War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0724 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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prise is close at hand. I must have a dark morning, for if the enemy observe my movements early the news can be communicated to Dumfries, and I shall have a larger force thrown on me than I can conveniently handle. The snow and moon together would be fatal to my success.

By pleased to telegraph me respecting the capacity of the barges.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

FEBRUARY 18, 2862-8 p. m.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS:

It has been reported to me, and I credit it, that about 250 rebels have been breaking ground directly across from Liverpool Point to-day. The river is 3 1\2 miles across at that point, and if for the purpose of establishing a battery, it can do no harm. If they cannot strike vessels distant I mile, they are not to be apprehended at more than three times that distance. It is estimated that about 250 men are at work there. The balloon was up all the morning, but the observations were unsatisfactory-the atmosphere being thick in the morning and foggy in the evening. The snow also obscures the outlines of the camps.

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

FEBRUARY 18, 1862.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS:

With the data before me I am of opinion that the invasion of Virginia by Fouke's Landing or Boyd's Hole will be productive of the same results as at Aquia, with this difference: it gives us a better country to campaign in. The effect on the war in Eastern Virginia would depend very much on the strength of the column. If of three divisions, it would compel the enemy in the north to fall back without his railroads, enable us to take Richmond, or, if considered of more importance, capture Magruder's command.

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

HEADQUARTERS HOOKER'S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, February 20, 1862.

Brigadier General S. S. WILLIAMS,

Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

As Captain Wyman did not call on me on his return, as was expected by the Major-General Commanding in his letter of the 17th instant, and not knowing but that there might be something remaining which that officer had not communicated to me, I visited him this p. m. This was my earliest opportunity of doing so.

I learned nothing of the subject of our meeting which had not already answered by my letter to Brigadier S. Williams on the same day.

My observations from the balloon satisfy me that the batteries in my

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