JUNE 24, 1862.
Captain CHAUNCEY McKEEVER:
All the information from our lookouts to-day confirm my opinion of yesterday, that the rebel force in my front is considerably reduced. A portion of their camp has been removed to-day. The pickets have been unusually quiet all day.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, June 24, 1862-1 a.m.
The general commanding desires you to advance your pickets, if you have not already done so, in front of Richardson, on the right of the railroad, as far as the opening of it can be done, with the support of one brigade, without bringing on a general engagement. He wishes this done this morning, if practicable, under the conditions specified. If you advance your pickets inform General Hooker beforehand.
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS, June 24, 1862.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I was mistaken this morning; the skirmish was between Richardson's pickets and the enemy. In ended throwing a few caseshot upon the enemy. I regret extremely to report that some of our pickets are behaving very badly, and it seems to me that are getting worse and worse.
Please get an answer to my note in the night about advancing my pickets. I think it will bring on an engagement, for I do not see how I can withdraw a brigade after it is engaged.
I would respectfully suggest whether we cannot learn the position of the enemy better with intelligent scouts than by driving in their pickets before we are ready to make a general advance. Please answer by bearer.
E. V. SUMNER,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, June 24, 1862-12 m.
General E. V. SUMNER:
All that the commanding general wishes you to do is to connect the left of your pickets with the right of Hooker's as those of the latter advance. It will not be necessary for the center and right of your pickets to go forward at all, and the commanding general thinks a regiment opposite that part of your left line of pickets which advances will be sufficient to support them in case of resistance. He also thinks