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 from 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 Brigadier Gens. Don Charlos 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,
HEADQUARTERS HOOKER'S BRIGADE,
Camp Union, September 8, 1861.
Commanding First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers:
The major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac is informed that the 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 our 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. You 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