skirmish near there yesterday, killing seventeen. Parties threaten Piedmont. I suggest that one of McCall's regiments occupy Piedmont at once, to protect Union, and the other re-enforce Wallace. I cannot spare the force just at present. It would produce excellent effect, and is really important. If rumored are true, I have sharp work before me. Information vague.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
WASHINGTON, June 27, 1861.
Major-General PATTERSON, U. S. A.,
Commanding, &c., Hagerstown, Md.:
I have your telegram of this date about a prisoner, but no acknowledgment of mine of the 25th, and letter of the same date. Under the enemy. You needed no special authority for sending prisoners to Fort McHenry.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Hagerstown, Md.,k June 27, 1861.
Major General GORGE CADWALADER,
Commanding, Williamsport, Md.:
GENERAL: The commanding-general desires information of the location of the enemy on the opposite of the river. To aid in obtaining it he sends Captain Simpson to you, and for the same purpose authorizes you to retain Captain Newton. This information is to determine the importance of crossing the river and offering battle or the possibility of cutting off any considerable body of their army. He purposes, with a part or all of his available force, to cross the river east of Falling Waters and to rout such portions of the enemy as may be near the point of crossing; to attack the force stationed near the junction of the Shepherdstown road with that form Williamsport to Martinsburg; to turn upon the enemy stationed on the Neck, and recross at the ford near Williamsport. Though wishing specially the character and number of the fords east of Williamsport, the same information of those west is important, in order to make a diversion, and perhaps his main attack on that side.
Lest a reconnaissance should draw the enemy in force from Bunker Hill in time to strengthen the body between this and Martinsburg, the general desires the information obtained as secretly as possible, employing spies to go into Virginia and testing the fords at night, by intelligent persons, swimming, &c. He designs to cross with a force which will render success certain. Other information may bee obtained in seeking for that desired, which may tend to change this plan or to mature it, and therefore the general desires the officers not to confine themselves to this. As soon as possible, after sufficient information is obtained, the general wishes Captains Newton and Simpson to report to him. He only awaits the arrival of harness for Perkins' battery and this information to act.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. PORTER,