the Army of the Potomac instructions for you to proceed to Fredericton and Saint Leonard's, and gain all the information possible regarding the designs and movements of the enemy, capturing such organized parties as you may meet with, and taking all the arms and munitions of war you may fall in with; but you will not allow your men to depredate upon citizens who attend to their own legitimate business and do not afford aid to the enemy, even if they are secessionists. When this is executed, you will return to Lower Marlborough and await further orders.
The general is also informed that Colonel Dwight is ordered to Port Tobacco. The necessary supplies will be forwarded to you; but in order to do this it is necessary for you to report the strength of your command and the most direct route over which they should be forwarded to Lower Marlborough. This you can determine from your own observation. Stores forwarded to you yesterday were dispatched in season to reach you at Lower Marlborough that day, and it was expected that on the receipt of this information you would have halted your command if on the march, if you did not return to that point. If, on inquiry, you should find that you have not on hand rations for your whole command for the time necessary for you to execute the foregoing instructions, you will divide it, and send forward as large a party as you are able to find. If the teamsters return in season, additional supplies will be sent from here to-morrow, and should be able to reach Lower Marlborough the same night.
It is presumed that you are senior officer to Colonel Dwight.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 15, 1861.
General W. B. FRANKLIN,
For important reasons, I desire you to push forward to completion the defensive works around your position as rapidly (especially that work on the south side of Hunting Creek), with all your available force.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
LOWER MARLBOROUGH, MD., September 16, 1861.
Commanding Hooker's Brigade:
GENERAL: We are now quartered near Lower Marlborough, on the road to Prince Fredericton. In regard to the number of the cavalrymen, we were informed by the commanders that there were 130 men, but since find that they have only 90, and have not been re-enforced. Some of their men who have been sent as messengers have not reported themselves back, and the conduct of the whole force during their connection with me has been anything but satisfactory. I shall march with my whole force to Fredericton to-day.
In answer to the inquiry as to how long it will take to perform the expedition, I would say that we can probably return to Lower Marlborough