that no delay will result from awaiting a reply to the communication of yesterday, borne by Captain T. H. Neill, Fifth Infantry. I have been given to understand that it is desirable regular troops should precede the volunteers through Baltimore. If so, the five companies of the Third Infantry should be here. this will not be before to-morrow night.
Only three of the sixteen regiments (there are more, but not reported) in this department are supplied with cooking utensils, and only one with tents, and almost all of them rely from necessity upon rations supplied to them cooked at their present location. If withdrawn from those camps without further preparation, they will be thrown for a time upon a community where such resources cannot be relied upon, and the public interests perhaps suffer in many ways.
The troops have but very little ammunition; some of them none; some of the cartridges do not fit their arms, and no boxes are on hand to secure them against wear and weather. Much ammunition has already been destroyed. To supply the troops in advance supplies here have been nearly exhausted.
The bridges on the Northern Central Railroad will all be repaired and protected at the time the combined movement can be made, and all the forces be before Baltimore at the same time.
I have arranged to gather transportation at Perryville on Wednesday. I design that night or Thursday morning to throw ample force into Have de Grace (which I occupy to-morrow) to be at once thrown forward to Bush River, leaving companies to secure the road. To Bush River and the Gunpowder boats bearing companies will be sent to hold and secure the bridges over those streams, and to Canton, in the vicinity of Baltimore, will be sent vessels to land Sherman's battery, the five companies of the Third Infantry, and two regiments of volunteers from this city. These regiments will send back on the road to Have de Grace companies to protect it.
I have given the commanding officer at York his instructions, and a telegram will put him in motion. General Butler will also be notified of my intended movements. The command hence to Baltimore will be under Brevet Major-General Cadwalader; that from York under Major-General Keim, having the aid of Lieutenant-Colonel Porter. The movement shall be made without waiting for any more cooking utensils and ammunition than can be procured by Wednesday from such resources as are at hand. The ordnance depot having been closed to me, and the clothing bureau having but a scant supply, and no requisition from Washington (except that one regiment had been ordered to be supplied from Frankford) having been acted upon, I must rely upon what can be procured in open market.
I judge from the telegrams of the Secretary of War that he is desirous to have opened these routes through Baltimore, and, presuming he must be aware of the unprepared condition of the troops in this department, I shall, although advising against it, make this movement, unless instructed by the General-in-Chief to delay, relying upon the Quartermaster's and Ordnance Departments to supply deficiencies as soon as practicable.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.-Since writing the above I have been notified that the clothing bureau will provide the necessary cooking utensils and canteens.
40 R R-VOL II