FORT MONROE, July 5, 1862-1 a.m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
I have just received dispatches from General McClellan the same us those to President. They are dated noon yesterday. His last words are, "The national salute is firing; bands are playing; the troops are in fine spirits."
My messenger left hour later. All right then.
JOHN A. DIX.
WASHINGTON CITY, July 5, 1862.
Via Fort Monroe:
The Department has no further orders to give, but hopes you will with all speed reach General McClellan with as large a force as possible.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp near Harrison's Landing, July 5, 1862-2.15 a.m.
Brigadier General E. V. SUMNER,
Commanding Second Corps:
Information, supposed to be reliable, has reached these headquarters that the Confederate force under Lee, with Johnston, Longstreet, Jackson, &c., are very near us, in front of our whole line, and that an attack may be expected at any moment.
Immediately upon hearing any heavy firing the general wishes you to have your men under arms, with you batteries harnessed. Do not, however, disturb your troops until the action has commenced. Wherever the heavy firing begins report by a staff officer at once to the general headquarters, which will be at the barn near Sykes' headquarters, where you met the general day before yesterday. The spot will be indicated by a small national color. If the headquarters are changed, aides will be left to designate their new position.
I am directed by the general to say that in no event are you to move your troops without the general's orders, unless a portion of the line should give way, and as a matter of life and death your immediate movement is indispensable to retrieve the fortunes of the day. In that event will report the circumstances to General Headquarters, stating the force you have sent. The general wishes to hold your corps in hand to follow up a repulse of the enemy, which he regards as certain should he attack.
The general has directed ammunition to be loaded up. Send staff officers to the depot to see where the ammunition is and to secure its coming to the front with certainty and rapidity at the moment needed.
The general wishes you to detail plenty of staff assistance from you command, and to be in constant communication with him once at least every half hour should an engagement take place.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,