front can be stormed and carried in the manner I have already communicated whenever suitable night presents itself for that service; or, if that should not be deemed the most satisfactory mode of destroying them, I now have the means, with the aid of the flotilla, of landing three brigades of my division on the rebel shore and of demolishing the batteries regularly.
To do this I would being the attack on Cockpit Point, and march down the river, crossing the Quantico by boats. With six Dahlgren howitzers from high ground on the north side of the quantico I can drive the rebels from the batteries at Shipping Point in two hours. These guns, with ammunition, I can procure from the flotilla.
The Whitworth guns have arrived. If these guns possess the virtues assigned them, I believe that the camps of all the supports o the batteries can be broken up. I will know as soon as I can have them put in position.
The steamer Page will also be in danger, if I am not mistaken.
The free navigation of the river will give us immense advantage over the rebels, particularly so long as the roads remain in their present condition, and the destruction of the batteries will in no way expose future intentions of the Major-General in the conduct of the war.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
FREDERICK, MD., February 22, 1862.
General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: In relation to the subject considered in the interview with General McClellan, I am able to report that the troops of this division are ready for immediate movement. The quartermaster and commissary are completing their arrangements for transportation and supplies. As soon as the additional troops which were spoken of by General McClellan can be designated and put in communication with us, the General can put us on the march.
Colonel Geary is prepared to occupy the Loundoun Heights. Parties to which I referred for destroying the bridge designated by me, and one other westerward, if possible, on the same railway, crossing the sources of Goose Creek, which falls into the Potomac at Edwards Ferry, are at work. These are bridges spanning streams as wide as the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, although less rapid and deep, and the opinion is expressed here that once broken they could not be reconstructed in some weeks. The engineers will have explained their views of the most practicable crossing. My own opinion, after such reflection as I could give the subject, is that the pontoon train will serve best for the first crossing; it can be thrown across in a few hours, and we can transport artillery and supply wagons across by hand instead of teams, if necessary. The canal-boat bridge can be constructed immediately after, and the railway company will replace theirs in two weeks' time for permanent use.
The Charlestown road is the best for travel, and carried us to the weakest points of the town. I am entirely satisfied that the outline of movement suggested will be a successful one.
I should be glad to receive the maps of that part of Virginia which exhibits the roads at Romney, Unger's Bloomery Gap, &c., and the de-