War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0751 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, March 13, 1862.

Honorable GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy:

SIR: I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that he places at your disposal any transports or coal vessels at Fort Monroe for the purpose of closing the channel of the Elizabeth River to prevent the Merrimac again coming out.

I have the honor, & c.,

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE,

March 13, 1862. (Received 8.30 p. m.)

Adjutant-General THOMAS:

In doubtful uncertainty as to General Burnside's position and how far he may now be engaged in his final operation, it is difficult to give him very precise orders at present. I think it would be well that he should not engage himself further inland than at New Berne and should at once reduce Beaufort, leaving there a sufficient garrison in Fort Macon. He should at once return to Roanoke Island, ready to co-operate with all his available force, either by way of Winton or by way of Fort Monroe, as circumstances may render necessary. I advise this on the supposition that Captain Fox is correct in his opinion that Burnside will have New Berne this week. If he has become fairly engaged in the movement, I would not stop him.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General.

FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE,

March 13, 1862. (Received 9.30 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Your dispatch of 7.40 just received and will be at once carried into execution. I returned only a short time since from reviewing Smith's division, and found it in admirable condition and spirits.

Contrabands just in report enemy on Rappahannock and Gordonsville in force.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Fairfax Court-House, March 13, 1862. (Received 9.40 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I would respectfully suggest that the Secretary of the Navy be requested to order to Fort Monroe whatever force Du Pont can now spare, as well as any available force that Goldsborough can send up, as soon as his present operations are completed.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General.