the Department of the Rappahannock, under the command of Major-General McDowell, comprising that portion of Virginia east of the Blue Ridge and west of the Potomac and the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad, including the District of Columbia and the country between the Potomac and Patuxent.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Fort Monroe, April 4, 1862.
Major General I. McDOWELL,
Commanding First Corps:
GENERAL: The information I have obtained here has induced me to move forward the troops for whom I have wagons, in order to invest Yorktown.
I still think that it will be advisable for you to land at least one division on the Severn, in order to insure the fall of Gloucester. I have therefore telegraphed to Franklin and Rucker to get your First Division embarked as soon as possible (supposing you will be here by this morning) to make this movement.
I hope to turn the battery at Ship Point this afternoon or early to-morrow morning and to get in rear of Yorktown to-morrow. I can therefore tell to-morrow what is the best disposition to make of your corps. It will probably be best to land one division on the Severn and to hold the others ready to move up the York River immediately upon the fall of Yorktown. My headquarters will be at Big Bethel to-night.
I had a full conversation with Flag-Officer Goldsborough and Captain Missroon last evening, and would be glad if you will see them also.
You know that we are substantially weakened to the extent of two divisions; first, by the loss of Blenker; next, by the rescinding of the order placing this fort and its dependencies under my command.
If you can get up to Big Bethel I can take care of your to-night and make you comfortable. Should I miss you, I will write fully, as events develop themselves.
Very truly, yours,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
FORT MONROE, April 5, 1862-1 p.m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
We have heard some firing in the direction of Yorktown. Two or three regiments have gone to Shipping Point, where a depot is to be established for the Army of the Potomac. From information received to-day it appears that the Merrimac is in the dry-dock, loaded with coal. She is to come out of the dock to-day with two more guns, one of large caliber. I have moved up troops to protect McClellan's left flank. All goes on very smoothly. I do not believe the Army of the Potomac will find many troops to contend with.
JOHN E. WOOL,