all events of importance. Am told that both the President and yourself are naturally very anxious to know at the earliest moment possible all that transpires of serious occurrence. All the guns at both forts on Day's Point and Harden's Bluff I have had burst or broken-rendered entirely useless.
Seventeen gunboats in all are at the scene of action, and another, the Coeur-de-Lion, will go up the river to-night. She came down to be repaired. The Tioga has not arrived. Orders await her at Fort Monroe to go up the James River without a moment's delay.
WASHINGTON CITY, July 4, 1862.
Send forward the dispatch to Colonel Hawkins and this also. Our order and General McClellan's to General Burnside being the same, of course we wish it executed as promptly as possible.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
Washington, D. C. July 4, 1862.
Major General GEORGE M. McCLELLAN,
Commanding Army of the Potomac, on James River:
GENERAL: As you have doubtless been informed, I was a few days since assigned by the President to the command of the forces and departments lately under the command of Generals Fremont, Banks, and McDowell.
I avail myself of the first moment, after ascertaining the strength, positions, and condition of the force thus assigned me, to communicate with you. I beg you to understand that it is my earnest wish to co-operate in the heartiest and most energetic manner with you, and that there is no service, whatever the hazard or the labor, which I am not ready to perform with this army to carry out that object.
That you may understand precisely what means are at my disposal for such a purpose and what is expected of me I will proceed to give you in detail the information which will enable you to understand precisely my situation and the power I have to aid your operations. Do not hesitate to suggest frankly and freely to me any views and wishes you may entertain in regard to the assistance I can give you. Be assured that you suggestions will be received with all kindness and as far as possible adopted. I am guided and shall be, by an earnest wish to contributed by every possible means within my control to other success of your operations.
You know the history of the late peculiar operations in the Shenandoah Valley, and that General Fremont has retired from his command for reasons unnecessary to set forth. The forces lately under his command and those of General Banks are collected in the neighborhood of Strasburg and Middletown. They are much demoralized and broken down, and unfit for active service for the present. Of some use they can be, but not much just now. They are scattered at small posts, but are now being concentrated. They number about 23,000 men of all arms.