If this is true it is as good as a re-enforcement to you of an equal force. I could better dispose of things if I could know about what day you can attack Richmond, and would be glad to be informed, if you think you can inform me with safety.
McCLELLAN'S, June 18, 1862.
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your dispatch of to-day. Our army is well over the Chickahominy, except the very considerable forces necessary to protect our flanks and communications. Our whole line of pickets in front runs within 6 miles of Richmond. The rebel line runs within musket-range of ours. Each has heavy support at hand. A general engagement may take place any hour. An advance by us involves a battle more or less decisive. The enemy exhibit at every point a readiness to meet us. They certainly have great numbers and extensive works. If 10,000 or 15,000 men have left Richmond to re-enforce Jackson it illustrates their strength and confidence. After to-morrow we shall fight the rebel army as soon as Providence will permit. We shall await only a favorable condition of the earth and sky and the completion of some necessary preliminaries.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
McCLELLAN'S, June 18, 1862-11.30 a.m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Colonel Averell has just returned from a scout to the Mattapony. A band of guerrillas he was in search of had left the day before. He destroyed the bridge, took a number of wagons and carts loaded with supplies for Richmond, destroyed a large amount of rebel grain, and took some important prisoners. As usual, he conducted the expedition most handsomely.
Colonel Gregg made a handsome reconnaissance to Charles City Court-House and recovered some of the mules driven off by Stuart. I think we are about even with Stuart now. Am at a loss to understand the reported re-enforcements to Jackson, unless the enemy are in very great strength here. We will probably know more of the truth to-morrow.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
HDQRS. HOOKER'S DIVISION, THIRD ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Fair Oaks Station, Va., June 18, 1862.
Captain CHAUNCEY McKEEVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Army Corps:
The duty of obtaining the information desired by the major-general commanding in his communication of yesterday was assigned the Sixteenth Massachusetts Regiment by General Grover. It was executed in fine style. A heavy picket was run against and they attempted to make a stand, but were driven from the forest. Colonel Wyman reports