that your center and right are more likely to be attacked than the left. You will not, therefore, take any of your troops to support Hooker without orders from these headquarters.
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
Off Jamestown, June 24, 1862.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN:
The railroad bridge over Swift Creek is 250 feet long. I will attempt to destroy it when you wish. It should be done a short time before you make your attack. I shall try by night with row-boats. Can you indicate when to do it?
Commanders, U. S. Navy.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp Lincoln, June 24, 1862-6 p.m.
Com. JOHN RODGERS:
Dispatch received. If you can effectually destroy the bridge in question the sooner it is done the better. They cannot replace a bridge of that length in many weeks, and I am about to commence decisive measures. Circumstances force me to begin my attack at some distance from the oxide.* In a few days I hope to gain such a position as to enable me to place a force above Ball's and Drewry's Bluff's, so that we can remove the obstructions and place ourselves in communication with you so that you can co-operate in the final attack. In the mean time please keep some gunboats as near Drewry's Bluff as prudence will permit. Within the next two or three days I hope to be within range of oyster.* By that time I hope to see you in person to arrange our movements. I will inform you fully how I progress.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
CAMP LINCOLN, June 24, 1862-6.30 p.m.
Commanding Third Corps:
Dispatch of 6 p.m. received.+ If it is a possible thing, take advantage of the weakness of the enemy and push your pickets at least to the edge of the next clearing. Please give your personal attention to this, and arrange with General Sumner so that he may maintain constant connection.
I have been all over the right to-day and will open with heavy guns to-morrow. To-morrow night I hope to gain possession of the Garnett field, and by another day of the Old Tavern and some ground in advance. It will be chiefly an artillery and engineer affair.
Keep your command as fresh as possible, ready for another battle.
*Words not deciphered; probably stand for River and Richmond.