War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0121 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, April 24, 1862-3 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Colonel Gove mae a very handsome reconnaissance this morning and obtained very important information, without losing a man. New works discovered on Smith's left this morning. Work on first parallel commenced to-day under cover of timber. Exposed part on the left of Wormley's Creek will be commenced to-night. Will commence under cover of brush the part on right of Wormley's Creek to-morrow morning and complete exposed part to-morrow. Will also at once commence new batteries. Enemy quiet to-day. All going on well.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., April 25, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN:

GENERAL: The inclosed extract from a letter just received at this Department I am advised by General Hitchcock to send to you, in view of the high character of the writer.

I should deem it impertinent to obtrude my own opinions or of my own motion to send you such a paper, notwithstanding my intense solicitude for your success and a desire to render any aid I can.

Yours,very truly,

P. H. WATSON.

[Inclosure.]

Excuse me for again troubling you, but the condition of things in your neighborhood causes me much anxiety. In my opinion there is to be no stand made by the Confederate at Yorktown. The array there and Jeff. Davis' visit and inspection is a mere demonstration. If Davis is a general, which I think he is, he will on some day, in less then ten days, concentrate all his forces suddenly and attack McDowell at Fredericksburg or between that point and Richmond.

Preparatory to this he will draw off, and is probably now drawing off, all his troops from Yorktown, leaving all the time enough there to amuse McClellan and keep out of the way his 70,000 men. For this 10,000 men will be ample, and he will on McDowell with his whole disposable force.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C. April 25, 1862.

The PRESIDENT:

By the direction of the Secretary of War I transmit herewith for your information the accompanying letter and inclosure just received from the Secretary of the Navy, urging the capture of Norfolk, and suggesting the military measures which in his opinion should be taken for the accomplishment of that object.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Adjutant of War.