GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
Washington, July 25, 1862.
Hereafter no guards will be placed over private houses or private property of any description whatever. Commanding officers are responsible for the conduct of the troops under their command, and the Articles of War and Regulations of the Army provide ample means for restraining them to the full extent required for discipline and efficiency.
Soldiers were called into the field to do battle against the enemy, and it is not expected that their force and energy shall be wasted in protecting private property of those most hostile to the Government.
No soldier serving in this army shall hereafter be employed in such service.
By command of Major-General Pope:
GEO. D. RUGGLES,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.
FREDERICKSBURG, VA., July 26, 1862-4.45 p.m.
Major-General POPE, Washington, D. C.:
I have just heard from our expedition. They arrived within 5 miles of Orange Court-House yesterday afternoon. Bivouacked there, and at daylight this morning advanced on the Court-House, driving in strong mounted pickets and following them to within 1 1/2 miles of the town. Satisfied from information there obtained that General Robertson was at the Court-House with two or more regiments of cavalry and perhaps a small force of infantry; that General Ewell with a large force of all arms was only 3 miles beyond, and that Jackson's force is strung along for 6 miles farther through Liberty Mills, General Gibbson, acting under my instructions, decided not to take his small force any farther. At 9 a.m. they were on their way home. General Gibbon says that he anticipates some pursuit, but is fully prepared. No man had been hurt on our side. I will send detailed report of the reconnaissance as soon as General Gibbon returns.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
Washington, D. C., July 26, 1862.
Care of General Dix, Berkeley or Fort Monroe:
The enemy is massing in large force at Louisa Court-House and Gordonsville. The divisions of Jackson, Ewell, Hill, and Longstreet are already there. The strength of these divisions cannot be ascertained. The whole force of the enemy now in that neighborhood will not fall short of 35,000. They have as yet made no forward movement, but probably will attempt one soon. As soon as the troops under Burnside and Stevens are brought to Aquia Creek, if they should be brought, I will unite the division at Fredericksburg with the other division of McDowell's corps on the Upper Rappahannock.