gades, and what shall I do with them when the bridges are burned? I am totally in the dark as to my future, as the bridges will be destroyed the moment I threaten them, if not before.
MARCH 19, 1862-1 p. m. (Sent 2.25 p. m.)
General HOOKER, Budd's Ferry:
The sole object of your movement would [be] to force the enemy to destroy his bridges at Fredericksburg. From accounts received last night from wyman as to strength I think two brigades very weak for the purpose. When I hear from you in answer to message sent a few minutes ago as to position of rebels I can decide definitely; meantime await further orders.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
WASHINGTON, March 19, 1862.
(Sent 10.24 a. m.)
General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Seminary, Va.:
In accordance with your understanding with General Heintzelman yesterday morning, I directed General Hooker to cross two brigades of his division, a squadron of cavalry, and a light battery, and drive the rebels, which he said were still at their batteries at Aquia, toward Fredericksburg; but upon the receipt of a dispatch from him last night, stating that Aquia depot and the batteries had, according to the report of there deserters, been abandoned and the troops withdrawn, I advised him to postpone his movement until to-day, when he could probably learn more about it. I told him, however, not to look upon this as an order, provided he at any time considered it expedient to go ahead.
He asks, "Shall i move camp permanently?" which I suppose means will he cross and remain permanently on the other side. I will let him know your wishes as soon as I get your answer.
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS, Seminary, March 19, 1862.
Direct Hooker not to move until further orders.
A. V. COLBURN,
HEADQUARTERS RICHARDSON'S DIVISION,
Manassas, March 19, 1862.
General E. V. SUMNER:
DEAR SIR: A reconnaissance this morning shows that the bayonets spoken of yesterday in my dispatch were from General Banks' column,