LOWER MARLBOROUGH, MD., September 20, 1861.
Brigadier General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Commanding Hooker's Brigade:
GENERAL: Your communications of the 18th and 19th are received.* I took up my line of march at 6 o'clock last evening and arrived here this morning at 1 o'clock, after having visited, by detachments, among others, the following places: Plum Point, Huntington, Parker's Creek, Mackall's Ferry, Buzzard's Creek, Battle Creek, Saint Leonard's, Drum Point, Cove Point, Fishing Creek, Port Republic, Buena Vista, and Point Patience, which is at the extreme end of the Peninsula. There is no doubt that the march of the regiment through this part of the country has had a good effect, and has broken up or paralyzed all military organizations in this vicinity, and I am of the opinion that there will be no new organizations created, the leaders having fled and a large majority of the members having expressed their determination not to oppose the Government.
In your communication of the 18th instant you say rumors have reached you of irregularities committed by my command. I am aware that such complaints have been made, but have no doubt that the accounts of them have been much exaggerated. All cases brought to my notice have been investigated and the parties punished. I believe that some of the cavalry, while on detached duty, have been chiefly the cause of these complaints, it being almost impossible to control them. Numbers of them have been intoxicated and unfit to perform their duty. I have hesitated to make this report, it having been my endeavor, since their connection with my command, to make them conduct themselves as soldiers.
I have been unable to find any trace of contraband trade, and think that if it exists on this side of the Patuxent it must be on a very small scale. I am also of the opinion that the object of the expedition has been accomplished as far as lies in my power, and that there is no further necessity of a large body of troops remaining in this vicinity.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Colonel First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, September 25, 1861.
U. S. A., Cross-Lanes, Va.:
No blow has been struck at you. That phrase objectionable.+ Draw re-enforcements and supplies as before. According to your means, clear as much of Western Virginia of the enemy as practicable. No precise instruction can be safely given from this distance, either for attack, pursuit, or falling back. You are a soldier, a scientific general, and confidence is reposed in your judgment and discretion, as well as in your zeal and valor; consequently good results are expected from you. There are two Illinois regiments at Camp Denninson subject to your call, through the governor, or, preferably, Brigadier-General Mitchell. Captain Gilbert's company is serving in the Western Department, and cannot be withdrawn. The captain was ordered to report to you for
+This dispatch thus answered not found.