General Couch that he has just seen them some distance below Lee's Mill, on the opposite side of that river, morning down. I have been busy ever since, and am now engaged in endeavoring to ascertain what this movement means, and have returned to Warwick Court-House for that purpose, where I shall probably remain to-night, unless needed elsewhere. For the present I consider this the most important point for me to be in, until I learn the meaning of the enemy's movement down the river.
My scouts now report the enemy down at the left.
I remain, &c.,
E. D. KEYES,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Army Corps.
NEAR YORKTOWN, April 5, 1862-7.30 p.m.
The enemy are in large force along out front, and apparently intend making a determined resistance. A reconnaissance just made General Barnard shows that their line of works extend across the entire Peninsula from Yorktown to Warwick River. Many of them are very formidable. Deserters say they are being re-enforced daily from Richmond and from Norfolk. Under these circumstances I beg that you will reconsider the order detaching the First Corps from my command. In my deliberate judgment the success of our cause will be imperiled by so greatly reducing my force when it is actually under the fire of the enemy and active operations have commenced. Two or three of my divisions have been under fire of artillery most of the day. I am now of the opinion that I shall have to fight all the available force of now of the rebels not far from here. Do not force me to do so with diminished numbers. But whatever you decision may be, I will leave nothing undone to obtain success. If you cannot leave me the whole of the First Corps, I urgently ask that I may not lose Franklin and his division.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Washington, April 5, 1862.
Major General JOHN E. WOOL,
Commanding Fort Monroe:
Please say whether you have received Adjutant-General's order placing Fort Monroe and vicinity entirely under your command. Send a boat across to-night with full report of to-day's proceedings. Direct Heiss and the party engaged in laying the cable to lose to time, if [the] weather calm, in getting ready. They should leave Fort Monroe early in the morning and be at the break by daylight.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Big Bethel, April 5, 1862.
Brigadier General STEWART VAN VLIET,
Acting Quartermaster-General, Army of the Potomac, Fort Monroe:
GENERAL: I am directed by the commanding general to say that he finds the enemy in force a short distance in front, and too strongly intrenched