With the exception of ambulances, all vehicles will be left on the eastern side of the Chickahominy and carefully parked. The men will leave their knapsacks packed with the wagons, and will carry three days rations in their haversacks. The arms will be put in perfect order before the troops march, and careful inspection made of them, as well as of the cartridge boxes, which in all cases by the men in their pockets. Commanders of batteries will see that their limber and caisson boxes are filled to their utmost capacity.
Commanders of army corps will devote their personal attention to the fulfillment of these orders, and will personally see that the proper arrangements are made for parking and properly guarding the trains and surplus baggage, taking all the steps necessary to insure their being brought promptly to the front when needed. They will also take steps to prevent the ambulances from interfering with the movement of any troops. These vehicles must follow in rear of all the troops moving by the same road. Sufficient guards and staff officers will be detailed to carry out these orders.
The ammunition wagons will be held in readiness of march to their respective brigades and batteries at a moment's warning, but will not cross the Chickahominy until they are sent for. All quartermasters and ordnance officers are to remain with their trains.
II. In the approaching battle, the general commanding trusts that the troops will preserve the discipline which he has been so anxious to enforce and which they have so generally observed. He calls upon all officers and soldiers to obey promptly and intelligently all orders they may receive.
Let them bear in mind that the Army of the Potomac has never yet been checked; let them preserve in battle perfect coolness and confidence, the sure forerunners of success.
They must keep well together; throw away no shots, but aim carefully and low, and above all things rely upon the bayonet. Commanders of regiments are reminded of the great responsibility that rests upon them; upon their coolness, judgment, and discretion the destinies of their regiments and the success of the day will depend.
By command of Major-General McClellan:
McCLELLAN'S HEADQUARTERS, May 26, 1862.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President:
I have lost 3,000 men in the last ten days by sickness and casualties, in addition to the guards I am obliged to leave behind me. In view of the fact that I have no child's play before me, and that General Wool has no further active operations in contemplation, I would request that he may be instructed to furnish at once one regiment of infantry to garrison Yorktown and Gloucester; five companies of infantry and four of cavalry for Williamsburg; one regiment and five companies of infantry to garrison White House and the railroad. All of these points up to White House lie in Wool's department. If, in addition to this, more infantry could be spared from the Department of Virginia to cover my right, it will prevent my breaking up brigades and divisions, and give me so many more reliable men in the battle. I would ask a speedy