

Brig. Gen. C. M. THRUSTON, U. S. A., Cumberland, Md., via Grafton, Va.:

Organize and dispatch a detachment of troops from those nearest at hand to protect the North and South Branch Bridges, with other parts of the Baltimore and Ohio road within easy reach of Cumberland. Brigadier-General Lander will be sent to take general direction of the service in that quarter, with other instructions and troops for the same object. The greatest expedition is required in this first movement from Cumberland. The agent of the road will be instructed to give you all advice and assistance in his power. If time permit, call for any necessary detachment of troops from New Creek, or even Grafton, to save the bridges of the road.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., October 21, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of Potomac:

GENERAL: I have received the letter of Mr. James Hubbard, of Laurel, Del., in regard to the rebel force at Jenkins’ Bridge, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I think he estimates the rebel force in Accomac County too high. I think it nearer 2,500 than 4,500. In the two counties (Accomac and Northampton) there may be from 4,000 to 5,000 in the different camps. I think two infantry regiments, a battery of light artillery, and two companies of cavalry would break up and disperse the entire force. They have received some arms lately, from what quarter it is very difficult to say. It is extremely desirable to have a decided demonstration of force in that direction by the 1st of November. The election in this State comes off on the 6th, and our Union friends in the lower counties are disheartened and in danger of being overawed by the influence of these rebel organizations on the secessionists in those counties.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., October 21, 1861.

Col. R. B. MARCY, Inspector-General, Army of the Potomac:

COLONEL: It has occurred to me that it might be interesting to you to know the system adopted in Baltimore to secure the inhabitants from annoyance by the bad conduct of our soldiers and to keep our men within their encampments.

A few days after I took command, the latter part of July, some 300 of our men had escaped from their regiments, and were disgracing the Service by their drunkenness and disorderly conduct in the city, where most of them were secreted. I immediately issued an order to the police to arrest all soldiers found in Baltimore without passes signed by the captains of the companies and the colonels of the regiments to which they belonged, and I adopted very stringent rules in regard to permits to soldiers to leave their camps. In about ten days the absentees {p.624} were all hunted up in the streets and in their hiding places and brought back to their regiments. Since that time there has been no repetition of these disorderly scenes. All soldiers arrested in the city are taken to the exterior stations of the police, and guards are sent for them every morning and evening. During the month of September, of about 7,000 men in and around the city, only 140 were taken in custody by the police, and of this number 59 belonged to the Second Regiment Maryland Volunteers, which was recruited in Baltimore.

The city has never been so free from disorder, disturbance, and crime as it has been during the last sixty days, and during the whole time not a single soldier has been employed in aid of the police. Much is no doubt due to the presence of a military force, and it is due to the regiments under my command to say that the orderly conduct both of officers and men has produced an improved feeling among large numbers of citizens who have been exceedingly hostile to the Government. I may say this most emphatically of the Sixth Regiment Michigan Volunteers and the eighth ward, the most disloyal in the city, within which the regiment is stationed, at the McKim mansion.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., October 22, 1861.

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: Circumstances preventing a circumstantial report* to-day of the number of men required for the garrisons of the defenses of Washington, we respectfully present the following summary, with the intention of giving another report to-morrow or as soon as practicable:

For full garrisons of works of exterior line south side of Potomac5,952
For three reliefs of gunners for Forts Ellsworth and Scott363
For one relief of gunners for Forts Runyon, Jackson, Corcoran, Bennett, and Haggerty230
Total garrisons south of Potomac6,545
Garrisons of works at Chain Bridge1,500
Total8,045
For three reliefs of gunners for all the works south of the Potomac3,000
Total garrisons considered necessary for all the works11,045
For reserves south of Potomac from Fort Lyon to Fort Corcoran12,000
Reserve at Chain Bridge750
Reserves in city10,000
Total33,795

The full garrisons of the works north of Potomac would amount to 9,000 men. The above estimate is based on the supposition that in all ordinary circumstances it would be only necessary to supply them with men enough to man the guns.

Respectfully submitted.

WILLIAM F. BARRY, Brigadier-General, Chief of Artillery. J. G. BARNARD, Brigadier-General, and Chief Engineer.

* See Williams to Barnard, October 18, p. 622, and supplementary report, October 24, p. 626.

{p.625}

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, October 22, 1861.

Brig. Gen. B. F. KELLEY, Grafton, W. Va.:

Proceed with your command to Romney and assume command of the Department of Harper’s Ferry and Cumberland until the arrival of Brigadier-General Lander.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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WASHINGTON, October 23, 1861.

Brigadier-General ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Camp Tompkins, W. Va.:

Your telegram of 18th received and is satisfactory.* Report of Carnifix also received. All your operations meet entire approval of the General. Subject of Ohio not yet decided. General Kelley’s command has been ordered to Romney, in a new department.

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Not found.

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CAMP NEAR BUDD’S FERRY, October 23, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit to you a few lines this evening. I went this morning to Stump Neck (directly opposite Cockpit Point), from which point I could see Freestone Point, Shipping Point, and intermediate places.

At Freestone and Cockpit Points are embankments on side hills, the former perhaps 100 and the other 50 feet above the water, but there are no guns or men visible. Midway between Cockpit and Shipping Points is a heavy mortar, mounted on a side hill. The three batteries mentioned in a former report are farther down the river than the mortar. From that point of view I could see guns pointing up the river from Eastport, which were hidden from my view when at Budd’s Ferry.

While at Stump Neck there arrived a steamer with a rebel flag flying, and known to be the Geo. Page, which was kept at the mouth of Aquia Creek by the vessels of our fleet. The arrival of this vessel affords the rebels the means of landing troops and artillery across the river to this or a higher point. If large forces are sent across above Mattawoman Creek, or even to Stump Neck, this detachment may be entirely cut off. Colonel commanding the troops here has thus decided to move to near Mattawoman, where the road crosses it. In the mean time a strong cavalry outpost is to remain here to watch the rebels, and I shall prosecute my work of ascertaining the width of the river, &c., as if the command were to remain here, unless interrupted by the enemy crossing.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. S. WILLIAMSON, Captain, U. S. Topographical Engineers. {p.626}

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 115.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, October 23, 1861.

...

10. Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, volunteer service, will establish his headquarters, for the present, at Annapolis, Md., and will assemble at that point the troops under his command.

...

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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ARLINGTON, October 24, 1861.

General MCDOWELL, Eighteenth and Q Streets:

The following just received from General McClellan:

The affair in front of Leesburg, on Monday last, resulted in serious loss to us, but was a most gallant fight on the part of our men, who displayed the utmost coolness and courage. It has given the utmost confidence in them. The disaster was caused by errors committed by the immediate commander, not General Stone.

I have withdrawn nil the troops from the other side, since they went without my orders and nothing was to be gained by retaining them there.

JAMES B. FRY, Assistant Adjutant. General.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., October 24, 1861.

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: In our report of the 22d instant we stated the number of men we deemed necessary for garrisons and reserves “for the various works in and about Washington to satisfy the conditions of a good defense.” It seems proper to exhibit more clearly the grounds on which our estimate is founded. We have adopted the rule, which experience showed to be satisfactory for the lines of Torres Vedras, in computing the garrison of the various works, viz: Two men per running yard of front covering line and one man per running yard of rear line, deducting spaces occupied by guns. Computed in this manner, the total of the full garrisons of all the works would amount to 19,789 men, of which 6,581 should be gunners, in order to furnish three reliefs to each gun. Of these works, however, the following on the south side of the Potomac are on interior lines, and do not require full garrisons, while the exterior line is intact, viz: Forts Ellsworth, Scott, Runyon, Jackson, Corcoran, Bennett, and Haggerty.

Fort Albany might, perhaps, have been included in the above list in our estimate of the 22d. However, we have considered it as fully garrisoned.

As Fort Ellsworth and Fort Scott have commanding views of the valleys of Hunting Creek and Four-mile Run, we have considered it necessary to provide for the efficient service of all their guns by three reliefs of gunners; to the others we have assigned but one relief. With regard to the assignment of garrisons to works of the exterior lines, we remark that if Washington were thrown upon its own defenses, without external {p.627} aid, and the enemy were so far in the ascendant in the field as to be able to act on either shore, it is evident that all the works should be fully garrisoned.

We do not consider this extreme supposition the proper basis for garrisoning the works and it is evidently desirable to shut up in them as few men as possible. The more probable supposition is that the army moves from here in force, fully occupying the bulk of the enemy’s forces by its own movement, leaving the capital so strengthened by its defensive lines as to prevent danger of sudden seizure by a strategical movement of the enemy, and enable it to be held a reasonable time in case of serious reverses to our own arms in the field.

On this basis we have estimated for full garrisons of all the works of the exterior line south of the Potomac, for three reliefs of gunners for Forts Ellsworth and Scott, and for one relief for the other interior works, and for three reliefs of gunners only for all the works north of the Potomac, giving a total, as stated in our report of October 22, of 11,045 men. As without reserves a line of detached field works possesses little or no strength, we have considered as included in our instructions to provide for these. We are of opinion that two brigades should be distributed along the lines from Hunting Creek to Four Mile Run and two between Four Mile Run and Fort Corcoran, making, say, 12,000 men; one regiment in reserve at Chain Bridge of 750 men, and stationed in the city a reserve of 10,000 men; making a total of reserves of 22,750 men. As the total of full garrisons of all the works north of the Potomac is 7,343 men, it will be seen that in case of necessity part of these works or all might be full garrisoned from the reserves, still leaving over 15,000 men.

We herewith inclose two tabular statements, giving the names of works, perimeters, full garrisons, number of gunners, of works north and south of the Potomac. We would add that the system is not entirely completed, and that three or four more works than are mentioned in these statements may yet be found necessary.

RECAPITULATION.

For full garrisons of all works of exterior line south of the Potomac, except the Chain Bridge.5,952
Full garrisons of Forts Ethan Allen and Marcy1,500
Three reliefs of gunners at Forts Ellsworth and Scott363
One relief of gunners for other interior works.230
For three reliefs of gunners for all works north of Potomac3,000
Total11,045
Total garrisons.11,045
Reserves22,750
Total33,795

We have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servants,

WILLIAM F. BARRY, Brigadier-General, Chief of Artillery. J. G. BARNARD, Brigadier-General, and Chief Engineer.

{p.628}

[Inclosure.]

Names.Perimeter.Guns.Men to man guns.Total garrison.Names.Perimeter.Guns.Men to man guns.Total garrison.
North of the Potomac.Yards.South of the Potomac. Yards.
Battery Cameron 2Fort Lyon937415701,200
Battery Martin Scott2Fort Worth46314210630
Battery Vermont345Fort Ward57617255780
Fort575400Fort Ellsworth61817255843
Fort (north of reservoir)575300Fort Blenker36010150510
Fort575Fort1726105225
Fort Gaines105475250Fort Scott2266108487
Fort Pennsylvania44012180600Fort Albany42913183585
Fort (Schwartz’s house)1907105250Fort Runyon1,484213152,120
Fort Massachusetts.16810150200Fort Jackson460200
Fort Slocum25013195300Fort Richardson3168120444
Fort Totten27214180350Fort Craig7105400
Fort Bunker Hill2058120270Fort Tillinghast7105300
Fort Saratoga1096120220Fort Ramsay575300
Fort460200Fort Woodbury161575300
Fort Lincoln44616140600Fort De Kalb1969135450
Fort (Benning’s Bridge).35410150500Fort Corcoran57612180800
Fort8120300Fort Bennett146575200
Fort8120300Fort Haggerty128460172
Fort8120300Fort Ethan Allen736213751,000
Fort Stanton32218270483Fort Marcy3387105500
Fort10150400Total south Potomac2393,62112,446
Fort Carroll12180400Grand total4446,58119,789
Fort Greble32715255420
Total north of the Potomac.2052,9607,343

WILLIAM F. BARRY, Brigadier-General, Chief of Artillery. J. G. BARNARD, Brigadier-General, and Chief Engineer.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., October 25, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of Potomac:

GENERAL: A great deal of anxiety is felt in this State in regard to the voters in the Maryland regiments. I have had several delegations from the Union men and to-day a communication from the State Central Committee on the subject. There are some 6,000 men now embodied in regiments and corps raised in this State. About half the number are in this city, and it was expected they would remain until after the election. I saw an order in Quartermaster Belger’s office last evening ordering five companies of Colonel Purnell’s regiment to Salisbury, Md., although it has not been sent to me. This order has produced a good deal of solicitude among the Union men in Baltimore. They wish to show their whole strength. Some even apprehend that there may be danger of losing the State if the votes in the military service are not secured. I do not think there is just ground for this apprehension. At the same time I think it very important for our future quietude that the Union ticket should not merely be carried, but that it should have an {p.629} overwhelming majority. I earnestly hope, therefore, that the Government will make all practicable arrangements to enable the voters in the Maryland corps to attend the polls in the districts in which they reside on the 6th of November next.

I am, very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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CAMP ABOVE BUDD’S FERRY, October 27, 1861.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, Department of Potomac, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: In reply to your communication marked “Confidential,”* I will state that if the only object were to sink the Geo. Page, it would be an easy matter, if she remains opposite Budd’s Ferry. I have before informed you that the river bank at the ferry is elevated some 10 feet at least. About 150 or 200 yards back from the river is a depression. Heavy guns can be carried to within a mile of the ferry without being seen, and at night they can be carried this 1 mile to the inner edge of the elevated part of the bank, so that they can not only be screened from view, but be protected by the bluff bank, which forms a natural parapet. The guns must of course be put on top of this bluff and earthworks thrown up to protect them, but the guns can be put near the desired position without the enemy’s knowing it, unless informed of it by rebel spies, of which there are many. If the Geo. Page remains opposite the ferry and in the river (Potomac), the distance from her to the proposed battery will be a little more or less than 1 1/2 miles, according to her position on the river. But this proposed work must be constructed under the fire of at least a dozen guns opposite, and we know that some of them throw a shell 6 1/2 inches in diameter and 14 inches long. A line of batteries as long and as formidable as may be required can be constructed on this side, but they must be made in sight of and subject to the enemy’s fire.

Lieutenant Harrell, of the Navy, attached to the United States steamer Union, informed an officer of cavalry yesterday that there was on board his vessel a rifle cannon, probably a 64-pound gun, and one of the best in the Potomac flotilla, which is too heavy for the Union, and if the Army will transport it to its proper position, the Navy will land it at a suitable point. The cavalry officer said the information can be considered official, and he reported it to me. But there is no heavy truck here by means of which such a gun [can] be transported.

But the results to be obtained from the destruction of the Page are not in my opinion commensurate with the danger and probable loss of life attending the construction of this battery, when it is considered that as soon as such a battery is constructed the Page will withdraw out of its range, and the attempt to destroy her by this means will probably be futile. If any batteries are to be established, they should be with a view to opening and keeping open the river; to do which from this side there should be a long line of the most formidable guns, with mortar batteries on the hills in the rear, which when completed will be able to destroy those of the enemy. Our Army occupying this part of Maryland, there is little chance of the enemy attempting to cross the river. {p.630} The Page is not of much importance to either party. The river is effectually closed by batteries from Mathias Point to where our fleet lies. The object of batteries must be to open the river and destroy the enemy’s works, and the work is a formidable one, and cannot be done in a night. My examinations of the river have given me all the general information required, and there are several reasons why I should be allowed to go to Washington for a day or two. If I am to construct batteries I should like to have a personal interview with you and arrange plans, &c. I left Washington, expecting to return in six days. The bureau has estimated for money for my use, and doubtless it is ready for me now. I want instruments, and have now nothing but a little goniometer and a prismatic compass. I want to provide myself with camp equipage, that I may be independent of the messes of line officers. I have not brought with me clothes for an extended stay in camp, and I want to buy another horse. For these and other reasons I request you will send me an order to repair to headquarters at such time as you think my services can be dispensed with in this vicinity. In the mean time I will endeavor to accumulate more matter for your information. I can go to the city on horseback or by water and return in the same manner; distance, 40 miles.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. S. WILLIAMSON, Captain, U. S. Topographical Engineers.

P. S.-Mr. Posey’s house is on a hill about a mile back from the ferry, and his windows are in full view of the rebel batteries. He is undoubtedly in concert with the rebels, but tangible proof is wanting. It is believed, however, he communicates intelligence to the enemy by means of mirrors and candles from his windows, the women of the house taking an active part in these proceedings. It is very certain the rebels know all that we are doing. If heavy guns are to be brought to the ferry, that house should be closed or the inmates sent away. The field artillery is now camped back of his house.

I have answered the word confidential in its literal sense. Do you wish me to consult with General Hooker and converse with him on the subject?

* Not found.

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WASHINGTON CITY, October 28, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Commanding U. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have the honor to introduce my acting aide-de-camp, Simon F. Barstow, esq., a gentleman whom you will find worthy of your favorable consideration; also the following views to offer, begging you to consider that the urgency of the case must be my excuse for these suggestions:

It is very clear to me that Kelley must be supported at once; his success is a blow in the very face of the rebels, and they will hardly remain quiet under it. He is brave to audacity, and, although exactly the right man in the right place, should be strengthened with a class of experience, and the very little caution required, which he does not possess.

For these reasons, referring you confidentially to the accompanying letters, I especially advise the calling up of Brigadier-General Benham, the Tenth and Thirteenth Ohio Volunteers, now in General Rosecrans’ {p.631} column, to support him. Benham being an excellent engineer officer, such a course will relieve the necessity of detaching one from the Army of the Potomac; and as he is on the best personal terms with Kelley, and not apparently on good terms with Rosecrans, I think the efficiency of the public service would also be promoted by the change. The troops to be detached from Rosecrans are of a peculiar class, adapted to the service in hand. I need them, and they can be readily replaced from Ohio; and as the rebels will undoubtedly, for the sake of carrying on their drafting and recruiting, endeavor to repossess themselves of Romney, I think no time should be lost in making these changes if they meet with your approval. Supported, as I have stated, by using a small corps of mounted men, and by free disbursement of secret-service money, Kelley can certainly keep himself apprised of any movements of the enemy, whether from the South, Lee’s column, or the direction of Winchester. In the present state of the public mind in Upper Virginia and Western Maryland, growing out of our late defeat at Ball’s Bluff, any reverse which might happen to Kelley would have a very bad effect on the success of our proposed recruitments.

Again, as the Government is now fairly committed, by the taking of Romney, either to a retreat or the reconstruction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, can we fail as strategists to call our forces within supporting distance while our recruitments are going on? As the troops gather the reconstruction of the road takes place, and suddenly, and much before our enemies expect it, this important avenue of supplies will not only be opened, but the Army of the Potomac, connected by rapid transportation with those of the West, re-enforced and strengthened.

Mr. Barstow will present to you my personal views on the subject of the letters to which I refer.

With the utmost regard, General, I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. LANDER, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Six miles from Budd’s Perry, Md., October 29, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: At 8 o’clock this evening I received your communication dated the 28th instant,* directing me to throw up, during the night, if practicable, earthworks to protect the two 20-pounder Parrott guns while opening fire upon the rebel steamer Page. After consultation with Captain Williamson, I informed Captain Craven that the steamer had not been visible from this side of the river since the arrival of our batteries except for a few hours directly on their reaching here. She is up the river, and owing to a bend in it and the high banks make her perfectly safe from any fire we may deliver either on land or water. Indeed, the tops of the smoke pipes cannot be seen from an elevated position behind this bank. The tops of most of the schooners lying with her are scarcely perceptible.

{p.632}

I shall to-morrow morning throw up the earth works at the point named. As it is sheltered by trees, it can be done as safely and with as much secrecy by day as night. I am to inform Captain Craven when the Page shows herself.

The enemy have been busy in establishing new batteries to-day, which in part confirms me in the opinion that they are still acting on the defensive. They have thrown a few shot to-day from the battery directly opposite to Budd’s Ferry. To-morrow I intend to make an examination of the rebel works myself, and shall be able to make a more satisfactory report concerning them. I had hoped that ere this my information respecting the rebel force would have enabled me to suggest the expediency of having my command transferred across the river, either above or below these batteries. With my guns in position, I think the Page will not venture down the creek except at night.

I inclose the report of Captain Williamson’s examination of the bank of the river at or near Indian Point.

The Posey trial is not yet concluded; more arrests have been made.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., October 29, 1861.

J. CRAWFORD NEILSON, Glenville, Harford County, Maryland:

SIR: I have just received your letter of the 28th. We have no Merrill rifles, and, as I said to you, the Government prefers to rely for the safety of Maryland on the military corps regularly enlisted into the service of the United States. There are some 6,000 Maryland troops now organized, and there will be an addition of at least 2,000 to this number before the 1st of December. They are ready to uphold the Government against all adversaries. Could we rely on the gentlemen in whose hands you propose to place arms for support under all circumstances? Suppose a Confederate army should succeed in crossing the Potomac into this State, would they not be as likely to go over to it as to cooperate in repelling it as a hostile invasion? In other words, would they not be disposed to welcome the invaders as friends rather than to resist them as enemies? Would the gentlemen referred to be willing to take the oath of allegiance prescribed by Congress, a copy of which I annex? Would you take the oath yourself? You will not understand me as desiring to inquire into your political opinions, but as you have asked the Government to furnish you and your neighbors with arms, I am naturally anxious to be assured that the conditions on which such applications are granted under any circumstances would be complied with. I should be very sorry to have it supposed that the inquiries I have made imply any doubt of the patriotism of yourself or your neighbors. They are not, I assure you, so intended. But in this most unnatural conflict I have found among those for whom I have always had the sincerest respect opinions which seemed to me utterly irreconcilable with what I regard as the clearest obligations of duty as citizens.

It would be a most happy thing for Maryland and for the whole Union {p.633} if the 5,000 cavalry which you say can be furnished could be rallied now in defense of the Government. The appearance of such a body of men on the north bank of the Potomac-the property-holders, I may say the élite of the State-ready to sacrifice their lives in defense of her soil and to aid in putting down rebellion, would, I have no doubt, have a moral influence on both sides of the present line of conflict which would do much to bring the war to a speedy conclusion. In this result no one would rejoice more than myself. But when I witness the active movements at this moment to embarrass the Government, misrepresent its motives, and compel it to disarm, in order that the enemy at its door may the more effectually overthrow it, I confess I must come back to the conclusion that, until a better feeling prevails, the preservation of Maryland to the Union (and without her the Union could not exist) cannot be safely left to herself. I trust the time is not far distant when it may, and when my occupation will be gone.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Six miles from Budd’s Ferry, Md., October 30, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have just returned from Budd’s Ferry, where I have been to examine the enemy’s defenses, and also, in company with Captain Williamson, to determine on the best point to throw up the earthwork which I was directed to do last night. Instead of establishing it on the line A, as was indicated, we are of opinion that it should be on the bank of the river, and about 70 yards north of Budd’s house. The ground is favorable; it can be approached by the batteries under cover, and is on an angle of the enemy’s main work, between the guns which are planted to range upstream and those to fire downstream. Some of their guns, however, are not confined by embrasures, but they are fewer in number. Another advantage in this location, it is three-fourths of a mile nearer to the object in view. It is directly across the river from the steamer Page. We could see about three-fourths of the length of her smoke-pipe and the greater part of her walking-beam. Her hull is entirely concealed from view; near to her, but higher up the stream, are two schooners, indicating that the stream is not navigable much above that point. The steamer may be able to move a little higher up or down the river, but in neither case will it improve her anchorage, as from the nature of the ground she is as much concealed as she can be. She presents a small object to strike at our distance, but it is practicable, and I have given directions for the work to be done to-night. Captain Williamson is on the ground to commence work soon after dark. It is to be merely a shelter for the men and guns. Even if it should not be wanted against the Page at her present anchorage, it may some time be of service when she leaves it, if she ever does. I omitted to state in my report of yesterday that I have no 20-pounder Parrott guns, the largest caliber being 10-pounders, of which I have eight. Lieutenant-Colonel Getty informs me that the rebels have one 30-pounder rifle piece and three of smaller caliber; the former is supposed to be the one captured at Bull Run.

{p.634}

The rebels are engaged in establishing new batteries, and are busy all night long in hammering, chopping, sawing, and driving on heavy timber. From my examination to-day, I am satisfied that it will require an immense expenditure of time, labor, and material to silence the batteries now erected by the rebels to dispute the navigation of the Potomac at this point, and, if my opinion was asked, would not advise it. Directly above the main work of the enemy, that at Quantico, is high ground on the edge of the river, which could be readily taken possession of and in one night, with the necessary supply of intrenching tools, could be put in condition of defense against three times my number which commands their batteries, and with field artillery would compel them to abandon their guns the first day we opened fire on theism. With these means at our disposal, the Navy, and a plenty of scows, my command can be transferred to that side of the river very quietly any night. I can see no other speedy and successful mode of opening the navigation of the Potomac and keeping it open. I am aware of the presence of large bodies of troops in the neighborhood, but they need not know it until the next morning, when it will be too late. If my command is insufficient, which I do not believe, sufficient force is close at hand, with water communication, to place the result beyond peradventure. I write of this with great confidence, for the reason that I feel no doubt of its absolute and complete success.

The enemy were discharging their guns more or less almost every hour during the day without any apparent object-certainly with no effect. The steamer arrived to-day, and will be discharged so as to return to-morrow. I inclose my morning report of yesterday, which is the first one I have been able to prepare since my arrival.

I have dispatched a messenger to the telegraph people, to inform them of the direction to run the wires to my camp.

I have continued to address all my communications to Brig. Gen. S. Williams. If this is incorrect, please inform me.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY, October 30, 1861.

General ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Camp Tompkins, W. Va.:

General Scott says detach Brigadier-General Benham and his brigade to Romney, to report to General Kelley, as soon as possible.

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WASHINGTON, October 31 1861.

General ROSECRANS, Camp Tompkins, W. VA.:

Telegram [of] T. T. Eckert was right, but is countermanded, as you desire. Object is to re-enforce Kelley at Romney as soon as possible. If you can spare troops to do it send them.

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.635}

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland. October 31, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: This afternoon Lieutenant-Colonel Getty introduced himself through two of his 10-pounder Parrott guns to the rebel steamer Page. She lay at her moorings, as reported by me on yesterday. Apparently the enemy were not apprised of the presence of our battery until we commenced fire. The first shot seemed to inform them of our object, for the steamer instantly fired up and moved about 100 yards higher up the river, without improving her anchorage. She kept up steam until after we had ceased firing. She must have been nearly 2 miles distant, for our guns could only reach her at an angle of 8° or 9° For line shooting the practice was excellent, and I think established this fact, that it would be extremely hazardous for her to venture out of the river by daylight while our guns are in their present position, for in so doing, in order to pass into the channel of the Potomac, she would have to approach us from one-half to three-fourths of a mile.

The enemy was at work at two of their batteries while our firing was kept up, but with no effect. As it was intended by the major-general commanding that vessels of the fleet should be in the vicinity at the time, I sent word to Commodore Craven of my intention, and he promptly responded by dispatching three or four vessels to co-operate in case an opportunity presented itself. I had previously informed him that with the caliber of my guns I looked for no important result from the experiment.

I have directed one company of the Indiana cavalry to be in readiness to move at daylight to-morrow morning, under the guidance of Capt. P. S. Dennis, for the concealed arms. They will probably be absent three days.

I desire to call the attention of the major-general commanding to the mode in which rations are forwarded to ray command. They are incomplete. Of the 60,000 rations forwarded by steamer, I find by an examination of the invoices no beans or potatoes included. These are of the regular issues; of the extra issues, no molasses. These omissions were of frequent occurrence while I was at Camp Union.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, October 31, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. HOOKER, Commanding Division:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding has received your letter of yesterday. He desires that I should communicate to you his approval of the change of location suggested for the earthworks.

The general will take into serious consideration your proposition as to the occupancy of the high ground above the main works of the enemy at Quantico. The scheme will involve considerable additions to your force, and before coming to a final determination upon the subject the general would be glad to have full information as to the ground, {p.636} the approaches, the character of landing; in one, upon every material point relating to the matter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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Abstract front return of the Department of Western Virginia, Brigadier-General Rosecrans, U. S. Army, commanding, for October, 1861.

Stations.Commands.Present for duty.Aggregate present and absent.Pieces of field artillery.
Officers.Men.
Cheat Mountain, Elk water, and Beverly.Reynolds’ brigade37710,42112,38226
Grafton and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.District of Grafton (Kelley)1092,8043,7156
Kanawha valleyCox’s (Kanawha Brigade)1232,8423,9705
Camp McNeil, near Gauley Bridge.Benham’s brigade722,0212,929*4
Camp AndersonMcCook’s brigade751,6762,447
Camp EwingSchenck’s brigade722,0052,548
SummersvilleCrook’s command164471,129
BuckhannonFifth Ohio Infantry (Dunning)25520771
SuttonThirtieth Ohio Infantry (Jones)444
Red HouseThirty-fourth Ohio Infantry (Piatt)28734977
Camp Montgomery.Thirty-seventh Ohio Infancy (Siber)31624824
Near CharlestonForty-fourth Ohio Infantry (Gilbert)32728994
Cross-LanesForty-seventh Ohio Infantry (Elliott)432
Camp CarlileFirst [West] Virginia Infantry**880
CeredoZeigler’s command*** (six regiments)**2,810
ClarksburgGarrison3139179*4
DoFirst [West] Virginia Cavalry**600
ParkersburgSecond [west] Virginia Cavalry27520**640
Totals99025,48138,67145

* Mountain howitzers.

** Not folly organized.

*** Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth [West] Virginia Regiments.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 1, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of time Potomac:

GENERAL: I very much regret to find myself involved in a correspondence on the subject of ambulances, and I regret still more that the complaint of the commander of the Second Brigade and of his brigade surgeon was not transmitted through the channel prescribed by the Regulations of the Army, or, if that was sanctioned, that it was not referred to me for explanation before the major-general commanding and the medical director had deemed it proper to give it their action; and, waiving all considerations of courtesy, I regret more than all to find two officers of my command, holding high and responsible positions, showing so little concern for the efficiency and welfare of the command to which they are assigned as to seek by artifice and unfairness to destroy {p.637} one and disregard the other. In the mode and substance of their correspondence they have practiced both.

My order requiring all ambulances except one to a regiment to be placed in depot has been before you. The reasons for its issuance I have stated in the presence of both of those officers, and I will now state them again.

During the march from Good Hope I found them overloaded with lazy soldiers, officers, and women’s trunks and knapsacks to such an extent as to lead me to fear that if they reached camp at all, it would be with crippled horses and broken-down ambulances, and in consequence I repeatedly ordered the men out of them, some of whom would heed me and others would not. With such an undisciplined crowd, with no assistance from a single officer of the command, I abandoned my purpose and passed on to camp. When the troops reached their destination I directed the ambulances to be put in depot, with instructions to Surgeon Bell to receive them and to report to me their condition, which is herewith respectfully inclosed. The First Brigade had but one ambulance to a regiment to accompany them, and those they retain.

When you reflect that the Second Brigade had but 28 miles to march, you will be able to form a just appreciation of the perils to which the ambulance train was exposed. Had the march been double that distance, I question if I should have had one serviceable ambulance among them remaining.

Among new troops, as you doubtless know, there is a feeling of destructiveness towards everything belonging to the Government, and I must say that I never saw it more fully expressed than during my late march. This is one of the outrages committed by some portions of my command, as you will be informed in due time. In some regiments there appears to be a total absence of anything like authority. The officers are on the same footing with the men, and I have yet to receive the first report from any officer of the outrages and depredations committed by their men.

For these reasons I have felt it to be my duty as well as interest to protect and preserve the public property necessary to the wants of my command. I have placed the ambulance train where I can see it, and given directions for ambulances to be furnished when they are required for the sick, and for no other purpose. If they cannot be cared for on the march, they will not be in camp. On the slightest pretext a line of them will be established on the road between here and Washington, and that will be the end of them. If a regiment marches, of course they will be provided, for the most remote camp is not more than one and a half hours’ drive from where they are collected. General Sickles calls this “field service”; so was his camp at Good Hope just as much. But I have no inclination to reply to any portion of his letter. I return it with a trace of the camp, and the general will be able to form his own opinion of its fairness or unfairness.

In my official intercourse with veteran politicians suddenly raised to high military rank, I have found it necessary to observe their correspondence with especial circumspection.

If with these facts before the major-general commanding it is his wish that the ambulances should be put in the hands of the Second Brigade, I request that you will inform me.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

{p.638}

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 1, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Of the events of to-day the most deserving of mention are the exercises of the battery. Seven shots were fired from a section of Battery A, at an elevation of 13° and l4°. The fourth shot is supposed to have taken effect on the steamer. With our small pieces I think it advisable to discontinue the practice, and only permitted it to enable some of the young officers with the batteries to have a little practice.

Firing was kept up at long intervals during the day from the rebel batteries. Oyster boats continue to pass up and down in safety. The random shooting of the enemy renders it an adventure of comparative safety. My observation is that they are as likely to be struck by lightning as by the rebel shot.

The company dispatched to search for the concealed arms left at daylight.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF HARPER’S FERRY AND CUMBERLAND, Camp keys, Romney, Va., November 1, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Commanding Army of the United States, Washington, D. C.:

DEAR SIR: Inclosed you will find proclamation of the general to the people of Hampshire County and the Upper Potomac. I am happy to inform you that it is effecting great good among the people. The Union sentiment of this county is rapidly developing itself, and many of the citizens are coming in and availing themselves of the terms of the proclamation. The general being a Virginian himself, and a personal acquaintance of many of the inhabitants, is enabled to exercise a salutary influence over them. The general arrived from New Creek this evening, and I am sorry to say is not very well. I hope he will be better in a day or two.

And am, with great respect, yours, &c.,

BENJ. F. HAWKES, Captain, and Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

To the People of Hampshire County and the Upper Potomac:

My object in addressing you is to give you assurance that I come among you, not for the purpose of destroying you, but for your protection in all your rights-civil, social, and political. I am here, backed by the forces of the United States, to protect you in the rights of property as well as person, so long as you are peaceful citizens and loyal to the Government of the United States, the flag of which has so long and so well protected you, and under the folds of which you have lived long, happily, and prosperously. But if you attempt to carry on a guerrilla warfare against my troops, by attacking my wagon trains or messengers, or shooting my guards or pickets, you will be considered {p.639} as enemies of your country, and treated accordingly. I shall put as few restrictions upon the ordinary business of the people as possible, and will give as free ingress and egress to and from Romney as the safety of my troops will admit. Citizens who have fled, under an erroneous belief that they will be imprisoned or killed, are invited to return to their homes and families, assured that they shall be protected whenever they give evidence that they will be loyal, peaceful, and quiet citizens. Every reasonable facility will be given the people to seek a market on the railroad for their surplus produce, and to obtain supplies of merchandise, groceries, &c. All persons who have taken up arms against the Government are hereby required to lay them down, return to their homes, and take an oath of allegiance to support the Government of the United States. By so doing they will receive all the protection due to an American citizen.

B. F. KELLEY, Brigadier-General.

ROMNEY, VA., October 28, 1861.

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WHEELING, November 1, 1861.

General ROSECRANS:

Can’t you spare General Benham’s brigade to assist General Kelley in holding his position at Romney and enable him to advance? It is of great importance at this time. A quick movement in the direction at this time might enable them, with Reynolds, to bag all the rebels on Cheat Mountain.

F. H. PEIRPOINT.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 94.}

WAR DEP’T, ADJT. GEN.’S OFFICE, Washington, November 1, 1861.

The following order from the President of the United States, announcing the retirement from active command of the honored veteran Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott will be read by the Army with profound regret:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, November 1, 1861.

On the 1st day of November, A. D. 1861, upon his own application to the President of the United States, Brevet Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott is ordered to be placed, and hereby is placed, upon the list of retired officers of the Army of the United States, without reduction in his current pay, subsistence, or allowances.

The American people will hear with sadness and deep emotion that General Scott has withdrawn from the active control of the Army, while the President and a unanimous Cabinet express their own and the nation’s sympathy in his personal affliction, and their profound sense of the important public services rendered by him to his country during his long and brilliant career, among which will ever be gratefully distinguished his faithful devotion to the Constitution, the Union, and the Flag, when assailed by parricidal rebellion.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

The President is pleased to direct that Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan assume the command of the Army of the United States. The headquarters of the Army will be established in the city of Washington.

All communications intended for the Commanding General will hereafter be addressed direct to the Adjutant-General. The duplicate returns, orders, and other papers, heretofore sent to the assistant adjutant-general, headquarters of the Army, will be discontinued.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

{p.640}

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 3, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Asst. Adjt. Gen. of the Army:

GENERAL: I have to acknowledge three communications from the headquarters of the Army of the 2d instant.* I had previously given directions for four companies of the Indiana cavalry to hold themselves in readiness to march to various points in the Peninsula at which the polls will be opened on the 6th instant, in order to preserve quiet and good order, and to suppress any attempt at coercion or intimidation on the part of the secession leaders. I had considered this force, in connection with the regiments stationed at Pomonkey, Hilltop, and Port Tobacco, sufficient to accomplish this object throughout the length and breadth of Lower Maryland. A solitary troop of cavalry can march without molestation and execute any order with which it may be charged through Southern Maryland. The population is sparse at best, but at the present time no doubt but that a majority of the young men of the country are with the rebel troops and those remaining are filled with terror. They have no arms and no heart for resistance, however much they may desire it.

The vote polled will be a very small one in the whole district lying south of Bladensburg. Perhaps I am at fault in not having communicated this information earlier. Of parties who have returned from Virginia to influence the election I have heard of but one, and he a rebel officer. I heard of him at Pomonkey, and sent for him at once, and my scouts are still in his pursuit. By my last advices he was concealed in the neighborhood of Good Hope.

The most noisy resident rebel is Perry Davis, a tavern-keeper at Port Tobacco, and the secession candidate for the legislature. I learn he has been stumping the district and filling the heads of his listeners with his secession heresies. I shall give directions for him to be arrested to-day and forwarded to me.

I am informed that a secession barbecue will be given at what is called White Horse Tavern on election day, at which I shall take the liberty to invite a full company of Indiana cavalry.

Lieutenant-Colonel Getty informs me by report to-day that a schooner passed down under sail without injury, although thirty-two shots were fired at her from seven batteries. These batteries are established along the bank of the river, commencing at Quantico and extending to Sandy Point. Most of the guns are planted to throw shot diagonally across the river.

Your instructions in regard to the telegraphic people had been anticipated. I am informed that the line will be completed to-morrow or next day, should the weather continue favorable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 3, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjt. Gen., Army of the Potomac:

I have this moment received your communication of the 30th ultimo. * In answer, I know of no other mode by which the steamer Page can be {p.641} destroyed from this shore except by the use of mortars. If the Major-General Commanding should determine on having mortars forwarded be pleased to advise me as early as convenient, that the beds may be in readiness to receive them on their arrival.

The work at Indian Head will be prosecuted at once.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., November 4, 1861.

Col. H. E. PAINE Commanding Fourth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers:

COLONEL: You will embark this afternoon with your regiment, Captain Nims’ company Massachusetts light artillery, and Captain Richards’ company of cavalry, with rations for fifteen days, proceed to the Wicomico River, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and land at White Haven, in Somerset County, as early as possible on Tuesday morning. You will immediately take up your line of march to Princess Anne, in the same county, and thence to Snow Hill, in Worcester County, so as to reach there by Tuesday night and encamp. Should it be deemed advisable, on consulting with the principal Union men of Princess Anne and Snow Hill, you will march at the earliest hour possible on Wednesday morning to Newtown, on the south side of Pocomoke River, if you can reach there by 1 o’clock, or if on consultation with the leading Union men at Princess Anne it is thought advisable that you should march to Shelltown or Newtown on Tuesday in preference to Snow Hill, you may do so; but you will in either case have your whole force at Snow Hill on Thursday, and there await my further orders.

The object of the expedition is to give protection to the Union men of Somerset and Worcester Counties, and to prevent the migration or importation of voters from Accomac and Northampton Counties, in Virginia, or elsewhere, with a view to carry the election of the 6th instant by spurious votes. A further object is to aid the United States marshal and his deputies in putting down any open demonstration of hostility to the Government or resistance to its authority. While you will in every proper mode employ the force under your command in effecting these objects, you will see that loyal and peaceable citizens are not molested or interfered with in any manner whatever. Your force is intended for their protection. You will see that it is not perverted by the misconduct of any one under your command to their annoyance. By the fifty-second article of the rules and articles of war any officer or soldier who quits his post to plunder or pillage subjects himself to the penalty of death. If any man under your command so far forgets what is due to himself, his comrades, or his country as to commit any outrage on the person or property of any citizen, you will put him in irons and send him back to these headquarters, that he may be punished, and no longer dishonor his associates and the profession of arms by his presence among you.

In your intercourse with the inhabitants you will do all in your power to correct misapprehension in regard to the intentions of the Government in the war which has been forced on it. Multitudes are laboring under delusions, the fruit of misrepresentations and falsehood, which {p.642} you may do much to dispel. Our mission is to uphold the Government against treasonable attempts to subvert it. We wage no war with individuals who are pursuing their peaceable occupations, but with those who are in arms against the United States and those who encourage or aid them in their treason. If any such persons come within your reach you will take them into custody, and send them by the earliest opportunity to Fort McHenry. You will also take into custody in like manner any person who may have come from Virginia or elsewhere beyond the limits of Maryland, and who may be shown to you to have voted or attempted to vote in Somerset or Worcester Counties.

You will take especial care not to interfere in any manner with persons held to servitude, and in order that there may be no cause for misrepresentation or cavil, you will not receive or allow any negro to come within your lines.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 4, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

The rebels have been busy at work to-day on the steamer Page. From this circumstance it is inferred that she suffered some injury from our shot, though that is not conclusive. Additional troops are constantly arriving, so that now in point of numbers they exceed my own. I can see no indications that warrant me in supposing that they will attempt to cross the Potomac. I regret their policy, for I shall be in much better condition to engage them on my own ground than on theirs. Up to this time I have not been able to discover their batteries south of Sandy Point. All is quiet on both sides of the river.

I have concluded to move to a point nearer to the shore of the Potomac, where my presence is most required, which will render it necessary to run the telegraph wire about 5 miles farther than I had at first proposed. It will probably be completed to-morrow.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 5, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Intelligence has been received by me that the force sent out to search for concealed arms in the vicinity of Charlotte Hall, under the guidance of Captain Dennis, has been unsuccessful. They extended their search far beyond my instructions, and to-night are at Port Tobacco on their return. As no available cavalry remained in camp for that purpose, I have directed the company to proceed to Allen Fresh, a precinct of some importance, and to remain there until after the polls {p.643} are closed to-morrow, and then to return to camp. Previous to this I had dispatched four companies of the Indiana cavalry as follows: One to White Horse Tavern and Piscataway, one to Leonardtown, one to Trappe, and one to Pleasant Hill. They will return the day after election.

We have no news to report in our front. A few shots were fired by the rebels in the course of the day, but for what object is not apparent.

I must call the attention of the Major-General Commanding to the condition of our land communication with the city. It was reported to me to-day that not less than twenty of my teams are on the road struggling to work their way through the mud, some of the wagons broken and the teams worried and exhausted. How they came there is more than I know; certainly without my authority or knowledge. If this should be continued, I shall not have a serviceable team in my train, nor will the depot quartermaster in Washington if he permits his teams to be put on the road.

To-morrow orders will be issued forbidding all land communication with the city and vicinity except on horseback, and I request that the Quartermaster’s Department may be informed of this circumstance, in order that proper facilities may be extended to my command by means of steamer. Is it not advisable to have regular days appointed for her to make her trips?

We have now nearly if not quite exhausted this district for 30 miles around of all supplies except the new crop of corn, which cannot be fed to animals safely at present, and it will therefore be an easy problem to determine what amount of transportation will be required for our supplies. I trust that the proper Departments may speedily give this subject their attention.

I have discovered that the transportation with which the Second Brigade moved to this point is not regularly assigned to it, but that the greater part of the wagons belong to the general train. I have directed them to be returned, and for requisitions to be sent in at once to provide each regiment with fourteen wagons, one to each company, one to the field and staff and three to transport and shelter the 60,000 rounds of ammunition required to be kept on hand for each regiment. This I learn is in conformity with the rules of the Department. I hope that orders may be given for them to be provided without delay. As soon as they are received, and understanding from my instructions that it is the design of the Major-General, I propose to post my brigades in the order of battle along the shore of the Potomac and just beyond the reach of the rebel batteries, with the exception of one regiment, which is to locate in the vicinity of the landing on Mattawoman Creek. This will require less hauling for the supply of the division than posted as it now is. This arrangement will remove the regiment and battery from Hilltop and also from Port Tobacco, which, now that the election is over and the supplies nearly exhausted, are not needed there. The flotilla above and below protects the landing points on our wings.

The line of telegraph will be completed to-morrow, but from some cause the person in charge informs me that it is not in working order. Whether the wires have been cut or trees fallen across it will soon be determined, as the party will follow the line on their return. Up to the time of writing I have heard nothing from Brigadier-General Sykes.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

{p.644}

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF HARPER’S FERRY AND CUMBERLAND, Camp Keys, Romney, Va., November 6, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding the Armies of the United Slates, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I reported to you by telegram my strength, position, &c. By reference to the map you will see at a glance the importance of holding this place. It is the key to the valley of the upper branches of the Potomac, and commands the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, Pendleton, and Highland, all of which would have been Union counties long since if the Federal troops could have been near them to protect them. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad forms almost a semicircle around this place, it being from 16 to 28 miles from this place to the two extreme points of the are, comprising a distance of about 60 miles of the line of the road. From here to Winchester it is 40 miles, by the Northwestern turnpike, a very fine road. From here to Monterey, up the valley of South Branch, is about 70 miles, also a good road. Now, in order to afford protection to the Union population in this valley, as well as to protect the Baltimore and Ohio road, a force equal to that which I now have should be wintered here; and should you desire to strike an offensive blow either on Winchester or Monterey, this is the position to concentrate the force. If I had 8,000 or 10,000 men I could go up this valley and fall on the rear of the rebel forces at Monterey and Greenbriar, and cut off their supplies, and utterly destroy their whole force now in the mountains in front of General Reynolds.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company are now reconstructing their bridges that the rebels have destroyed over the North Branch and over Patterson’s Creek, east of Cumberland, so that in a few days the company will be enabled to run their trains to Green Spring, and distant from here only 16 miles, and to which point I have commenced today to construct a telegraph line, which will be done in three or four days. From that point east to a point opposite Hancock, Md., the road can be protected with a small force, if vigilant. So you will see that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad can be opened for trade, travel, and the use of the Government within a few days if there can be a sufficient force at Harper’s Ferry and Martinsburg to force the rebels back from its line.

Respectfully, General, your obedient servant,

B. F. KELLEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CUMBERLAND, November 7, 1861-10 a.m.

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General:

My force consists of Second Virginia, Sixth Ohio, Third Ohio, and Seventh Indiana, and dismounted battery at Elk Water, under General Dumont; Ninth Indiana, Twenty-fourth Ohio, Twenty-fifth Ohio, Thirty-second Ohio, and dismounted battery on Cheat Mountain, under General Milroy; Howe’s battery Fourth Artillery, one company cavalry, and one company infantry at Beverly, under Colonel Bosley; Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventeenth Indiana, with Loomis’ battery, at Huttonsville, my headquarters; Robinson’s Ohio cavalry, distributed; Bracken’s Indiana cavalry, resting. Eight regiments, the two dismounted batteries, one company cavalry, and one mounted battery are amply sufficient to hold these posts this winter.

J. J. REYNOLDS, Brigadier-General.

{p.645}

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 7, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

My pickets report to me that the rebel steamer Page made her escape at 3 o’clock this morning. The wind was blowing fiercely when she left, and it was so dark that any effort to check her with our battery would have been ineffectual. She passed to the southward, probably to Aquia Creek. Of the whereabouts of the flotilla during this time I am not informed. It is also reported to me that the troops on the opposite side of the river are withdrawing, and that the movement commenced on yesterday. They are moving to the south likewise.

I have received reports from several of the precincts at which the election was held yesterday. So far as heard from it passed off quietly, and a much larger Union vote was polled than anticipated. One arrest was made at Port Tobacco, but after an examination of the case I found that he had been arrested on suspicion only. Finding no evidence against him, he was discharged.

I have directed all the ambulances and wagons belonging to the general depot to be returned, including those which I had temporarily retained for the use of Lieutenant-Colonel Getty’s command. Several regiments of the Second Brigade have remaining but three wagons, and it is out of question for that number to do the necessary hauling for the regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Getty also informs me that he requires six additional wagons, and I concur with him. It is an ill-advised economy to require two or three teams to do the work of six or eight.

I have given directions for the brigade surgeons to select some central point for the establishment of brigade hospitals, and if they should not be able to find suitable structures for their accommodation, I propose to put up log houses for that purpose. It requires but little time to do it, and it is better for the men to have employment than to be idle. The only difficulty I apprehend in their construction will be to find suitable timber for the roofing. The experience of the last week has satisfied me that the sick require something more than canvas to shelter them from the storms. As soon as the brigade hospitals are established I intend to break up those at Camp Union and Good Hope, and have the invalids transferred to them. I also propose to arrest the practice of sending them from here to Washington. I know of no reason why the sick cannot be as well cared for here as elsewhere, and in that opinion I am sustained by the senior medical officer of the division. Hereafter I intend to locate my encampments in the edge of the forests, when it Can be done without the sacrifice of position, as they will afford shelter and protection to the tents, and will enable my command to supply themselves with wood without purchase. I can see no good reason for not supplying ourselves with fuel when we can help ourselves to it. Some regiments have made no purchase of this article since their arrival here.

I wish to call the attention of the Major-General Commanding that I have twice made a requisition for the work on Bayonet Exercises-once while at Camp Union, and again since I reached this camp. Two of the regiments in my old brigade are proficient in that drill, and I desire to have them all; not that battles are often decided by the use of that weapon, but it inspires men with confidence in the use of their pieces in all service they maybe called on to render. It is estimated that one man who {p.646} is skilled in this exercise is equal to seven who are not. I deem it of great importance to impress on our soldiers this feeling of superiority at all times, and particularly when the remembrance of our reverses at Bull Run and Ball’s Bluff are so vividly before them. They only consider the result, without reflecting whether those unfortunate fields proceeded from the absence of generalship on the field or the character and conduct of those engaged. The answer returned to my requests has been that the work would be furnished me as soon as printed. This was eight weeks since.

The steamer arrived at noon to-day, and will be discharged as soon as possible.

Who will be assigned as operator at this end of the wires?

Have received your communication of the 5th instant, authorizing me to employ a person conditionally to collect information.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

P. S.-I am just informed that my pickets were in error in regard to the departure of the steamer Page. She is still at her moorings in Quantico Creek.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 8, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

This has been another day of uninterrupted quiet on both sides of the river. All appearances indicate that the rebel force has been considerably reduced within the last few days. They appear to be apprehensive of our crossing the river. For two nights in succession we have heard the long-roll, about midnight. Last night it was occasioned by the seizure of some boats along the shore of the Potomac by the First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, and the removal of them to the Mattawoman Creek, where they could be used in discharging the steamer.

I have not been able to complete my arrangements to ascertain in what force the rebels are, but hope to be able to accomplish it soon.

All my cavalry have returned from the posts to which they were assigned on election day, and complied with their instructions to my satisfaction. The company ordered to Leonardtown did not reach their destination in time to be present while the polls were open, in consequence of having been lost, but did good service in making rapid and orderly marches through the settled districts of the Peninsula. This cavalry corps, with good arms and a little training, might be of great service, for it is filled with excellent men. I felt a little apprehension in dispatching them in troops, beyond supporting distance, with no arms of any account but their sabers, and they not skilled in the use of those. They had no disturbance with any one, and their presence at the polls seemed to have given satisfaction to the citizens everywhere.

Perry Davis, the secession candidate for the legislature, was arrested at Port Tobacco and brought in to me for making treasonable speeches during the canvass, but on his assuring me that line made them while running for office in a secession district, and that in case of election, which was probable, he should vote against the ordinance for secession {p.647} if an opportunity presented itself, I deemed it politic to give him his liberty. Besides, the election was over.

The First Brigade has established its hospitals, which will be able to accommodate all of our sick; and I have given directions for the hospital at Camp Union to be broken up. It has been a source of some annoyance to have my command so much scattered. Shall expect to be able to make a like disposition of Good Hope in a day or two. These remote establishments are alleged as a reason for unusual absence of both my officers and men.

Captain Williamson has returned.

The Second Brigade are gradually concentrating in the vicinity of Sandy Point. In addition to the reason assigned for thins disposition yesterday, I may state that discipline is so lax in some of the regiments of that brigade that it is necessary for me to see them oftener than I have heretofore been able to do, and, further, the roads are becoming so muddy that it is necessary for me to reduce the hauling as much as practicable to spare the teams.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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CAMP GAULEY MOUNT, November 8, 1861.

Brig. Gen. H. W. BENHAM:

The following came to me in cipher to-day:

WASHINGTON, November 7, 1861.

Brigadier-General ROSECRANS, for BENHAM:

It was order of Scott for you to join Kelley at Romney with the two regiments named by you. Shumard not ordered. I think I was then to be put in charge of opening the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Am now wounded, and have no idea of my future destination. The report as to my promotion was a sand shell. Probably resign soon. The order is on its way.

F. W. LANDER.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 97.}

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Adjt. Gen.’s Office, Washington, November 9, 1861.

The following departments are formed from the present Departments of the West, Cumberland, and Ohio:

...

5. The Department of Western Virginia, to consist of that portion of Virginia included in the old Department of the Ohio,* to be commanded by Brig. Gen. W. S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army.

By order:

JULIUS P. GARESCHÉ, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Which was so much of the State as lay north of the Great Kanawha, north and west of the Greenbrier, and west of a line thence northward to the southwest corner of Maryland, &c., G. O. No. 19, War Department, May 9, 1861. See Vol. II, p. 633, of this series, and G. O. No. 80, p. 604, this volume.

{p.648}

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HDQRS. FIRST REG’T MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS, November 10, 1861-9 p.m.

GEORGE H. JOHNSTON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I make a report of the present condition of things on the other bank, mostly gained from the report of Lieutenant Candler, who has been down the river in a boat to-day. The upper battery, on the bluff above the anchorage of the Page, is growing each day, and men are seen constantly at work upon it. No guns are mounted. On the creeks near the water’s edge are small breastworks, some apparently of sand bags. The siege guns of the point battery have been apparently removed. The two guns mounted en barbette looking up the river are still there. One of them is very heavy. It has been fired but once, and from the report and its general appearance it is judged to be a 10-inch columbiad. The battery is strongly palisaded in the rear and on the flanks. The middle battery is fast approaching completion, and is a formidable work. It mounts five guns at present. It is being finished with sand bags. The lower battery seems not to be intrenched. Four very heavy guns are there mounted en barbette.

Ten distinct lines of camp fires were seen to-night between Quantico Creek and Chopawamsic Creek. The plateau stretching out into the Potomac between the two points seems to be their main position, and their camps lie back from it in the wood between the two creeks.

Below the Chopawamsic, in a distance of 3 miles, are two regiments. Lieutenant Candler went near enough to-day to hail the lowest of them, and learned that it was the Fourth Alabama. He describes the colonel as being a fine-looking man, handsomely uniformed, and mounted on a large, black horse. He saw many cattle on the other shore opposite our position. Just about Quantico Creek is a camp on the other side of the hill, probably of light artillery or cavalry, judging from the number of horses which feed over the hill and the appearance of the men who watch them. Day before yesterday I saw there both gray and blue uniforms. We find many boats on the shore, some of them quite large. My orders are to bring away all that can easily be made serviceable and destroy the remainder. I would also mention that all along the front of the plateau between the two creeks the earth is freshly broken in several places-perhaps for rifle-pits, to resist an attempted landing. Upon the hill back of the lower battery is an earthwork for one gun. No gun mounted.

Yours, respectfully,

GEO. D. WELLS, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 11, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

Between 9 and 11 o’clock a.m. some of the rebel batteries were in active operation. Three schooners passed up the river under a six-knot breeze without the slightest injury, although thirty-seven heavy guns were discharged to dispute their passage. The crews seemed to entertain a just appreciation of the batteries, for they sailed along with as much unconcern as they would to enter New York Harbor. They do fire wretchedly. Whether it is owing to the projectiles or to the guns I am {p.649} not informed. Several of the pieces are rifled, but they seem to throw more wildly, if possible, than the smooth bores. From what was witnessed to-day and on previous occasions, I am forced to the conclusion that the rebel batteries in this vicinity should not be a terror to any one. The balloon was inflated about 8 o’clock p.m.; but whether an ascension was made or not I am not advised. If the elements should favor, she will to-morrow.

In the morning I propose to visit the flotilla lying off Smith’s Point. I received information that the rebels have constructed a battery on the opposite shore in that vicinity.

It will be advisable on the return of the supply steamer for her to take in tow a scow or two of large size to assist in discharging her freight. The boats here are mere wrecks, and though I have men at work repairing them, I question if they can be put in condition for good service.

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HDQRS. DIVISION, NEAR SENECA CREEK, MARYLAND, November 11, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.:

SIR: I regret to be obliged to report to the Commanding General increasing sickness among the troops of this division. The diseases are not of a serious character so far as they have appeared. Purging, vomiting, intermittent fever, camp fevers, approaching somewhat the typhoid in character, are among the principal diseases. They are undoubtedly caused by the cold rains we have had since our return and on our march to Edwards Ferry and the wet grounds upon which we are encamped, where the clay soils hold all the water that falls, and the autumn sun-what little we have of it-does not seem to dry the camp grounds at all. The men have done all possible in the way of building furnaces and huts to make their camps comfortable. It is chiefly when on duty they suffer.

I do not make these suggestions with a view to broach in any way the subject of permanent quarters, but to say that [if] we were to remain in this part of the State for two or three weeks it might be well to remove our general camp to some other position. If it did not improve the health of the division, it would relieve the minds of the men, who attribute their suffering in a great degree to the locality. If we are to remain here but a few days, of course a change would be unadvisable.

In reference to locality, I should say the neighborhood of Rockville would be most conducive to the health of the division. It has extensive grounds, which the people would be glad to have us occupy, and in the event of a removal towards the capital, a paved road the whole distance would transport our trains and troops without difficulty in any weather. I ought to say, however, that at Rockville we should be chiefly dependent upon Washington for supplies and forage.

In the event of a more permanent camp, Frederick County offers greater advantages. It is a healthy location; the country about would support the division entirely. It would be connected by railroad with Baltimore and Washington; by canal and railroad also with Washington and Cumberland, and, with an interval of 5 miles only, with Hagerstown and the Middle and Western States. We should there obtain abundant supplies, and be ready for immediate movement in any direction. In either case the river could be guarded as now.

{p.650}

The inhabitants here inform us that there is a chance that the roads here may become absolutely impassable at any time from the middle of this month to the close of December. An unfavorable season may so close us in here that we could move only with great delay, labor, and difficulty.

I regret to call attention to this subject, but increasing sickness, continually threatening rain, and a possibility of being bound in by impassable roads seems to make it necessary.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

P. S.-The forage we now obtain is brought from Frederick this neighborhood being exhausted as to forage and other supplies. Captain Bingham has addressed a letter to General Van Vliet upon this subject.

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Abstract from consolidated morning report of the Army of the Potomac, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, U. S. Army, commanding, for November 12, 1861.

Stations.Commands.Aggregate present for duty, equipped.Aggregate present.Pieces of artillery.
Infantry.Artillery.Cavalry.
Near Muddy BranchBanks’ division14,35537437514,88218
Hunter’s ChapelBlenker’s division7,738382758,35413
WashingtonCasey’s division6,96934015213,240
DoCity Guard (A. Porter.)1,0781231,4186
SeminaryFranklin’s division.9,41144644711,44018
Fort LyonHeintzelman’s division.6,92925141710,89612
Near BladensburgHooker’s division6,7755198,34216
Near WashingtonKeyes’ division9,9022499211,06212
Camp Peirpoint, Va.McCall’s division9,37739576312,39117
ArlingtonMcDowell’s division9 61538175011,47118
Hall’s HillPorter’s (F. J.) division.11,28840687911,94818
Camp GriffinSmith’s (W. F.) division.*9,964* 94613,184
Poolesville, Md.Stone’s division9,34636047111,63918
Camp DuncanArtillery reserve (H. J. Hunt).9961,06842
Washington and Ball’s Cross-RoadsCavalry (Stoneman)4,7558,125
Annapolis, Md.Burnside’s command**5,746
Cambridge, Md.Camp of Instruction (Lockwood)1,228
Fort EllsworthGarrison***401
Naval Battery***143
Miscellaneous*2,075*2,3594,847****115
Miscellaneous***5,469
Totals114,7426,85910,764169,294323

* “Present for duty.”

** “Aggregate strength.”

*** No returns; estimated as above on original report.

**** Forty-eight of these armament of Fort Washington, Md.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, NEAR SENECA, November 13, 1861.

Brig. Gen. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a report from Colonel Leonard, commanding at Williamsport, Md., giving information of the force of the {p.651} enemy in that part of Virginia opposite to his post. According to the information given him the aggregate would reach the number of 66,000. I cannot but regard it as a most exaggerated estimate of their forces. Yet I thought it proper to forward it as one of the reports of the day. If correct, it would imply an intention towards aggressive movements, as we have no corresponding forces in that locality. The other suggestion may be of importance.

A few days’ fine weather and a change in the location of a few regimental camps has greatly improved the condition of this division as to health, as the morning report will show.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. THIRTEENTH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS, Williamsport, November 8, 1861.

Major-General BANKS, U. S. A., Commanding Division:

SIR: I have the honor to report that since my letter inclosed I received the following information:

At Martinsburg there is 350 militia, and 30 of them mounted. Ashby’s command is at Jefferson, 800 strong, some of which are at Duffield’s Depot and some at a place called Flowing Spring, this side of Charlestown. There is a large force in the vicinity of Winchester, reported to be five full brigades, of 5,000 men each, under command of General Jackson. General Johnston’s command is in their rear, and said to number 40,000. A reported conversation between two rebel officers at Martinsburg is as follows: To draw General Kelley from Romney over a bridge on the South Branch of the Potomac, and then destroy the bridge and attack him and his forces in the rear. The latter information was conveyed to me by a loyal lady, in a direct manner, from Martinsburg.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

S. H. LEONARD, Colonel.

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HDQRS. DIVISION, NEAR SENECA CREEK, MARYLAND, November 14, 1861.

Brigadier-General WILLIAMS, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Referring to my orders from the Secretary of War and the Commanding General in reference to the protection of Union men at the polls during the late election, I have the honor to report that I sent detachments of troops, cavalry or infantry, to the following places in Maryland: From Colonel Leonard’s command at Williamsport, to Hagerstown and Funkstown; from Colonel Geary’s regiment to Sandy Hook, Petersville, Jefferson, Urbana, New Market, Buckeystown, and Frederick City; and from the division here, under direction of Major Stone, provost-marshal, to Woodsborough, Myersville, Wolfsville, Emmittsburg, Mechanicstown, Wolf’s Tavern, Rockville, and a few other election precincts. No armed [men] went near the polls, and no serious disturbance occurred in this part of the State. At three or four places preparations had been undoubtedly made by disloyal men for an interference {p.652} with the polls, but they failed to make the attempt in the presence of troops. Some arrests were made, but the men were released and allowed to vote. The people generally express their satisfaction with the conduct of the troops and the result of the election. The men who were furloughed for the exercise of the elective franchise have returned, with few exceptions, where detained by sickness, or arrest, or not having passes. The average majority will reach 30,000 votes for the Union; a more favorable result than was anticipated. Ten thousand would have satisfied the Union men very well.

Both branches of the legislature are for the Union, which will enable the State to contribute its quota of men and money for the war.

I have the honor to be, with respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, NEAR SENECA CREEK, November 14, 1861.

Brigadier-General WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th instant in answer to my note of the 11th instant upon the subject of the location of the division. While I would approve the measure suggested for a “sanitary inspection of the present location of the division and of the sites suggested,” I desire the Commanding General not to forget the possible, not to say probable, condition of the roads in this neighborhood. The soil is a pure clay to the depth of 5 or 6 feet, and one week’s rain, which must be expected at this season, would make all the roads here absolutely impassable for the troops or division trains.

The health of the division would suffer from such a state of weather; yet should a sanitary inspection, looking to the question of health alone, result in the conclusion that the present location was sufficiently favorable in that regard, as it might well happen at this time, nevertheless we might in one week after, by the state of the roads, be completely cut off from supplies, except by the canal, and prevented from moving in any direction. We must preserve our communications as well as the health of the division. We are in danger in this respect at any time from the middle of November to the last of December.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

This afternoon the rebels have discharged no less than seventy or eighty guns at a solitary steamer passing down the river without effect. The batteries used were those in the immediate vicinity of Evansport. It cannot be possible that they will persevere much longer in their fruitless efforts to close the navigation of the river. The result of their labors to-day confirms me in the opinion I have entertained for ten days {p.653} past that it is not in their power to present any formidable barrier to the almost uninterrupted passage of vessels up and down the Potomac. I am aware that a different opinion prevails among those whose experience should entitle their opinion to more consideration than my own, and for that reason it is with some reluctance that 1 advance it; nevertheless it is my conviction. For instance, to-day the vessel descended the river soon after midday with a three or four knot breeze and was not struck. Of all the rebel firing since I have been on the river, and it has been immense, but two of their shot have taken effect, and that was the wood schooner anchored in the middle of the river. She was hit twice, once in her hull and once in her main-sail, if that may be called hit. With a light breeze or a favorable current, a seventy-four line-of-battle-ship can ascend or descend the river at night with impunity.

I desire that 500 blank morning reports may be forwarded to me.

Herewith I inclose the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Wells, First Massachusetts Regiment, which was not received in season to send with the communication of the 14th instant.*

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

* See p. 422.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

For several days past my leisure hours have been passed in endeavoring to ascertain, with as much accuracy as circumstances will permit, the position and number of the rebel forces in my immediate vicinity. And of this it has been necessary to form my opinion almost wholly from their camp fires, for, strange to say, I have not, during my three weeks’ sojourn, fallen in with any one able or willing to enlighten me on this subject. If the citizens of this district are not secessionists, they might as well be, so far as it regards their services to our cause. Nor have I been more fortunate in my endeavor to acquire reliable information through agents in my own employment. Perhaps I may, but I am wearied of the delay.

The main body of the enemy’s forces visible are stationed in rear of the batteries between Quantico and Chopawamsic Creeks. Two regiments appear to be posted near each other on the bank of the Quantico, and one regiment about one-third of a mile to the south of them. In rear of the former, in the valley extending towards Dumfries, area long line of encampments, and a valley making off from that at Quantico at nearly right angles in a southerly direction is also occupied with camps. To the observer on this side of the Potomac all hills covered with forests but conceal a line of smoke rising above them. Farther to the south other camps can be seen at intervals of a mile or more. On the north of Quantico Creek, and behind a bold hill, is another camp of infantry, cavalry, and a field battery; all of these showed themselves the day we had the contest for the schooner.

This bold hill commands all the batteries in the vicinity of Evansport, and is the one I proposed to occupy soon after reaching here. It is {p.654} within a week that the rebels have established the camp at its base farthest from the Potomac.

Nearly in rear of Cockpit Point is another infantry encampment. The enemy, I presume, are encamped by regiments, and if the troops resemble other Southern regiments with which I have served, they are small in comparison with our own.

On a reconnaissance from the balloon no doubt I shall be able to furnish you with more specific and satisfactory information.

Nothing has occurred deserving of mention since my report of yesterday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Getty has submitted to me a requisition for lumber to shelter his horses, which I have approved, for the reason that I am in ignorance of the intentions of the Major-General Commanding as it regards the disposition to be made of this command. If it is to remain here any length of time I would advise the issue, for if this weather continues the loss in horses in a few nights will exceed the cost of the lumber.

In view of Liverpool Point being made the landing place of our supplies, I have seized fourteen boats to serve as lighters, and they are now in charge of the picket at that point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 45.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, November 16, 1861.

I. No change will be made in the armament established by the chief engineer and chief of artillery for the field works occupied by this army, or any diversion permitted from the original location of the implements, equipments, or ammunition pertaining to the guns of the field works, without the express sanction of the Commanding General.

II. The fort on Upton’s Hill will hereafter be known as Fort Ramsay, and that heretofore called Fort Ramsay as Fort Cass.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, Md., November 19, 1861.

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: The letter of Major Van Buren, my assistant adjutant-general, of the 11th instant,* has explained the reason why your communication of the 6th,* in regard to the absorption of the Department of Pennsylvania into others, has not been sooner answered. A brief reference to the orders concerning its organization and limits will show why I considered it in existence until your communications were received. Since they came to hand my orders and letters have been dated at headquarters, Baltimore, omitting Department of Pennsylvania. The department was created by General Orders, No. 47, from the War Department, on the 25th of July last. It was composed of a {p.655} portion of Maryland, all of Pennsylvania, and all of Delaware. As thus constituted, it has never been dissolved by general orders, either from the War Department or the headquarters of the Army.

General Orders, No. 15, from the headquarters-of the Army, dated 17th of August last, created the Department of the Potomac, and absorbed Maryland and Delaware, but still left me in command of Pennsylvania, over which I continued to exercise military jurisdiction until the receipt of the communications referred to, and for this reason I continued to date my orders and communications at headquarters Department of Pennsylvania.

On the 20th of August last Major-General McClellan, by General Orders, No. 1, assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, comprising the troops serving in the former Department of Washington and Northeastern Virginia, in the valley of the Shenandoah, and in the States of Maryland and Delaware. The State of Pennsylvania was left untouched, and the Department of Pennsylvania was not dissolved either in terms or by designating the geographical boundaries of the command of Major-General McClellan. By the Army Register, dated September 10, 1861, page 72, the State of Pennsylvania is assigned to the Department of the East. The Register was not sent to me until about six weeks after its date, and I did not notice until a late day the new arrangement of Departments. In the mean time my communications to the War Department, the headquarters of the Army, and the Army of the Potomac were all dated headquarters Department of Pennsylvania, without any intimation that I was acting under a misapprehension.

Communications also came to me from the Adjutant-General’s Office, addressed to me as commanding the Department of Pennsylvania. I inclose four envelopes, three of them post-marked as late as November, with the same address. The communications which they contained were directed in the same manner. During the whole of this period I continued to exercise military jurisdiction over the State of Pennsylvania, ordering troops from thence from time to time and receiving muster rolls from the mustering officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Ruff.

I have not gone into this detail for the purpose of contending against the views of the subject presented in your communication of the 6th instant, but to explain that, as the Department of Pennsylvania had not been dissolved, but only a portion of it, as originally organized, taken away by general orders, I assumed that it still existed. The only public considerations connected with the subject are those which concern the sentences in course of execution pronounced by the court-martial of which Colonel Curtenius was president. Only one of the commissioned officers tried was dismissed, the others were acquitted; but a number of privates sentenced for very grave offenses escaped punishment, and two have been dishonorably discharged from the service. But if as I suppose, it involves the question of double rations, there are personal considerations of some importance to myself, as I have received my pay and emoluments for September, and may be called on to refund the double rations. In that case I shall, without intending any disrespect, contend before the proper authority, first, that the Department of Pennsylvania was never dissolved by general orders; second, that I performed the duties of commanding general thereof until November 6; and, third, that I was entitled to notice of its absorption with others.

I desire to suggest to the Commanding General that the general in command of Baltimore is in great need of the powers incidental to a {p.656} geographical department. A day rarely passes without an urgent necessity for giving orders, signing requisitions, &c., beyond the limits of the regiments and corps composing my division. A very convenient department might be formed of Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and so much of Maryland on the Western Shore as includes Baltimore and the counties of the east. If there are no public considerations which conflict with such an arrangement, it would relieve the General-in-Chief of a good deal of detail, and I think would greatly promote the convenience and efficiency of the service in this quarter. I do not ask it on personal grounds, although, as the senior major-general of volunteers, I might perhaps not unreasonably do so.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A-DIX, Major-General.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, November 19, 1861.

Brigadier-General ROSECRANS, Comdg. Dept. of Western Virginia, Camp Gauley Mountain:

Copies of telegrams to Generals Cox and Reynolds of the 16th instant have been sent you by mail; to the former, to send three Ohio and the latter one Indiana regiment to Kentucky. Eight regiments in all will go from your command; six Ohio and two Indiana.

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Camp Gauley Mountain, Western Virginia November 19, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: My last written dispatch was dated the 16th. I beg you will excuse the omission of two days. Unavoidable pressure of business prevented compliance with your order for daily letters.

My telegraphic dispatches have advised you of events in my command to this date. I have only to add that a flag of truce we sent to Meadow Bluff came within one mile of their position. They report the roads horribly bad, and dead horses strewn along the way between Sewell and Meadow Bluff. The rebels they saw were illy clad and armed. They were very much disconcerted by our visit, and Gibbs (Maj. C. F. S.) actually slept between the two captains of our escort the night they remained there.

I have sent Capt. W. F. Raynolds with a flag of truce to Floyd, proposing that he should put a stop to the abhorrent practice of kidnaping unarmed citizens, and promising on that condition to release certain hostages now in our possession. He will be able to report where the rebels are to be found.

Reynolds reports Gilham not nearer than Greenbrier Bridge, 12 miles from Huntersville, on the Monterey road; the rebels are preparing arbor cantonments.

The rebels at Piketon were not so desperately annihilated as I had hoped. They will give some trouble on the river below Point Pleasant, but I feel very willing to have them eat out the “secesh” inhabitants of Logan. When they find their corn and cattle gone, without a quid pro {p.657} quo, they will be better prepared to appreciate the friends who have done it.

General Thomas ordered General Cox to send the three Ohio regiments longest in Western Virginia to Covington, Ky., and General Reynolds to send five regiments from his line, without even notice to me of it. When I telegraphed, asking his meaning, he replied it was a mistake. Now I have a telegram saying copies of those were forwarded to me by mail, and that eight regiments will go from my command. I have telegraphed to know if I am to have the selection. When I receive the reply I will be able to say how many troops are to be brigaded.

As to plans, they are to hold Kanawha Valley and the Gauley Pass, with its outlets towards Raleigh and Sewell; to hold Cheat Mountain Pass on both roads; to hold Romney and the Red-House Pass; guard the railroads; put the Mud River and Guyandotte Valleys in order, and recruit and discipline the regiments that have been worn down and thinned out by casualties and discharges for disability. The first necessity will be to apply the examination provided for by law, and get rid of the lazy, cowardly, slothful, and worthless officers who infest our army. This will require you to send me a few more regular officers. Should any opportunity offer, my intention was to take all my spare regiments on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for winter quarters, but if they are to be required elsewhere, well.

My dear general, this is addressed directly to you, because I thought it possible such might have been your intention for a short time. You will assist me very greatly in preparing my troops for the coming season if you will let me know what brigadiers you can assign me.

You must observe that Colonel McCook does not want to be acting. General Benham will never do when there is any great or dangerous enterprise. I have tried him sufficiently, and will never trust him more. General Schenck has gone home dangerously ill. General Cox is the only reliable man here, and General Reynolds and General Kelley are in the eastern end of the department. There should be one more brigadier-general here and one on the other line. The portion of Ohio contiguous to Virginia ought to belong to this department. Please let me know what troops are to be taken from the command and who is to select them.

Send me one or two brigadiers, an aide-de-camp, and an order giving so much of Ohio to this department as may enable me to have such points as Cincinnati for hospital and headquarters of staff; Gallipolis, Marietta, and Bellaire for the use of depots, hospitals, &c. I did not know but you might wish to give me Kentucky, but see you have a better man.

Very truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, MEDICAL DIRECTOR’S OFFICE, November 20, 1861.

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your instructions of November 12, I directed Surg, C. C. Keeney to repair to {p.658} the headquarters of Major-General Banks, and in concert with Surg. W. S. King, U. S. Army, to examine into and report upon the sanitary characteristics of the ground now occupied by the troops and the positions suggested by General Banks in the neighborhood of Rockville and in Frederick County. Surgeon Keeney has performed this duty, and his report is herewith submitted.

The present position of the troops under General Banks is decidedly objectionable, for the reasons set forth in the report. Moreover, any severe rains would render the camps almost inapproachable as well as uninhabitable. I cannot therefore too strongly recommend their immediate removal.

The sanitary condition of this division is now excellent; and to preserve it in this condition a location with better drainage will be indispensable.

The choice seems to be between Rockville and Frederick. The hygienic reasons, in my opinion, are in favor of Frederick. I know this position to be eligible from personal observation. I had once before selected it for the general hospital of General Banks’ division, and I consider the country about it as offering superior advantages for the location of camps and for the comfort of the troops. Rockville, from the nature of the soil, being less easily drained, and from being less protected against the prevailing winds in winter, will be likely to furnish a greater number of typhoid-fever cases and of diseases of the respiratory organs. Frederick promises greater immunity from these. Whether strategic reasons in favor of Rockville may decide that some greater risk of health should be incurred I am unable to say; if they do not, I would advise the removal of the division to Frederick, but either location will be far preferable to the present.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. S. TRIPLER, Surgeon and Medical Director, Army of Potomac.

[Inclosure.]

ARLINGTON, VA., November 18, 1861.

Surgeon TRIPLER, Medical Director, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: In obedience to your instructions to proceed to the headquarters of Major-General Banks, and in concert with Surgeon King, medical director, to examine into the medical topography of the camps of that division, I have the honor to state, we have made the examinations of those grounds as well as others, and submit to you the following observations:

The face of the country in the neighborhood of Rockville is rolling, and sparsely covered with timber.

The soil is of clay, is moist and cold. The grounds are ample for a camp of 15,000 or 20,000 men, but would be cold and bleak from the northwesterly winds.

In a sanitary point of view, these grounds offer but few objections as regards fevers and other ailments arising from local causes.

The town of Rockville is distant 15 miles from Georgetown. The houses are few and of poor quality, affording limited accommodations for the sick and wounded of this division.

After the examination of these grounds I proceeded to the headquarters of General Banks, and in company with Surgeon King went over the camping grounds of the division.

We found most of the regiments encamped on Muddy Branch, a small {p.659} tributary of the Potomac. The country in this vicinity is exceedingly abrupt, and its small ravines are filled with marshes and stagnant pools.

The soil consists of a tenacious clay, is cold, and, in consequence of retaining moisture a long time, the camps are most always in an impassable condition, on account of the tenacious mud produced by the slightest agitation of the soil. Anywhere on these camping grounds a tent pin when driven in the ground brings water. In a sanitary point of view we cannot but regard these camping grounds as exceedingly unhealthy, owing, no doubt, to their close proximity to the river, to the low marshy grounds around about the camps, and to the peculiar nature of the soil.

The division has occupied these grounds but ten or fifteen days, not long enough to affect the health of the command as yet materially; but it is our opinion that if the command occupies these grounds for any length of time the sick report will be increased twofold from local causes alone.

There is another very serious objection to occupying these grounds; as there are approaching indications of increasing sickness in the division, there will be no hospital accommodations for the sick short of Washington, and as the roads are now nearly impassable from the deep mud, it will be impracticable to transport the sick either to Frederick or to Washington without much suffering.

At present the health of the division is remarkably good, and the immunity from disease which the whole division has enjoyed for the last two months is without parallel in our armies. During the month of September the mean strength of the division was little less than 16,000, and the number of deaths from disease alone was 16. As far as the regimental sick reports for the month of October have been received, they go to show that the command was equally as healthy.

The prevalent diseases now in camp are measles (a few cases), mild forms of intermittent and other fevers, and catarrhal affections. But typhoid pneumonia may be expected to prevail to a great extent soon, if the troops occupy these same camping grounds much longer.

We next proceeded to examine the medical topography of the country in Frederick County, in the vicinity of Frederick. On the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge, some 4 miles northwest of the town of Frederick, we found the face of the country presenting a more favorable aspect for a large encampment. For several miles along the base of the Blue Ridge the country is gently undulating, affording beautiful slopes for camps, and being well protected from the prevalent cold north westerly winds by the Blue Ridge range. These grounds are well timbered, with oak openings, and abundantly supplied with numerous streams of good water.

The soil of these grounds differs materially from that of Rockville or the grounds occupied by General Banks’ division. It is composed of sand and clay (argillo-arenaceous) and is covered with flint, indicating the soil to be hard, dry, and warm.

The prevailing winds, as above stated, are from the northwest, but being so well sheltered by the high ridge in the rear and receiving the morning sun, these grounds cannot but be well adapted to the health of troops.

The town of Frederick contains between 7,000 and 8,000 inhabitants. There are in the city many fine buildings suitable for hospital purposes, and if occupied for these purposes would obviate the necessity of sending the sick and wounded to Baltimore and Washington although if necessary they could easily be conveyed to the above cities in a few hours by railway.

{p.660}

As above seen, these grounds present superior advantages over all others. First, in a sanitary point of view, their locality would present a smaller sick report; would add more to the comforts of the sick, as all bad cases could be treated in the city of Frederick, and, if need be could easily be conveyed to Baltimore or Washington by railway; and all supplies can be easily, quickly, and at all times procured from the cities of Baltimore and Washington.

CHAS. C. KEENEY, Surgeon, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, Aid., November 20, 1861.

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury:

SIR: The people of Accomac County have submitted to the authority of the United States. The people of Northampton will, I am confident, follow the good example of their neighbors, and I hope to see a loyal member of Congress from this part of Wise’s district in his seat next winter. Our troops have been thus far well received. In Northampton there may be a rally on the part of the Confederates, but I think not. I look for a peaceable submission.

Will you give orders to the Light-House Board to re-establish the light on Cape Charles? Our troops will be there this week. There are two other lights which have been extinguished. Your immediate attention to this matter is earnestly requested, as I am anxious to see the old order of things restored as soon as possible.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, November 20, 1861.

Hon. M. BLAIR, Postmaster-General:

SIR: The people of Accomac County have submitted to the authority of the United States. I have no doubt the people of Northampton County will do likewise. Can you not authorize the mail to be carried from Snow Hill to Eastville? Our troops are in all probability in the latter place to-day. I am anxious that the old order of things should be promptly re-established, and that a loyal member of Congress from this part of Wise’s district should be returned in December. The postmasters of Salisbury and Snow Hill can easily arrange the matter of the mail if authorized by you.

I am, veiny respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

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SENECA CREEK, MD., November 21, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: In communicating to you, for the information of the Commanding General, Colonel Leonard’s report of the rebel forces in Northern {p.661} Virginia, near Winchester, I remarked that I had sent Mr. Strother, in the employ of the Topographical Department, to make further inquiries. His report I have the honor to inclose. It gives a correct view of affairs there I think, and nothing would delight this division more than to make the expedition to Winchester which is suggested by him and which I believe to be entirely feasible.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

[Inclosure.]

HANCOCK, MD., November 18, 1861.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS:

SIR: I have received the following intelligence from Virginia, which I believe to be entirely reliable. It is the statement of an intelligent and loyal gentleman who has returned from Richmond through Winchester, where he was in pursuance of some private business.

When Romney was taken the citizens of Winchester, apprehending the occupation of their town, sent to General Johnston for a force to protect them. He positively declined sending any. Influential citizens of Winchester then applied to the Secretary of War at Richmond, who granted their request to the extent of ordering Jackson with his brigade to their assistance.

My informant said the brigade near Winchester numbered, according to his estimate, 4,000 men. This is the highest estimate that I have heard of this force, and it is probably overstated.

On arriving at Winchester, General Jackson immediately called out the militia en masse; all were between the ages of sixteen and sixty. This call has been very feebly responded to, and the force thus collected is thought to be utterly worthless except for show. In face of an enemy it would be rather a disadvantage than an assistance. With this force Jackson is making a demonstration in the direction of Romney, probably as far as Hanging Rock, on the Cacapon River.

General Jackson is reported to have said that the militia of the district ought to be able to defend it. This with Johnston’s refusal to send the regular troops from Manassas seems to indicate that there would be no effort to hold, much less to retake, Winchester if assailed or occupied by any considerable force of United States troops.

My father is confident that the advance of 5,000 men, with cavalry and artillery, from Harper’s Ferry would sweep the valley, occupy Winchester, and, if made with secrecy and celerity, might cut off Jackson’s whole force.

My informant also says the Union sentiment, hitherto suppressed in and about Winchester, is again becoming clamorous and restive.

The officer in command here tells me that he has had a letter from General Kelley, at Romney, stating his force at 11,000 men.

The conduct of the militia at Harper’s Ferry and at Romney justify fully the opinion, above expressed of their unreliable character. At Romney, I am credibly informed that a force of 1,500 or 2,000 fled before Kelley’s advance of 130 cavalry, firing only a few scattering shots and making no serious resistance, leaving everything-arms, baggage, and artillery-in the hands of the Union troops.

It is supposed here that Kelley will take Winchester within ten days. This of course is mere supposition. He is advancing his outposts 15 or 20 miles on the line of the river and railroad, repairing the railway as he advances. He has also, according to reports, advanced on the Winchester road the same distance.

{p.662}

I have heard nothing further of the force reported to have moved from Leesburg toward Winchester, but suppose it may occupy some strategic point, ready to act on either point (Leesburg or Winchester) that circumstances might indicate-Snickersville, possibly.

I have no doubt myself that if a strong demonstration was made on Winchester Jackson would either retire or be taken, and the position remain in our hands without further dispute.

This intelligence of the Confederate forces in the valley is the most recent, and I have full reliance on its general accuracy.

I submit the above with respect.

Yours,

DAVID H. STROTHER, Assistant Topographical Engineer, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, November 21, 1861.

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury:

SIR: I wrote to you yesterday in regard to the re-establishment of the light on Cape Charles. I write now to ask whether vessels may not go from this city under the usual custom-house restrictions to Accomac County and to Northampton as soon as the authority of the Government is re-established there. The inhabitants are in want of many of the necessaries of life, and by bringing about open intercourse with Maryland and other loyal States the object we have in view will be promoted.

Asking an early reply, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

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CAMP GAULEY MOUNTAIN, VA., November 21, 1861.

Major-General MCCLELLAN:

Since No. 14 Captain Raynolds in with flag of truce. Found rebels on Piney, 5 miles south of Raleigh. Union man from Richmond by Meadow Bluff reports only 600 effective there. Defenses 4 miles nearer Lewisburg. Greatest defense impassable roads. The pack-mule train would be extremely serviceable for enterprise. I could put some afoot very soon. The two wants for this region are the shelter-knapsacks and pack-mule train. If nothing prevents will have them.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General.

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NOVEMBER 22, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. J. REYNOLDS, Huttonsville, W. Va.:

The order you received from General Thomas has been superseded by an apology and an order directing six Ohio and two Indiana regiments to be taken from this department, effective, at my discretion. Designate the two Indiana and one Ohio you would recommend being sent from your command, and say how soon you can conveniently spare them. I learn you stampeded the rebels at the Greenbrier Bridge last week. We have chased Floyd, and with good conduct on the part of {p.663} Benham might have caught him. He is probably at Newbern, on the southwestern Virginia Railroad. Let us keep ready to harass. Have your troops the shelter-tents or India-rubber blankets?

W. S. ROSECRANS.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, November 22, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: An animated fire was kept up from the rebel batteries on two or three schooners descending time river this afternoon with no better success than heretofore. The rebels will certainly abandon their purpose of claiming the navigation of the Potomac by means of the batteries now in position ere long. They must see that it is labor in vain. Of late a large number of vessels have passed and repassed at night, and no effort has been made to check them. Thus far their labor has been equally fruitless during the day.

Professor Lowe has not returned from his mission to Washington. I see no effort making to inflate the balloon on shore, as was intended by him at the time of leaving.

The two companies of cavalry dispatched to the lower part of the Peninsula have not returned.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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NOVEMBER 23, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. J. REYNOLDS, Huttonsville, W. Va.:

The commanding general [Rosecrans] directs that you send to Covington, Ky., in accordance with the orders of Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, Adjutant-General, the following regiments: Third, Sixth, and Twenty-fourth Ohio, and Fifteenth and Seventeenth Indiana Regiments.

[No signature.]

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NOVEMBER 24, 1861.

Col. W. B. HAZEN, Gallipolis, Ohio:

Zeigler’s detached companies return to Ceredo; the Thirty-fourth Ohio occupies Barboursville. Either of them can strike Front Hill and catch that cavalry. The only road known of here from Ceredo to Logan Court-House is by Louisa and Sandy. It is not less than 60 miles from Front Hill to Logan, through a mountainous country, traversed by streams, now swollen, and over roads that cannot be good. The expedition you propose with a regiment, in such weather and by such a route, seems to be likely to break down your troops and be unsuccessful. You will observe the distance from Front Hill is such that it would take you nearly three days, as the roads are, to Logan. You speak of returning by Barboursville. The Commanding General has ridden that road on horseback about this season of the year, and it took two full days to ride it. The road is utterly impassable for wheels, and nearly so for horses, the nearest mountain paths in many places twice or thrice {p.664} fording the Guyandotte belly-deep to a horse, besides crossing several of its tributaries that have no bridges. As for sustenance along that route, lie found it difficult to get feed for self and horse. You can now judge from this of the practicability of the march, and then all the cavalry have to do to escape is to get on their horses and ride back to Raleigh.

W. S. ROSECRANS.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, OFFICE MEDICAL DIRECTOR, Washington, November 25, 1861.

General R. B. MARCY, U. S. A., Chief of Staff Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: The necessity for a better protection for the men than the common tent affords, without going into the construction of extensive huts, which would give the appearance of going into permanent winter quarters, has been for some time engaging my attention. The severity of the winters in this climate renders some protection absolutely necessary, or we must expect a vast increase of disease of the respiratory organs, and unless by our system we can secure a tolerable ventilation, as well as protection against the rains, snow, and cold, we have reason to fear a prevalence of typhus and typhoid fevers among the troops.

To guard against these, so far as practicable, I have the honor to suggest that in the first place, in addition to the ordinary trench about the tents, the tracé of every regimental camp shall be provided with a ditch not less than 12 inches wide and deep, to secure a more perfect drainage.

Secondly. That an inclosure equal to the base of each tent shall be constructed of small logs or poles about 3 feet in height, over the top of which the tent shall be secured to serve as a roof. Such constructions have already been made in some of the camps; they can readily be put up by the men themselves.

Upon some of the camp grounds the timber that has been felled will furnish the poles or logs. Where these are not to be had, clapboards or any cheap material will answer the purpose.

For warming the tents and drying the ground a modification of the Crimean oven, which has been devised and put in operation by Dr. McRuer, the surgeon of General Sedgwick’s brigade, appears to me to be the cheapest and most effective. Dr. McRuer has submitted to me a report on this subject. General Heintzelman, who has inspected his arrangement, informs me that it appears to be perfect in all its details; that it is at the same time efficient and economical. Dr. McRuer thus describes his plan:

A trench 1 foot wide and 20 inches deep to be dug through the center and length of each tent, to be continued for 3 or 4 feet farther, terminating at one end in a covered oven fare-place and at the other in a chimney. By this arrangement the fire-place and chimney are both on the outside of the tent; the fire-place is made about 2 feet wide and arching; its area gradually lessening until it terminates in a throat at the commencement of the straight trench. This part is covered with brick or stone, laid in mortar or cement; the long trench to be covered with sheet-iron in the same manner. The opposite end to the fire-place terminates in a chimney 6 or 8 feet high; the front of the fire-place to be fitted with a tight movable sheet-iron cover, in which an opening is to be made, with a sliding cover to act as a blower. By this contrivance a perfect draught may be obtained, and no more cold air admitted within the furnace than just sufficient to consume the wood and generate the amount of heat required which not only radiates from the exposed surface of the iron plates, but is conducted throughout the ground floor of the tent so as to keep it both warm and dry, making a board floor entirely unnecessary, thereby avoiding the dampness and filth, which unavoidably {p.665} accumulates in such places. All noise, smoke, and dust, attendant upon building the fires within the tent are avoided; there are no currents of cold air, and the heat is so equally diffused, that no difference can be perceived between the temperature of each end or side of the tent. Indeed, the advantages of this mode of warming the hospital tents are so obvious, that it needs only to be seen in operation to convince any observer that it fulfills everything required as regards the warming of hospital tents, and I respectfully ask you to appoint a commissioner to examine the hospital tents of the Eighth Brigade, and ascertain by observation the justness of this report.

The whole cost to the Government of constructing the above apparatus for the four hospitals of the Eighth brigade is the cost of 112 feet, 1 foot wide, of sheet-iron, one barrel of lime, and four sheet-iron doors, the stone and brick were picked up by the men who likewise did all the labor.

By this plan floors to the tent are rendered unnecessary; the ground within the tent is kept perfectly dry, and the temperature can be regulated by increasing or diminishing the fires; all smoke, dust, and noise within the tent are obviated; the flues may be carried through a range of five or six tents, making one fire all that is necessary for each set. If the description of this furnace cannot be understood, and it is deemed expedient to put them in general operation, Dr. McRuer might be temporarily detached from his brigade to construct a model in each division in the Army.

I have further to recommend that the men should be required to make daily use of desiccated vegetables in their soups. Where fresh vegetables are to be had, this is not necessary, but in the winter season a sufficient supply of fresh vegetables cannot be depended upon. Soup should form a daily part of a soldier’s dinner, and a liberal portion of desiccated vegetables should enter into its composition. Soup requires three and one-half hours for its proper preparation; volunteers will not take so much trouble unless it is enjoined upon them by a positive order, and also made the duty of the company officers to see that it is done. Cold weather and the want of vegetable food are almost sure to engender scurvy. If it is possible to supply an additional allowance of blankets, it would contribute essentially to the preservation of the health of the men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. S. TRIPLER, Surgeon and Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Baltimore, Md., November 28, 1861.

Brig. Gen. H. H. LOCKWOOD, Commanding Eastern Shore:

GENERAL: Your dispatches of the 26th instant,* by Captain Knight, are received. It is natural that our Union friends in Accomac County should feel nervous and desire to get rid of their late oppressors. While we look calmly and dispassionately to important and more remote results, we must do all we can, consistently with our public pledges to the people of Accomac and Northampton, to give courage to those who desire to place the affairs of the counties on their former footing. In the language of the proclamation, the Government asks that its authority may be recognized. In pursuance of this purpose we have a right to require, as you have done, that those who are in the execution of public trusts should take the oath of allegiance. If they refuse, they decline to recognize the authority of the Government, and can claim none of the benefits or immunities promised by the proclamation. On the contrary, by seeking to defeat the very object for {p.666} which the expedition was sent into these counties, they array themselves against the Government, and cannot expect to be treated as friends. If the county clerk, as is alleged, has openly exerted his influence to dissuade the magistrates from taking the oath of allegiance, he should be arrested for an overt act of hostility to the Government.

The rules by which you should be governed may be stated briefly as follows:

1. No arrests should be made for acts done before the proclamation was published.

2. No man should be disturbed who acquiesces in the authority of the Government, no matter how cold, or reluctant, or sullen his submission.

3. Any person who exerts his influence to dissuade individuals from attending the meetings of the people called to declare their allegiance to the United States cannot for the reasons assigned be considered as entitled to the benefits and immunities promised by the proclamation. On the contrary, he is to be regarded as an enemy, to be dealt with at your discretion.

4. Any person who at any such meeting resists a proposition to declare the allegiance of the two counties to the United States can only be regarded as an adherent of the rebel Government and coming within the category of No. 3.

5. The twenty persons who have been named to you as deserving arrest should be watched, and at the very first indication of hostility to the Government they should be taken into custody. But if they have submitted in good faith, they are entitled to the protection pledged by the proclamation. It must, however, be a real and not a pretended submission. It must be exemplified by an abstinence in fact from all attempts to dissuade others from an open and public declaration of their allegiance to the United States. And if you have good reasons to believe that any one of them is exerting a secret influence against the Government, you may with perfect propriety send for him, and require him to take the oath.

Now, let me say one word to our Union friends. I understand their feelings perfectly. I have gone through the same process here which you are passing through in Accomac County. I have succeeded with the aid of a very judicious police in re-establishing order and bringing back the State to its true allegiance; but I have been constrained to differ frequently from our Union friends. They ask too much. They looked more to forcible measures than to a quiet, firm, and steady adherence to fixed principles, our Union friends in Accomac must not be unreasonable. They must act boldly and decisively, and they will beat their adversaries without difficulty. With all we have done and are doing to support them; with the certainty that they will be sustained under all circumstances, they will have no excuse if they do not come out fearlessly, no matter what the course of secret traitors may be. As men of sense they cannot fail to see that treachery cannot long be kept secret, and that their game is a sure one. I trust, therefore, they will come out promptly and strongly, and set the authors of the past mischief at defiance. If these mischief-makers continue their operations, you will soon detect and bring them to punishment.

I send $2,000 in specie per Captain Tyler. The Kent will wait till Monday, if necessary, for the Seventeenth Massachusetts.

I am, very respectfully, your-obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General

* Not found.

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[Received Headquarters Army of Potomac November 28, 1861.]

Memorandum concerning transportation by water.

General Burnside reports vessels belonging to his command of capacities as follows:

One side-wheel steamer (900 bunks), will carry for short distance1,200
One stern-wheel, 18 draught (bunks), will carry for short distance500
Five propellers (bunks, 500 each), will carry for short distance 700 each3,500
Four propellers (bunks), will carry for short distance 600 each2,400
Seven sailing-vessels (700 each)4,900
Five floating batteries (i. e., canal-boats), fitted up with shot-proof bulwarks, (280 each)1,400
Twenty-five surf-boats (40 each)1,000
Six launches (75 each)450
15,350
The above vessels will tow-
Two vessels, carrying 500 each1,000
Eleven vessels, carrying5,500
6,500
21,850

N. B.-The eleven vessels to be towed would have to be furnished. This could be done in the river here, from canal-boats or schooners.

It will be seen, therefore, that if Burnside’s fleet is to be counted on, it is only necessary to add to it, a dozen or so canal-boats or schooners, to be found readily at any time, to have transportation for 1,000 men.

MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE DERIVED FROM THE NAVY-YARD AND POTOMAC FLOTILLA.

The Navy has four side-wheel passenger boats, two of which are, however, now at Hampton Roads, which will carry each, say, 500 men; in all, 2,000. Also the ferry-boat Stepping Stones, which will carry 1,500. Also about eight gunboats, belonging to flotilla, and tugs, which would tow barges enough to carry 20,000 men.

It would only be necessary, therefore, with the means the Navy Department could furnish, to provide barges to be towed.

QUARTERMASTER’S DEPARTMENT.

The quartermaster has now in his service the following vessels:

One steamboat, which will carry1,000
One steamboat, which will carry800
Three steamboats, which will carry 500 each1,500
Two now at Annapolis, which will carry 1,500 and 8002,300
Besides which he has usually four or five Schuylkill barges employed, which will carry, say, 400 each2,000
7,600

Colonel Rucker gives me the following names of steamers in his employment:

City of Richmond, large seagoing vessel.

Columbia, large seagoing vessel.

Philadelphia, small vessel, propeller.

Ann Eliza, small vessel, propeller.

Sophia, small vessel, propeller.

Ermin, small vessel, propeller.

{p.668}

MEANS OF WATER TRANSPORTATION OBSERVED AT THE WHARVES, IN THE CANAL, ETC.

An agent employed by me reports nine steamers, four of which, however, are identical with the last four just named, which are generally small propellers or tugs, but which he thinks would tow barges enough to carry 15,000 men. He finds nine Schuylkill barges, each of which will carry 400 or 500 men, and eighteen coal boats, capable of carrying 200 men each. He thinks that in a week he could collect, not counting the Navy Department vessels, means to transport down the Potomac 20,000 men.

From the foregoing statements it will be seen:

1st. That if Burnside’s fleet is counted as available for our purposes, nothing additional is requisite except ten or twelve Schuylkill barges, most of which can be found here and the balance made up from coal and wood barges.

2d. That by use of what the Navy and quartermaster could furnish, and by collection of barges and schooners usually to be found, transportation for 20,000 men could be had at short notice.

It would seem that with the number of steamers usually available and other craft to be found there was no actual necessity for further collections. With a view, however, to being independent of hasty collections, and having on hand a cheap class of vessels, admirably calculated either for carrying men or freight, and which will make existing steam power capable of doing an indefinite amount of work, it would be a good step to purchase from the Pennsylvania canals twenty of their large barges, which can be arranged, on a draught of 5 feet water or 6 at utmost, to carry 500 or 1,000 men; also to collect 50 landing boats, capable of carrying 40 men each.

To carry out these views, or whatever views the Commanding General may adopt, a special agent should be appointed, who should be either a member of the Quartermaster’s Department or a Navy officer. Such an officer as Lieutenant Phelps, U. S. Navy, who assisted me in establishing ferries, &c., would be admirably calculated. Lieutenant Wyman, lately of the Potomac flotilla, expressed a desire to serve with the Army.

Mr. Cathcart, a clerk in the Treasury Department, is a nautical man, full of expedients and resources, and very familiar with the Potomac River and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal; he would be a very proper man for this service.

Respectfully submitted.

J. G. BARNARD, Brigadier-General, Chief Engineer, Army of Potomac.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 161.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, November 28, 1861.

...

6. Brig. Gen. P. St. Geo. Cooke, U. S. Army, having reported to these headquarters, in compliance with instructions from the headquarters of the Army, is assigned to the command of the regular cavalry serving in the Army of the Potomac.

...

16. The division of Major-General Banks will take up a position at or in the vicinity of Frederick City, to be selected by the division commander, {p.669} who is also assigned to the command of the Maryland Home Guards raised in that quarter. General Banks will protect the portion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal lying between Cumberland and the Monocacy River.

17. The Fifth Sixth Seventh, and Eighth New Jersey Volunteers will constitute a brigade, to be commanded for the present by the senior colonel, and will form part of the division of Brigadier-General Hooker, which they will join with as little delay as practicable. Brigadier-General Casey will arrange with Brigadier-General Van Vliet, chief quartermaster, as to the route and means of transportation.

...

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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[NOVEMBER 29, 1861.]

Brig. Gen. CHARLES P. STONE, Commanding at Poolesville:

Please inform General Hill that I have no wish to protect robbers, and that I will cordially unite in any proper effort to repress marauding. If he will turn these men over to me, with time evidence necessary to convict them before a commission, they shall be tried and punished in good faith. Say to him that I have no plea to interpose for men who have disobeyed my orders by stealing, except to recommend the utmost care and reflection in the infliction of a punishment which, although just, may lead to reprisals beyond my power to control, and may lend to this contest a degree of ferocity which I desire to avoid.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Camp Gauley Mountain, Virginia, November 29, 1861.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to say, for the information of the Commanding General, that I am so far convalescent as to be able to attend to business.

On the 26th instant I found it necessary to arrest Brig. Gen. H. W. Benham for unofficer-like neglect of duty. He applied for a leave of absence on a medical certificate, with permission to visit a city, and has gone to New York.

The Tenth and Ninth Ohio are probably at Covington, or farther, on their way to join the command of General Buell. The Thirteenth, detained by the state of the roads, will probably go down to-day or tomorrow. No pen can describe the desperate condition of the roads; they are next to impassable. They are the military obstacle of the remainder of the season.

Presuming the Commanding General has no special directions to give about matters I have been presenting for his consideration relative to this department and the contiguous part of the State of Ohio, I have made the following dispositions of the forces in this valley, and shall proceed to Wheeling as soon as practicable:

First. At Fayetteville, Schenck’s brigade, cantoned in secession houses, deserted by their inhabitants, to be intrenched

{p.670}

Second. At this point, intrenched post, Forty-seventh Ohio, under Poschner; one 20-pounder Parrott and two howitzers.

Third. At Gauley Bridge, Twenty-eighth [Ohio], Colonel Moor, intrenched.

Fourth. At Summersville and Cross-Lanes, Thirty-sixth [Ohio], Colonel Crook.

Fifth. At Cannelton and west side of Kanawha, Thirty-seventh [Ohio], Colonel Siber, in barns and houses, made in cantonments; supervision of country from Loop to Cabin Creek.

Sixth. At Camp Piatt, opposite the Boone and Kanawha turnpike and head of ordinary steamboat navigation, Forty-fourth [Ohio], Colonel Gilbert.

Seventh. At Charleston and Kanawha River, with supervision of the defenses of the valley, to Brigadier-General Cox, whose brigade will be quartered in the vicinity of Charleston; Eighth Virginia at Buffalo.

Eighth. At Point Pleasant, Fourth Virginia, Colonel Lightburn.

Ninth. At Barboursville and Mud River, Thirty-fourth Ohio, Colonel Piatt.

Tenth. At Guyandotte, Second Virginia Cavalry, Colonel Bolles.

Eleventh. At Ceredo, Fifth Virginia at present.

On the other line, Brigadier-General Reynolds at Beverly, one regiment by detail and in turn at Cheat, one at Elk Water, one at Huttonsville, two at Beverly, and one at Philippi. At Romney, Kelley re-enforced by two Indiana regiments and a battery. The points for enterprises appear to be Wytheville, Logan Court-House, and Kelley’s front.

I urgently beg for a few regular officers to form an examining commission. Major Slemmer is near the point of death from typhoid fever. He is at a private house, 5 miles from Beverly. His wife is with him. If he recovers, it will be two months at least before he can do any duty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., November 30, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, Commanding Dep’t W. Va., Camp Gauley Mountain:

SIR: Your several communications have been considered by the General-in-Chief, and the following are his instructions and remarks:

In the orders heretofore sent you the Kentucky regiments were not included, but only Ohio and Indiana regiments, in the detachments to be made by you to Kentucky.

At present it is impracticable to designate any other brigadier-generals for your department, but it will be done as soon as possible. Please suggest the names of any colonels of your command who may be suitable for that appointment.

You will please detach from your command the following troops: The regular battery of artillery, commanded by Captain Howard, Fourth Artillery, to report to Brigadier-General Kelley at Romney. Order the regular battery commanded by Captain Mack, Loomis’ volunteer battery (Michigan), and four more infantry regiments to Kentucky, making in all twelve regiments to Kentucky, to report to Brigadier-General Buell.

{p.671}

Order Howe’s battery, Fourth Artillery, to Washington, to join the Army of the Potomac.

The two Virginia regiments will be furnished with guns by the Ordnance Department. Orders will be given here for five regiments to report to Brigadier-General Kelley at Romney. Instruct General Kelley, on their arrival, to order the eight Ohio regiments to Camp Chase, to be reorganized and then sent to Kentucky.

The general staff officers at Cincinnati will be no longer under your command. The affairs of the depot there will be regulated by the bureau here. Your requisitions for supplies will be made on that depot as usual. Captain McLean, assistant adjutant-general, has been ordered. The recruiting service for volunteers will be conducted according to General Orders, No. 69. There are mustering officers at Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland.

As far as possible you will avoid sending your sick beyond your department limits. A general hospital may be established at Wheeling. If the regimental surgeons give proper attention to sanitary precautions in the camp the sick list may be reduced.

You can continue the depots at Bellaire and Marietta, or move them within the limits of your department, as you deem best.

I am, sir,

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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Memorandum for General McClellan.

[Made on or about December 1, 1861.]

The idea of shifting the theater of operations to the James, York, or Rappahannock has often occurred. The great difficulty I have found in the matter is that of moving a body as large as necessary rapidly, and of making the necessary preparations for such a movement, so that they should not in themselves give indications of the whereabouts of the intended operations in time to meet them.

The first thing to be considered is the old danger attending all similar operations. In cutting the enemy’s line of operations you expose yourself, and a bold and desperate enemy, seeing himself anticipated at Richmond, might attempt to retrieve the disaster by a desperate effort upon Washington.

Leaving, then, as we should do, the great mass of the enemy in front of Washington, it would not be safe to leave it guarded by less than 100,000 men; that is, until we became certain that he had withdrawn from our front so far as to render his return upon it impracticable. It seems to me, too, that the full garrisoning of the works up to the standard fixed upon should be completed without delay. These works will but imperfectly serve their purpose if they are not defended by troops who have some familiarity with their positions and duties. (Lieutenant McAlester asks urgently for the regiment of Colonel Poe, Heintzelman’s division, to be added to the 600 men under Colonel Christian at Fort Lyon; in the first place to give an adequate and efficient garrison to that important work; in the second, to enable him to get fatigue parties large enough to finish it off.)

The works between Potomac Eastern Branch [?] are finished and armed (with exception of the three small works above Chain Bridge, not quite done). Of those over Eastern Branch, Forts Greble, Carroll, Stanton, {p.672} and work near Benning’s Bridge are nearly or quite done, and garrisons may be assigned. The gap between Benning’s Bridge work and Fort Stanton is being filled up by three or four works now under construction.

I dwell on this matter somewhat, since, if the army moves, particularly if it makes a flank movement, leaving the enemy in from, the measures for defense of the city cannot be too carefully taken.

Now as to the expedition: Considering the great difficulty of transporting at one time large numbers, the confusion which will attend the landing, and consequent difficulty of getting the columns into prompt marching order after landing, with our new troops, if the numbers are great, I should be disposed to make the first descent with a comparatively small but select corps, not over 20,000-at outside 30,000 men.

Let it be supposed the latter number is adopted. How shall the movement be made so as to attract least attention in its preparations and to deceive the enemy as to their object?

General Burnside’s force I suppose to be about 10,000 men. His flotilla, including his seven sailing vessels and five floating batteries, will carry that number. (In my former memorandum I estimated 15,350, but I now exclude the surf boats and launches and diminish the numbers, as I then estimated for a short voyage, not leaving the Potomac.)

I suppose there would be three batteries and, say, 1,000 cavalry accompanying this division.

I suppose that, among the large steamers about Baltimore, the additional transportation for this artillery and cavalry could be found. If so, we have a force of 10,000 or 11,000, with artillery and cavalry, provided for.

For a second column, I think I would embark it from the Port Tobacco River. The concentration of troops under Hooker would cover a movement that way, and it would threaten the Potomac batteries.

The Navy will furnish four side-wheel steamers and the Stepping Stones, which will carry 3,500.

The Quartermaster’s Department has seven steamers, which will carry 5,000, and, collecting the eight or nine Schuylkill barges to be found here and schooners and tugboats, so doubtless transportation could be commanded for 10,000 men, with three batteries of artillery and 1,000 cavalry. You will observe my estimates are much lower than before, for then I was considering an operation restricted to the Potomac and of not more than 50 or 60 miles.

Now for additional numbers: I am inclined to think it is easier to carry troops to New York (twelve hours), embark them there, and make but one thing of it, than to bring the shipping to Annapolis or the Potomac. However that may be, if it is determined that the additional number shall be 10,000 men or 20,000 men, or more, I would command the transportation at once in New York, the place where everything can be had in unstinted quantities and of the most suitable kind. All sea steamers (not otherwise chartered), the large sound steamers, the large North River, sound, and coasting propellers, can be had there; and there all the appliances to fit them for troops, horses, &c., can be quickest made.

Perhaps the best way, therefore, would be to commence at once and send the troops, artillery and cavalry, to Fort Monroe, to hold themselves ready for shipment at a moment’s notice; to order the transportation necessary in New York.

According to the foregoing propositions, there would be three columns ready for a simultaneous movement: 10,000 at Annapolis, 10,000 at Port

{p.673}

Tobacco River, and 10,000 or 20,000 at Fort Monroe. The times of starting could be arranged so that the times of arrival should be as desired.

Probably it would be better to have more than one point of debarkation. As soon as the first column was landed the transports could go immediately to Annapolis or Baltimore for more.

The arrangements give no indications of the intended point of attack. They threaten the Potomac, or Norfolk, or the Southern coast, as much as or more than the Rappahannock.

I presume there would be no difficulty in sending our steamers down to Port Tobacco; whether there would be in towing the barges there, I do not know. This Potomac column does not satisfy me as well as the others, for the collection of troops at Port Tobacco, in connection with collecting at Fort Monroe and Annapolis, would rather indicate an operation in the Lower Chesapeake.

Distance of points mentioned: Urbana to Annapolis, 120 miles; Port Tobacco, 90 miles; Fort Monroe, 60 miles.

Respectfully submitted.

J. G. BARNARD, Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C., December 2, 1861.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS, U. S. Service, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: The General-in-Chief desires you to order Lander’s brigade, as soon as it receives arms, to re-enforce General Kelley at Romney, Va.

I am, sir, &c.,

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’s DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, December 2, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: The rebels within the last day or two appear to be more active than they have been for some weeks past. New encampments have been formed and additional earthworks have, been thrown up above and below me. I am informed that a regiment has within this time encamped opposite Indian Head, and that lines of new intrenchments are visible in that vicinity. Additional encampments have also been formed below, and about Cockpit Point they are also unusually active. We have not heard from the batteries to-day.

The New Jersey Regiments will be encamped in close proximity and along the ridge of high ground making up from the Chicamaxen.

Bunting’s battery, ordered to my command by Special Orders, No. 154, dated Headquarters Army of the Potomac, November 23, 1861, and which I was informed by the chief of artillery would leave Washington on Thursday last, has not yet joined.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division. {p.674}

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, Va., December 3, 1861..

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

At the instance of Governor Peirpoint I have drawn up the inclosed petition, and, concurring heartily in the measure, I submit the following in support of the same, outside of what the petition contains. It will if granted, inspire the people with confidence, where all is now doubt and terror.

That a river, populous on either bank, is not a proper boundary of departments (military) when war exists. That concert of action in the coterminous counties of Kentucky and Virginia are absolutely necessary to a complete success in the prosecution of the war in that region. That no additional expense will be incurred, as the regiments are now in the service. That the commanders of the departments from which the proposed one is to be made will have ample fields remaining in which to act, nor feel the excision of the new one. That the Virginians will lose their sectional prejudices when mingling with their Kentucky neighbors, and carry home to them that they are fighting their friends and associates and those allied to them by similar habits and feelings. That we can erect the civil government of West Virginia, when it is impossible to do so under existing state of things.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. I. SAMUELS, Adjutant-General of Virginia.

[Inclosure.]

To His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

Please take the map of Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. You will find the most southern portion of Ohio near the junction of these three States, at which point the Big Sandy River, a river navigable for steamers at this season for 60 miles, almost due south, in the direction of the Great Southwestern Railroad and East Tennessee, enters the Ohio River, and which forms the common boundary of Virginia and Kentucky for a hundred miles.

Running parallel with the Big Sandy River is the Guyandotte on the east, and Little Sandy River and Tygart’s Creek on the west, all emptying into the Ohio, and all traversing an exceedingly mountainous region of country.

That part of the territory of Virginia watered by the Guyandotte and the Sandy Rivers is in a state of perfect anarchy, no one claiming to hold a civil office, and a perfect terrorism paralyzes every effort to restore law and order in that region; and such will be the state of the country as long as the rebel chiefs (Jenkins and Clarkson) are permitted to remain in that region and make their periodic raids through the same at pleasure. The people are divided in sentiment but would flock to that power that would inspire confidence that they would be protected.

The people of Kentucky, on the waters of the Sandy, Little Sandy, and Tygart’s Creek are mostly loyal, and have raised two entire regiments of men, now ready for service; and the people, in their manners, customs, habits, feelings, and prejudices much like the people in the region of Virginia referred to, and the same similarity in the geographical features of the country exists.

This region of country has been neglected by the Federal generals, {p.675} because of its being the dividing line between the Departments of Kentucky and Western Virginia, and because the character of the warfare required too much detail and division of troops to occupy the time and attention of the commanders of departments, and we are satisfied that a general who would avail himself of the peculiar characteristics of the inhabitants would do more to clear that region of rebellion than large armies directed by military science and skill.

The valleys of the Sandy and the Guyandotte have been highways through which the rebels have introduced arms and munitions of war ever since the rebellion started to their armies menacing the camps at Gauley and Sewell Mountain.

We believe a brigadier, with latitudinous powers, if possessed of shrewdness, a capacity to seize and avail himself of the occurrences passing, with the mental constitution and mannerism to inspire the people with respect and confidence, not hampered or thwarted by officers near him, would, with the military material now there and which he could gather, clear the country of roving banditti now infesting it, and restore civil government, law, and order.

We therefore pray your excellency to erect a new military department, to be called the Department of Big Sandy; commit it to the charge of a brigadier-general, to take command of the Fourth and Fifth Virginia Volunteer Infantry; the First Virginia Volunteer Cavalry; the volunteers in Kentucky, in the region described-being the regiments commanded by Hon. L. T. Moore and Colonel Wilson-and that the region of country named, together with such adjacent counties in Ohio, be the bounds of such new department.

And as in duty bound will ever pray, &c.

F. H. PEIRPOINT, Governor of Virginia, By H. I. SAMUELS, Adjutant-General of Virginia. H. I. SAMUELS, Adjutant-General of Virginia. RALPH LUTE, Of Ohio.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, December 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have to-day dispatched a squadron of the Third Indiana Cavalry to take post at Millstone Landing, with instructions to radiate from that point in all directions and at all times, and to visit all places deserving of notice lying near the coast between Port Tobacco and Lookout. The command is under Major Chapman, of that regiment. They will intercept all contraband trade and correspondence, and arrest persons concerned in it, and all traitors, and send them under guard to camp. For this service I prefer cavalry to infantry, for they move with more celerity, and can do more service than three times the number on foot. They can encounter no resistance in this part of Maryland they cannot overcome, and by moving rapidly they inspire more fear than can a column of infantry.

With the roads in their present condition it is of great consequence to detach the smallest possible force necessary, from the difficulty in {p.676} supplying them. I have a cavalry company also doing picket duty from Smith’s Point to Port Tobacco. This makes a continuous line of pickets along the shores of the Potomac from Mattawoman Creek to Cape Lookout. They may not be able to cut off all intercourse across the Potomac; this I cannot expect; but they will arrest some, and defeat the plans of many.

I have nothing new to report of my command or of the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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WASHINGTON, December 6, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac, &c.:

GENERAL: It appears probable that our available appropriations will not suffice to complete entirely the defensive works about Washington. Forty-eight different works, some of which, like Forts Ethan Allen, Runyon, and Lyon, are of very large size, extensive abatis, &c., have been constructed, and many of them, besides the usual magazines, are provided with extensive bomb-proofs for quarters. For these constructions the sum of $344,053.46 has been available. It is probable that this sum will not entirely suffice, and that it will be more than exhausted by the close of the present month. I therefore request that an application be made to Congress for the immediate appropriation of the sum of $150,000 for completing the defenses of Washington.

You are aware that while hired labor has been extensively employed south of the Potomac, the works north of the river have been almost exclusively constructed by it.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. BARNARD, Brigadier-General and Chief Engineer, Army of Potomac.

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HEADQUARTERS, DIVISION AT FREDERICK, December 7, 1861.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff:

DEAR SIR: The division is well camped in the vicinity of Frederick, in good position, and with plenty supplies of all kinds. We are on the different lines of railway and turnpike, and can move in any direction in full force at a moment’s notice.

I returned last evening from a visit to Sandy Hook and Harper’s Ferry. The town is a picture of desolation. In the interior the rebels are active and their scouts on the move constantly. They are now endeavoring to put the railway from Winchester to Harper’s Ferry in working condition if possible.

General Jackson is fortifying Winchester as far as he is able and calling in the militia to strengthen his forces, which do not now exceed 5,000 or 6,000. General Carson is said to be at or near Berkeley Springs, with about 1,500 men. They are sensitive to the chances of an attack by our forces, and I do not think that they are likely to disturb General Kelley at present. Colonel Leonard is in connection with General Kelley before this, but we have not heard from him yet. Reports in

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Loudoun County, Virginia, represent that 9,000 or 10,000 men have been drawn south from Manassas.

The canal is now open to navigation. We were told that boats with coal were near Harper’s Ferry yesterday on the way to Georgetown, and that 1,000 tons daily would soon be sent to the town for public and private use.

The opening of the railway is a feasible project, but it will require the whole force of our division to protect the work.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., December 7, 1861.

Brigadier-General MARCY:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report concerning the facilities for passing troops across the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry, Williamsport, &c. At Harper’s Ferry the river is about 600 feet wide. The Maryland shore is of difficult access, owing to the canal bank, being nearly 20 feet high and supported by masonry. The Virginia shore is in like manner difficult, owing to the embankments of the arsenal yard, which are supported by masonry.

There is a lock leading from the canal into the Potomac a short distance below the remains of the railroad bridge; at low water usually from 4 to 6 feet, but rises very rapidly on sudden rains to a height of 26 feet. The difficulties of a bridge at this point are the approaches. Passing up the river about 1 mile to the Government dam the river widens a little, but the Virginia shore is of a much easier access, and the country road leading from Harper’s Ferry to Charlestown can be reached by passing one-half mile over a country road. The Maryland shore at this point must be reached by passing a short distance upon the tow-path of the canal, which is sufficiently wide for one track but difficult for two. There is also a lock leading into the Potomac at this place.

As directed, I consulted Captain Duane (Colonel Alexander being ill), and learn that the pontoon bridge at the Eastern Branch is serviceable, and can be sent to any point you may direct. The bridge, being of India rubber, is not very stable and is easily damaged.

I would respectfully suggest a bridge supported by canal-boats instead. There is a sufficient number of boats in the canal, and lumber of suitable size can be procured at Baltimore or Cumberland on very short notice. The bridge-builders of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad can without doubt be procured to do the work. The boats can be locked into the river and anchored in their places immediately.

At Williamsport the river is of nearly the same width as at Harper’s Ferry; current not rapid; approaches on either shore of easy access. A small ferry-boat of a few tons burden plies by means of a wire cable from shore to shore. A bridge supported by two flat-boats, such as are found in nearly every level of the canal, would enable from 300 to 500 men to cross at once. There being no lock between Dams Nos. 4 and 5, the boats must be moved from the canal by means of a derrick or like machinery. Plank can be procured at different points on the canal-at

{p.678}

Williamsport, Point of Rocks, &c. I have never been at Hancock or Sir John’s Run.

I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. E. BABCOCK, Corps of Engineers.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Frederick, Md., December 8, 1861.

Colonel LEONARD, Commanding at Williamsport:

MY DEAR SIR: Reports by way of Philadelphia represent that heavy and close cannonading was heard at Chambersburg all the afternoon in the direction of Hancock. You will ascertain, if possible, what was the occasion of the firing, and, so far as you can, the purpose of the rebels in regard to General Kelley. Do not hesitate, if he is threatened, to send him aid at once-if need be, all your force-and I will supply your place on the river upon notice of your movement. Keep us well informed of the movements in his locality, as in your own. Obtain all the information you can concerning Martinsburg, its forces, defenses, &c., and especially the lay of the land about the town.

Very truly, yours,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

P. S.-Lander’s brigade will be sent to re-enforce General Kelley as soon as it arrives.

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[DECEMBER 10, 1861.-For McClellan to Lincoln, in reference to forward movement, found too late for publication here, see Series I, Vol. XI, Part III.]

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OFFICE CHIEF ENGINEER ARMY OF POTOMAC, Washington, D. C., December 10, 1861.

General J. G. TOTTEN, Chief of Engineers, &C.:

SIR: The resolution of the House of Representatives of July 8, of which the following is the tenor-

Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to furnish this House, as soon as practicable, plans and estimates, to be prepared by the Engineer Department, for completing the defensive works on the south side of the Potomac, near this city; and also to report upon the expediency of constructing similar works of defense on the northern side of this city, with estimates for the same, so as to reduce to a minimum the number of troops required for the protection and defense of the capital-

having been submitted to me in July last, I now make the following statement:

At the time when the resolution was referred to me I was attached to the headquarters of Brigadier-General McDowell as chief engineer, and a few days thereafter I was in the field engaged in the campaign of Bull Run. Previous to this movement the army of Washington, yet weak in numbers and imperfectly organized under General Mansfield, had crossed the Potomac and occupied the south bank from opposite Georgetown to Alexandria.

The first operations of field engineering were, necessarily, the securing of our debouches to the other shore and establishing of a strong point to strengthen our hold of Alexandria. The works required for these limited objects (though being really little towards constructing {p.679} a defensive line) were nevertheless, considering the small number of troops available, arduous undertakings. Fort Corcoran, with its auxiliary works, Forts Bennett and Haggerty, and the block-houses and infantry parapets around the head of the Aqueduct, Forts Runyon, Jackson, and Albany (covering our debouches from the Long Bridge), and Fort Ellsworth, on Shooter’s Hill, Alexandria, were mostly works of large dimensions. During the seven weeks which elapsed between the crossing of the Potomac and the advance of General McDowell’s army the engineer officers under my command were so exclusively occupied with these works (all of which were nearly completed at the latter date), as to make impracticable the more general reconnaissances and studies necessary for locating a line of defensive works around the city and preparing plans and estimates of the same.

The works just mentioned on the south of the Potomac, necessary or the operations of an army on that shore, were far from constituting a defensive system which would enable an inferior force to hold the long line from Alexandria to Georgetown or even to secure the heights of Arlington.

On the retreat of our army such was our situation. Upon an inferior and demoralized force, in presence of a victorious and superior enemy, was imposed the duty of holding this line and defending the city of Washington against attacks from columns of the enemy who might cross the Potomac (as was then deemed probable) above or below.

Undecided before as to the necessity, or at least the policy, of surrounding Washington by a chain of fortifications, the situation left no longer room to doubt. With our army too demoralized and too weak in numbers to act effectually in the open field against the invading enemy, nothing but the protection of defensive works could give any degree of security. Indeed, it is probable that we owe our exemption from the real disaster which might have flowed from the defeat of Bull Run-the loss to the enemy of the real fruits of his victory-to the works previously built (already mentioned), and an exaggerated idea on his part of their efficiency as a defensive line.

The situation was such as to admit of no elaborate plans nor previously-prepared estimates. Defensive arrangements were improvised and works commenced as speedily as possible where most needed. A belt of woods was felled through the forest in front of Arlington and half-sunk batteries prepared along the ridge in front of Fort Corcoran and at suitable points near Fort Albany, and a battery of two rifled 42-pounders (Battery Cameron) was established on the heights near the distributing reservoir above Georgetown to sweep the approaches to Fort Corcoran.

Simultaneously a chain of lunettes (Forts De Kalb, Woodbury, Cass, Tillinghast, and Craig) was commenced, connecting Fort Corcoran and the Potomac on the right with Fort Albany on the left, and forming a continuous defensive line in advance of the heights of Arlington. The wooded ridge which lies north of and parallel to the lower course of Four Mile Run offered a position from which the city, the Long Bridge, and the plateau in advance of it could be overlooked and cannonaded. While our external line was so incomplete, it was important to exclude the enemy from its possession. Access to it was made difficult by felling the forest which covered it (about 200 acres), and the large lunette (Fort Scott) was commenced as soon as the site could be fixed (about the middle of August). The subsequent establishment of our defensive line in advance throws this work into the same category with Forts Corcoran, Albany, Runyon, &c., as an interior work, or second line, but it {p.680} is nevertheless an important work, as, taken in connection with Forts Richardson, Craig, &c., it completes a defensive line for Washington independent of the extension to Alexandria.

The defense of Alexandria and its connection with that of Washington was a subject of anxious study. The exigency demanding immediate measures, the first idea was naturally to make use of Fort Ellsworth as one point of our line, and to connect it with Fort Scott by an intermediate work on Mount Ida. An extended study of the topography for several miles in advance showed that such a line would be almost indefensible. Not only would the works themselves be commanded by surrounding heights, but the troops which should support them would be restricted to a narrow space, in which they would be overlooked and harassed by the enemy’s distant fire. The occupation of the heights a mile in advance of Fort Ellsworth, upon which the Episcopal Seminary is situated, seemed absolutely necessary. The topography proved admirably adapted to the formation of such a line, and Forts Worth and Ward were commenced about the 1st of September, and the line continued simultaneously by Forts Blenker and Richardson to connect with Forts Albany and Craig. Somewhat later the work intermediate between Blenker and Richardson-filling up the gap and having an important bearing upon the approaches to Forts Ward and Blenker and the valley of Four Mile Run-was commenced.

The heights south of Hunting Creek, overlooking Alexandria and commanding Fort Ellsworth, had been always a subject of anxiety. The securing to our own possession the Seminary Heights, which commanded them, diminished materially the danger. As soon, however, as a sufficient force could be detached to occupy those heights and protect the construction of the work it was undertaken, and the large work (Fort Lyon) laid out and commenced about the middle of September.

Previous to the movement of the army defensive measures had been taken at the Chain Bridge, consisting of a barricade (bullet proof, and so arranged as to be thrown down at will) across the bridge, immediately over the first pier from the Virginia side, with a movable staircase to the flats below, by which the defenders could retreat, leaving the bridge open to the fire of a battery of two field guns immediately at its Maryland end, and a battery on the bluff above (Battery Martin Scott) of one 8-inch seacoast howitzer and two 32-pounders. As even this last battery was commanded by heights on the Virginia side, it was deemed proper, after the return of the army, to erect another battery (Battery Vermont) at a higher point, which should command the Virginia Heights and at the same time sweep the approaches of the enemy along the Maryland shore of the Potomac.

During the months of May and June the country between the Potomac and the Anacostia had been examined mainly with the view of obtaining knowledge of the roads and defensive character of the ground, not in reference to locating field defenses. At the period now in question there was apprehension that the enemy might cross the Potomac and attack on this side. Of course what could be done to meet the emergency could only be done without that deliberate study by which a complete defensive line would best be established. The first directions given to our labors were to secure the roads, not merely as the beaten highways of travel from the country to the city, but also as in general occupying the best ground for an enemy’s approach.

Thus the sites of Forts Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Slocum, Totten, Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Lincoln were rapidly chosen, and works commenced simultaneously at the first, second, third, and sixth of these {p.681} points early in August. The others were taken up as speedily as the clearing of the woods and the means at our disposal would admit, and the gaps in the line afterwards partially filled up by construction of Fort Gaines, Forts De Russy, Slemmer, and Thayer. The works mentioned are at this date essentially completed and armed, though there is still considerable to do in auxiliary arrangements. Our first ideas as to defensive works beyond the Anacostia contemplated only the fortification of the debouches from the bridges (Navy-Yard Bridge and Benning’s Bridge), and the occupation of the heights overlooking the Navy-Yard Bridge. With that object Fort Stanton was commenced early in September. A further examination of the remarkable ridge between the Anacostia and Oxen Run showed clearly that, to protect the navy-yard and arsenal from bombardment, it was necessary to occupy an extent of 6 miles from Berry’s place (Fort Greble) to the intersection of the road from Benning’s Bridge (Fort Meigs).

Forts Greble and Carroll were commenced in the latter part of September, and Fort Mahan, near Benning’s Bridge, about the same time. Forts Greble and Stanton are completed and armed; Forts Mahan and Carroll very nearly so. To fill up intervals or to sweep ravines not seen by the principal works, Forts Meigs, Dupont, Davis, Baker, Good Hope, Battery Ricketts, and Fort Snyder have been commenced, and it is hoped may be so far advanced before the winter sets in as to get them into a defensible condition. The occupation of the Virginia shore at the Chain Bridge was essential to the operations of our army in Virginia. It was only delayed until our force was sufficient to authorize it. General Smith’s division crossed the bridge September -, and Forts Ethan Allen and Marcy were immediately commenced and speedily finished.

A few weeks later (September 28) the positions of Upton’s and Munson’s Hills and Taylor’s Tavern were occupied and Fort Ramsay commenced on Upton’s Hill. The enemy’s works on Munson’s and the adjacent hill were strengthened and a lunette built near Taylor’s Tavern.

Comprised in the foregoing categories there are twenty-three field forts south of the Potomac, fourteen field forts and three batteries between the Potomac and Anacostia, and eleven field forts beyond the Anacostia, making forty-eight field for’s in all. These vary in size from Forts Runyon, Lyon, and Marcy, of which the perimeters are 1,500,937, and 736 yards, down to Forts Bennett, Haggerty, and Saratoga, &c., with perimeters of 146, 128, and 154 yards. The greater portion of them are inclosed works of earth, though many-as Forts Craig, Tillinghast, Scott, &c., south of the Potomac, and Forts Saratoga, Gaines, &c., on the north-are lunettes with stockaded gorges. The armament is mainly made up of 24 and 32 pounders on seacoast carriages, with a limited proportion of 24-pounder siege guns, rifled Parrott guns, and guns on field carriages of lighter caliber. The larger of the works are flanked, but the greater number are not, the sites and dimensions not permitting. Magazines are provided for one hundred rounds of ammunition, and many of the works have a considerable extent of bomb-proof shelter, as Forts Lyon, Worth, and Ward, in the bomb-proofs of which probably one-third of the garrison might comfortably sleep and nearly all take temporary shelter. In nearly all the works there are either bomb-proofs like the above, or log barracks, or block-houses of some kind.

It would be impossible to go into any details about these constructions. I am in hopes ultimately to be able to deposit in the Engineer Office drawings of each work with sufficient detail for most purposes. {p.682} The accompanying sheets, Nos. 1 and 2, will exhibit the general location and bearings of the works.* The tabular statement herewith wilt show the perimeters, number of guns, amount of garrison, &c.**

It should be observed that most of the works south of the Potomac, having been thrown up almost in the face of the enemy, have very light profiles, the object having been to get cover and a defensive work as speedily as possible. The counterscarps of all the works, with few exceptions, are surrounded by abatis.

It is impossible, at present, to indicate the exact extent of forest cut down. (The drawings herewith represent the forest as it existed before the works were commenced.)*** The woods in advance of Forts Worth, Ward, and Blenker have been felled; all surrounding and between the next work on the right and Fort Richardson; all the wood on the ridge on which is Fort Scott-a square mile probably-in advance of and surrounding Forts Craig, Tillinghast, and Woodbury, besides large areas north of the Potomac, &c. This fallen timber (most of which still lies on the ground) rendered an enemy’s approach to the lines difficult. The sites of Forts Totten, Slocum, Bunker Hill, Meigs, Stanton, and others were entirely wooded, which, in conjunction with the broken character of the ground, has made the selection of sites frequently very embarrassing and the labor of preparing them very great.

The only case in which forts are connected by earthworks is that of Forts Woodbury and De Kalb, between which an infantry parapet is thrown up, with emplacements for field guns. The construction here was suggested by the fact that this was on one of the most practicable and probable routes of approach for the enemy. Infantry trenches have, however, been constructed around or in advance of other works, either to cover the construction (as at Fort Lyon), or to see ground not seen by the work (as at Forts Totten, Lincoln, Mahan, &c.).

The works I have now described do not constitute a complete defensive system.

We have been obliged to neglect much and even to throw out of consideration important matters. We have been too much hurried to devise a perfect system, and even now are unable to say precisely what and how many additional points should be occupied and what auxiliary arrangements should be made.

It is safe to say that at least two additional works are required to connect Fort Ethan Allen with Fort De Kalb.

The necessity of protecting the Chain Bridge compelled us to throw the left of our northern line several miles in advance of its natural position, as indicated by the topography to the sites of Forts Ripley, Alexander, and Franklin. Between these and Forts Gaines or Pennsylvania one or two intervening works are necessary.

Between Forts Pennsylvania and De Russy at least one additional work is necessary.

Fort Massachusetts is entirely too small for its important position. Auxiliary works are necessary in connection with it.

Small tétes de-pont are required around the heads of Benning’s and the Navy-Yard Bridges.

Between Forts Mahan and Meigs one or more intervening works and between Forts Du Pont and Davis another work of some magnitude are required, the ground along this line not being yet sufficiently known. A {p.683} glance at the map will show it to be almost a continuous forest. It is not deemed necessary to connect the works by a continuous line of parapet, but the intervening woods should be abatised and open ground traversed by a line of artificial abatis, and infantry parapets, half-sunk batteries, &c., placed so as to protect these obstructions and to see all the irregularities of the ground not now seen from the works. Considerable work is also required in the way of roads, the amount of which I cannot state with any precision. Several miles of roads have actually been made. The works themselves would be very much strengthened by caponieres in the ditches, additional internal block-houses, or defensive barracks, &c.

The aggregate perimeter of all the works is about 15,500 yards, or nearly 9 miles, including the stockaded gorges, which, however, form a small proportion of the whole, requiring, computed according to the rule adopted for the lines of Torres Vedras, 22,674 men (about) for garrisons.

The number of guns, most of which are actually mounted, is about four hundred and eighty, requiring about 7,200 men to furnish three reliefs of gunners. The permanent garrisons need consist of only these gunners, and even in case of attack it will seldom be necessary to keep full garrisons in all the works.

The total garrisons for all the works (one hundred and fifty-two in number) of the lines of Torres Vedras amounted to 34,125 men; and as the total perimeters are nearly proportional to the total garrisons, it appears that the lines about Washington involve a magnitude of work of about two-thirds of that in the three lines of Torres Vedras.

The works themselves, fewer in number, are generally much larger than those of Torres Vedras, and involve, I believe, when the amount of bomb-proof shelter in ours is considered, more labor per yard of perimeter; but the latter lines involved a greater amount of auxiliary work, such as the scraping of mountain slopes, palisading, abatis, roads, &c., than we have had occasion to make.

The lines of Torres Vedras were armed with five hundred and thirty-four pieces of ordnance (12, 9, or 6 pounders, with a few field howitzers); ours with four hundred and eighty pieces, of which the greater number are 32-pounders on barbette carriages, the rest being 24-pounders on the same carriages, 24-pounder siege guns, 10, 20, and 30 pounder rifled guns (Parrott), with a few field pieces and howitzers. As to number of guns, therefore, our armament approaches to equality with that of the famous lines mentioned; in weight of metal more than doubles it.

The above applies to our works as now nearly completed, and has no reference to the additional works I have elsewhere mentioned as hereafter necessary. It is impossible to give any other statement of actual cost of the works than the total amount expended thus far. The work has been done partly by troops and partly by hired laborers, the works north of the Potomac being mostly done by the latter. The large amount of carpentry in magazine frames and doors and blindages, barrier gates, stockades, block-houses, defensive barracks, &c., has kept a large gang of carpenters all the time at work, and caused a large expenditure for lumber. The entire amount made available by the Department for these works has been $344,053.46, and this will all have been expended (or more) by the end of the present month. This would give an average of a little over $7,000 for each of the forty-eight works; but of course the real cost of them has been very unequal.

The importance of perfect security to the capital of the United States in the present state of affairs can scarcely be overestimated, and these {p.684} works give a security which mere numbers cannot give, and at not a tithe the expense of defense by troops alone.

It is impossible to make anything like a reliable estimate of what additional amount of funds will be required. In a letter to the General-in-Chief commanding Army of the Potomac, of December 6, I urged an immediate appropriation of $150,000, and this appropriation has been asked for of Congress by the Secretary of War.

Should the auxiliary works which I have suggested be undertaken and the scarps be revetted, I believe a larger sum than this may be judiciously expended. I therefore recommend that an additional $100,000, or $250,000 in all, be provided for the continuation and completion of the defenses of Washington. These works acquire new importance if the probability of a foreign war is taken into consideration. In view of this new importance, of the semi-permanent or possibly permanent necessity for such works, it is proper to suggest that early in the spring the scarps be protected by a timber or thin brick revetment, and the exterior and other slopes, where not already done, be sodded, and that wooden caponieres, or counterscarp galleries, be arranged to flank all unflanked ditches-at least of important works. The strengthening of the profiles where necessary has already been mentioned as important.

It remains with me to express my sense of the zeal and efficiency with which the officers of engineers serving with nine since April have discharged their duties. To their energy and skill I am mainly indebted for the successful accomplishment of this really great work, and I feel that I have a right to say that for the safety of the capital in the hour of its greatest danger; for saving the cause of established government and the Constitution from the most serious blow the rebels could have inflicted, the country owes much to the labors of the engineers. From their great experience and constant association with me since April the services of Colonels Woodbury and Alexander have been particularly important in the laborious reconnaissances and in directing the execution of extensive lines of works.

General Wright laid out and superintended the construction of Fort Ellsworth, and General Newton, who since the 1st of September until recently had charge of the works below Four Mile Run, laid out and directed the construction of Fort Lyon.

Captains Blunt and Prime, Lieutenants Comstock, Houston, McAlester, Robert, Paine, Cross, Babcock, and Dutton have served with efficiency during the whole or part of these constructions, and the lamented Snyder lost his life from over-zealousness in discharge of his duties while in impaired health from his services at Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter. Since the relief of Captain Prime, Lieut. H. L. Abbot, of the Topographical Engineers, has taken his place, proved himself a most energetic and valuable assistant, having completed Fort Scott and built Forts Richardson and Barnard. In carrying out so many works at the same time, and for organizing and managing the large bodies of hired laborers employed, it has been found necessary to call in the aid of civil engineers, not only because the engineer officers were too few to keep proper supervision, but because a large portion of those under my orders have been called off to other duties, such as the organization of bridge trains, the instruction of engineer troops, &c. Civil Engineers Gunnell, Frost, Faber, Childs, and Stone have rendered valuable services; also Mr. (now major of the Fifteenth New York Volunteer Regiment) Magruder. I should also express my warmest acknowledgment to Mr. James Eveleth, of your office, who, as disbursing agent and paymaster {p.685} of the large bodies of hired laborers, has performed an amount of duty I should hardly have expected from one individual. I could wish that the law under which he serves the Engineer Department, might be so modified in his case as to enable him to receive some adequate compensation for the extra duties he has voluntarily assumed. I should have mentioned, in connection with my statement of the amount actually expended, that the Treasury Department has advanced over $20,000 on account of the defenses of Washington, which should be refunded. I feel it my duty in this place to urge that Congress should take immediate measures to assess the land and other damages arising from these works and from the occupation of troops. In most cases the owners are ill able to bear temporarily the losses to which they have been subjected.

In conclusion, I would add that to the great importance attached to these works by the commanding general (now Commander-in-Chief), to his valuable suggestions and prompt and cordial co-operation, the present state of efficiency of the defenses of Washington is in no small degree due.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. BARNARD, Maj. of Eng., Brig. Gen., and Chief Eng. Army of Potomac.

* To appear in Atlas.

** No tabular statement found as an inclosure to this report, but see Barnard and Barry to Williams, October 24, pp. 626-628.

*** Omitted.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 33.}

HDQRS. CORPS OF OBSERVATION, Poolesville, December 10, 1861.

In compliance with Special Orders, No. 322, of December 6, 1861, headquarters of the Army, received this day, the undersigned assumes military supervision of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

All officers commanding lines of pickets between Great Falls and the Monocacy River are commanded, and all officers commanding pickets and lines of pickets along other portions of the canal are requested, to give all aid and assistance in their power, consistent with the good of the service, to the Canal Company authorities in the preservation and improvement of the canal.

CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 16.}

HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA, Wheeling, Va., December 11, 1861.

I. The headquarters of the Department of Western Virginia will until further orders be Wheeling, Va.

...

By command of Brigadier-General Rosecrans:

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, December 12, 1861.

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury:

SIR: In a letter to you of the 5th instant I mentioned, in connection with a recommendation of two persons in Accomac and Northampton {p.686} Counties, Virginia, for the offices of collector and surveyor, that all my information from these counties was very satisfactory. I have to-day received a letter from General Lockwood, in which he says that he summoned all the magistrates of Accomac County before him; that they all took the oath of allegiance, as well as the sheriff and his deputies and clerks. He adds: “After this there was quite a rush of smaller officers to do likewise.” He was to go in a day or two after to Northampton and pursue the same course. He has made but a single arrest for disloyalty.

I consider the restoration of these counties to the Union complete, and if our troops were to be entirely withdrawn I am satisfied that there would be no movement against the Government. Of the 3,200 men sent from here I have brought back 3,100. There are about 1,000 left in the two counties. As soon as convenient I trust you will appoint a collector and surveyor.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’s DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, December 13, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

The commander of the Second Brigade reported to me this morning that the rebels had established a battery opposite to Maryland Point, where the channel makes in close to the Virginia shore, which promised to give our transports and other vessels some little annoyance in ascending the river. Not being able to give it a personal inspection, I made application to the officer commanding the second division of the flotilla for information concerning it. In reply I learn that it is a field battery, and the one to which I have before alluded. It is a light field battery of six rifled pieces, planted on the bank of the river during the day and removed at night. It has a regiment or two, as supports, in its vicinity.

I am further informed that vessels, in order to pass up and down the river, have to pass within three-quarters of a mile of the Virginia shore, and in case it is required of them, in my opinion, some of the guns of the flotilla can with advantage exchange shots with this battery, as it is entirely exposed; they have longer range, and are not more exposed than the enemy. But for the broad river I might possibly surprise them, but to do that with steamboats is almost an absurdity; I have more confidence in being able to whip them than I have in being able to surprise them or even of capturing their battery.

About 2 o’clock a.m. two steamers passed from the upper to the lower flotilla, when they were saluted with two discharges from the enemy’s heavy rifled gun. It fairly shook the earth on this side of the river. This was the only effect of it. Our vessels fired a few shots in answer and passed on.

I can remark no changes either in location or number of the rebel encampments.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

{p.687}

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’s DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, December 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

To-day the enemy have exposed a battery of two pieces on a bluff bank, nearly midway between Cockpit and Shipping Points. It is directly across the river from the head of Stump Neck. The battery is concealed from view by the forest in which it is planted, but from the reports of the pieces and the accuracy of fire it is the opinion that the guns were taken from what is called the Maryland field battery of 12-pounders, which is encamped in the vicinity. We will know more of this in a day or two. The river is narrower at this point by a quarter of a mile than at Shipping Point, but as the channel hugs our shore a little closer than at Budd’s Ferry, the difference of range cannot be material. I am not yet prepared to say that it will add to the annoyance of vessels navigating the river.

I desire to call the attention of the Major-General Commanding to the hazards of my position from the closing of the river by ice. From the present time until the 1st of March the navigation is liable to be interrupted from this cause, and in 1855 it was continuously suspended for a period of six weeks. It is not an unusual occurrence for the Potomac to be frozen over to its mouth. This will prevent supplies reaching us either from Washington or Baltimore.

I have not visited Liverpool Point for several days, but learn that our mechanics are making good progress with our store-house.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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[WHEELING,] December 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Washington, D. C.:

I have the honor to report, for the information of the Commanding General, my return to this place. The general orders of the 30th have been executed, except as to the four more regiments to Kentucky. The state of affairs now existing should be brought to the General’s attention, as it may require his orders for a delay. There is a strong force reported on the headwaters of Sandy, not in my department. There is a direct turnpike road from Charleston to Sandy and from Sandy to Raleigh. Our stores are ordered up to Fayette, Gauley, Charleston, &c. Would it not be well not to thin still more the scattered forces until we see if an expedition cannot be arranged to cut off this rebel force. Sandy region ought, it seems to me, to belong to this department. Will the Commanding General allow me to come to Washington and see him in reference to these and many other details relating to the good of our service?

W. S. ROSECRANS.

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ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., December 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. B. F. KELLEY, U. S. Service, Romney, Va.:

The news from Virginia is that you are to be attacked by some 7,000 or 8,000 men, probably from Winchester. It is supposed troops enough to repel them have been ordered to join you.

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

{p.688}

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FREDERICK, MD., December 16, 1861-9 o’clock.

Colonel LEONARD, Williamsport:

Let the Illinois regiment go at once. Be ready to move yourself. Messenger on the road.

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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FREDERICK, MD., December 16, 1861-10 p.m.

Colonel LEONARD, Commanding at Williamsport:

SIR: We have report to-night at 9 o’clock that General Kelley may be attacked to-night-perhaps from Winchester. Be ready to assist him with all your disposable force. The Fifth Connecticut Regiment will leave at daybreak for your post, with a section of artillery. You can order them on to Romney, if necessary, and call upon us for more troops, if they are wanted. Do not fail to be ready to move at the first call. Send messengers towards Kelley for news and telegraph us often. The Adjutant-General telegraphs tonight that you should dispose of the arms sent to Williamsport as follows.: Three thousand for the Lamon Brigade; two thousand to be sent to Romney, by the way of Hancock, for the Pennsylvania regiments. This was the first order, and it is repeated again to-night by telegraph. Be on the alert, and keep us posted. We had a verbal report from Colonel Link, Twelfth Indiana, that rebels threatened to cross the river to-night at or near Sharpsburg. Do you know that danger of that kind exists? The messenger said he had lost his dispatches, but gave us the substance.

Very truly, yours,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, December 18, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Wheeling, Va.:

The General-in-Chief says it is not necessary for you to come to Washington. General Buell has made dispositions for the Big Sandy Valley. Co-operate, with him if necessary, and also look to valley of Guyandotte, especially Logan Court-House.

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 56.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, December 19, 1861.

I. Inasmuch as some misunderstanding appears to prevail on the subject of passes within the limits of this army, the existing regulations on the subject are republished for the benefit of all concerned.

1. No civilian can cross the Potomac into Virginia without a pass signed by the provost-marshal of Washington, or given at these headquarters, or at the headquarters of the army.

Civilians not suspected of disloyalty do not need a pass to enable them to travel within the section of country north of the Potomac.

{p.689}

2. No civilian needs a pass to cross the Potomac from Virginia into Washington.

3. Division and brigade commanders and provost-marshals (except the provost-marshal of Washington) have no authority to grant passes to civilians to cross the Potomac at all, unless the civilians be employed in connection with the army, in which case that fact will be stated on the pass.

4. Division and regimental commanders, the military governor and commander at Alexandria, and the commanders of bodies of troops not brigaded south of the Potomac may give passes to officers and soldiers and to civilians connected with the army to cross and recross the bridges and ferries.

Commanders of troops not brigaded will state on the pass the fact of their exercising such command. If the individual passed over be on official business, the pass should so state. A soldier’s furlough or an officer’s order of leave of absence issued from the proper source, are sufficient evidences of authority to cross the Potomac going on leave.

5. No wine beer, or ardent spirits, unless they be for hospital or subsistence stores, or the private stores of an officer, for his own use, (when they should be so marked,) shall pass the guards at any bridge or ferry on the Potomac or the guards of any camp or barracks, without a pass from the provost-marshal of Washington to cover the stores, or from these headquarters.

6. Loyal citizens, residents within our lines south of the Potomac, after having visited Washington, must have, to return to their homes, passes signed by the provost-marshal of Washington. Certificates as to their loyalty, from brigade or division commanders within the limits of whose command they reside, would have the effect to enable the provost-marshal to decide promptly upon the propriety of furnishing them with passes.

7. Commanders of the troops about Washington north of the Potomac can give no passes to any description of person to cross the river.

II. All fast riding or driving by officers and soldiers in the streets of Washington is prohibited.

The provost-marshal is directed to enforce this order.

Officers dispatching mounted messengers conveying papers will state upon the envelope of the dispatches the gait the messenger is to take-whether a walk, a trot, or a gallop.

The same directions may be indicated by the seals on an envelope-one seal for the walk, two for the trot, and three for the gallop. Officers will be held responsible for the instructions they give to mounted orderlies as to the gait of the messenger.

III. Quartermasters will instruct their wagon-masters and teamsters that trains passing through the streets of Washington shall leave an interval equal to the width of the street between every 10 wagons. Unnecessary locking of wheels is prohibited.

IV. Neither division nor brigade commanders can give leaves of absence to officers or furloughs to soldiers to leave this army at all. Neither officer nor soldier can pass beyond the limits of this army without permission from these headquarters. Leaves of absence for forty-eight hours and furloughs for the same period, not to go beyond the limits of this army, may be given by the division and brigade commanders.

The commanding generals at Baltimore, Frederick, and Poolesville {p.690} are excepted from the above restrictions, in so far that they may approve furloughs for soldiers, restricting them to cases of urgent necessity and for short periods of time, and may grant leaves of absence to officers for forty-eight hours to pass beyond the limits of this army.

There are frequent cases of commanding officers ordering individuals to proceed beyond the limits of their superiors’ commands without their consent or authority. This practice must be discontinued. The rights of command can only be exercised within the proper sphere of command.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CAIN’ BAKER, LOWER POTOMAC, MARYLAND, December 20, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: In compliance with instructions received from your office this evening, instructions have been given for requisitions to be prepared for forage and subsistence stores for this division for six weeks, They will be forwarded to the proper officers by to-morrow morning’s steamer.

A small schooner passing down the river under gentle sail drew the fire this forenoon of all the rebel batteries. She presented so fair an object, and was gliding along so leisurely, that the enemy were tempted to expend some eighty or ninety shots on her, but she passed them all unharmed. If ever they should succeed in crippling one of our vessels, and attempt to take it, you must not be surprised to hear of a conflict on the water. It will be necessary to rescue her, whether of any value or not, for the effect it will produce on my troops. If I cannot control their irritation at these frequent exhibitions of power, it appears to me to be my duty to prevent their witnessing any of its triumphs.

I have received this evening another report from Major Chapman, dated the 18th instant, of the operations of his command in the southern extremity of the State. Inclosed you will receive such extracts from it as will be of interest or value to you.* The prisoner James B. Loker will be forwarded to the provost-marshal in Washington tomorrow morning. Directions will be given for the captured mail and money to be delivered with this report. The property reported as having been taken will be forwarded as soon as received.

The intelligence, energy, and good conduct displayed by Major Chapman and his command in the service in which they are engaged merit and will receive my commendation.

The Third Indiana Cavalry have been on the wing almost all the time since they joined me, singly and in bodies, and I have yet to learn of the first irregularity. The conduct of the enlisted men is as exemplary in the absence of authority as it is when present. It seems that no example, no temptation, can lead them astray.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

{p.691}

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 20.}

HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Wheeling, W. Va., December 20, 1861.

I. Both banks of the Gauley and Kanawha Rivers and all that portion of this department lying south of them will, until further orders, constitute a district, to be called the District of the Kanawha, and will be commanded by Brig. Gen. J. D. Cox. ... The order creating the Kanawha Brigade is hereby revoked.

II. That portion of the department lying south of the railroad, west of Cheat Mountain, including it, and extending southward to the District of the Kanawha, will constitute a district, to be called the Cheat Mountain District, to be commanded by Brigadier-General Milroy. ...

III. The railroads in the department, with the posts on them, will constitute the Railroad District, to be commanded by Brigadier-General Kelley.

...

By command of Brigadier-General Rosecrans:

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY RESERVE, December 22, 1861.

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have respectfully to call attention to the want of men in the batteries of the reserve. The number of companies present is seventeen; total strength required for seventeen batteries, 2,550. There are but thirteen batteries, two companies being united in four cases in the same battery. The number of men required for thirteen batteries is 1,950. The total number of enlisted men reported this morning as belonging to the companies, (including) 69 reported absent, is 1,435.

To complete fully the thirteen batteries would therefore require 500 men; to complete the seventeen batteries 1,100 are required; from 400 to 1,000 men would probably answer.

I respectfully urge that some means be taken to furnish recruits to these batteries. They are commanded many of them by experienced officers, and are supplied with old non-commissioned officers, whose services it is important to make available to the fullest extent. If special recruiting rendezvous cannot be established, recruits may possibly be obtained from the regiment of volunteers by discharging from the service those who are willing to re-enlist from the batteries, with a promise that they shall be discharged at the end of the war if they desire it.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY J. HUNT, Colonel, Commanding.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, Va., December 24, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: For some time past I have felt the necessity of altering the Military Department of Western Virginia at the dividing line between Virginia and Kentucky. There ought to be a separate division, embracing {p.692} the waters of the Guyandotte River and all that part of Kentucky drained by the waters of the Big Sandy, or all of that part of Kentucky drained by the waters of the Big Sandy should be added to the Western Virginia Department-perhaps the latter would be the best-and assign a brigadier to that section, which has suffered somewhat for the want of a brigadier in the valley of the Sandy and Guyandotte, who would enforce better the administrative discipline of the army.

For the efficiency of the army I think there ought to be two, if not three more brigadiers in Western Virginia, and there should be a major-general in command of the division.

Upon the subject of brigadiers, if it is the policy to appoint merely politicians, without reference to their military experience, I desire to claim the rights of Virginia in the appointments. If; however, the administration should decide to appoint from the Regular Army men of military education fit for the position, without reference to locality, I shall be satisfied, and would decidedly recommend that course, it is military knowledge and discipline that are going to make the army effective.

With this view I would call your attention to Major Crawford and Captain Hartsuff, of the Regular Army. From a personal acquaintance with these men I am favorably impressed with them as men of large views and worthy of the consideration of the country. They have been in Western Virginia from the commencement of the war and are identified with us. They understand the wants and the necessities of the division.

I have tried to inform myself of General Rosecrans’ operations in Western Virginia, and I think the people are well satisfied with his management of the campaign. I have been unable to see where it could have been bettered, and would respectfully ask that he be appointed major-general of this division, and the whole western part of the State, with that part of Kentucky drained by the waters of the Big Sandy, be put in his division.

Excuse me, sir, for making these suggestions. It is only my deep interest in the cause that urges me to this liberty.

I am, yours, &c.,

F. H. PEIRPOINT.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., December 26, 1861.

Brigadier-General MARCY, Chief of Staff:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report upon the facilities for passing troops across the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry and Williamsport.

I proceeded to Baltimore, had an interview with the president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, who says the employés and such lumber as they have suitable for bridge building is at the service of the Government. The company has all the lumber necessary, and of suitable size for building.

From Baltimore I proceeded to Sandy Hook, via Frederick City. I found the water low, now fordable, and upon careful inquiry find the river is not usually subject to rise at this season. It is my opinion that a serviceable flying bridge cannot be put in at this point, nor can sufficiently extensive ferries be established upon short notice. I would respectfully recommend a bridge supported upon canal-boats. Such a {p.693} bridge can be best placed about 100 yards above the remains of the railroad bridge, to enter the arsenal yard through an opening in the arsenal wall.

The bridge at this place will be about 800 feet long, requiring between twenty-five and thirty boats, depending upon the length of the timbers used. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company have in their service 60 canal-boats, and will have upon short notice the number required for a bridge at and near Sandy Hook.

The lift-lock of the canal at Sandy Hook is in good order. The president of the railroad informed me that a sufficient number of ships’ anchors to anchor the bridge can be procured in Baltimore. Such bridge can be constructed in a short time, be made very stable and serviceable for all purposes.

A good ferry, supported upon flat-boats (a great many flat-boats can be found on the canal) across the Shenandoah, will be sufficient, as but a small number of men need be placed upon Loudoun Heights.

I visited Williamsport also. There is now a ferry there capable of carrying the four-horse country wagons heavily loaded. A piece of light artillery or 125 men can be taken at once, and in about three minutes. It is held by a wire cable six-eighths or seven-eighths of an inch in size. An extensive ferry might be quietly established there by using flat-boats. Plank and light lumber can be found in sufficient quantity at Williamsport. This ferry can be worked by a cable or with poles. The river is now fordable at this place.

I was also requested to give my opinion of the number of men sufficient to occupy Martinsburg. If Loudoun Heights are occupied by 400 or 500 infantry, Keys’ Ferry (across the Shenandoah), with a like number of men and one or two pieces of artillery, I think a division sufficient to occupy Martinsburg, or if overwhelmed to make a safe retreat to Harper’s Ferry. I would suggest that a strong detachment should be left at Charlestown to secure the rear. While such move is being made Winchester could be threatened by forces from Romney, and when Martinsburg is occupied a junction can be made with the troops at Hancock via Springfield, Harper’s Ferry need be occupied by a garrison only. As it would be necessary to leave the artillery in position on the Maryland Heights, I think General Banks should be re-enforced by at least one or two batteries before making such move.

I have the honor, general, to be your obedient servant,

O. E. BABCOCK, Corps of Engineers.

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FREDERICK, December 27, 1861-7.30 p.m.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

All is quiet. A scout from Virginia states that the enemy have retired to Winchester; 400 infantry at Martinsburg; 500 cavalry scouting the river; seven guns (34-pounders) in position at Winchester; one 54-pounder.

General Jackson has about 7,000 men-4,000 volunteers, rest militia; twelve light guns, one rifled. Railroad iron of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad piled up at Charlestown and Halltown.

Respectfully submitted.

R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.694}

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 3.}

HDQRS. GENERAL BANKS’ DIVISION, Frederick City, AID., January 5, 1862.

1. The Forty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers will march as early as practicable to-morrow morning, January 6, for Williamsport, Md., carrying with it all its camp and garrison equipage, with two days’ rations in haversacks.

...

2. The Third Brigade, Col. D. Donnelly commanding, will march immediately for Hancock, and report to Brigadier-General Lander at that place as soon as possible.

...

By command of Major-General Banks:

R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS OF DIVISION, Frederick, Md., January 7, 1862.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, &c.:

SIR: It would not have occurred to me to have transmitted in extenso all the dispatches of General Lander from Hancock had he not requested it, nor should I have suggested to the Commanding General the idea of writing upon affairs at Hancock had I anticipated the instructions which passed through the office to-day.

I have not thought it my duty to encourage General Lander’s views in regard to our crossing the river. Had the event indicated in my instructions occurred, to wit, the passage of the Potomac by the enemy, the call would have been more imperative and reasonable; but we have thought from the first that he had no such purpose. All the features of the affair at Hancock resemble closely that at Williamsport when the attempt was made to destroy the dam, and seemed to be a cover for an attack upon the railway between Cumberland and Hancock.

Unless the enemy had crossed the river, any attempt to intercept and cut him by our crossing would have been unsuccessful. From Bath to Winchester is but 30 miles, directly south, while the distance from our camp to any possible point of interception via Harper’s Ferry or Shepherdstown would have been more than double the distance, with a difficult river to cross and recross, for which we had no adequate material. It would have resulted in almost certain failure to cut off the enemy, and brought an exhausted force into his presence to fight him in his strongholds at Winchester. In either case it promised no positive prospect of success, nor did it exclude large chances of disaster. Every intelligent officer here familiar with the plans of the enemy and the features of the country confirmed this view of his ultimate purpose and the probable results of a forced passage of the river as suggested.

I beg the Commanding General to believe that my division will face any possible danger cheerfully and manfully which our position demands, but I hesitate to put my command, without orders, upon a forced march for one purpose, without any certainty of success, when I know that without any agency of our own, and by the natural course of events, it may be changed to another fruitful disaster. Such was the course of events at Ball’s Bluff. It began in a reconnaissance and ended in a battle, for which our friends were not prepared. And such I feared might be the case should we suddenly cross the river to cut off the retreat {p.695} of the enemy, and find ourselves unexpectedly obliged to flee before him or fight him in his intrenchments.

In view of the harassing policy adopted by the enemy, it seems to be necessary to keep a stronger force than hitherto on the important points of the river. The forced marches we are obliged to make, without any real service, discourage and demoralize the troops, and greatly weaken the division for any sudden emergency. We have now but four smoothbore 6-pounder guns with the division. The others are at different points of the river, where they seemed to absolutely required on account of threatened movements of the enemy. I should be glad to know if, by any combination of events we should be compelled to move suddenly, I might be permitted to call on General Dix or General Stone for assistance in artillery.

I beg permission to suggest, in addition to the observations contained in a former letter upon the reconstruction of the road, that until we hold so much of the country through which it passes as to enable us to protect the whole, it will avail but little to attempt the reconstruction of any part of it.

I can only add to the suggestions then made my belief, formed upon recent events, that the enemy will resist with all its power the reopening of the road. This does not change my opinion as to its practicability. It demands, however, that we should undertake the work at our own time and with full preparation and especially that we should avoid being drawn into this country by adventitious circumstances, promising no certain good, and having no connection and offering no support to the great work in contemplation.

I hope for the full and speedy recovery of the Commanding General. That he may soon regain his strength, and not allow the impatience of Congress or of the people to move him from the development of his material plans for one moment, is the earnest wish of one who wishes well to his country and the commander of its forces.

With much respect, I am, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, January 8, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

I have reason to believe that the rebel force in my front has been considerably reduced within the last two days. At the time the last deserters came in to my camp (January 3), there were six encampments visible from this side of the river; now I can see but two. Not knowing but the smoke of their camps might be concealed from their new mode of encamping, which is that of excavating tenements on the side of the hills, directions were given to my pickets to observe their reveille and tattoo calls, and they report to me that they can hear but those of two regiments. I therefore conclude that some of the regiments have been removed.

Long before daylight this morning a heavy cannonade was heard to the south, which turns out to have proceeded from two or three vessels of the second division of the flotilla off Aquia Creek. I am informed that they were engaged in shelling a rebel camp, but as it was done in {p.696} the night, I conclude that no great damage was done. The vessels withdrew at daylight. Their fire was not returned.

...

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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FAYETTEVILLE, VA., January 9, 1862.

Capt. GEORGE L. HARTSUFF, Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Army, Hdqrs. Dept. of W. Va.:

SIR: I regret to say that the railroad expedition has for the present been prevented by the absolutely impassable condition of the roads. At the time appointed for the march a heavy fall of snow made it improper to commence so long a march as was contemplated, and Dr. Hayes, the brigade surgeon, was of opinion that only the last necessity would justify it. Since then we have had rain; the snow has disappeared, but the rain is unceasing, and the roads mud.

My efforts to obtain information have been unceasing. I have now scouts trying to get to the railroad. I think they will succeed. Major Comly, at Raleigh, is untiring in making reconnaissances, sending out scouts, and swearing Union men. The Twenty-sixth leaves as soon as possible and within the time for which I was permitted to keep them. Notwithstanding their departure, I will go to Princeton as soon as the roads permit.

The militia are called out in the adjacent counties south, but I fancy that the result of the call will not be dangerous, although it necessitates more watchfulness on our part. I think that the people here are under the impression that rebellion is not a success. Even the disloyal in Southwestern Virginia think so, and the entering upon successive points of the road south as if we meant to stay there without fear, though prepared for serious opposition, indicates something stronger than bushwhacking. The condition of this command is in most respects good. The efforts to keep up efficient guards is attended with more difficulty than anything else.

We have not yet succeeded in finding the arms left near Dickerson’s. There are there, I think, some 200 or 300 muskets. Intrenching tools in considerable numbers have been found buried, and the search for arms still continues.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. P. SCAMMON, Colonel, Commanding Third Provisional Brigade.

* Some matters of detail omitted.

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FREDERICK, January 10, 1862-8.30 p.m.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding:

Dispatch received.* General Williams telegraphs from General Kelley, 7.30 p.m., that Loring was 18 miles from Romney, Winchester road. Lander falling back on Cumberland. Three regiments, one section artillery, marched this morning for Romney. Two cavalry companies move {p.697} to-night. Have ordered him to put so much of his brigade in readiness to march as can be spared. He has five regiments and four guns. Fears to part with more artillery. Can spare infantry. I think enemy reported at Bath again moving on Hancock; not believed by General Williams.

K. P. BANKS, Major General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

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JANUARY 10, 1862.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

Mr. David, the person in charge of the telegraph at General Kelley’s headquarters, Cumberland, sends me the following this p.m.:

General Lander has information which leads him to believe that Jackson is advancing on Springfield. If true, he will have to fall back on Now Creek. Telegram to General Kelley from Big Cacapon says a country clerk from Bath reports Jackson’s force 16,000, made up of militia from Morgan, Frederick, Berkeley, and Hampshire Counties, and regulars from Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia. Thinks militia numbers 3,000. He counted twenty-four pieces of artillery, two of them 32-pounders.

Very respectfully, yours,

ANSON STAGER.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, January 11, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS:

Since my interview with the Major-General Commanding on Friday last it has suggested itself to me that it might not be unimportant for him to be informed of the facilities at Port Tobacco for embarking troops. The wharf at the town is 50 feet long, with 9 feet water at high tide. Three miles below, on the bay, troops can step from the shore on to vessels drawing not over 5 or 6 feet water. This town is 32 miles distant from Washington, with better roads than those leading to my camp.

The piles for my wharf are nearly all driven and many of them capped. It will be 300 feet long, of the form of an L, and wide enough for a four-horse wagon to turn on it without difficulty at the outer extremity. There I will have 6 feet water. (This is at Rum Point.)

To-morrow I propose to send the pile-driver to Liverpool Point, where I shall require it a couple of days. A wharf there of 60 feet in length will give me 6 feet water. These two wharves are indispensable.

Since my return from Washington I have learned that a negro on the steamer Freeborn visited the neighborhood of Aquia and brought away his wife and children. He reports the number of troops in that vicinity to be that already communicated. He is ready and willing to visit that district any night. Brooke’s Station is on the north side of the Potomac River, where the railroad bridge crosses that river, and 6 miles from Aquia bridge, about 300 feet in length. From Brooke’s Station to Fredericksburg is 7 miles. Three bridges cross Rappahannock at this town. The railroad bridge stands on stone piers, and is about 600 feet in length. The others are wooden bridges, one about one-third of a mile, the other about one mile from the railroad bridge-I can learn of {p.698} the presence of but few troops in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. They are to be found in small bodies and at long intervals along-the shores of the Potomac. A prisoner sent to Washington yesterday informed me of about 1,800 stationed around Nomini Bay. My belief is that the great majority of the rebel forces are encamped well in the advance, in anticipation of their inability to move promptly at this season of the year.

I have no changes to report in my immediate front.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, January 12, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: The Pensacola passed the batteries about 5 o’clock this morning unharmed. Fifteen or twenty shots were fired by the rebels as she descended the river, when she must have been lost sight of from that shore. From the Maryland shore an indefinable dark object was all that my pickets could see of her:

Later in the day the rebels were very active with their heavy guns, and blazed away at almost every object that presented itself, whether within the range of their guns or not. To me it seemed like an ebullition of anger on the escape of the Pensacola, for they had evidently made unusual preparation to receive her. Their accumulation of ammunition was afterwards expended on objects of little or no importance and without result.

It is deserving of remark in the history of these heavy batteries, that during my sojourn here the enemy have discharged them not less than 5,000 times, and, with the exception of the single shot which struck one of the vessels of the flotilla a few days since, while she was engaged in exchanging shots with them, not a vessel has been damaged in navigating the river nor the skin of a person broken on our shore.

I regret to learn that one of our barges was sunk two or three days since, off Alexandria, while on her way with stores for this camp. She is now at Rum Point. I am informed that she has on board stores from all of the departments, and I hope with care that no great loss will be suffered.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, January 13, 1862.

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: I deem it my imperative duty, after many representations to headquarters and to the chief of artillery on the subject of garrisoning the fortifications and preserving them from dilapidation, to call the attention of the Commanding General again to the subject, and to say that unless more effective measures are taken, these works, with their armament, must fall into ruin.

{p.699}

General Barry informed me on Saturday that General Wadsworth had written to him that much of the board revetment of Fort Ramsay had been stripped off by the men, and asked for permission to use the rest. Colonel Alexander reports to me that he found Fort Corcoran on Saturday in a shocking condition from neglect; that the guns are not used at all, and some appeared to require adjustment of platforms to be capable of use.

The whole line of works from the Potomac to the Eastern Branch and thence along its eastern shore to the Potomac again-twenty-eight works-are without garrisons; the small guards placed at them are changed daily (I believe). Of course they have no idea of what is required to keep the armament or earthwork in condition (which indeed is not much a part of their duty), and, as represented to me, perform even their duties as guard very inefficiently.

These ungarrisoned works have now 200 guns mounted, for which no ammunition can be supplied until there are garrisons, or at least ordnance sergeants to care for it. (At the present time I am obliged to keep hired men at most of the finished works to look after public property.)

I need scarcely say that if circumstances called for the action of these works against an enemy, it would require much time for the Ordnance Department to supply them all with ammunition. I look upon the garrisoning of these works-that is, with artillerymen-as under all circumstances indispensable, and an absolutely necessary preliminary to any offensive operations of the Army. Such offensive operations, if made against distant points, may throw the defense of Washington, against the bulk of the enemy’s forces, upon these works (assisted by reserves); or, as at Bull Run, it is in the range of possibilities that a disaster in the field may paralyze our active army, or throw it back disorganized, to rally under protection of these works. Not only that they should fulfill such purposes, but be preserved from dilapidation, requires efficient garrisoning, and some more efficient system of supervision or command than has yet been established.

In some cases (as of the works in charge of the Fourteenth Massachusetts and Fourth Connecticut) the commanding officers and subordinates feel pride in preserving their works in perfect order. Such is not always the case, as the use and importance of the works are not appreciated, and where it is not, we may expect to see the timber work and abatis converted into tent floors and fire-wood. The uses and services expected from this enormous work we have made at an expense of a half million of dollars (armament not included) will not be rendered without careful preservation and efficient garrisons; and that these last should be efficient, a number of regular artillery officers of rank are required to visit such work every day, attend to and enforce the drill, and see that the work and armament are properly cared for.

Very respectfully,

J. G. BARNARD, Chief Engineer.

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WHEELING, January 13, 1862.

Adjutant-General THOMAS:

I transmit the following for the information of the General-in-Chief, whom I have this morning informed of the available force in the department this side of Kanawha Valley:

HUTTONSVILLE, January 13.

At the four posts of Beverly, Huttonsville, Elk Water, and Cheat Mountain there Is about a million dollars’ worth of Government property. Rebels know this and our {p.700} weakness, and, rumor says, are concentrating a large force at Monterey to retaliate the Huttonsville blow. I desire force enough to give me some chance. Can I have them? Plenty of provisions here.

R. H. MILROY, Brigadier-General.

General, I wait instructions thereon.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General.

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 14, 1862.

To the SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: I inclose and invite your attention to the accompanying communication from Brigadier-General Shields to Major-General McClellan, offering suggestions upon the conduct of the war.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WM. H. SEWARD.

[Inclosure.]

WASHINGTON, January 10, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commander-in-Chief; U. S. Army:

GENERAL: Profiting by your kind and instructive suggestions the other day, I have taken the liberty of throwing out a few hints in relation to the general mode of prosecuting this war, and respectfully present them for your consideration.

Richmond in the East and Memphis at the West are the two dominating objective points of the Southern Confederacy in this war. The possession of these points will break the power of that Confederacy. Every military effort should be directed to the attainment of this object. Every employment of force in Missouri, Western Virginia, or around the coast (except in support of the blockade), which does not directly or indirectly bear upon the capture of these points, is a waste of force. The movement against Richmond is the principal one, and the other must be subordinate to it. Richmond can be reached by some one of the following routes, without encountering very serious military obstacles: James River, York River, or the Rappahannock. There is doubtless abundant information in the possession of the Department to determine this point with certainty. In the absence of this information I will assume that the route by Yorktown is the most eligible.

The capture of Yorktown would be the first important operation of the campaign. With such assistance as the Navy may be able to lend, an army of 20,000 men of all arms, embracing as many regulars as possible, in addition to the force already at Fort Monroe, would make the result certain.

In the operations against Yorktown nothing should be left to accident. Nothing in the nature of an assault upon their works ought to be attempted in the first stages of the campaign. The place should be carried by regular and systematic approaches, if only to instruct the men and accustom them to work under fire and work and move and operate together. Six weeks will suffice for the reduction of Yorktown, and six weeks before that place will give the men an amount of steadiness and practical discipline which they cannot get in six months around Washington. The better to insure the success of this movement, the army may be assembled outside of Fort Monroe, and strong {p.701} and threatening demonstrations and even substantial preparations may be made for a movement on Norfolk. This may be made in such a way as to deceive them as to our first purpose, and, if so, a sudden spring on Yorktown may make its capture an easy matter, or at all events certain. Once in our hands, it can be strengthened into an excellent base for further operations, communicating with the ocean. Twenty or thirty thousand men in position at that place will make all the formidable works around Manassas useless. Twenty thousand additional troops can be thrown to Fort Monroe, the ostensible object of course a march upon Richmond; but I repeat, as nothing is to be left to chance in this campaign, I urgently recommend the reduction of Norfolk and the sweeping away of all the defenses around the bays and lower waters of James River as the first great step in the campaign.

The minor posts will all fall with Yorktown and Norfolk. In the siege of Norfolk the Navy will be able to give efficient aid.

I will venture the prediction, and my reasons for it are more than military, that Virginia will compel the whole force of the Confederate Army to be turned to the relief of Norfolk. The administration will do it reluctantly, but Virginia regards Norfolk as her only naval station, the solitary door by which she communicates with the world, and she dare not and will never give it up without a struggle.

In view of this, let us throw up strong covering works at the outset. The effect of this movement will be to reverse the advantages of position. They will have to seek us in our own works, as we sought them at Manassas, and this alone will decide the campaign. Driven back and followed rapidly to Richmond, the Army and the Government may be hurled South without even a general battle. In case a serious attempt is not made to relieve Norfolk, it is bound to fall by regular approaches within the space of three months. This done, the whole Army, in improved working order and confident in spirits, can then be concentrated for a move on Richmond by Yorktown.

Until the capture of Yorktown and the fall of Norfolk the Army of the West should not hazard a serious engagement. A reverse there would have a discouraging influence upon the principal campaign. This must be avoided by all means. That army should be held in hand and kept in complete readiness to move rapidly on Memphis, flanked by the Mississippi River and supported by a fleet of gunboats. These two great movements, if well combined and well timed, will influence each other.

The advance on Richmond ought to be conducted with such caution and steadiness as to preclude the possibility of any casualty, however insignificant, so that the whole Army should arrive before that place in heart and spirit. There the enemy will have to deliver his great and to him his decisive engagement. The works around Richmond will not be found, and cannot be made, sufficiently strong to resist for any considerable time an army that will have achieved so much, been so often under fire, and accustomed to deal with intrenched positions. The struggle there may be bloody, but cannot be doubtful. Richmond will fall. The Government will not abide the shock in that place. It will fly South on the approach of the Northern Army. This will have a disheartening effect upon their cause. Whether the operation then ought to be conducted by slow and certain approaches, or by a rapid, dashing, and irresistible assault, must be determined on the ground and at the time in view of all the circumstances. But in either case the wreck of the Southern Army can be hurled after the Government. The fall of {p.702} Memphis is likely to precede the fall of Richmond, and, if so, it will have a decisive effect upon that result.

The Southern Government is a military oligarchy. The head of this oligarchy is in Richmond, and when the head falls a Union sentiment will be found to burst forth in the South, which will soon entomb the body of this foul conspiracy.

These considerations are very general, and from want of accurate information of the position and strength of the enemy and of the exact nature of the country are necessarily defective; but as a sketch of a general plan I beg leave most respectfully to submit it to your practiced judgment. It is substantially your own plan, as I understood you the other day; and permit me to add, respectfully, that if you intrust me with a prominent part in the execution of this plan and take upon yourself the direction and superintendence of the combined movements in the field, I will pledge my poor reputation, past and present, for its successful issue.

With sentiments of personal regard and most profound respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JAS. SHIELDS.

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PATTERSON’S CREEK, January 16, 1862.

General MCCLELLAN:

GENERAL: I have the honor to reply to your inquiries.*

When by request, October 25, I gave my views to General Scott on the subject of protecting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, I recommended the occupation of Romney by Kelley, he to be immediately re-enforced, hut beyond holding the point to break up guerrilla parties I did not propose a strong demonstration here. A column was to cross at Harper’s Ferry and occupy Loudoun Heights; thence a force to move on Martinsburg and Bath, or farther south, if circumstances justified even the holding the country west of the Shenandoah; Kelley then to advance, leaving a guard on the railroad as he came on. A strong demonstration was to be from the east, with the intent to cut off Shenandoah Valley from the rebel army by interposing a heavy column along the Blue Mountains and holding the passes. Matters having been postponed, the enemy now hold the Blue Mountain passes, and have a railroad from Winchester to Strasburg, with Jackson’s command at Bloomery Gap and near Romney, for the rebel force at Romney now numbers 2,500 men. It is evident that scattered guards along railroad will not protect all troops brought out from the west.

Strengthen the Army of the Potomac, and troops brought up from the west can be placed along railroad here as it is open, perhaps prior to being so placed to be massed and a blow given to Jackson; in short, an attack made to take Shenandoah Valley from the enemy. My camp here is so placed that while I hold a peninsula, resting each flank on unfordable rivers, the whole line can be raised and take cars at short notice. I have half Jackson’s forces, and cannot do much as to guarding the road unless re-enforced. When able to leave road guarded in my rear, I propose to advance to Big Cacapon, on the Virginia side, and cover General Williams’ crossing. I am having boats built for him in Cumberland, and if I am strongly re-enforced from Ohio at once I have no doubt of effecting a junction with Banks south of Potomac. He need not cross till the Virginia side is secured by me. The presence of {p.703} Jackson’s large force changes the aspect of matters along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. I regard Milroy at Cheat Mountain in measure isolated, and in view of an advance of Loring via Moorefield and Philippi, perhaps too much so. With the aid of General Kelley, now in Cumberland, whose advice and knowledge of this country will prove highly useful, Milroy might secure this road in my rear to Big Cacapon necessarily re-enforced.

Should I advance, I can cross 4,000 infantry at Little Cacapon Bridge, fall on Romney, via Winchester turnpike by a mountain road, and retake at any time. I have hesitated to do so only that I am not massed and ready for sudden emergency with my whole force, and the enemy would break to the mountains and have nothing there worth capturing. Should a merely defensive course be adopted, my successor here should be a soldier and disciplinarian. This command is more like an armed mob than an army.

Resolved to a brief statement, this force can join Williams along the railroad at some risk of encountering a much larger one. If the railroad be guarded at once by re-enforcements from Ohio it can take Bath, and a portion of Banks’ column then threatens Martinsburg. It can take Martinsburg should Banks cross; it can take Winchester and hold the Blue Mountain Pass, or fall on Leesburg and join McCall. In the latter case the enemy’s left would endeavor to cut it off at Leesburg, but only by exposing himself by a flank march to your right.

Colonel Dunning, of the Fifth Ohio, is ranking officer here; an able and competent man. If Colonel Grover, of Utah celebrity, were appointed brigadier-general he might relieve me.

Trusting that I have not exceeded the terms of your instructions, I am, respectfully,

F. W. LANDER, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, AT FREDERICK, MD., January 18, 1862.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Commander-in-Chief U. S. A.:

GENERAL: It gives me pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th instant,* proposing certain inquiries in regard to the number and disposition of forces necessary to guard the Potomac and the reconstruction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway.

I. In regard to the disposition and number of forces necessary to guard the Potomac in the event of an advance of the main army:

It is not practicable in my judgment to substitute cavalry altogether for the infantry now guarding the river, but to a large extent it will make a more available and effective defense than now exists, as it will enable us to keep a more perfect observation of the enemy’s movements; to concentrate suddenly upon points threatened, and to avoid the unhappy effects of forced marches that infantry will be compelled to make, usually without any satisfactory service or results. The exceptions to an exclusively cavalry guard will occur at those points where villages lie on the bank of the river, or at the dams which support the canal, or the most practicable fords, the defense of which demands the long range and effective fire of the rifled cannon and musket. With such exceptions cavalry can replace infantry with advantage.

{p.704}

There are now upon our line between Point of Rocks and Hancock nine regiments and twelve guns devoted to this duty. The substitution of effective cavalry for a part of this force would allow it to be reduced, if necessary, to two regiments and six guns, with such a reserved force at a central point, say Hagerstown, as the strength and movements of the enemy should require. Inclosed you will please observe a schedule of troops, with their dispositions, cavalry and infantry, based upon the view I have presented. The infantry could not well be diminished except as to the reserve, which could be strengthened or reduced as circumstances should require; the cavalry might be increased at pleasure. Posted in small numbers, at convenient distances, some of the burdens of the service would be lessened, such as quarters, supplies, forage, &c., as they would make available the resources of neighborhoods, and the activity of their duties would preserve discipline and increase their strength, which in infantry is sometimes seriously impaired by similar service.

II. In regard to the dispositions of troops near Patterson’s Creek:

It appears to me that a line upon what is called the South Branch of the Potomac, running parallel with Patterson’s Creek, about 5 miles farther westward, is in all respects preferable to General Lander’s position at the mouth of the creek. This offers little advantage except the protection of the road at that precise point, and places him at the disadvantage of having the river in his rear. If he follows the creek southward towards Burlington he puts the creek in his rear, as the road passes principally on the enemy’s side. But upon the line of the river between Paddytown and Cumberland he has communication in both directions by railway, highway, and river which last is always between him and the enemy. In case of necessity communication is open to Piedmont, 4 miles westward, which is an impregnable position, taking advantage of the mountain pass, and connects by railroad, common road, and river with Cumberland, and westward with Wheeling by railway. This seems to be a stronger and more expansive position than any which Patterson’s Creek affords, and equally effective for the protection of the road. I do not believe, however, that that wing of the road can be protected so long as the enemy holds undisputed possession of Winchester and surrounding country. The reconstruction of the road, I think, should commence on the other wing, and follow our occupation of that country.

III. I am clearly of opinion that it is impracticable to reconstruct the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad while the enemy holds possession of all the country south of its line. He must be expelled either by a decisive contest on this line or on that in front of Washington. More recent events have led me to believe that he will resist the reconstruction with all his power.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

[Inclosure.]

Dispositions of troops on the Potomac between the mouth of the Monocacy and Sir John’s Run, above Hancock.

UPPER DEPARTMENT.

Sir John’s Run, one company cavalry.

Hancock, two companies cavalry, two companies infantry.

{p.705}

Sleepy Creek, one company cavalry.

Back Creek, two companies cavalry.

Cherry Run, one company cavalry; Clear Spring, six companies infantry, two guns.

Dam No. 5, one company cavalry.

Four Locks, one company cavalry.

Williamsport, two companies cavalry, two companies infantry.

Shaefersville, one company cavalry.

Total, twelve companies (one regiment) cavalry; ten companies infantry (one regiment).

Hagerstown, one brigade (?) and two guns.

LOWER DEPARTMENT.

Dam No. 4, one company cavalry.

Shepherd’s Island, two companies cavalry.

Antietam, one company cavalry, two companies infantry.

Two Locks, one company cavalry.

Sandy Hook, two companies cavalry, six companies infantry, two guns.

Berlin, one company cavalry.

Point of Rocks, two companies cavalry, two companies infantry.

Monocacy Village, one company cavalry.

Monocacy mouth, one company cavalry.

Total, twelve companies (one regiment) cavalry; ten companies infantry (one regiment).

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Frederick, January 21, 1862.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army:

GENERAL: Major Perkins, Captain Abert, and Colonel Geary yesterday made an examination of the river at Harper’s Ferry, to ascertain definitely the practicability of crossing at that point. They agree that in the present condition of the river it is impracticable there, and in this conclusion I concur. They also present at my request a report upon the subject and a plan for bridges, to which I would ask serious attention. There are many difficulties attending the use of canal-boats and in the end they will cost the Government more than proper material easy of transportation, that will be safe and available at any point and any hour. Captain Abert will present the report to you at your convenience.

I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

[Inclosure.]

DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, Frederick, Md., January 20, 1862.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS, Commanding Division of Army of Potomac, Frederick, Md.:

GENERAL: In obedience to your verbal orders of yesterday evening, the undersigned proceeded to Harper’s Ferry to-day, and made examination {p.706} of the Potomac at that point with reference to the crossing of troops in sufficient number for offensive operations on the Virginia side.

We found the river swollen by recent rains some 10 feet above its ordinary height, and observation of this condition, which is certain to occur many times between this date and the 1st of May next, convinced us of the impracticability of using to advantage clumsy canal-boats for the purpose of bridging. Their employment would of necessity restrict your crossing both as to time and place, either of which would retard if not render utterly impossible, your movement at the decisive moment. It will be unnecessary to give reasons in detail.

Flying bridges, rafts, and rope and pulley ferries are but inadequate and but tardy means of transport under favorable circumstances, but to the last degree uncertain and dangerous in cases of disaster or even of emergency.

We are of the opinion that not a moment should be lost in procuring bateaux, say 31 feet in length and 4 feet in width, made of white pine, and well calked, to serve as floating supports for string pieces and plank flooring, all according to the dimensions furnished by Captain Abert, topographical engineer, of your staff.

This arrangement will possess the advantage of being made away from observation of the enemy and brought to the place of employment complete. The bateaux are easily placed and anchored; they offer but little exposure to injury from a strong current or swollen stream, and the flooring is easily and quickly laid.

It is not known at what particular point within your lines you may desire to cross, and the bridge we propose will enable you to vary your line of operations at pleasure, for all the parts can be transported easily with the troops in all seasons, and put together at any point where a crossing might be desirable.

We are aware that you deem some safe and sure means of crossing the Potomac within your lines indispensably necessary, and if the Government cannot furnish you a pontoon train, we believe the arrangement we suggest is the nearest approach to it in economy, efficiency, and certainty of good result.

We have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

D. D. PERKINS, Major and Aide-de-Camp, Chief of Staff. JAMES W. ABERT, Captain, U. S. Army, Topographical Engineers.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 6.}

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, A. G. O., Washington, January 23, 1862.

I. The boundaries of the Department of Western Virginia are incorrectly defined in the Army Register for 1862, page 90. They should be as follows: So much of Virginia as lies between its entire boundary on the west, the western slope of the Alleghany Mountains on the east, the boundaries of Pennsylvania and Maryland on the north and northeast, and of Tennessee on the south.

...

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

{p.707}

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POTOMAC FLOTILLA, January 24, 1862.

Brigadier-General HOOKER, U. S. A., Commanding Division, U. S. At-my, Lower Potomac:

SIR: In answer to your inquiries of yesterday, I have the honor to inform you that the force at present under my command consists of eleven steamers, scattered from Hallowing Point to Point Lookout. The force of these vessels in battery is four 9-inch shell guns, four 8-inch shell guns, four 32-pounders of 33 hundred-weight; two Parrott rifled 30-pounders, one rifled 50-pounder, three 24-pounder howitzers, and six 12-pounder rifled howitzers. These are all light and extremely vulnerable boats. Their draught of water is from 7 to 9 feet. Two of them are ferry-boats, one drawing 8 feet, the other 4 1/2 feet of water. I judge that they would not carry conveniently more than 1,000 men above the number of their crews; the ferry-boats taking about 600 of this number. I am of opinion that were it desired to cross the river the vessels, with the exception of the ferry-boats, could render better service in towing launches, barges. &c., loaded with troops, than by taking them on their decks.

From Otterback’s farm, above High Point, to within range of the Cockpit battery, below Freestone Point, these vessels can approach the beach within about 200 yards-perhaps somewhat nearer on the north side of Freestone Point, where a landing could be effected on the beach below the bluff. Under Cockpit Point the water is quite deep well up to the shore, and this continues to the Evansport batteries, from below which it runs off shoal again near the Virginia shore. Just above Mathias Point the water is again quite deep, allowing a steamer to go close in.

The enemy appear to be in considerable force in the neighborhood of Occoquan Mill, and have constructed a fort on the southern side of the Occoquan River. A few weeks since they had a full field battery at this point of about 9 to 12 pounders, rifled. Back of Freestone Point, on the road leading to Dumfries, I think that there is not more than one regiment. Lately their camp fires have not been so distinct or numerous at these points. About two weeks since two vessels shelled the railroad depot at Aquia Creek. Their batteries did not reply. The next day troops were marched to Aquia, and now I have reason to believe that three regiments are there, and an additional rifled gun placed in their battery at that point, with which they have practiced, without effect, on one of the vessels. There has been an encampment at Hook’s Landing, and a field battery drawn occasionally to Boyd’s Hole, but lately the battery has disappeared. The camp has been shelled, but I think without effect. It sets too far back for the range of our guns.

This morning I made a reconnaissance of Occoquan Bay. Their main encampment seems to be about 2 miles back from the bay, extending from Occoquan towards Neabsco Creek. Back of Neabsco Creek, near the junction of the roads from Colchester and Occoquan towards Dumfries, there appears to be a considerable breastwork thrown up, but no guns are visible. A body of cavalry was fired upon, but their field battery was not brought down as before.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. WYMAN, Lieutenant, Commanding Potomac Flotilla.

{p.708}

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HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Arlington, Virginia, January 26, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report as follows in answer to your telegram of the 23d instant, inquiring whether, in the event of a forward movement, there are any regiments in my command unfit either in point of equipments or discipline for the emergencies of the field:

WADSWORTH’S BRIGADE.

Twentieth New York, armed with Austrian rifled muskets.

Twenty-first New York, armed with Springfield rifled muskets.

Twenty-third New York, armed with Enfield rifled muskets.

Twenty-fifth New York, armed with Austrian rifled muskets.

Equipped and well disciplined for volunteers.

KING’S BRIGADE.

Second Wisconsin, Austrian rifled muskets.

Sixth Wisconsin, Belgian rifled muskets.

Seventh Wisconsin, Springfield altered smooth bore.

Nineteenth Indiana, Springfield rifled muskets.

The muskets of the Seventh Wisconsin are reported as bad, and that the men lack confidence in them.

The brigade is equipped, with some slight exceptions, and well disciplined for volunteers. The Nineteenth Indiana the least so. A special report will be made as to this regiment after a special inspection next Monday.

AUGUR’S BRIGADE.

Fourteenth New York (Brooklyn), Springfield rifled.

Twenty-second New York, smooth-bore Springfield.

Twenty-fourth New York, rifled muskets, caliber .58.

Thirtieth New York, Springfield rifled.

Equipped and well disciplined for volunteers. The Twenty-second need other guns.

CAVALRY.

Second New York (Ira Harris). Equipped, save that 100 horses are required. Drill and discipline good for volunteers; above average. One company-a new one-defective in drill, but are armed with carbines, and are said to be good marksmen.

ARTILLERY.

Company B, Fourth Artillery. Manned mostly by volunteers; good.

Rhode Island Battery. Good for volunteers.

New Hampshire Battery. Good for volunteers. Not as good as Rhode Island.

Pennsylvania Battery. Reported by Captain Gibbon as not in a fit condition to take the field. The materials, the officers and men and horses are all good, but the battery is not instructed.

The batteries lack ammunition, and the regular battery, Napoleon guns, need extra caisson to carry sufficient ammunition.

The change of small-arms leaves the division for the moment short of ammunition; a deficiency soon supplied.

The men would suffer much less were they supplied with-

1st. India-rubber ponchos, to answer for shelter tents.

2d. Cowhide boots; two-thirds have them.

{p.709}

3d. Portable camp equipage, such as was determined upon by the Major-General Commanding last summer.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

IRVIN MCDOWELL, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, January 27, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have already acknowledged your communication of the 20th instant.*

From the most reliable information received from others, and from my own personal observation, I am of opinion that the mode to attack the rebels productive of the greatest results will be to commence on the left of my line at Aquia Creek with one brigade, on the following morning to assault their batteries in front with two columns of a regiment each, and the day following with as much of my division as I can cross; land at or near Powell or Neabsco Creek, advance on the Colchester road, attack in rear the rebel batteries planted to dispute the passage of the Occoquan, and open the doors for Heintzelman to cross that river.

My reasons for preferring to commence on the left are that at Liverpool Point I can embark the necessary force without exposing my object, can move to the point of landing without being observed, and can destroy their batteries and depot before it will be in their power to parry the blow, except with the force now in that vicinity. The effect of this on my command will be to inspire confidence. On the enemy, it will deprive a portion of them of their depot of supplies; with the balance it will threaten their communication with Richmond, and if it does not put some of them en route, and their roads resemble ours, will compel their regiments to locate nearer their new depots.

The primary object in delivering an attack on my immediate front I consider should be to destroy the batteries in order to give us the free use of the river, and not to give battle; for there are other fields equally accessible, affording greater advantages. Its proximity to the masses of the enemy is a great objection to our attempting to cross the broad Potomac in any considerable force, for it can be executed with more chances of success lower down the river, and when once there the enemy will be more or less crippled from the condition of the country as it regards the difficulty of moving artillery and trains. They must move, for they must protect their communication to the rear.

It is recommended that the assault be made in two columns, for the reason that Quantico Creek divides the batteries and is not fordable below Dumfries, and to attempt to turn it would force us into an engagement under disadvantageous circumstances. Finally, I consider that the possession of that bank of the river, leaving out of consideration the batteries, affords neither army any particular advantages.

With regard to the movement to relieve Heintzelman and its consequences, it is open to the objection of proximity to the rebels; but, considering its advantages, as they are presented to one not at all acquainted with the views and intentions of the Major-General Commanding, {p.710} I have ventured to recommend it. If resisted, the force necessary can be landed under the guns of the flotilla, and can advance with great hope of success.

The successful execution of all of these movements will call into exercise great secrecy, dispatch, resolution, and, indeed, all the brightest virtues of a soldier, but with the relative position of the two armies, as I understand them, to no greater degree than will be required for an advance anywhere along the whole line. The enemy have the advantage in position-they in the center; we on the circumference, with great natural and artificial obstacles between.

As it regards the details of execution, I inclose herewith a sketch taken by Lieutenant Magaw,* commanding lower flotilla, which represents with great accuracy the position of the depot, the batteries, and number of guns in each. I determined on the lower point of Split Rock to land, as there we have 4 feet water, and can march directly to the rear of the batteries.

From my best information I believe but three regiments are stationed here to work and defend these guns, and those are on the opposite side of the hill from them. No tents are visible about the batteries.

As the vessels of the flotilla have but limited capacity for transporting troops, and the most of them draw too much water, I recommend that canal-boats be used, and have them towed across by one of the tugs. Enough of them should be employed to transport 4,000 men, and should be sent to Liverpool Point at a time not to excite remark. I shall take no horses or baggage. On board the Freeborn are two 12-pounder howitzers with light carriages that I wish to take along, with a few artillerists. The men can haul them.

The batteries at Shipping Point are the same as when the sketch was taken forwarded to you through Colonel Small. They appear to have a company each to work the guns, and one regiment as a support, encamped near the figure 8 on the sketch. These batteries are on what is called an island formed by the waters of the Quantico and Chopawamsic almost uniting. A bridge connects it with the mainland on the south, recently built. Both the streams run through deep and miry channels; in fact, impassable except by the bridge. This can easily be destroyed. For this reason it may be deemed expedient to land directly on the island in the vicinity of the saw-mill. Here the water is shoal, and will require boats of light draught. To land by the aid of lighters would greatly hazard the success of the movement. After the guns are spiked the flotilla can take position to render great assistance.

The battery at Possum Nose has been established recently. It has four guns, two pointing up and two down the river. It is midway between Cockpit Point battery and what is called Newport Town. There appears to be a company to each battery to work the guns, and a regiment almost in rear of Cockpit Point to serve as supports. The steamer Baltimore, of the flotilla, will be a good transport for this service. The assaults on these batteries and those of Shipping Point should be simultaneous, and vessels of the flotilla should take positions to co-operate. At or near Powell’s Creek will be a good landing.

To cross my division will require all the transportation named above, the use of the flotilla, and then may have to make two trips for the men. Another division will be required for this service, and should be landing near by at the same time.

{p.711}

My balloon having failed me up to this time, I am unable to report the position of the rebel camps in the distance. From the smoke I judge that two or three regiments are encamped behind the high ground in rear of Shipping Point batteries. Camp marked 7 has entirely disappeared. With my glass I can see camps north of Dumfries stretching off in the direction of Colchester. They occupy a position to dispute the passage of the Potomac or Occoquan, as may be needed. By referring to the sketch of Lieutenant Magaw two batteries will be observed at the mouth of Potomac Creek. I learn that they are supported by about 300 men. These appear to invite capture.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., January 29, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Willard’s Hotel:

GENERAL: You will please report to this Department the state of the force under your command, and whether you are in condition to make an advance movement across the Potomac, if ordered; and, if not, what is needed to place you in that condition.

Yours, &c.,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, January 30, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: In compliance with instructions contained in your letter of the 28th instant, I have the honor to forward to you the inclosed statement of the troops of the different arms of the service now serving in this army, namely:

Commissioned officers.Enlisted men.Total.
Infantry7,297162,936170,233
Cavalry1,03721,46022,497
Artillery63315,17315,806
Sharpshooters601,4091,469
Engineer corps771,8831,960
9,104202,861211,965

Referring to the inclosed table for further details,* I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Detailed statement omitted. The stations much the same as indicated on p. 732.

{p.712}

OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, February 1, 1862.

Col. A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: In compliance with the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief, communicated through you, I, in company with Captain Duane, engineer, had an interview with General Banks in reference to the means of crossing his army over the Upper Potomac. He stated that his orders were to be prepared to cross at short notice, to operate against the heavy columns of the enemy in Winchester Valley and westward, and appeared to be impressed with the idea that a bateau bridge (or, in other words, such a bridge equipage as we have provided for the Army of the Potomac, for it amounts to this) was important and indispensable. I expressed my conviction that to cross a river like the Potomac at this season, to encounter an enemy who has the power to make himself superior, on an ordinary pontoon bridge, which may be swept away in twenty-four hours or less, that for a great many reasons, which I need not introduce here, I considered Harper’s Ferry the best place to cross, and whether that was selected as the place or not it must be held, and a bridge communication kept up there; that canal-boats and materials (according to Lieutenant Babcock’s statement) could be easily accumulated there, and that a bridge could be established in forty-eight hours; that if other secure crossings were wanted above, they must be established after the passage of our armies; and, finally, that if circumstances should dictate to him a passage at another point, I believe a flying bridge made of two canal-boats could be promptly established, would be comparatively secure, and would possess a capability of carrying over troops nearly equal to a bateau bridge.

Should these reasons not appear satisfactory, and a bateau bridge be decided necessary, and that to be capable of transportation, so that the point of passage may be selected or changed at will, then we can only meet the demand by ordering an equipage of fifty boats, with wagons and teams (100), and with it should be sent one or two companies of engineer troops. To build such an equipage would require three or four weeks, and it could not be supplied in shorter time unless the general chooses to send some of the equipage already provided. General Banks’ idea of the economy of resorting to a bateau bridge was founded upon an imperfect idea of what was necessary to constitute one.

The general left me, saying he would consider the subject further.

Captain Duane coincides with me in these views.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

J. G. BARNARD, Chief Engineer.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 9.}

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, A. G. O., Washington, February 1, 1862.

I. The States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are added to the limits of the Department of the Potomac.

...

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

{p.713}

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Memorandum accompanying letter of President to General McClellan dated February 3, 1862.*

1st. Suppose the enemy should attack us in force before we reach the Occoquan, what I In view of the possibility of this, might it not be safest to have our entire force to move together from above the Occoquan?

2d. Suppose the enemy in force shall dispute the crossing of the Occoquan, what I In view of this, might it not be safest for us to cross the Occoquan at Colchester rather than at the village of Occoquan? This would cost the enemy two miles more of travel to meet us, but would, on the contrary, leave us 2 miles farther from our ultimate destination.

3d. Suppose we reach Maple Valley without an attack, will we not be attacked there in force by the enemy marching by the several roads from Manassas; and, if so, what

* See p. 41.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, MEDICAL DIRECTOR’S OFFICE, February 6, 1862.

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor to inclose a tabulated report of the sick in the several divisions and brigades of the Army of the Potomac as far as the returns in this office will enable me to do so.

I have to observe that these tables show the whole number of sick in the regiments, whether in quarters or hospital, as reported by the medical officers. Of the men thus reported, more than one-half are affected with trivial complaints, that could scarcely justify their being left behind in case the army should be put in motion.

In the cavalry regiments the sick report is swollen considerably in consequence of injuries to the men received from the horses. A very considerable item in many of the regiments is due to the number of men waiting discharges in consequence of disqualification from old physical infirmities.

Among the regular troops the sick report is seriously increased by the number of venereal cases, some of which were received from California; others contracted here.

Measles, which seems to be scourging the whole Army of the United States, still breaks out from time to time in different regiments. Berdan’s Sharpshooters have been and are still severely affected with that disease. It is hoped that hospital and field arrangements already made and in progress will soon abate this evil. It will be perceived that among the Vermont troops in Brooks’ brigade there is a wide difference in the ratio of sick between the Second and Third Regiments and the other three. I have already endeavored to give some explanation of this is in a former report. I have now to state that I have sent a large detachment of convalescents to Philadelphia in order to make room for the sick of this brigade in the general hospitals, in hopes some beneficial effect may result to the well from removing the sick from their sight, thus avoiding the depressing influence of the daily observation of so much sickness among their comrades.

{p.714}

As a general rule it would seem, as is natural, that the ratio of sick is inversely as the military age of the men. When a departure from this rule is perceived, as it will be in certain brigades, one important reason for it will probably be found in the lax and inefficient discipline of the regiment. I called attention to an instance of that sort a few days since, and was told that the regiment was demoralized from the inefficiency of the officers.

I ask attention in this place to a letter I have received from Brigadier-General Peck, a copy of which I inclose to show how much may be done by attention to certain sanitary measures that I have frequently suggested, and which have been more than once directed from your office. If officers could be impressed with the necessity of such measures, and convinced of their certain beneficial results, I feel sure they would ad be zealous in enforcing them.

I am gratified to be able to state that typhoid fever, which I feared would seriously increase with the cold weather, has been much decreased in a very great majority of the regiments, and upon the whole I think I am justified in saying that the sanitary condition of this army is very satisfactory.

I take this occasion to say that I have sent an inspector of hospitals to Lander’s division, and that as soon as the inspections of Alexander’s and Duane’s commands are completed, I shall send another to Perryville, Md., where I have just learned that typhoid fever has appeared and is increasing in one of the regular regiments stationed at that point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. S. TRIPLER, Surgeon and Medical Director Army of the Potomac.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

Brigade and regiment.Mean strength.Total sick.Percentage.Brigade strength.Brigade sick.Brigade percentage.Division strength.Division sick.Percentage.
STONE’S DIVISION.
GORMAN’S BRIGADE.
First Minnesota960323.33
Second New York State Militia832303.601,792623.46
COLONEL GROSVENOR.
Seventh Michigan990202.02
Twentieth Massachusetts637304.71
Andrew Sharpshooters6397111.112,2661215.34
BURNS’ BRIGADE.
Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania952293.41
Seventy-first Pennsylvania1,129262.30
Seventy-second Pennsylvania1,415503.53
One hundred and sixth Pennsylvania1,036151.45
Light artillery585233.9351.171432.79
Tammany Forty-second New York803546.72
Fifteenth Massachusetts809688.40
Van Alen Cavalry860232.67
Company I, First Artillery15064.002,6221515.7511,7974774.04 {p.715}
MCCALL’S DIVISION.
REYNOLDS’ BRIGADE.
Second Pennsylvania Reserves519214.04
Eighth Pennsylvania Reserves885404.52
Fifth Pennsylvania Reserves936454.80
First Pennsylvania Reserves894637.043,2341695.22
MEADE’S BRIGADE.
Seventh Pennsylvania Reserves913515.58
Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves968383.92
Third Pennsylvania Reserves930646.88
Fourth Pennsylvania Reserves809415.063,6201945.22
ORD’S BRIGADE.
Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves972444.52
Sixth Pennsylvania Reserves966495.07
Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves96570.72
Twelfth Pennsylvania Reserves846374.373,7491373.65
First Pennsylvania Rifles889677.53
First Pennsylvania Artillery375225.87
First Pennsylvania Cavalry8909610.772,1541858.5812,7576855.37
F. J. PORTER’S DIVISION.
MARTINDALE’S BRIGADE.
Twenty-second Massachusetts1,157474.06
Second Maine7007610.85
Eighteenth Massachusetts973484.93
Twenty-fifth New York636121.88
Thirteenth New York700395.574,1662225.32
MORELL’S BRIGADE.
Fourteenth New York950474.94
Fourth Michigan1,050292.76
Ninth Massachusetts1,017313.04
Sixty-second Pennsylvania1,120554.914,1371643.96
BUTTERFIELD’S BRIGADE.
Seventeenth New York800334.12
Stockton’s Michigan [Sixteenth]840394.64
Eighty-third Pennsylvania1,023727.02
Forty-fourth New York1,040403.843,7031845.35
CAVALRY BRIGADE.
Third Pennsylvania Cavalry1,090454.13
Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry1,110746.662,2001195.4014,2066894.85 {p.716}
HOOKER’S DIVISION.
SICKLES’ BRIGADE.
First Excelsior1,020302.04
Second Excelsior900455.00
Third Excelsior978676.85
Fourth Excelsior79930.38
Fifth Excelsior864485.554,5611934.23
COWDIN’S BRIGADE.
First Massachusetts850323.76
Eleventh Massachusetts874303.54
Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania900424.66
Second New Hampshire1,000242.40
Third Indiana Cavalry55071.274,1741363.25
COL. S. R. STARR’S BRIGADE.
Fifth New Jersey Volunteers914576.24
Sixth New Jersey Volunteers936434.60
Seventh New Jersey Volunteers919515.55
Eighth New Jersey Volunteers954474.903,7231985.3212,4585274.22
BLENKER’S DIVISION.
STAHEL’S BRIGADE.
Forty-fifth New York896192.12
Eighth New York947555.80
Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania692192.74
Thirty-ninth New York882151.703,4171083.16
STEINWEHR’S BRIGADE.
Fifty-fourth New York813516.27
Twenty-ninth New York672334.91
Seventy-third Pennsylvania603224.37
Sixty-eighth New York807212.602,7951274.54
BOHLEN’S BRIGADE.
Fifty-eighth New York650588.92
Thirty-fifth Pennsylvania732243.27
Fortieth Pennsylvania868323.682,2501145.06
NOT BRIGADED.
Fourth New York Cavalry750385.06
Forty-first New York Volunteers905343.751,655724.3510,1174214.15
SMITH’S DIVISION.
HANCOCK’S BRIGADE.
Sixth Maine940778.19
Forty-third New York750699.00
Forty-ninth Pennsylvania85014917.53
Fifth Wisconsin998646.413,53835910.12 {p.717}
BROOKS BRIGADE.
Second Vermont1,021878.53
Third Vermont900849.33
Fourth Vermont1,04724423.30
Fifth Vermont1,00027127.10
Sixth Vermont97022423.004,93891016.40
BRANNAN’S BRIGADE.
Forty-ninth New York876738.34
Thirty-third New York800415.13
Forty-seventh Pennsylvania982444.88
Seventh Maine80810713.243,4662657.64
Cameron Cavalry1,000969.601,000969.6012,9421,63012.60
CASEY’S DIVISION.
FIRST BRIGADE.
One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania924222.38
Fifty-sixth New York1,4801177.90
Eleventh Maine920919.89
Fifty-second Pennsylvania85011914.004,1742498.38
SECOND BRIGADE.
Fifty-ninth New York849333.94
Eighty-sixth New York900444.88
Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania849364.242,5981134.35
THIRD BRIGADE.
Ninth New Jersey1,143443.85
Eighty-fifth New York900677.45
Seventy-seventh New York900202.22
Eighty-seventh New York875313.543,8181624.24
PROVISIONAL BRIGADE.
Sixty-fourth New York89216119.1889216119.1811,4427856.83
GENERAL SYKES’ BRIGADE2,4951365.45
Colonel Hunt’s artillery reserve1,6771258.05
GENERAL COOKE’S BRIGADE.
First Regiment U. S. Cavalry42448
Second Regiment, seven companies50661
Fourth Regiment, two companies
Fifth Regiment63260
Sixth Regiment9841012,54626010.21
NOT BRIGADED.
First Berdan Sharpshooters745719.53
Second Berdan Sharpshooters72013218.331,46520313.85 {p.718}
KEYES’ DIVISION.
COUCH’S BRIGADE.
Seventh Massachusetts1,005201.99
Thirty-sixth New York800172.12
Second Rhode Island87740.45
Tenth Massachusetts1,011333.263,693742.00
PECK’S BRIGADE.
Fifty-fifth New York600101.66
Sixty-second New York902202.21
Thirteenth Pennsylvania1,106262.35
Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania824101.21
Ninety-third Pennsylvania1,018353.434,4501012.26
GRAHAM’S BRIGADE.
First Long Island817121.46
Twenty-third Pennsylvania1,460644.38
Thirty-first Pennsylvania880131.47
Sixty-third Pennsylvania850495.82
Batteries of artillery268632.314,2752014.7011,4003763.29
MCDOWELL’S DIVISION.
KING’S BRIGADE.
Sixth Wisconsin960766.04
Seventh Wisconsin996404.11
Second Wisconsin821576.94
Nineteenth Indiana892707.843,6692687.17
WADSWORTH’S BRIGADE.
Twenty-first New York735233.12
Twenty-third New York878313.54
Thirty-fifth New York976353.59
Twentieth New York915374.043,5041263.59
AUGUR’S BRIGADE.
Thirtieth New York800334.12
Twenty-second New York.837242.85
Twenty-fourth New York825536.42
Fourteenth New York (State Militia)650243.693,1121344.30
Second New York Cavalry98210710.89
Batteries of artillery563193.371,5451268.1511,8306495.49
HEINTZELMAN’S DIVISION.
RICHARDSON’S BRIGADE.
Second Michigan1,000575.70
Third Michigan935434.60
Fifth Michigan930424.52
Thirty-seventh New York727557.563,3921975.80
SEDGWICK’S BRIGADE.
Third Maine800263.25
Fourth Maine864364.17
Thirty-eighth New York718415.71
Fortieth New York957606.273,3391634.58
JAMESON’S BRIGADE.
Sixty-third Pennsylvania1,037494.74
Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania620619.84
Sixty-first Pennsylvania579264.49
One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania934889.423,1702247.17
First Now Jersey Cavalry1,000696.90
Three batteries artillery41151.233,411745.2411,3126585.81 {p.719}
FRANKLIN’S DIVISION.
KEARNY’S BRIGADE.
First Now Jersey1,000343.40
Second New Jersey1,027333.21
Third New Jersey1,040323.07
Fourth New Jersey884283.163,9511273.21
NEWTON’S BRIGADE.
Thirty-second New York775395.03
Thirty-first New York850455.29
Eighteenth New York779384.87
Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania985363.653,3891584.66
SLOCUM’S BRIGADE.
Twenty-seventh New York840495.03
Sixteenth New York90010111.22
Fifth Maine8289211.11
Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania927323.45
Batteries of artillery434235.30
Lincoln Cavalry1,10011110.005,0294008.1112,3696935.60
BANKS’ DIVISION.
Twenty-seventh Indiana1,005333.28
Ninth New York State Militia1,016292.85
Second Massachusetts Volunteers990626.26
Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania volunteers916232.51
Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers1,551251.61
Forty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers934515.46
Nineteenth Now York Volunteers664314.67
Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers1,005111.09
First Maryland Volunteers.912141.53
Twelfth Massachusetts Volunteers1,00840.40
Fourth Artillery, Company F19894.54
First Pennsylvania Artillery, Company A
First Michigan Cavalry1,121625.53
Third Wisconsin Volunteers935343.64
Thirtieth Pennsylvania Volunteers651203.07
Sixteenth Indiana882707.93
Seven companies First Virginia Regiment Volunteers725334.55
Second Home Brigade
Twenty-eighth New York Volunteers706365.10
Fifth Connecticut Volunteers935202.25
Twelfth Indian Volunteers.958151.57
First Regiment Home Brigade8959010.05
Division Hospital at Frederick City13218,0071,0595.88 {p.720}
SUMNER’S DIVISION.
HOWARD’S BRIGADE.
Fifth New Hampshire90810210.22
Fourth Rhode Island
Sixty-first New York7258111.17
Eighty-first Pennsylvania.750354.672,4732188.82
MEAGHER’S BRIGADE.
Sixty-third New York713334.63
Sixty-ninth New York694334.75
Eighty-eighth New York689355.452,0661014.89
FRENCH’S BRIGADE.
Fifty-second New York712415.75
Fifty-seventh New York728212.88
Sixty-sixth New York738537.18
Fifty-third Pennsylvania940727.663,1181875.96
Eighth Illinois Cavalry1,12322019.591,12322019.598,7807268.04
MISCELLANEOUS.
General Hospital, Baltimore254
Dix’s division-total13,4421,1298.32

[Inclosure No. 2.]

HEADQUARTERS BRIGADE, Tennallytown, D. C., February 5, 1862.

Surg. CHARLES S. TRIPLER, Medical Director Army of the Potomac:

SIR: When so many statements are flying about touching the health of this army, I desire to invite your attention to the reports from my brigade, which seem to show that its sanitary condition is very excellent. With five regiments, in this rainy season, the number of sick had been as low as 59, and averaging about 70.

This state of things is not accidental, but mainly the results of a well-digested system persistently followed. Camps have been changed frequently. Tents have been often struck; the ground cleaned and aired. Side hills and high ground have been preferred. Much attention has been paid to drainage. Troops were not allowed to go below the surface in their tents. Vaccination has been general.

I am fortunate in having a skillful, intelligent, and faithful brigade surgeon.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN J. PECK, Brigadier-General.

{p.721}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Wheeling, February 7, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit for the consideration of the General-in-Chief the following:

1. Up to the present date there is but little force of rebels scattered along the southern and western border of this department and covering the railroad lines adjacent thereto.

2. Two columns organized as secretly as possible, with pack-trains and shelter-tents, instead of wagons and tents, carrying hand-mills for grinding corn for bread, one moving from Big Sandy Valley, the other from Raleigh Court-House, would be able to strike the Southwestern Virginia and Tennessee Railroad at Abingdon on the west and Central on the east, and completely break that road up and hold the valley.

3. The present force in the Big Sandy and Guyandotte Valleys, aided by one or two more regiments and under one commander, would suffice for one column. Five more regiments in Kanawha Valley would give strength enough for the other; that is to say, eight more regiments, including one of cavalry, would answer and hold the Kanawha Valley strongly enough for all probable purposes.

4. There would be required not more than 2,000 animals in addition to those now on hand to carry out these plans.

5. I have now about 100 trained packers, and orders are being executed by which all the teamsters of every regiment in this department will be instructed in packing.

6. There may probably be found forage enough on the routes to subsist the trains through to the valley and certainly enough there.

7. If the General-in-Chief sees great military advantages in carrying out the complete disruption of that rebel railroad route, and will give me directions to prepare the ways and means of doing it on the general plan indicated, or any modification thereof found desirable, and will place the west side of Big Sandy with its present force under my command, I will be answerable for the work.

8. I wish orders in reference [to] General Denver, who informs me he is ordered to report to me.

9. I wish Hartsuff to command the Big Sandy column if I can possibly get him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army

–––

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION AT FREDERICK, February 10, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Owing to the discontent existing among the rebel troops, and the oppressive measures adopted to force citizens of Virginia into the service of the Confederate States, the number of deserters and refugees from rebels at Hancock is becoming very large, and the expense of transportation correspondingly great. Cannot we limit the number {p.722} sent forward to Washington upon some safe principle of discrimination, so as to avoid the otherwise necessary expenditures?

I am, general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, February 14, 1862.

Brig. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, Commanding Department of Western Virginia:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 7th is received. The general idea of your proposed march is an excellent one, but allow me to suggest for your consideration a modification.

I have reason to believe that there is a fair pike leading from Prestonburg, Ky., to Abingdon, the usual road followed by drovers, &c., the distance between the two points being about 70 miles in a right line, and the Sandy being navigable to Prestonburg nearly all the year. If this be so, this line would seem to present the most favorable chance, and the operation could be conducted with wagons several weeks earlier than would be practicable by the route you suggest.

I would be glad to have you take this matter into consideration and inform me of the conclusions at which you arrive.

In haste, very truly, yours,.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding U. 8. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, February 15, 1862.

General LANDER:

From the information received here as to the strength of the enemy at Romney, and from the fact that he is establishing a telegraph line between Winchester and Romney, it is supposed that he is determined to hold that place at all hazards.

Under these circumstances the Commanding General desires me to enjoin the utmost caution upon you in your movements. As you are on the spot you can better see how favorable the occasion may be for a contest with the enemy than the Commanding General, but no desperate risks are to be incurred, no uncertainty of result to be hazarded. The General’s designs are not such as to include any unnecessary hazard at this moment.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

JAS. A. HARDIE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Aide-de-Camp.

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FEBRUARY 15, 1862-9.45 p.m.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff:

It is out of the question to make the attack to-night. It is not yet reported to me that the boats from Baltimore have arrived. In other respects I am not ready. I must point out to two or three of my colonels from this shore my plan of attack, and must have daylight {p.723} to do it in. I must know if I am to have the co-operation of the flotilla, and to what extent. If so, I must have an interview with the captain commanding, and have an understanding, that we may act in concert.

Nor is the night auspicious, for a boat is visible on the water for a greater distance than the width of this river. I have no reasons for preferring the mode of attack already suggested by me except those furnished.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, Frederick, Md., February 17, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: On the day I received your instructions to report the condition of my division with reference to advance movements, orders were issued to increase its artillery and effect an immediate exchange of inefficient for efficient arms. So much uncertainty attends the execution of orders issued, that I deemed proper to defer a final answer to your inquiries until the full effect of these orders should be ascertained.

It gives me infinite pleasure now to inform you that my division, so far as my armament is concerned, is in condition for any service. Instead of four 6-pounder smooth-bore guns, I have now with the troops at Frederick three full batteries of 10-pounder Parrotts, and these, with the guns accompanying the different detachments on the river, which we actively guard and defend for more than 100 miles, will constitute an artillery force of five full batteries available for active service. Imperfect muskets are in daily process of exchange for good weapons. The health of the division is not surpassed by any division in the Army, and the men have a very sharp appetite for work.

Altogether I am happy to report my division in excellent condition for hard work.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, February 17, 1862-12 m.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

The steamer Columbia, with four barges, arrived at Liverpool Point at 9 o’clock last night. She reports that the remaining six barges will arrive some time to-day.

When in Washington last the Major-General Commanding reported that an experiment was being made to have these barges bridged to enlarge their capacity for transporting troops, but as no frames have arrived for that purpose, I conclude the project has been abandoned. I request that I may be informed if it has, been ascertained by experiment, or only by measurement, that ten barges of the class sent me call transport 4,000 troops. As the experiment here will attract attention, I have been indisposed to make it.

The rain of to-day indicates that a favorable moment for my enterprise {p.724} is close at hand. I must have a dark morning, for if the enemy observe my movements early the news can be communicated to Dumfries, and I shall have a larger force thrown on me than I can conveniently handle. The snow and moon together would be fatal to my success.

Be pleased to telegraph me respecting the capacity of the barges.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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FEBRUARY 18, 1862-8 p.m.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS:

It has been reported to me, and I credit it, that about 250 rebels have been breaking ground directly across from Liverpool Point to-day. The river is 3 1/2 miles across at that point, and if for the purpose of establishing a battery, it can do no harm. If they cannot strike vessels distant 1 mile, they are not to be apprehended at more than three times that distance. It is estimated that about 250 men are at work there. The balloon was up all the morning, but the observations were unsatisfactory-the atmosphere being thick in the morning and foggy in the evening. The snow also obscures the outlines of the camps.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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FEBRUARY 18, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS:

With the data before me I am of opinion that the invasion of Virginia by Fouke’s Landing or Boyd’s Hole will be productive of the same results as at Aquia, with this difference: it gives us a better country to campaign in. The effect on the war in Eastern Virginia would depend very much on the strength of the column. If of three divisions, it would compel the enemy in the north to fall back without his railroads, enable us to take Richmond, or, if considered of more importance, capture Magruder’s command.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, February 20, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

As Captain Wyman did not call on me on his return, as was expected by the Major-General Commanding in his letter of the 17th instant and not knowing but that there might be something remaining which that officer had not communicated to me, I visited him this p.m. This was my earliest opportunity of doing so.

I learned nothing of the subject of our meeting which had not already been communicated in his letter of the 18th instant,* and which was answered by my letter to Brig. Gen. S. Williams on the same day.

My observations from the balloon satisfy me that the batteries in my {p.725} front can be stormed and carried in the manner I have already communicated whenever a suitable night presents itself for that service; or, if that should not be deemed the most satisfactory mode of destroying them, I now have the means, with the aid of the flotilla, of landing three brigades of my division on the rebel shore and of demolishing the batteries regularly.

To do this I would begin the attack on Cockpit Point, and march down the river, crossing the Quantico by boats. With six Dahlgren howitzers from high ground on the north side of the Quantico I can drive the rebels from the batteries at Shipping Point in two hours. These guns, with ammunition, I can procure from the flotilla.

The Whitworth guns have arrived, if these guns possess the virtues assigned them, I believe that the camps of all the supports of the batteries can be broken up. I will know as soon as I can have them put in position.

The steamer Page will also be in danger, if I am not mistaken.

The free navigation of the river will give us immense advantage over the rebels, particularly so long as the roads remain in their present condition, and the destruction of the batteries will in no way expose future intentions of the Major-General in the conduct of the war.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

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FREDERICK, MD., February 22, 1862.

General R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, &c.:

GENERAL: In relation to the subject considered in the interview with General McClellan, I am able to report that the troops of this division are ready for immediate movement. The quartermaster and commissary are completing their arrangements for transportation and supplies. As soon as the additional troops which were spoken of by General McClellan can be designated and put in communication with us, the General can put us on the march.

Colonel Geary is prepared to occupy the Loudoun Heights. Parties to which I referred for destroying the bridge designated by me, and one other westward, if possible, on the same railway, crossing the sources of Goose Creek, which falls into the Potomac at Edwards Ferry, are at work. These are bridges spanning streams as wide as the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry, although less rapid and deep, and the opinion is expressed here that once broken they could not be reconstructed in some weeks. The engineers will have explained their views of the most practicable crossing. My own opinion, after such reflection as I could give the subject, is that the pontoon train will serve best for the first crossing; it can be thrown across in a few hours, and we can transport artillery and supply wagons across by hand instead of teams, if necessary. The canal-boat bridge can be constructed immediately after, and the railway company will replace theirs in two weeks’ time for permanent use.

The Charlestown road is the best for travel, and carries us to the weakest points of the town. I am entirely satisfied that the outline of movement suggested will be a successful one.

I should be glad to receive the maps of that part of Virginia which exhibits the roads at Romney, Unger’s, Bloomery Gap, &c., and the details {p.726} of information of the field works, &c., at W-, which you were kind enough to say you would send me within a day or two.

All rebel troops, except pickets, have been withdrawn from Martinsburg and fallen back to Winchester. Rumor suggests two objects in this movement: the first is, that they contemplate moving to Richmond; the second is, that Jackson will move again on Romney. My own impression is that they stand at Winchester.

The report of Mr. Faulkner’s speech is confirmed by Colonel Leonard, who says it is undoubtedly correct.

The day has been observed by all classes of people here; salutes were fired, and “the address” was read to a very large concourse of soldiers and citizens. The services were impressive, and will produce an excellent effect here.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, &c.

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HDQS. DIVISION, FREDERICK, MD., February 23, 1862.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, &c.:

GENERAL: My letter of Saturday missed the messenger by accident. It is forwarded to-day. We shall accomplish all contemplated under the march in my orders received this afternoon. If the pontoon train arrives to-morrow we shall occupy Harper’s Ferry to-morrow night, and be on the road to Charlestown in the morning. It is expected Colonel Geary will seize the heights to-night. If the bridge is thrown across by Captain Duane we shall cross at night with 6,000 men, one regiment of cavalry, and 16 pieces of artillery. The cavalry will march the wagon roads, the artillery be divided between cars and road, as the weight is too great for travel at this season; their arrival will be delayed somewhat on this account. Colonel Leonard can cross at Williamsport with 1,900 men; General Williams, if not engaging the enemy with General Lander, will have 3,000 more men; and should it prove that no encounter with the enemy at Bath or in that vicinity will take place, ought we not to put in execution the plan of attack on Winchester, if the anticipated battle does not occur outside? This is a favorable opportunity. The roads to Winchester are turnpikes and in tolerable condition, and the only roads that are passable. The enemy is weak, demoralized, and depressed. The result is sure, if we can compass the force contemplated in the conference with the General Commanding. In co-operation with General Lander and General Burns with the increase of artillery and a regiment of regular cavalry, we will not ask odds of fortune. Our force alone is not sufficient, but we will gladly risk it.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, yours, &c.,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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FEBRUARY 23, 1862.

T. T. ECKERT, Washington:

I consider a favorable morning for landing of more importance than the presence of the Ericsson. I would not wait for her. If the additional force is sent, will it not be advisable to include Fredericksburg in the programme? The force directed against the batteries will soon be {p.727} at liberty to re-enforce the column directed against the last-named place. They can be landed at Fouke’s, it being nearer than at Aquia Creek. I shall require fourteen landing planks, 4 feet wide and 16 feet long, with strong ropes 15 feet long fastened at each of the four corners. If practicable, I should like two more scows, similar to those now in use, as lighters. These should not be brought here, but left with the flotilla until called for.

Please advise me what post Heintzelman will take. If the plan should embrace Fredericksburg, I should have a regiment of cavalry, in order by a night movement to destroy some of the bridges on the rebels’ chief line of communication. Will endeavor to cross over one or two light batteries for the same object.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, February 23, 1862-5 p.m.

Colonel LEONARD, Commanding at Williamsport:

SIR: Since you left information has been received that the enemy may attack Bath. If so, General Lander will give him battle and General Williams will co-operate with him. You will therefore make preparations to cross with Colonel Link and the Twelfth Indiana at Williamsport to-morrow (Monday) night. You will receive instructions tomorrow as to time. All the rest will proceed as agreed upon to-day. Please report progress to these headquarters and any information you have of enemy’s movements.

Very truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

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SANDY HOOK, February 26-10.20 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON:

The bridge was splendidly thrown by Captain Duane, assisted by Lieutenants Babcock, Reese, and Cross. It was one of the most difficult operations of the kind ever performed. I recommend Captain Duane to be made a major by brevet for his energy and skill in this matter; also Lieutenants Babcock, Reese, and Cross, all of the Corps of Engineers, to be captains by brevet. We have 8,500 infantry, 18 guns, and two squadrons of cavalry on the Virginia side. I have examined the ground and seen that the troops are in proper positions and are ready to resist any attack. Loudoun and Bolivar Heights, as well as the Maryland Heights, are occupied by us. Burns’ brigade will be here in a couple of hours, and will cross at daybreak. Four more squadrons of cavalry and several more guns pass here. Reports that G. W. Smith with 15,000 men is expected at Winchester.

Colonel Geary deserves praise for the manner in which he occupied Virginia and crossed after the construction, of the bridge. We will attempt the canal-boat bridge to-morrow. The spirit of the troops is most excellent. They are in the mood to fight anything. It is raining hard, but most of the troops are in houses.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

{p.728}

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SANDY HOOK, February 27-1 p.m.

General R. B. MARCY:

Do not send the regular infantry until further orders. Give Hooker orders not to move until further orders.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN.

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SANDY HOOK, February 27, 1862-3.30 p.m.

R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff:

The difficulties here are so great that the order for Keyes’ movement must be countermanded until the railway bridge is finished or some more permanent arrangement made. It is impossible to supply a large force here. Please inform Garrett at once.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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SANDY HOOK, February 27, 1862-3.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

The lift-lock is too small to permit the canal-boats to enter the river, so that it is impossible to construct the permanent bridge, as I intended. I shall probably be obliged to fall back upon the safe and slow plan of merely covering the reconstruction of the railroad. This will be done at once, but will be tedious. I cannot, as things now are, be sure of my supplies for the force necessary to seize Winchester, which is probably re-enforced from Manassas. The wiser plan is to rebuild the railroad bridge as rapidly as possible, and then act according to the state of affairs.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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General MCCLELLAN:

If the lift-lock is not big enough why cannot it be made big enough? Please answer immediately.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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SANDY HOOK, February 27-10.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

It can be enlarged, but entire masonry must be destroyed and rebuilt, and new gates made; an operation impossible in the present stage of water and requiring many weeks at any time. The railroad bridge can be rebuilt many weeks before this could be done.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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SANDY HOOK, February 27, 1862.

General MARCY:

Revoke Hooker’s authority, in accordance with Barnard’s opinion. Immediately on my return we will take the other plan, and push on vigorously.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

{p.729}

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BALTIMORE, February 27, 1862.

General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Headquarters:

Have this moment received the following dispatch from P. Willard, one of our supervisors of trains at Cumberland: “A man has just arrived here from Patterson’s Creek, with the information that the bridge has been fired and was burning when he left.” This bridge is within 8 miles of Cumberland, east. We fortunately have timber prepared in the vicinity. As the line is subject to raids, and the maintenance of these structures is most important to military movements as well as to our ability for repairs, pray order military guards on all important bridges west. Notwithstanding the very brief notice, we are much gratified to state that our arrangements are perfecting to accomplish hilly your wishes as to movements of batteries, troops, &c. The cars for the service ordered this morning were concentrated through the night at Washington, and we confidently expect these movements to be prompt and effective. We will feel much obliged and relieved if you can telegraph us regarding bridges from Great Cacapon west. Mr. Heskit, who takes charge of reconstructing bridge at Harper’s Ferry, has gone up on mail train; timber is also being unloaded. I trust you can grant him an interview soon after his arrival.

J. W. GARRETT, President Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

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SANDY HOOK, February 27.

J. W. GARRETT, Esq.:

Will give orders to secure bridges. Glad to hear that your measures are so effective.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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BALTIMORE, February 27, 1862.

General R. B. MARCY:

I understand that the General Commanding directs that all the arrangements for transportation of troops from Washington be stopped, and that the movements will not take place until further notice. The General Commanding also telegraphs to send back all the troops that have started, which order I have communicated to Mr. Smith, now at Relay, in charge of transportation at that point. Shall the horses and artillery be ordered back? I have directed the trains held, awaiting your instructions regarding the latter.

J. W. GARRETT, President.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., February 28, 1862-1 p.m.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:

What do you propose to do with the troops that have crossed the Potomac?

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

{p.730}

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SANDY HOOK, February 28, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON:

Your dispatch received. I propose to occupy Charlestown and Bunker Hill, so as to cover the rebuilding of the railway, while I throw over the supplies necessary for an advance in force. I have just men enough to accomplish this. I could not at present supply more.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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SANDY HOOK, February 28, 1862. (Received 9.30 p.m.)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President:

It is impossible for many days to do more than supply the troops now here and at Charlestown. We could not supply and move to Winchester for many days, and had I moved more troops here they would have been at a loss for food on the Virginia side. I know that I have acted wisely, and that you will cheerfully agree with me when I explain. I have arranged to establish depots on that side so we can do what we please. I have secured opening of the road.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, February 28, 1862..

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have received the following from General McClellan this morning:

“SANDY HOOK, February 27, 1862.

“General R. B. MARCY:

“It being impossible to build a bridge of canal-boats, as well as impossible to unload and take across the river with sufficient promptness the supplies needed by our large force, on account of the very limited space, I have determined on the course I indicated to The President and Secretary of War, viz, to cover the opening of the railway and the rebuilding of its bridges. In the mean time depots can be established, which will make an advance easy. But this requires time. The fact that canal-boats could not be used was ascertained only to-day, and I regarded the other projected operations as too important to be deferred for the time necessary to accomplish this, which Can be done at any time hereafter, the railway being meanwhile opened.

“GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, “Major-General, Commanding.”

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff.

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CHARLESTOWN, February 28, 1862-12.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have decided to occupy this town permanently, and am arranging accordingly. I make other arrangements on the right which render {p.731} us secure. You will be satisfied when I see you that I have acted wisely and have everything in hand.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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BALTIMORE, February 28, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON:

I have the pleasure of informing you that the reconstruction of the bridge over Patterson’s Creek was completed at 1 this a.m., and the road is again in order to Hancock.

J. W. GARRETT, President.

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CHARLESTOWN, VA., February 28, 1862-2 p.m.

General F. W. LANDER:.

Move with least possible delay on Martinsburg, whither Williams is also ordered at once. When you hold command in hand occupy Bunker Hill, and open your communication with this place. Cause repairs of railroad to be pushed as rapidly as possible, so as to draw your supplies from the West.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, February 28, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS, Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I received last evening the instructions of the Major-General Commanding to suspend my movement across the river until further orders. Of course it is not for me to know or inquire for influences at work to bring about this suspension.

I am permitted to state that almost every officer returning from Washington during the past week has communicated to me the fact that my command was to cross and attack the batteries, and it was even announced several days since in the Baltimore Clipper. Colonel Dwight returned last evening, and assured me that he was informed of it by Mr. Garett, I think of the Judge-Advocate’s Office, at the breakfast table some days previous. For these reasons it ought no longer to be considered as an adventure of strictly a private character.

I have found but one opportunity to experiment with the Whitworth guns. From that I am satisfied that they are unrivaled pieces for accuracy of shooting and length of range. Should have gone out with them again to-day but for the high wind; it blows a gale.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

{p.732}

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Abstract from return of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, U. S. Army, for the month of February, 1862.

Commands.Stations.Present for duty.Aggregate present and absent.Pieces of field artillery.
Officers.Men.Heavy.Field.
General staff7474
Alexandria DivisionCamp Williams, Va.49711,99714,48718
Banks’ divisionCharlestown Va.56513,67116,80132
Blenker’s divisionHunter’s Chapel, Va.4117,98510,45518
Casey’s divisionWashington, D. C.1804,1095,325
Dix’s division.Baltimore, Md.50010,54411,43020
Heintzelman’s divisionFort Lyon, Va.4429,87712,1512918
Hooker’s divisionLower Potomac, Md.38710,41712,84518
Keyes’ divisionWashington, D. C.45010,91412,80016
McCall’s divisionCamp Peirpoint Va.41510,70112,72216
McDowell’s divisionArlington, Va.52411,23013,7323453
Porter’s (F. J.) divisionHalls Hill Va.55312,93515,59624
Sedgwick’s divisionHarper’s Ferry, Va.3679,10411,47018
Lander’s divisionPaw Paw Tunnel, Va.48211,38715,73126
Smith’s divisioncamp Griffin, Va.45710,13813,24818
Sumner’s divisionCamp California, Va.3837,5209,859612
Provisional Brigade.Washington, D. C.731,1371,617
City Guard and detachmentsWashington, D. C.2294,6756,1241
Railway BrigadeAnnapolis Junction, Md.1352,8053,317
Engineer BattalionSandy Hook, Md.2197270
Engineer Brigade, volunteersWashington, D. C.521,4021,730
Cavalry regularNear Washington, D. C.792,0162,788
Cavalry, volunteerWashington, D. C.2885,7867,133
Reserve artilleryCamp Duncan, D. C.761,7262,23390
Field works and artilleryAbout Washington, D. C.2374,8695,58267
Fort WashingtonFort Washington, Md.6154198
Total7,864177,556222,01869465

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POOLESVILLE, MD., March 1, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Harper’s Ferry:

The enemy unusually demonstrative on their line of pickets to-day, exhibiting both infantry and cavalry, also six baggage wagons opposite Mason’s Island. They shelled us from their position opposite Edwards Ferry and at Ball’s Bluff this afternoon, but discontinued as soon as we replied. There were smokes in their camps. These demonstrations may be for a blind, but I am unable to assert it positively.

N. J. T. DANA, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, March 2, 1862.

S. F. BARSTOW, Assistant Adjutant-General, Camp Chase, Paw Paw:

During the illness of General Lander let the next officer in rank assume command and move the available troops on Martinsburg via Hedgesville, covering construction of roads as troops advance. General Williams will be in Martinsburg with some 5,000 men. It is desirable to have the troops of General Lander’s command in Martinsburg with least possible delay. Sufficient guards must be left to cover the railroad.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.733}

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 23.}

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, A. G. O., Washington, March 3, 1862.

I. The eastern limits of the Department of Western Virginia are extended so as to embrace the valleys of the South Branch of the Potomac and of the Cow Pasture Branch of James River, the valley of the James River to the Balcony Falls, the valley of the Roanoke west of the Blue Ridge, and the New River Valley. The eastern boundary of the said department will be then as follows: Commencing at the north, the Flinstone Creek, in Maryland; the South Branch Mountain; Town Hill Mountain; Branch Mountain, or Big Ridge; the North, or Shenandoah Mountain; Purgatory Mountain; Blue Ridge; Alleghany Mountains to the borders of North Carolina.

...

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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CHARLESTOWN, March 4, 1862.

Brig. Gen. JOHN SEDGWICK:

DEAR SIR: General Williams, commanding third brigade of my division, has probably reached Martinsburg. My belief is that he arrived there with his full force last night; if so, he has at his command 5,000 troops, and will probably to-day move on and occupy Bunker Hill. This by order of General McClellan. As soon as be moves we shall place ourselves in supporting distance and stand ready to advance upon Winchester at any moment. I desire you to place your division within supporting distance of Berryville, to which point we shall direct our force. It will give me pleasure to confer with you and your officers, if you please, either here or at Harper’s Ferry as you please, and will do so upon the receipt of your answer.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

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HDQRS. TWENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT PA. VOLS., Lovettsville, Va., March 4, 1862.

Maj. R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: In pursuance of the original intention of preventing the rebels who had infested this vicinity and that towards Leesburg from carrying out their designs of molesting our troops under transportation in trains on the Maryland side of the river, my command has held a firm and decided position at this point, keeping in check about 4,000 rebels who threatened us from Leesburg. It becomes necessary that I should hold this place a few days longer, as I have reliable information that the enemy has expressed a determination to attempt a repetition of their attacks upon the cars in the employ of our Government daily passing over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and by a bold dash put into execution a plan they have concocted to cross the river in boats and destroy a portion of the road and several viaducts, which would greatly cripple the progress on the main line of our operations. After consummating this their intention was to evacuate Leesburg and go farther south.

A general expression of loyalty has transpired in this county, and joyous manifestations of fealty to the old Government have greeted us, {p.734} and hundreds of the residents have come forward and claimed our protection from the dominion and obnoxious restrictions placed upon them by the rebel soldiery. So great has been the dependence on our power and willingness to protect them as people of the same Government and of sympathetic feelings, that it would seem almost cruel to abandon them in our withdrawal to the rage of those whom they have in their denunciations avowed as enemies. The remedy I would respectfully suggest is the taking of Leesburg, which I can accomplish with a slightly augmented force. By doing this the whole of this section of Virginia will be free to declare its undoubted Union sentiment without molestation or fear.

The rebels once driven from that point will fall back effectually, and rid a large circuit of this portion of the State of their despotism and rule of terror. I think they can be driven out of the county in a day or two, which would be very essential, as this valley is a golden granary, from which they have gathered many of their stores, and upon which the supplies for the troops in Centreville have been mainly dependent. I have materially intercepted their supply communication.

I very respectfully tender these suggestions for your consideration and await a reply thereon, and would call your attention to their bearing upon my orders to report to the division as soon as possible after the enterprise upon which I am at present engaged has been completed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. W. GEARY, Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Pa. Vols., Comdg.

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CHARLESTOWN, VA., March 4, 1862.

General R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff:

General Williams is at Martinsburg, and will move upon Bunker Hill early. Our information is that the railroad will be open to Martinsburg by the middle of the week. We have no knowledge of the position of General Lander’s forces. Letters intercepted yesterday from officers at Winchester to their families speak of expected withdrawal towards Strasburg; they are desponding in tone. General Dana observes no change in affairs at Leesburg. Hard storm yesterday; day clear and cold.

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT WESTERN VIRGINIA, Wheeling, March 4, 1862.

Hon. FRANK P. BLAIR Jr., Chairman Military Committee House of Representatives:

SIR: Owing to the negligence of officers or their inability to control the men under their command, much property has been unnecessarily destroyed by the troops in this department. Fences and houses have been burned, horses seized and appropriated, without authority or warrant of necessity. Claims for property so taken or destroyed are almost daily presented to me. This state of affairs requires some stringent preventive measures. Some legal provision embodying the substance {p.735} of the printed slips* which I have the honor to inclose would, I think, prove effectual.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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HDQRS. TWENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT PA. VOLS., Lovettsville, Va., March 5, 1862.

Maj. R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: Our scouts report this morning that 1,000 of the enemy, with artillery and 200 or 300 cavalry, have stationed themselves at Waterford, within 6 miles of us.

General Smith’s brigade, about 3,000 strong, is at Gum Spring.

Union feeling is developing itself in great magnitude in this county and masses of people come to us daily, placing themselves under our protection. The cause of the rebels is openly reviled by them, and our location here is hailed by the people as the dawning of a new era.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. W. GEARY, Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Pa. Vols., Comdg.

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MARCH 5, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS:

Have received General Marcy’s telegram.* Will make every possible effort to accomplish his wishes. I can find persons to attempt it, but have many doubts as to their being able to get on shore. The enemy’s pickets are extremely vigilant. Sickles sends me word that the rebels have been re-enforced by four regiments to-day. Do not know whether it is so or not. Will ascertain early in the morning from the balloon and let you know, if the weather is propitious.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division..

* Not found.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 52.}

HDQRS. GENERAL BANKS’ DIVISION, NEAR CHARLESTOWN, VA., March 5, 1862.

...

6. Brig. Gen. C. S. Hamilton will put his brigade in readiness and march towards Smithfield, with one battery of artillery and a squadron of cavalry, to-morrow morning, March 6, 1862, as early as practicable. General Hamilton will take position in the vicinity of Smithfield wherever in his judgment he will be in supporting distance of Brig. Gen. A. S. Williams, now at Bunker Hill. As soon as he shall have started he will send forward messengers to General Williams announcing his approach and his orders. Should circumstances compel him to advance to the support of General Williams, he will, as senior brigadier, assume command of the brigades.

...

By command of Maj. Gen. N. P. Banks:

R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.736}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, D. C., March 8, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following information relative to the forces and defenses of the Army of the Potomac obtained to this date, which has been extracted from current statements made here by spies, contrabands, deserters, refugees, and rebel prisoners of war, in the order of time as hereinafter indicated, and which at the time of reception were made the subject of special reports to you. I have also appended to this report extracts from statements, and have made the same a part of this report, a varied summary of the rebel forces and defenses of the line of the Army of the Potomac, showing by different combinations about the probable number of these forces and the locality and strength of their defenses.

By reference to the summary of this report it will be seen that a medium estimate of the rebel army of the Potomac is 115,500, located as follows, viz: At Manassas, Centreville, Bull Run, Upper Occoquan, and vicinities, 80,000; at Brooke’s Station, Dumfries, Lower Occoquan, and vicinities, 18,000; at Leesburg and vicinity, 4,500; in the Shenandoah Valley, 13,000.

Of the above-mentioned forces information has been received up to date, as shown by summary in this report, of the following specific organizations, viz: At Manassas, Centreville, Bull Run, Upper Occoquan, and vicinity, sixty-one regiments and one battalion infantry; eight regiments, one battalion, and seven independent companies cavalry; thirty-four companies artillery. At Brooke’s Station, Dumfries, Lower Occoquan, and vicinities, eighteen regiments and one battalion infantry; one regiment and six independent companies cavalry, and fifteen companies artillery. In the Shenandoah Valley, twelve regiments infantry, two brigades militia, one regiment cavalry, seven companies artillery. At Leesburg, four regiments infantry, one regiment militia, five independent companies cavalry, and one company artillery.

It is unnecessary for me to say that in the nature of the case, guarded as the rebels have ever been against the encroachment of spies and vigilant as they have always been to prevent information of their forces, movements, and designs from going beyond their lines, it has been impossible, even by the use of every resource at our command, to ascertain with certainty the specific number and character of their forces. It may, therefore, safely be assumed that in so large an army as our information shows them to possess very much of its composition and very many of its forces have not been specifically ascertained, which, added to those already known, would largely increase their numbers and considerably swell its proportions.

The summary of the general estimates shows the forces of the rebel Army of the Potomac to be 150,000, as claimed by its officers and sanctioned by the public belief, and that over 80,000 were stationed at Centreville, Manassas, and vicinity, the remainder being within easy supporting distance.

The statements of several reliable persons, who derived their information from the Commissary Department, show that in March, 1862, 80,000 daily rations were issued to the army at Manassas and Centreville; and the evidence is equally positive that each wing of the army, one in the Shenandoah Valley and the other on the Lower Potomac, had its separate {p.737} commissary department, and derived their supplies from other sources than did the main body at Manassas and Centreville.

All of which, general, is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN. [ALLEN PINKERTON.]

[Inclosure.]

JANUARY 27, 1862.

A deserter from the Sixth Louisiana Regiment states that he left Centreville about 25th December, 1861, and Manassas about January 7, 1862; that it was then understood that the rebel forces at Manassas, Centreville, and vicinity were about 60,000, under command of Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith; that he got his information from a clerk in the rebel Commissary Department; that General Taylor’s brigade, to which he belonged, was of General Smith’s division, composed of Sixth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Seymour, 840 men; Seventh Louisiana, Col. Harry Hays, 840 men; Eighth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Kelly, 900 men, and battalion of Louisiana Tigers, five companies, under the command of Major Wheat; that the headquarters of Brigadier-General Van Dorn were near Union Mills, and his cavalry pickets extend to Fairfax Court-House; that General Early’s brigade, near Bull Run, west of the railroad bridge, is composed of the Twentieth Georgia, Twenty-fourth Virginia, Thirteenth North Carolina, and two other regiments, with one battery-one of the regiments is commanded by Colonel Hope; that General Bonham’s South Carolina brigade is on the new military road from Centreville to Union Mills, composed of five regiments and one battery; that General Cox’s brigade is encamped near Centreville, on Manassas road, and includes the celebrated Eighth Virginia; that two brigades are located 2 miles from Centreville, on Stone Bridge road, and in one of them are the First Kentucky and Sixteenth Mississippi; that Stuart’s cavalry brigade is near Stone Bridge, two of the regiments under command of Colonels Fields and Radford; that Washington Artillery, four companies, under Major Walton, guns mostly brass and rifled, four mortars, is stationed on east side of New Bull Run Bridge.

Batteries.-That near General Bonham’s brigade are four half-moon batteries; several forts on the heights about Centreville, no guns mounted on any of them; that logs shaped like guns, the outer ends painted black, are put into position to appear like guns from the outside, being covered with brush to hide the character of the “guns” and hinder revealment of true state of affairs; that informant knows this to be true, having helped to make and place in position these mock guns; that the log guns are on those forts only nearest this way outside Centreville; that there are no stationary guns east side of Bull Run. Heavy guns have been taken from Manassas batteries for the blockade on the Potomac; that General Rodes’ brigade is near to mouth of Bull Run, on the Occoquan; in his brigade are the Fifth and Sixth Alabama Regiments and others not known; also the Black Horse Cavalry.

Recapitulation of forces stated as being in vicinity of Manassas, Centreville, Union Mills, Stone Bridge, and Benson’s Ford, to wit: General Taylor’s brigade, General Bonham’s brigade, General Early’s brigade, General Cox’s brigade; two brigades 2 miles west-southwest of Centreville; several regiments west side Bull Run; Stuart’s cavalry brigade; General Rodes’ brigade; Washington Artillery, four companies, 16 {p.738} guns. No troops known to have lately left for other parts of the country. Mostly in winter quarters. Troops well armed. Roads bad. Railroad from Manassas to Centreville progressing; 300 “miners” at work on it. Provisions plenty.

Conclusion: Informant entitled to credit; his statement believed truthful.

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CHARLESTOWN, VA., March 8, 1862.

General R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, &c., Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Inclosed you will please find a diagram of our positions on the base of the Smithfield road.* Our line extends from the Shenandoah to North Mountain substantially, and our pickets cover that line for 1 1/2 miles in front. We learn by dispatch from General Williams that General Shields’ forces were to arrive at Martinsburg last night. If so, this will make our contemplated strength complete.

Our troops are in good health and spirits, eager for work. I do not yet know General Shields’ strength, and therefore cannot state our exact force. We have given out here that our chief object is the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway. Our troops are, however, pressing forward in the direction of Winchester, and will gradually press upon Winchester.

Beyond the point we now occupy I have received no instructions from the Commanding General-whether we are to move on as a force destined to effect a specific object by itself or to perform a part in combined operations. I shall be glad to receive more specific instructions. If left to our own discretion, the general desire will be to move on early.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, March 8, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: The police commissioners appointed by the legislature of Maryland under the late act reorganizing the police of this city called on me last evening and announced their readiness to enter on the discharge of their duties. The act fixes the 10th of this month as the day on which their appointment takes effect; but they are not to assume their office until after the Government of the united States shall have notified them of the withdrawal of the provost-marshal and police established under its authority. This may be safely done at once, provided a provost-marshal and not exceeding 20 policemen are appointed to perform special duties, as suggested in my letter of 31st January.

I also mentioned in that letter that an appropriation of $15,000 per annum would be necessary to meet the expenses incident to the maintenance of such a force, including their compensation, which should be paid once a month, Will you please authorize me, if you approve the measure, to appoint such a force and fix their compensation? I ought also to be authorized to notify the police commissioners that the Government withdraws the provost-marshal and policemen appointed by its direction.

{p.739}

An early answer is respectfully solicited, as the police commissioners are anxious to commence the performance of their duties, and as the compensation of the police force is in arrears, and measures should be taken to pay them.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

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HALL’S HILL, VA., March 9, 1862.

The SECRETARY OF WAR:

In the arrangements for the advance of to-morrow it is impossible to carry into effect the arrangements for the formation of army corps. I am obliged to take groups as I find them and to move them by divisions. I respectfully ask a suspension of the order directing it till the present movement be over.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, March 9.

Major-General MCCLELLAN:

I think it is the duty of every officer to obey the President’s orders, nor can I see any reason why you should not obey them in present instance. I must therefore decline to suspend them.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, March 9, 1862-9.40 p.m.

General N. P. BANKS, Charlestown, Va.:

The batteries on the Lower Potomac have been abandoned by the enemy, and it is believed that they either have or are about abandoning Manassas. We have it from four different sources. The General Commanding directs that you push out strong reconnaissances towards Winchester to-morrow morning and feel the enemy. He also directs that you hold your whole command ready to move to-morrow morning.

General Dana has been directed to be ready.

R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff.

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HEADQUARTERS, Charlestown, Va., Sunday, March 9-12 p.m.

General C. S. HAMILTON:

GENERAL: Dispatch from headquarters states that batteries on the Lower Potomac are withdrawn, and it is believed that the rebels have abandoned or are about abandoning Manassas.

We are instructed to make a strong reconnaissance towards Winchester {p.740} early to-morrow. General Williams will move two regiments in that direction at daybreak, with a detachment of cavalry and two sections of artillery. You will follow with your brigade to Bunker Hill, keeping within supporting distance, and in the event of combined action upon Winchester, you will, as senior officer, assume command of the forces on that line and co-operate with the troops of this line under such orders as may be hereafter issued. The column of reconnaissance here will move upon the Berryville road as soon after daybreak as possible. General Dana is ordered to our support from Poolesville. The advance parties will avoid any general action.

Will communicate again in the early morning.

By order of-

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 57.}

HDQRS. GENERAL BANKS’ DIVISION, Near Charlestown, Va., March 9, 1862-12 p.m.

...

3. Information has been received that the enemy has abandoned the batteries on the Lower Potomac and is preparing to abandon Manassas. General Sedgwick is therefore ordered to put his command in condition to move at 7 a.m. to-morrow, and will order General W. A. Gorman to make a reconnaissance towards Winchester, on the Berryville road, to-morrow morning at daybreak, with one battery of artillery and two squadrons of cavalry.

4. Information has been received that the enemy has abandoned the batteries on the Lower Potomac and is preparing to abandon Manassas. General J. J. Abercrombie is therefore ordered to put his brigade in condition to move at 7 a.m. to-morrow.

5. It is believed that the rebels have withdrawn their batteries on the Lower Potomac and are preparing to abandon Manassas. Pursuant to instructions, we shall make a strong reconnaissance in the direction of Winchester at daybreak to-morrow morning, Monday. You will put your brigade in readiness for immediate movement, and with at least two regiments, a detachment of cavalry, and four pieces of artillery, push forward at daybreak in the direction of Winchester for purposes of reconnaissance, avoiding any general engagement with the enemy until our forces may be combined.

General C. S. Hamilton is instructed to move to Bunker Hill and keep within supporting distance, and in the event of combined operations General Hamilton, as senior officer, will assume command of the forces upon that line, and act under such orders as may be hereafter issued from these headquarters.

By command of Maj. Gen. N. P. Banks:

R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HALL’S HILL, VA., March 10, 1862-1 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

You have entirely misunderstood me, and the idea I intended to convey was simply that I could not, under the pressure of the new aspect of affairs, immediately carry out the President’s orders as to the formation {p.741} of army corps. It is absolutely necessary that I should at once move divisions as they stand. If you require me to suspend movements until army corps can be formed I will do so, but I regard it as a military necessity that the divisions should move to the front at once, without waiting for the formation of army corps. If it is your order to wait until the corps can be formed, I will, of course, wait. I will comply with the President’s order as soon as possible. I intended to do so to-morrow, but circumstances have changed. If you desire it I will at once countermand all the orders I have given for an advance until the formation of army corps is completed. I have only to add that the orders I have given to-night to advance early in the morning will be dictated solely by the present position of affairs. If the leave to suspend the order be granted, there will be no unreasonable delay in the formation of army corps. I await your reply here. If you so direct that I may countermand my orders at once, please reply at once.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., March 10, 1862.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Hall’s Bill:

GENERAL: I do not understand the President’s order as restraining you from any military movement by divisions or otherwise that circumstances in your judgment may render expedient, and I certainly do not wish to delay or change any movement whatever that you have made or desire to make. I only wish to avoid giving my sanction to a suspension of a policy which the President has ordered to be pursued. But if you think that the terms of the order as it stands would operate to retard or in any way restrain movements that circumstances require to be made before the army corps are formed, I will assume the responsibility of suspending the order for that purpose, and authorize you to make any movement by divisions or otherwise according to your own judgment, without stopping to form the army corps.

My desire is that you should exercise every power that you think present circumstances require to be exercised, without delay; but I want that you and I shall not seem to be desirous of opposing an order of the President without necessity. I say, therefore, move just as you think best now, and let the other matter stand until it can be done without impeding movements.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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HALL’S HILL, March 10, 1862-2.50 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Your reply received. The troops are in motion. I thank you for your dispatch. It relieves me much, and you will be convinced that I have not asked too much of you.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

{p.742}

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 10-8.20 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have given all the orders necessary for the movement, and soon start for Washington, merely to spend the night. I want to join my headquarters near Alexandria early in the morning. I could not leave my troops to-night until I had done all in my power to expedite the movement.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 11, 1862.

General MARCY:

Telegraph to General Banks that the troops have all left Manassas, and probably the whole or the greater part of the troops have left Winchester, and that General McClellan desires that he push forward to that place as soon as possible, and hold himself in readiness to move with the whole or a part of his force on Manassas. In the order for the transportation to come to Washington do not include that for transporting wagons and animals from Perryville and Annapolis. Let them remain where they are, subject to other orders.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 11, 1862-8.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have just returned from a ride of more than 40 miles. Have examined Centreville, Union Mills, Blackburn’s Ford, &c. The rebels have left all their positions, and from the information obtained during our ride to-day I am satisfied that they hare fallen behind the Rapidan, holding Fredericksburg and Gordonsville. Their movement from here was very sudden. They left many wagons, some caissons, clothing, ammunition, personal baggage, &c. Their winter quarters were admirably constructed, many not yet quite finished. The works at Centreville are formidable; more so than Manassas. Except the turnpike, the roads are horrible. The country entirely stripped of forage and provisions. Having fully consulted with General McDowell, I propose occupying Manassas by a portion of Banks’ command, and then at once throwing all the forces I can concentrate upon the line agreed upon last week. The Monitor justifies this course. I telegraphed this morning to have the transports brought to Washington, to start from there. I presume you will approve this course. Circumstances may keep me out here some little time longer.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 12, 1862-8.30 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Sumner’s division occupies Union Mills and Manassas to-day. I could not occupy it from Centreville, as roads thence to Manassas are impassable for artillery and wagons. General Sumner will cover repairs {p.743} of railway, and obtain his supplies by that. The troops are now well pleased and doing well. The great difficulty is about forage; there is absolutely none in the country. Richmond Whig of 6th contains a reprint from Charleston Mercury violently attacking Jeff. Davis.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 12, 1862.

Hon. JOHN TUCKER:

Please be ready to see that the vessels are properly arranged as they arrive and arrangements made for the rapid embarkation of troops and artillery at Alexandria, Georgetown, Fort Corcoran, Washington, &c. Will communicate in detail in very few hours.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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SEMINARY, March 12, 1862-8 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have been waiting some time expecting to be able to inform you that Porter’s division was under way. When I left town this afternoon his artillery was on board and the infantry rapidly embarking. Everything going on in good order and expeditiously. Still I find capacity of many transports overrated.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 12, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have sent for commanders of army corps designated by the President to consult with them as to immediate movements. They should be here about 7 p.m. Will at once inform you of decision arrived at and ask your approval. Troops in fine spirits.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

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MARCH 12, 1862.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS, Charlestown, Va.:

Dispatch received. As soon as possible occupy Bunker Hill and open your communication with it. I congratulate you on the success which has attended our movements.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major. General, Commanding.

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BUDD’S FERRY, March 12, 1862.

Brigadier-General MARCY:

The cars were running between Aquia and Fredericksburg all last night, hence the bridge must have been standing at that time. I have no doubt it is still standing, as the rebel sick have been on the road between Dumfries and Aquia to-day, and could not have reached the depot before night. My spies are in that vicinity to-night. Shall know {p.744} positively on their return. Some contrabands now in my camp passed fifteen or sixteen loads of sick on the road to-day. Another contraband is in from Centreville, who tells me that the enemy in and around Manassas retreated to Gordonsville. This was talked of all over the rebel camp. The portion of the army immediately on the Potomac left to take post at Fredericksburg. This I learn from some contrabands and white people-from the former every hour in the day. Of these, Whiting’s, Archer’s, and Rodes’ brigades number about 12,000; the garrison in Fredericksburg about 3,000, and the force of Aquia and Potomac Creeks about 2,000-which will give the force in or near Fredericksburg 17,000. If they have been re-enforced from the Manassas army, it is that much greater. I have two companies in Dumfries to-night for the purpose of collecting information. It is reported to me that Hampton’s Legion, stationed at Occoquan, fell back on Manassas.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

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BUDD’S FERRY, March 12, 1862.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY:

Have received your dispatch of to-day. Shall proceed to execute to the best of my ability. From my most reliable information I can learn of but two companies of cavalry nearer me than the center of Stafford County. The report among the citizens of Prince William County is that the rebels have retired, to make the Rappahannock their line of defense. Too much faith should not be put in this. The pickets remain at Aquia Creek. The cars were running all night from that depot.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Wheeling, March 12, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: The General-in-Chief directed me to examine into the advantages of the Big Sandy route from the Ohio River to the Southwestern and Tennessee Railroad. He also directs me to cause the troops and material thrown into this department by General Orders, No. -, headquarters of the Army, to be thoroughly inspected, and to report their condition, and also what troops I wanted; and, if so, what, if any more, cavalry. These considerations involving that of the operations advisable to be undertaken within the department, I have thought it better to present the whole matter in a report, which I have the honor herewith to inclose.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Wheeling, March 12, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Since the valley of Virginia, except the valleys of Great and Little Cacapon and of the Shenandoah, has been added to the limits {p.745} of this department, I beg leave to submit for the consideration of the Secretary of War a project of operations deemed feasible within the limits of this department:

1. The exclusion of Rockbridge and Augusta Counties, containing Lexington and Staunton, leaves nothing to be done on our eastern limits but to expel the slight rebel forces of, say, 3,500 men, from the valley, to occupy the passes on main roads, hold the important points with forces sufficient to guard them, and tranquilize the country. This should be done by a force moving from Cumberland, New Creek, &c., up the valley of the South Branch of the Potomac, via Franklin and Dunwiddie’s Gap, to capture if possible the rebel forces at Fort Alleghany, on the Beverly and Staunton turnpike. The main force at Huttonsville should co-operate with this, leaving a sufficient guard against a flank movement by General Heth, who commands at Lewisburg and Huntersville.

The force required for this operation from Cumberland should be four regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and a good battery of artillery, of which three regiments of infantry and the one of cavalry are still required. The conduct of this column should be such, if possible, as to Cut off the retreat of the rebel troops on Staunton, and when the Beverly road is in our hands the troops on Cheat Pass should unite with this column, seize the railroad at Millborough, and act as occasion may require towards the rebel forces in the direction of Staunton and Lexington, while we in sufficient force seize Warm Springs and Jackson River Depot, cutting off the retreat eastward of any rebel troops that may be in Greenbrier.

The general commanding should be charged with the restoration of law, order, and confidence in the Government of the United States, and should the rebels hold their ground east of the Blue Ridge, to guard the great passes from East to West Virginia against unexpected projects or reverses of our arms.

Second objective, by a simultaneous movement, begun with the least practicable delay, should be from Gauley Bridge to seize Lewisburg, White Sulphur, and to strike the Southwestern Virginia and Tennessee Railroad at some point between Bonsack’s and Salem, the nearer Bonsack’s the better. This column should consist of a force sufficient to expel Heth, hold Greenbrier, protect the depots there, and hold the railroad with 2,000 men, a field battery, and a couple of squadrons of cavalry. They should establish and garrison depots at Lewisburg and Union.

A third objective would be holding Fayette, to establish a depot at Raleigh, and from thence seize the railroad at Wytheville or Newbern, hold it in force against the rebels, and pacify the country there immediately.

Fourth object. The force now on Big Sandy can be supplied with provisions by small steamboat navigation in time of high water to Pikeville, whence it is 88 miles over bad roads to Baker’s Station, on the Southwestern Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. This column should move by the Louisa Fork to Buchanan and Jeffersonville, seize the Northwest Virginia Branch Bank there, and thence take possession of the railroad at the Salt Works. Should the rebels be at Pound Gap a demonstration of a movement should be made and watched to keep the attention of them, while the main column, pursuing the route indicated, would seize the railroad and cut off the retreat of these rebel forces.

These forces once in the valley, Wytheville, Abingdon, Newbern, &c., all succumb. Troops purchase what they need for subsistence.

{p.746}

The estimated force requisite for all these purposes, based on the assumption that rebel capacity for local mischief in these regions should be about what it has been during the last two months, in addition to what we now have, would be:

For the Cumberland column-Three regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and one battery of artillery.

For Cheat Pass-One regiment of infantry.

For Kanawha-One regiment of infantry and one battery of artillery.

For Big Sandy-One regiment of infantry.

Total-Six regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and two field batteries, the most important of which are the three regiments of infantry and one of cavalry at Cumberland. They should be sent there without delay. Should they be ordered from an adjoining State, time could be gained by sending forward all troops on the railroad except those strictly requisite to guard the railroad line and the depots. Should the rebel forces east of the Blue Ridge fall back towards Lynchburg, retaining their organization and force, as now seems possible, I would advise strengthening the Lewisburg column so as to make an effective force of from 12,000 to 15,000 men, with orders to seize the Southwestern Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and make a strong demonstration on Lynchburg, seizing it if opportunity offers. On this supposition an additional force of 6,000 or 8,000 men should be thrown into the great valley, to occupy Augusta and Rockbridge and watch the passes through the Blue Ridge there and southward.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, March 12, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I would suggest that the police force of this city be transferred at once to the police commissioners recently appointed by the Legislature of this State, with the exception of the provost-marshal and some 10 policemen, without waiting for the appropriation asked for, and referred to in your letter of the 10th instant. The city authorities can then provide for the payment of the remaining 440 officers and men, and the United States be relieved from all responsibility in regard to them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

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CHARLESTOWN, March 13, 1862.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff:

General Hamilton occupied Winchester this morning at 7 o’clock. The rebel force left the town at 5 o’clock yesterday. The cavalry of the enemy left but an hour in advance of our forces. The railway and telegraph will be put in immediate operation between Harper’s Ferry and Winchester.

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.747}

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 26.}

HDQRS. GENERAL BANKS’ DIVISION, Winchester, Va., March 13, 1862.

The troops of the command now in the vicinity of Winchester, Va., will not be allowed to leave their respective camps without passes approved by commanders of regiments, detachments, or batteries. The provost-marshal is ordered to arrest all soldiers absent from their commands without such written permission.

The troops are cautioned against any injury to private or public property or any interference with the rights of citizens. Every abuse of this character, by whomsoever committed, will be rigidly investigated and punished with severity. The commanding general learns with sincere regret that officers in some cases, from mistaken views, either tolerate or encourage depredations upon property. This is deeply regretted. He calls upon them to reflect upon the destructive influences which attend such practices, and to remember the declaration of the great master of the art of war, that pillage is the most certain method of disorganizing and destroying an army.

All well-disposed persons are invited to pursue their ordinary vocations. Those who enter the town for the purpose of trade or to supply its markets at reasonable prices will be assured of all proper protection by the provost-marshal. It is the object of the military authorities to re-establish the privileges hitherto enjoyed by all classes of the American people, and such intercourse as may be necessary for this purpose between the different towns in the neighborhood will be permitted, under such general regulations as may be published by the provost-marshal, who is directed to facilitate, within proper limits, all branches of trade.

No arrest of persons or seizure of property will be made without orders from headquarters or from the provost-marshal. Every arrest will be forthwith reported to the provost-marshal, and all property taken will be turned over to the officer designated to superintend the collection of supplies for the use of the army. Every article of property taken for this purpose will be receipted for by the officer taking it, and compensation will be hereafter made for the same by the Government. Any person who shall directly or indirectly furnish intoxicating liquors to the troops may expect punishment, without mercy; the liquors and all other goods found with them will be forfeited, and the persons offending subject not only to imprisonment, but will be punished with unrelenting rigor to the last limit of military law. The authorities of the town and its citizens, as well as the officers and soldiers of the command, are earnestly requested by the commanding general to aid in enforcing this order.

By command of Maj. Gen. N. P. Banks:

R. MORRIS COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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MARCH 13, 1862-11.15 a.m.

Major-General MCCLELLAN:

You need apprehend no trouble on the question of rank with General Wool. Many circumstances require that your movement, whatever it may be, should be prompt. General Meigs reports that transports will be ready as fast as you can use them. I desire you to keep me advised of your progress and movements.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

{p.748}

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WASHINGTON, March 13, 1862.

General BANKS:

The General Commanding directs that General Sedgwick’s division move without delay to Harper’s Ferry and remain in readiness to leave that place at short notice. He also directs that you at once send one of your divisions to Centreville, by the Little River pike, through Snicker’s Gap, Aldie, and Pleasant Valley, taking the road from Saunders’ tollgate to Centreville. You will find no supplies on the road, and it will be necessary to transport all you require to last the division to Centreville.

Please inform as soon as possible when General Sedgwick’s division will be at Harper’s Ferry and when the division will leave for Centreville. General Sedgwick’s division to be detached from your command, and will probably be sent by rail to Annapolis.

R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862. (Received 2.30 p.m.)

General MARCY:

Prepare to embark Hunt’s reserve artillery, together with all the reserve ammunition belonging to it. When will the transportation be ready?

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862. (Received 2.40 p.m.)

General MARCY:

Direct the barges at Perryville and Annapolis containing wagons to be ready to move at one hour’s notice. Have the teams loaded at same places at once.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862. (Received 3 p.m.)

General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

Relieve General Hamilton at once from duty with General Banks, and order him to assume command of General Heintzelman’s division. Relieve Kearny from Franklin’s division, and order him to take command of Sumner’s division; Couch to take command of Keyes’ division, and King of McDowell’s; to be done as soon as possible.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862.

General R. B. MARCY:

The following is a copy of message to General S. P. Heintzelman, Fort Lyon:

“General McClellan directs that you hold General Hamilton’s division in readiness {p.749} to embark to-morrow morning at Alexandria. General Hamilton has been ordered to report to you with as little delay as possible.”

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862. (Received 3.20 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have sent out a strong cavalry force under General Stoneman, to go as far as the Rappahannock. I have moved a regiment of infantry out to guard the forage train of the cavalry to-night, holding a brigade also at Manassas Station. I have ordered one of Banks’ divisions to move down here at once. Your dispatch received, and measures will be taken accordingly.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FORT MONROE, VA., March 13, 1862-305 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War

In reply to Major-General McClellan’s desire to know what I wanted for defense of my position, I replied, for immediate defense, as follows, viz: Two thousand regular infantry and 8,000 volunteer infantry; five batteries of light artillery (regulars, if possible); 1,100 horses for the five batteries, to complete the batteries I have here and to mount Dodge’s cavalry. I have received only three regiments: First Michigan, Fifth Maryland, and Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania. I require several companies of regular artillery in Fort Monroe. I have only about 110 regulars for Fort Monroe and Newport News. Fort Monroe is too important a position to be neglected. I have never failed to so represent, and ask for troops and other means of defense.

JOHN E. WOOL, Major-General.

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WINCHESTER, VA., March 13, 1862-3.30 p.m.

Brigadier-General WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

I beg leave to report that I was able to bring 7,000 men here yesterday, and have upwards of 4,000 more en route for this point. The command is an efficient one, and able to do efficient service. I stand much in need of an able assistant quartermaster for the division, if there be any efficient man off duty, I hope he may be assigned to me. If not efficient and a man of experience, I don’t want him. I reported as ordered to Major-General Banks. Rumors among citizens have it that the rebels mean to concentrate all their disposable strength and give us one grand battle between here and Richmond.

JAS. SHIELDS, Brigadier-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862-4.30 p.m.

General MARCY:

Organize General Casey’s division for the field at once.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

{p.750}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., March 13, 1862-5.20 p.m.

Major-General MCCLELLAN:

General McDowell has arrived here and presented a paper purporting to be the opinion of the generals commanding army corps, but it contains nothing indicating that it is your plan.* The Department has nothing to show what is your plan of operations. Will you be pleased to state specifically what plan of operations you propose to execute under the present circumstances? Please state at what time this dispatch is received by you and at what hour your answer is transmitted. This rule had better be observed in all our telegraphic communications. There is nothing new from Fortress Monroe.

In respect to General Wool’s question of rank, I will remark that he will be relieved from command whenever you desire to assume it at that place, and if you determine to make Fortress Monroe your base of operations, you shall have the control over the forces under General Burnside’s command. All the forces and means of the Government will be at your disposal. This dispatch is transmitted at 5.20 p.m.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

* See McClellan’s report, pp. 55, 56.

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WINCHESTER, March 13, 1862-5.45 p.m.

General R. B. MARCY:

Orders have been issued to General Sedgwick to move his division to Harper’s Ferry in accordance with instructions; distance, 20 miles. Will be there to-morrow night. Will report later when division can leave for Centreville. All quiet here.

N. P. BANKS, Major-General.

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WINCHESTER, VA., March 13, 1862-5.45 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN SEDGWICK, Berryville:

GENERAL: It is ordered by the Major-General Commanding the Army that you move your division “without delay to Harper’s Ferry, and remain in readiness to leave that place at short notice.”

You will please execute this order with all dispatch. In answer to inquiry, I have reported that you would probably be at Harper’s Ferry Saturday afternoon, 15th instant.

General Dana intended when I left Charlestown to remain there until to-morrow (Friday) morning, and will then move towards you unless otherwise ordered.

I am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding, &c.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 30.}

HEADQUARTERS, SEDGWICK’S DIVISION, Berryville, Va., March 13, 1862.

The division will move toward Harper’s Ferry to-morrow morning.

...

By order of Brigadier-General Sedgwick, commanding division:

WM. D. SEDGWICK, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.751}

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ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, March 13, 1862.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy:

SIR: I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that he places at your disposal any transports or coal vessels at Fort Monroe for the purpose of closing the channel of the Elizabeth River to prevent the Merrimac again coming out.

I have the honor, &c.,

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862. (Received 8.30 p.m.)

Adjutant-General THOMAS:

In doubtful uncertainty as to General Burnside’s position and how far he may now be engaged in his final operation, it is difficult to give him very precise orders at present. I think it would be well that he should not engage himself further inland than at New Berne and should at once reduce Beaufort, leaving there a sufficient garrison in Fort Macon. He should at once return to Roanoke Island, ready to co-operate with all his available force, either by way of Winton or by way of Fort Monroe, as circumstances may render necessary. I advise this on the supposition that Captain Fox is correct in his opinion that Burnside will have New Berne this week. If he has become fairly engaged in the movement, I would not stop him.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862. (Received 9.30 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Your dispatch of 7.40 just received and will be at once carried into execution. I returned only a short time since from reviewing Smith’s division, and found it in admirable condition and spirits.

Contrabands just in report enemy on Rappahannock and Gordonsville in force.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Fairfax Court-House, March 13, 1862. (Received 9.40 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I would respectfully suggest that the Secretary of the Navy be requested to order to Fort Monroe whatever force Du Pont can now spare, as well as any available force that Goldsborough can send up, as soon as his present operations are completed.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

{p.752}

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862, 10.50 p.m. (Received 11.15 p.m.)

JOHN TUCKER, Esq., Assistant Secretary of War:

Has the additional rolling stock for the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and the Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad arrived? If so, how much of it? What transports are certainly on hand at Alexandria and Washington for troops, horses, and guns, and for how many of each kind? I cannot make my arrangements for details of movements until I know exactly what is on hand. It is absolutely necessary that I should be kept constantly informed. I wish to move, so that the men, &c., can be moved direct on board ship.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862-11 p.m.

Hon. JOHN TUCKER, Assistant Secretary of War:

I have made it Colonel Astor’s duty to remain and keep recorded all information in regard to transports, so that I may always know the exact condition of the transports and their locality. Will you please send him by express as early to-morrow as practicable a complete list of the transports hired, the capacity of each for the particular purpose for which hired; name of captain; amount of stores on board, including water; whether it has cooking arrangements, &c.; in short, all the information you possess in regard to them, including draught of water? In addition, please keep him constantly informed by telegraph of arrival of vessels.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 13, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to suggest that this Department can easily obstruct the channel to Norfolk so as to prevent the exit of the Merrimac, provided the Army will carry the Sewell’s Point batteries, in which duty the Navy will give great assistance.

Very respectfully,

GIDEON WELLES.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington., March 13, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:

General Patrick was nominated upon your request several days ago. I took the nomination myself to the President, and saw it signed by him, and will go to the Senate to-morrow to urge the confirmation. Any others you may designate will receive the like attention. Nothing you can ask of me or this Department will be spared to aid you in every particular.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

{p.753}

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 13, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Fairfax Court-House:

The Monitor is more than a match for the Merrimac, but she might be disabled in the next encounter. I cannot advise so great dependence upon her. Burnside and Goldsborough are very strong for the Chowan River route to Norfolk, and I brought up maps, explanations, &c., to show you. It turns everything, and is only 27 miles to Norfolk by two good roads. Burnside will have New Berne this week. The Monitor may, and I think will, destroy the Merrimac in the next fight, but this is hope, not certainty. The Merrimac must dock for repairs.

G. V. FOX.

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FORT MONROE VA., March 13, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Major-General McClellan desires by telegraph to know if the channel between Sewell’s Point and Craney Island could be blockaded. I reply that it would be impracticable without first taking the battery of thirty guns on Sewell’s Point and then sink twenty boats loaded with stone, exposed, however, to a fire of thirty guns on Craney Island. Flag-Officer Goldsborough agrees with me in this opinion. To take the batteries it would require the Monitor. Neither of us think it would do to use the Monitor for that service, lest she should become crippled. She is our only hope against the Merrimac.

JOHN E. WOOL, Major-General.

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MARCH 13, 1862.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY:

General Sickles informs me this morning that the cars were running from Aquia last night. Captain Magaw states that he is informed that the rebels are fortifying Fredericksburg, and that they are evacuating Aquia. The Freeborn was off Aquia yesterday within easy range, and no shots fired.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

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BUDD’S FERRY, March 13, 1862.

Brigadier-General MARCY:

Every appearance indicates that the rebels will not retire immediately from Aquia. The bridge across the Potomac is not essential in case a movement should be made on Fredericksburg. Without running stock the railroad would be of no use. In that event our boat landing will be near Fouke’s. Of course the rebels will destroy bridges and everything else as they advance.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General. {p.754}

BUDD’S FERRY, March 13, 1862.

Brigadier-General MARCY:

The bridges at Aquia Creek are still standing and guarded. Two Northern men have arrived at Liverpool Point from Fredericksburg yesterday. They represent large numbers of troops in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. They have been using the batteries at Aquia to-day. We can take possession of the bridges, if you desire, between this and morning, with the aid of the Stepping Stones. My negro spies are not in, but this information is reliable.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

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WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., March 14, 1862-8.45 a.m.

Maj. Gen. JOHN E. WOOL, Commanding at Fortress Monroe:

The following dispatch from General McClellan has been received by this Department:

FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13-11.20 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I would be glad to have instructions given to General Wool that the troops and stores now being sent down to Fort Monroe are of my command and not to be appropriated by him.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

The request of General McClellan is approved, and you are instructed to act in accordance with it, and to acknowledge the receipt of this communication.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 14, 1862. (Received 11.45 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Have placed General Richardson in command of General Sumner’s division instead of Kearny, who prefers remaining with his old brigade. Please inform the President.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 14, 1862-1.30 p.m.

General R. B. MARCY:

Direct General Banks to leave General Shields’ command at Winchester for the present, including all cavalry of the divisions of Banks and Shields-General Banks to come in person here as soon as possible, preceding his old division.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.755}

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 14, 1862. (Received 3 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

For especial reasons, I have changed the organization of the army corps as follows: First Corps, McDowell; divisions, Franklin, McCall, and King. Second Corps, Sumner; divisions, Richardson, Blenker, Sedgwick. Third Corps, Heintzelman; divisions, Hooker, Hamilton, Smith. Fourth Corps, Keyes; divisions, Porter, Couch, Casey. Fifth Corps, Banks; divisions, Williams and Shields.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, March 14, 1862-3 p.m. (Received 3.30 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

As fast as transportation is ready we shall move to the new line of operations. It is important that the available force at Fort Monroe should be under the control of the commander of the army acting there, and I desire to form another division, under Mansfield, from the troops now in the vicinity of Fort Monroe, and to annex that division to the First Army Corps as soon as McDowell is confirmed as major-general. First Corps leads the movement.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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No. 5.]

FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 14, 1862. (Received 4.10 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I would advise that no change be made now in the organization of divisions. It would be very pernicious at such a moment as this. The division is the real unit of force, and should be intact. The third word is omitted in your dispatch, and I do not know whether you mean Kearny or Richardson; but it makes no difference, as my opinion is based on general principles. I am hard at work.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 14, 1862-5.30 p.m. (Received 6 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

...

All goes well. Franklin, McCall, Keyes, and McDowell are en route; also the regulars. I will not disappoint you. Porter and Smith start in the morning,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

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BUDD’S FERRY, March 14, 1862-9 a.m.

General S. WILLIAMS:

All of the rebel batteries extending from Cockpit Point to Aquia Creek are now utterly demolished. All the guns that were worth preserving {p.756} have been tumbled over the bluff banks on which they stood to where they can be picked up by the vessels of the flotilla. Yesterday my men succeeded in moving the Homan’s English rifled gun, 95-pounder, to the edge of the river, and it is now, I presume, at the navy-yard. The rebels left everything behind. Some of my regiments have been constantly at work in removing stores of all kinds, and to-day I hope the Sixth New Jersey Volunteers will complete that work. A defeat could not have been more disastrous to the rebels. They left in the utmost consternation. The defensive works of the rebels in and around the batteries were stupendous. I am informed that the rebels still hold to the positions on Aquia Creek.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

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BUDD’S FERRY, March 14, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS:

One of my negro spies reports that he went to the Rappahannock; saw large bodies of troops yesterday below Fredericksburg, on the Caroline side of the river. Troops, he says, are concentrating there in good numbers. Intrenchments are being thrown up on the racecourse-a place, it is said, artillery commands the approach for a great distance; vicinity a level plain. The bridges about Fredericksburg are standing. The rebels expect a great battle there. The prominent citizens there have their goods packed, ready for a move. This can be relied on.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, March 14, 1862.

Lieut. Col. JOHN P. VAN LEER, Commanding Sixth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers:

You will land five companies of your command on the north side of the. Quantico, and five companies on the south side of the Chopawamsic, and direct both columns to march on Dumfries. You will direct careful search to be made on both for all scows and boats, and send down the river as many as practicable that may be of service. Throughout all your march you will capture and bring off as many of the rebel stores as may be of service to us. Should you meet with resistance, capture and destroy them; also destroy all rebel stores that can be of no service to us. Let the march be made with great caution. Allow no straggling, and keep your advanced guard and flankers well thrown out. Members of the signal corps will accompany you to communicate any important information you may have to send me. Return to-night.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOS. DICKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., March 14, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Fairfax Court-House:

About twenty-five steamers to carry troops are here. Others must arrive rapidly. I will directly let you know the carrying capacity of {p.757} those that are here. At Perryville there are barges for all the wagons and schooners for about one-third of the horses there, and a large fleet was just below Perryville last night. The change from Annapolis to Washington will cause some delay, particularly in the transportation of horses. I send by express to Colonel Astor the detailed information you require. I will telegraph again as soon as I get reports of arrival this morning.

JOHN TUCKER, Assistant Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS MOUNTAIN DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, March 14, 1862.

Major-General MCCLELLAN:

Colonel at Gauley Bridge learns large force for Lewisburg arrived at Jackson River Depot last week, and was turned back by orders. Send it as an item. My report went to Adjutant-General Thomas 12th. Where am I to go?

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General.

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Organization of brigades in Banks’ division, Winchester, Va., March 14, 1862.*

  • FIRST BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. A. S. Williams, commanding.
    • Fifth Connecticut Infantry.
    • First Maryland Infantry.
    • Twenty-eighth New York Infantry.
    • Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.
    • Forty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry.
  • SECOND BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. J. J. Abercrombie, commanding.
    • Twelfth Indiana Infantry.
    • Sixteenth Indiana Infantry.
    • Twelfth Massachusetts Infantry.
    • Thirteenth Massachusetts Infantry.
    • Eighty-third New York Infantry.

* Announced in General Orders, No. 27, of that date, from division headquarters.

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WASHINGTON, March 15, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Seminary:

In reply to your dispatch to this Department of yesterday [13th], which was transmitted to the Secretary of the Navy, he replies as follows:

NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 14, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Yours inclosing the dispatch of Major-General McClellan, suggesting that the Secretary of the Navy be requested to order to Fort Monroe whatever force Du Pont can now spare, as well as any available force that Goldsborough can send up, as soon as his present operations are completed,' has been received. If a movement is to be {p.758} made upon Norfolk-always a favorite measure of this Department-instant measures will be taken to advise and strengthen Flag-Officer Goldsborough, but unless such be the case, I should be extremely reluctant to take any measure that would even temporarily weaken the efficacy of the blockade, especially at the points under the command of Flag-Officer Du Pont. The importance of capturing Norfolk is, I know, deemed almost indispensable by Flag-Officer Goldsborough, who will be happy to co-operate in a movement in that direction, and will, I need not assure you, have the active and earnest efforts of this Department to aid him with all the force that can be placed at his disposal.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

GIDEON WELLES.

The foregoing letter was received late last night.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., March 15, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, General, Commanding:

GENERAL: Application has been made to this Department by representatives from the State of Virginia that the force under General Lockwood, now in Eastern Virginia, is no longer needed there, and it would gratify the inhabitants to have all but a small portion removed.

I beg to direct your attention to the subject, and that you will make such order as you deem proper.

Yours, truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, March 15, 1862.

Maj. Gen. I. MCDOWELL, Commanding First Army Corps:

GENERAL: The commanding general directs that your corps take with it on its transports six days’ subsistence, of which at least three days must be cooked and in haversacks.

Each commissary must provide himself with scales butchers’ tools, and whatever else may be necessary for the efficient performance of his duties. Any property that cannot be taken will be left in charge of an agent, whose name, together with a statement of the property so left, will be reported by the Commissary-General of Subsistence.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. Y. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Near Alexandria, March 15, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have the honor herewith to return the letter of Mr. Reverdy Johnson, having retained a copy.

I would beg to call your attention to the very indefinite nature of the letter. There were many Massachusetts regiments in and near Montgomery County until within a few days past; unless the locality is specified it would seem to be impossible to carry out your orders, for the {p.759} guilty parties certainly will not volunteer information against themselves.

About ten days since I was informed that some men from a Massachusetts regiment, in Keyes’ division, had committed outrages; I at once directed the matter to be laid before General Keyes, with orders to investigate it and bring the parties to punishment. I can form no idea whether this is the same case or not. If Mr. Johnson will give me some clew to pursue I will gladly have the whole thing examined. The charge is so indefinite that I really do not know how I am to proceed in the matter without more distinct information. May I ask you to request Mr. Johnson to give me the necessary data with the least possible delay, for I wish to punish promptly any outrages committed by troops under my command?

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 25.}

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. GEN.’S OFFICE, Washington, March 15, 1862.

The Provost-Marshal-General of the Army of the Potomac and his subordinates will turn over to Brigadier-General Wadsworth, military governor of the District of Columbia, the buildings and premises occupied in the city of Washington and all the public property belonging thereto; and from and after it being so turned over the provost-marshal’s office will be withdrawn from the city of Washington, and all the force employed in the military police of the city will be henceforth under command of Brigadier-General Wadsworth, as military governor of the District. General Wadsworth will establish his headquarters in the building heretofore used and occupied by the provost-marshal in the city of Washington.

The Provost-Marshal-General and his subordinates will also turn over to Brigadier-General Wadsworth, as military governor of the District of Columbia, all the military prisons and prisoners within the District of Columbia and all contrabands now in custody, and the same shall henceforth be under command of the military governor of the District of Columbia. General Wadsworth will forthwith assume command as military governor of the said District.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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WASHINGTON NAVY-YARD, March 16, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

The following was received at 6.30:

POTOMAC FLOTILLA, March 16.

Captain DAHLGREN:

The information I forwarded regarding gunboats building on the Rappahannock was obtained from negroes living in that vicinity. They had not, however, seen any of the boats. What they stated was from hearsay. The Nicholas is a light side-wheel steamer, the boat seized by a Colonel Thomas, of Maryland. I have no description of the Virginia, but have judged her the same description of boat. I will strive and obtain further information on these points.

R H. WYMAN.

J. A. DAHLGREN.

{p.760}

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WASHINGTON NAVY-YARD, March 16, 1862-8.45 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

General Van Vliet has just left, having come to confer in regard to the matter under your consideration to-day. He thinks they will have no difficulty in regard to the pilotage, if I will let him have one or two good pilots to lead and the assistance of one or two vessels of the flotilla to watch the Rappahannock. The chief pilot of the yard, on being called in, stated that such of the vessels as he had spoken to had pilots, and he believed most of them had. He also said that the draught of the transports was generally 10 feet. I requested General Van Vliet to see and state his views to you on the subject. Captain Wyman will be up in the morning and will see you, if you choose.

J. A. DAHLGREN.

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WASHINGTON NAVY-YARD, March 16, 1862-9 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Captain Wyman has just arrived from below, and says that three vessels of his flotilla have already been ordered to convoy the transports to Hampton Roads, and as the quartermaster-general of the Potomac is satisfied with all the other arrangements, it would appear that all your purposes will be executed without my assistance. Captain Wyman also says in regard to the vessels supposed to be building at Fredericksburg, that they are not reported to be far advanced, and he has no information as to their being cased with iron. The reports are derived from negroes at different times. Captain Wyman further states that there is a young man in General Hooker’s brigade who lately ran away from Fredericksburg, and may be able to give information on the subject.

JNO. A. DAHLGREN.

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POOLESVILLE, March 16, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS:

Lieutenant-Colonel De Korponay reports that several small detachments of the enemy’s cavalry, in all some 40 or 50, have been seen several times the past two days in the neighborhood, reconnoitering this position. This is confirmed by the pickets below Goose Creek, on this side, who report having seen about the same number last evening. Last night several rocket signals were made about 2 miles west of the town, and the pickets the same distance below Edwards Ferry, on this side, report that two were sent up opposite at a distance from the river. Colonel De Korponay has with him 280 men, including 6 of the First Michigan Cavalry, and one piece of artillery.

EDMUND C. CHARLES, Colonel Forty-second New York Volunteers, Commanding.

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WINCHESTER, March 16, 1862.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS:

Your message received. Authentic information-received to-day of evacuation of Strasburg yesterday by Jackson’s forces taking the road to Staunton, with guns and stores. Railroad bridges over North and {p.761} South Branches of the Shenandoah burned Friday night. Turnpike bridges on Front Royal road over Shenandoah and North Branch also destroyed.

D. D. PERKINS, Chief of Staff.

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HEADQUARTERS HOOKER’S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, March 16, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. E. SICKLES, Commanding Second Brigade:

The enemy have a cavalry force of about 180 men stationed nearly opposite you and about 3 miles back from the Potomac. This is their headquarters, and from there are sent out pickets along the river and road in the direction of Dumfries. It is desirable to destroy or capture this force, and the brigadier-general commanding requests that you will have five companies detailed from your command, under an intelligent and discreet officer, to attack and destroy that picket to-night. Let the preparation and execution be made with the utmost secrecy. An excellent guide, a negro, whose house is in that vicinity, can conduct the command to the point without observation. He will be sent to report-to you to-day. You will require a light-draught steamer and I have none to send you. You will have to call on Lieutenant Magaw for a tug, and if that cannot be obtained, the expedition will be deferred. After conferring with that officer you may find it advisable to take over a scow and a barge to facilitate the landing, and should the party capture horses, it will be of great service in embarking them.

Instruct the officer charged with the execution of this to march with his command well in hand, his advance guard and flankers well thrown out and under no circumstance permit an officer, non-commissioned officer, or private to quit the ranks without authority. They will move out and return with dispatch, bringing away or destroying all the stores of the rebels. Forbid by the most-stringent orders the destruction of all private property.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOS. DICKINSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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BUDD’S FERRY, March 16, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:

My latest advances from Aquia are of the 14th. To that time it was not known that the rebels had abandoned any of their batteries or withdrawn any of their supports, nor had any additions been made to the defenses or the force. There were three batteries, numbering seven pieces-three on the water and four on the high ground in the rear. Vessels of the flotilla are down in that vicinity now. I have already sent for later information. Will forward it when it comes in.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

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BUDD’S FERRY, March 16, 1862.

Major-General MCCLELLAN:

Have just received the last reports from Aquia. The impression of officers belonging to the flotilla is that some heavy guns at Aquia have {p.762} been removed. A light battery appeared a little to the south of them to-day. The infantry supports have not been strengthened there. This is all I can learn, and this I consider reliable.

JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS SUMNER’S ARMY CORPS, Fairfax Court-House, March 16, 1862.

Colonel COLBURN:

COLONEL: I have the honor to forward the inclosed dispatch* just received from Brigadier-General French, commanding third brigade of Richardson’s division. General French was left with his brigade and a battery at Manassas Junction, with orders not to retire until General Stoneman passed on his return.

In order to prevent the possibility of your being insulted by any demonstration which the enemy might make, I have deemed it proper to push forward to Bull Run the élite of the two brigades of Richardson’s division in bivouac here, under the immediate command of General Richardson. The two brigades are accompanied by Clarke’s battery and three squadrons of cavalry. The command is now on the march. Blenker’s entire division is on hand ready to march, if it prove necessary. Subsequently, the inclosed dispatch from General Stoneman, addressed to you, arrived, and, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, I deemed it my imperative duty to make myself acquainted with its contents. I do not consider myself as called upon by the dispatch to make any change in the above-mentioned dispositions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. V. SUMNER, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Army Corps.

NOTE.-I do not believe that the enemy can threaten our troops at Bull Run, but I think it better to guard against possibilities.

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HEADQUARTERS SUMNER’S ARMY CORPS, Fairfax Court-House, March 16, 1862.

General R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff:

Your dispatch has been received.* General French’s brigade has already been ordered to return to Manassas, and the remainder of Richardson’s division put en route to support it. Does the General Commanding deem it advisable that the remaining division at this point be advanced to the front of Blenker?

E. V. SUMNER, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Army Corps.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS SUMNER’S ARMY CORPS, Fairfax Court-House, Va., March 16, 1862.

General RICHARDSON:

The general commanding the corps directs that if from any information you may have received you deem it prudent to advance your command {p.763} farther to the front than Bull Run as a support to General French, after he has returned to Manassas, you [may] use your own judgment in the matter. Supplies will be forwarded to you as rapidly as possible. Keep these headquarters advised of your movements and the reasons therefor.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. TAYLOR, Chief of Staff and Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS SUMNER’S ARMY CORPS, Fairfax Court-House, March 16, 1862.

General RICHARDSON:

The general commanding the corps directs, in compliance with orders from headquarters Army of the Potomac, that French’s brigade return to Manassas to await further orders, and he directs that you remain with the residue of your division as a support at Bull Run. Three days’ rations will be forwarded to you to-morrow, and the general orders that you make such distributions of them as you may deem proper.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. TAYLOR, Chief of Staff and Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Washington, D. C., March 17, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following information relative to the forces and defenses of the Army of the Potomac obtained to this date, which has been extracted from current statements made here by spies, contrabands, deserters, refugees, and prisoners of war, in the order of time as hereinafter stated, and which at the time of reception were made the subjects of special reports to you. I have also appended to this report of extracts from statements, and have made the same a part of this report, a varied summary of the forces and defenses of the rebel Army of the Potomac, showing by different combinations about the probable number of these forces and the locality and strength of their defenses:

By reference to the summary of this report it will be seen that 115,500 men is a medium estimate of the rebel Army of the Potomac, which are stated as being located as follows, viz: At Manassas, Centreville, Bull Run, Upper Occoquan, and vicinities, about 80,000 men; at Brooke’s Station, Dumfries, Lower Occoquan, and vicinities, 18,000; at Leesburg and vicinity, 4,500; in the Shenandoah Valley, 13,000.

Of the above-mentioned forces information has been received up to date, as shown by summary in this report, of the following specific organizations, viz: At Manassas, Centreville, Bull Run, Upper Occoquan, and vicinities, sixty-one regiments and one battalion infantry, eight regiments, one battalion, and seven independent companies cavalry, thirty-four companies artillery. At Brooke’s Station, Dumfries, Lower Occoquan, and vicinities, eighteen regiments and one battalion infantry, one regiment and six independent companies cavalry, and fifteen companies {p.764} artillery; in the Shenandoah Valley, twelve regiments infantry, two brigades militia, one regiment cavalry, and seven companies artillery; and at Leesburg four regiments infantry, one regiment militia, five independent companies cavalry, and one company of artillery.

It is unnecessary for me to say that in the nature of the case, guarded as the rebels have ever been against the encroachment of spies, and vigilant as they have always been to prevent information of their designs, movements, or of their forces, going beyond their lines, it has been impossible, even by the use of every resource at our command, to ascertain with certainty the specific number and character of their forces. It may, therefore, safely be assumed that in so large an army as our information shows them to possess very much of its composition and very many of its forces have not been specifically ascertained, which, added to those already known, would largely increase their numbers and considerably swell its proportions.

The summary of the general estimate shows the forces of the rebel Army of the Potomac to be 150,000, as claimed by its officers and as sanctioned by the public belief over 80,000 of which were stationed up to the time of evacuation at Manassas, Centreville, and vicinity, the remainder being within easy supporting distance. This fact is strongly supported by the statement of several supposed reliable persons, to the effect that 80,000 daily rations were issued to the forces at Manassas, Centreville, and vicinity, and by the well-sustained fact that the portions of the army in the Shenandoah Valley and the Lower Potomac each had their separate commissary department and received their supplies from sources entirely independent of the department at Manassas.

It will be seen by reference to several statements included in this report that the parties were engineers, conductors, &c., on the Manassas Gap Railroad, and that they testify under oath that their chance for information about the forces at Manassas and Centreville was the very best, and that the number stationed there up to about the time of evacuation was from 80,000 to 100,000. It is also shown by the statement of a refugee who resided near Fairfax Court-House that he learned from officers of the rebel army that the numbers of their forces at Manassas and Centreville were 75,000, and that 150,000 rations were drawn by the whole army.

All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,*

E. J. ALLEN. [ALLEN PINKERTON.]

* Much the same as report of March 5, p. 736.

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EASTVILLE, VA., March 17, 1862.

A. STAGER:

Steamer just in from Fort Monroe. The line is sufficiently guarded by cavalry, and there is a guard night and day at the end of cable, but there is no field piece at Cape Charles to bring boats to, and being but 12 miles from Cape Henry, the blockade is easily run. When cable failed it was foggy. If not cut, it was damaged by anchors. If weather be calm, it will be underrun from both ends to-morrow (Tuesday). Boyle goes to Fort Monroe and I to Cape Charles. In event of interruption, we must rely principally on Fort Monroe. I will make a suggestion to-night to you in cipher.

W. H. HEISS.

{p.765}

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POTOMAC FLOTILLA, March 17, 1862-4 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have just obtained the following information, and forward it immediately to you:

The St. Nicholas and Virginia are not armed. They are running from Fredericksburg to Lowry Point, about 45 miles from Fredericksburg, and a short distance from Tappahannock. Edward Taylor and all the neighbors are hauling timber from Lamb’s Creek roads to Arnold’s Wharf and Farleyville. There is nothing done yet about the gunboats except getting the timber, but they are working hard. A few hundred troops might land at Taylor’s, opposite Maryland Point, and march over to a place called Hop Yard Wharf (a distance of 7 miles), where the steamer Neales stops to land passengers, and surprise her, taking her past the batteries under her own colors. So says my spy, but I am somewhat doubtful of the result of such an expedition.

I am, sir, very respect-fully, your obedient servant,

V. R. SPENCER, Commanding Potomac Flotilla.

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HEADQUARTERS, Wheeling, Va., March 17, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

General McClellan promised me to send 3,000 or 4,000 rifled arms, to use in making changes, getting regiments ready for service. They have not yet arrived. Every day is precious. Please order them by installments.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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WHEELING, March 17, 1862-11 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

If you approve my plans for the movement up the valley of South Branch over Cheat, &c., please telegraph me, and order the forces without delay.* The iron is getting hot.

W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General.

* See Rosecrans to Thomas, March 12, p. 744.

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HEADQUARTERS, BALTIMORE, March 17, 1862.

To the Police Commissioners City of Baltimore:.

GENTLEMEN: In behalf of the Government of the United States I give notice that the police force established under its authority will be placed under your control on the 20th instant.

In making this communication to you, I respectfully request the retention of Mr. McPhail, whose great executive ability has been of incalculable service to the Government. There is still, as you are well aware, a suppressed feeling of disloyalty in a portion of the population of this city, and I deem it of the utmost importance to the Government that Mr. McPhail should be retained, on account of his familiar acquaintance with the transactions of the last eight months and the public necessities {p.766} which have grown out of those transactions, and which still continue to exist.

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6