War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0175 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, May 16, 1862 - 1.12 p. m.

Major General JOHN E. WOOL,

Fort Monroe:

If any person not in the military service should presume to give you any instructions or directions in respect to military operations you will give them no attention, unless they are specially authorized, in writing, by the President or by this Department.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WHITE HOUSE, May 16, 1862.

(Received May 17, 2.45 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Our advanced columns occupied Baltimore Cross-Roads and Tunstall's Station to-day. The rebel pickets withdrew before our troops. They burned the railroad bridge across the Pamunkey at this place and other bridges in advance as far as we have examined.

The rains during the past two days have rendered the roads so bad that the train of one division has been thirty-six hours in making 5 miles.

I have been informed this evening that the official reports of certain commanders engaged in the battle at Williamsburg have by some means unknown to me got into the hands of newspaper reporters, who will probably forward them for publication before I have submitted them to you. I shall take steps to ascertain how this has been done and prevent any such unmilitary and unjustifiable proceedings in future. In the mean time I beg to suggest that it might be well to prohibit their publication in this instance by a telegraphic order from the Department. My report will be transmitted as soon as I receive all the reports from the different commanders.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

INGALLS, May 16, 1862.

(Received May 17, 4.20 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

A contraband just in report that he heard an officer of Confederate Army say our gunboats had reached within 8 miles of Richmond.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

White House, May 16, 1862 - 11 a. m.

(Received May 17, 4.30 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Have just arrived. Roads as bad as can be. The trains of two divisions which left Cumberland yesterday a. m. are not yet half way up - distance 5 miles. Rain has ceased, so that roads will, I hope, improve. Impossible to make other movements of troops to-day.