have heard from other sources. I would be glad to have you communicate the same to Washington. I have crossed the Chickahominy at Bottom's Bridge. Am making four bridges there, and constructing a rough tete-de-pont. Shall do the same at the other bridges before advancing in force to the attack. My headquarters are now about 3 miles from New Bridge. I except a desperate battle against superior force, but am so place that I have no choice but to give it, and trust to my own resources to overcome the difficulties. Will your position permit you to assist me by garrisoning Yorktown, Williamsburg, and White House? It would be a great obligation.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
JOHN E. WOOL,
HEADQUARTERS THREE MILES FROM NEW BRIDGE,
Cold Harbor, May 23, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
We are hard at work at Bottom's Bridge, building four bridges and covering the debouche. Are now reconnoitering New and Meadow Bridges. Have my communications well covered and everything well in hand.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 23, 1862 - 11.45 p. m.
General E. D. KEYES:
The general commanding directs me to say to you that it is probable the part of the army here will cross the Chickahominy to-morrow or the day following, and he regards it as a matter of importance that you should push forward your advance to-morrow to the Seven Pines, spoken of in my dispatch of this evening.
The general is much surprised that a deserter from the rebel army, who gives his name as James A. Beale, and states that he gave himself up to your pickets on the 17th instant, has not been sent to these headquarters until to-day.
This man communicates important information, which should have been made known before. You will please take steps to have all persons that come within your lines from the enemy in future sent at once to these headquarters, after obtaining from them such information as relates to the movements of the enemy immediately in your front, which should not consume more than third minutes' time after he reaches your headquarters.
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
No. 127. Camp near Cold Harbor, Va., May 23, 1862.
Each brigade commander will detail daily two companies, under a field officer, to march in rear of the brigade train as a guard. The field officer will be responsible that the train keeps closed.
If trains meet on the roads, those advancing toward the enemy will pass first, and those going to the rear will halt, if there is not room to