Lower Marlborough; nor can it be at this time, unless you should be in possession of information which you have failed to communicate, which I presume is not the case.
It is impossible to make your instructions any other than general, where the extent and character of your operations must depend mainly on information which it is your object to acquire from observation and intercourse with the people around you. It I may form an opinion from the extracts you have furnished me from Colonel Dwight's instructions, I conclude that his instructions warrant him in covering a much larger field of operations than was intended for your command, and unless you have reliable information that the rebels are in force at Port Tobacco or that an extensive trade in contraband goods was going on from that point, which it will require your assistance to destroy, I would not advise your to take part in the operations of Colonel Dwight in that direction. If this movement was suggested at headquarters, and it was designed that you should participate in it, it is quite probably that I would have been so advised. Be that as it may, I desire that you will keep open your communication with Colonel Dwight and hold yourself in readiness to support him in all times of need.
The general requests that you will keep a good lookout in the direction of the Potomac while Colonel Dwight is operating in the direction of Port Tobacco; but at all times observe and be governed by your own instructions, rather than the alleged ones of others. The general is gratified with your adherence to them, so far as he is informed. It is not advisable to direct houses to be searched for individual arms, and in no case unless you have good reasons to suppose that they are used by the rebels as places of deposit for arms and contraband stores.
Be pleased to have the wagons and escort sent your to-day returned without delay.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, September 13, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith the report of the Sanitary Commission.
Proper arrangement in field and hospital for the sick and wounded of an army is one of the most imperative and has always been found one of the most difficult, duties of a government. From its very nature it should be under the immediate direction of the commanding general, and the whole organization intrusted to him, free from the tedious delays, inconvenient formalities, and inefficient action incident to every bureau system, however ably administered.
The Medical Bureau of the United States, like every other branch of the military service, was organized in reference to a very small army, operating generally in small divisions, and in time of peace, and hence it could not fail to be inadequate to the sudden and enormous exigencies of the present war while its failure affords no ground of imputation or reproach against the distinguished medical officers instructed with its administration. By no administrative talent can a system