miles long. The only trouble at present is in regard to horse transports. If [they] shall arrive promptly we shall have rapid and glorious results.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
MARCH 18, 1862. (Sent 2,50 p. m.)
Have you the means of transportation, and can you cross at Hook's [Budd's] Ferry, to turn the batteries at Aquia Creek and force the enemy to but the bridges across the Rappahannock? If you have, please cross at once, and drive them across. This is dependent on Commander Wyman giving you something to cover the landing.
Let me know what vessels he has.
S. P. HEINTZELMAN,
BUDD'S FERRY, March 18, 1862.
I have canal-boats enough to cross my infantry force without transportation or supplies, but no tugs. Will see if I can find and communicate with Captain Wyman, and see what he can do for me. Can do what you propose if I can be set across this infernal river.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 18, 1862-6 p. m.
(Sent 6.36 p. m.)
General J. HOOKER, Budd's Ferry:
Your dispatch to General Heintzelman has been received.
If you find after communicating with Captain Wyman that you can cross two brigades of your division, with one light battery and some cavalry, you are authorized to move on to Aguia creek, and if you find you can with safety do so, you will proceed on to the Rappahannock River, when the enemy will probably destroy the brigade.
Proceed with caution and feel your way as you advance.
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
MARCH 18, 1862-7 p. m.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY:
I have not yet heard a syllable from Captain Wyman, nor is there a tug in sight. My cavalry, with the exception of one company, are now stationed along the banks of the Potomac, Chesapeake, and Patuxent Rivers more than 100 miles. Cannot they be ordered in. If I move tonight with two brigades it will be without baggage, except blankets an I haversacks.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.