ter calculated to injure my army and diminish the probabilities of success in the approaching battle now imminent than to restore General Hamilton to his division. I earnestly protest against any such action, and I trust that after this statement you will not think of sending General Hamilton back to this army.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
Opposite Fredericksburg, May 22, 1862.
Major-General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN:
I have received the orders of the President to move with the army under my command and co-operate with yours in the reduction of Richmond, and also a copy of his instructions to you in relation to that co-operation.
Major-General Shields will join me to-day. As soon as the necessary preparations for the march can be completed, which I think will be by the 24th instant, we shall set forth as the general directions ordered.
There is in front of us to impede our advance the secession Army of the Rappahannock, so called, under the command of Joseph R. Anderson, of the Tredegar Iron Works. His force is from 12,000 to 15,000 men, mostly South Carolina and Georgia troops.
We shall engage this force on our first day's march, as they are now within from 6 to 8 miles of us, posted on and to the right and left of the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad, and in a position of considerable strength. It is my purpose to try and turn this position by throwing a force on their left flank and cut off their opportunity of receiving any re-enforcements from the direction of Gordonsville, and at the same time endeavor to save the railroad bridges. If this can be doen, another channel of supply can be had for the forces going against Richmond that cannot fail to give great relief to the quartermaster's and commissary departments of your army, and thus facilitate your operations. We cannot rely on this at first, because they now occupy the line, and I am told are prepared to destroy the bridges if they are forced to fall back.
I beg to ask to what extent can I rely on co-operation from you in my present movements in the way of your cutting off the retreat of the enemy upon Richmond, where they would add 12,000 to the forces against you, and in saving the railroad bridge across the Pamunkey, and to what points on the Pamunkey can you extend your right to join me, and to what point can you cause supplies to be places for my command, and by what date can I count on finding them ready for me? I shall require subsistence for 38,000 men and forage for 11,000 animals.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH CORPS,
Near Bottom's Bridge, Va., May 22, 1862.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:
SIR: Brigadier-General Casey reports the death of Brigadier-General Keim, late in command of the Second Brigade of his division.