I returned to Colonel Dwight a communication, of which the following is a copy:
HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS,
Smithville, Md., September 12, 1861.
SIR: My instructions from headquarters do not contemplate any movement below Lower Marlborough. If you have received any orders applicable to this command, please forward to me copies thereof, in order that my movements may be governed thereby. My present intention is to move down to Lower Marlborough, and, unless I receive through you or therwise some different instructions, then, in compliance with my original orders from General McClellan, I shall return towards Upper Marlborough to-day, and shall reach that place some time to-morrow. It will give me great pleasure to meet you, if possible, and exchange compliments, and consult upon the state of affairs in this section of the country.
I am, sir, yours, very respectfully,
Colonel First Massachusetts Volunteers.
As I cannot gather from my instructions that the regiment is to be detached from your brigade to occupy Port Tobacco, under the command of Colonel Dwight, I shall proceed to a point from which I can move easily in either direction, and await further orders from you. If I move at all, it will be towards Upper Marlborough. I can find no indications of any enemy in this neighborhood, except that negroes report that some thirty or forty of the residents here meet occasionally for cavalry drill, and that they seem to keep up partially their old militia organization.
While preparing this dispatch Captain Wild has come in from a scouting party and I inclose his report.*
As our stores have run low, I shall be obliged to make requisitions upon the country for supplies. In relation to the lamented death of Lieutenant Hogg, I learn that the accident was caused by the unseaworthy condition of the boat, which gave way under the wight of the men and horses on board. I should be glad to be instructed by you whether I shall cause the houses to be searched in which I am informed there are single cavalry sabers and uniforms.
P. S.-Later-4 p. m. I am now on my way towards Upper Marlborough.
HEADQUARTERS HOOKER'S BRIGADE,
Camp Union, September 13, 1861.
Colonel ROBERT COWDIN, Commanding Detachment, &c.:
SIR: The report of your operations, detached 2 p. m. on the 12th instant, reached here this morning. Prior to its receipt I had advised you of the views of the brigadier-general commanding in regard to your future movements, and also informed you that additional rations for your command would be forwarded to you this morning. They have left, and will reach you to-day, even if you should still be at Lower Marlborough.
From the spirit of the general's instructions from headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, he is of the opinion that it was not contemplated that you should extend you reconnaissance farther to the south than