WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., March 13, 1862-5.20 p. m.
General McDowell has arrived here and presented a paper purporting to be the opinion of the generals commanding army corps, but it contains nothing indicating that it is your plan.* The Department has nothing to show what it your plan of operations. Will you be pleased to state specifically what plan of operations you propose to execute under the present circumstances? Please state at what time this dispatch is received by you and at what hour your answer is transmitted. This rule had better be observed in all our telegraphic communications. There is nothing new from Fortress Monroe.
In respect to General Wood's question of rank, I will remark that he will be relieved from command whenever you desire to assume it at that place, and if you determine to make Fortress Monroe your base of operations, you shall have the control over the forces under General Burnside's command. All the forces and means of the Government will be at your disposal. This is transmitted at 5.20 p.m .
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WINCHESTER, March 13, 1862-5.45 p. m.
General R. B. MARCY:
Orders have been issued to General Sedgwick to move his division to Harpers' Ferry in accordance with instructions; distance, 20 miles. Will be there to-morrow night. Will report later when division can leave for Centerville. All quiet here.
N. P. BANKS,
WINCHESTER, VA., March 13, 1862-5.45 p. m.
Brigadier General JOHN SEDGWICK,
GENERAL: It is ordered by the Major-General Commanding The Army that you move your division "without delay to Harper's Ferry, and remain in readiness to leave that place at short notice."
You will please execute this order with all dispatch. In answer to inquiry, I have reported that you would probably be at Harper's Ferry Saturday afternoon, 15th instant.
General Dana intended when I left Charlestown to remain there until to-morrow (Friday) morning, and will then move towards you unless otherwise ordered.
I am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding, &c.
HEADQUARTERS, SEDGWICK'S DIVISION,
Berryville, Va., March 13, 1862.
The division will move toward Harper's Ferry to-morrow morning.
* * * *
By order of Brigadier-General Sedgwick, commanding division:
WM. D. SEDGWICK,
*See McClellan's report, pp. 55, 56.