War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0758 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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made upon Norfolk - always a favorite measure of this Department - instant measures will be taken to advise and strengthen Flag-Officer Goldsborough, but unless such be the case, I should be extremely reluctant to take any measure that would even temporarily weaken the efficacy of the blockade, expedially at the points under the command of Flag-Officer Du Pont. The importance of capturing Norfolk is, I know, deemed almost indispensable by Flag-Officer Goldsborough, who will be happy to co-operate in a movement in that direction, and will, I need not assure you, have the active and earnest efforts of this Department to aid him with all the force that can be placed at his disposal.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

GIDEON WELLES.

The foregoing letter was received late last night.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., March 15, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, General, Commanding:

GENERAL: Application has been made to this Department by representatives from the State of Virginia that the force under General Lockwood, now in Eastern Virginia, is no longer needed there, and it would gratify the inhabitants to have all but a small portion removed..

I beg to direct your attention to the subject, and that you will make such order as you deem proper.

Yours, truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Washington, March 15, 1862.

Major General I. MCDOWELL, Commanding First Army Corps:

GENERAL: The commanding general directs that your corps take with it on its transports six days' subsistence, of which at least three days must be cooked and in haversacks.

Each commissary must provide himself with scales, butchers' tools, and whatever else may be necessary for the efficient performance of his duties. Any property that cannot be taken will be left in charge of an agent, whose name, together with a statement of the property so left, will be reported by the Commissary-General of Subsistence.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Near Alexandria, March 15, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have the honor herewith to return the letter of Mr. Reverdy Johnson, having retained a copy.

I would beg to call your attention to the very indefinite nature of the letter. There were many Massachusetts regiments in and near Montgomery County until within a few days past; unless the locality is specified it would seem to be impossible to carry out your orders, for the.