War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0014 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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WAR DEPARTMENT,

March 18, 1862-10.20 a. m.

Major General JOHN E. WOOL,

Commanding Fort Monroe:

SIR: The prospective operations of the portion of the army under immediate direction of General McClellan may possibly extend over some part of the district within your command under existing orders.

If such should be the case, it is the President's desire that the efficiency of his action should not be put to hazard by a technical adherence to the strict letter defining your geographical command, and you are therefore requested, should the case occur, to waive the exercise of your authority temporarily in his favor.

The President does not doubt your recognition of the necessity for these instructions, and confidently trusts in your patriotism to give effect to them.

Truly, yours,

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS FORT MONROE,

March 18, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STATION,

Secretary of War:

I had the honor but a moment since to receive your dispatch of this date.

In reply, I assure both you and the President that no technicalities nor geographical lines will prevent me from assisting Major-General McClellan or any other general officer to the extent of my power and ability to execute to the fullest extent any plan or military operations authorized by either you or the President. To show that my character had not been misjudged, before receiving your dispatch I had given orders to my staff to render every assistance to facilitate the movements and operations of General McClellan.

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.

ALEXANDRIA, VA.,

March 18, 1862-12,45 p. m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

One division of Heintzelman's army is on board and vessels getting under way. In half an hour all will be off. Transports have arrived slowly. There were not enough last night to complete embarkation of this division. Other vessels now arriving, and McDowell's army will be put in motion as soon as sufficient number of vessels are here to make commencement. General McClellan and his officers have visited all the landings this morning, and are now preparing a general plan for speedy movements of troops. Has Mr. tucker secured vessels enough to move this large force, with its artillery and cavalry? I will be at office about 2 o'clock, and leave for Baltimore at 2.30. The men are in fine order, and not in the demoralized condition that was reported yesterday.

THOMAS A. SCOTT,

Assistant Secretary of War.