Most of the propellers here are laden with commissary or other supplies, and most of the tugs are necessary to tow off sail craft also laden with supplies.
I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
General R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff.
On the 9th I received this dispatch:
WASHINGTON, August 9, 1862-12.45 p.m.
I am of the opinion that the enemy is massing his forces in front of General Pope and Burnside, and that he expects to crush them and move forward to the Potomac. You must send re-enforcements instantly to Aquia Creek. Considering the amount of transportation at your disposal, your delay is not satisfactory. You must move with all possible celerity.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.
To which I sent the following reply:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Berkeley, August 10, 1862-8 a.m.
Telegram of yesterday received. The batteries sent to Burnside took the last available transport yesterday morning. Enough have since arrived to ship one regiment of cavalry to-day. The sick are being embarked as rapidly as possible. There has been no unnecessary delay, as you assert-not an hour's-but everything has been and is being pushed as rapidly as possible to carry out your orders.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commanding U. S. Army.
The following report, made on the same day by the officer then in charge of the transports, exposes the injustice of the remark in the dispatch of the General-in-Chief, that "Considering the amount of transportation at your disposal, your delay is not satisfactory:"
ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Harrison's Landing, Va., August 10, 1862.
Colonel Ingalls, being himself ill, has requested me to telegraph to you concerning the state and capacity of the transports now here. On the night of the 8th I dispatched eleven steamers, principally small ones, and six schooners, with five batteries of heavy horse artillery, none of which have yet returned.
Requisition is made this morning for transportation of 1,000 cavalry to Aquia Creek. All the schooners that had been chartered for carrying horses have been long since discharged or changed into freight vessels.
A large proportion of the steamers now here are still loaded with stores, or are in the floating hospital service, engaged in removing the sick. The transport the 1,000 cavalry to-day will take all the available steamers now here not engaged in the service of the harbor. These steamers could take a large number of infantry, but are not well adapted to the carrying of horses, and much space is thus lost. Several steamers are expected here to-day, and we are unloading schooners rapidly. Most of these are not chartered, but are being taken for the service required at same rates of pay as other chartered schooners. If you could cause a more speedy return of the steamers sent away from here it would facilitate matters.
C. G. SAWTELLE,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, Commanding Depot.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, U. S. Army, Washington.
Our wharf facilities at Harrison's Landing were very limited, admitting but few vessels at one time. These were continually is use as long as there were disposable vessels, and the officers of the medical and quartermaster's department, with all their available forces, were incessantly occupied day and night in embarking and sending off the sick men, troops, and material.