from you assuming the command of the Army. I nevertheless take the liberty of writing to you in regard to this post. I have only 500 men in the fort, half of them armed only with swords. There should be a regiment of artillery. I have asked for Colonel Gibson (captain in the Regular Army) and his regiment near Washington. He is just the man for this post. Everything about it is dirty in the extreme. Major Roberts, the commanding officer, has an excuse in the small number of men, which is not sufficient for guard and police duty. I trust the importance of this command (though I could have no personal objection) may not be increased by the withdrawal of the Army of the Potomac; a measure, as I learn, still under consideration. I cannot err, I am sure, when I say it would be nearly fatal. It would break the spirit of the country, now exceedingly depressed in some quarters, and go very far to insure intervention from abroad. If we can ever reach Richmond, it seems to me the object can be best effected from the position we now occupy. At all events I feel a painful conviction that we cannot bear a retrograde movement at this moment. I have conversed freely with General Burnside on this subject before you were here and since his return,and he concurs with me entirely.
Excuse these suggestions, and believe me, respectfully and truly, yours,
JOHN A. DIX.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
Camp near Harrison's Landing, Va., August 2, 1862
Commanders of army corps, divisions, brigades, and regiments are held responsible for the faithful execution of the following directions:
1. Brigade and regimental quartermasters and commissaries, as well as sutlers, must be located within the lines of their respective commands or in the immediate vicinity.
2. Officers and enlisted men will not be detached from their respective companies and regiments except when absolutely necessary for the interests of the military service.
Pioneers shall not be detached from their companies.
Guards for the different headquarters and for their respective commands shall be turned off daily, and the men will not be used for menial service.
3. Officers responsible for public property must account for the same as required by Army Regulations.
4. Special reports of the officers and enlisted men absent from each regiment and independent command will be made to these headquarters, through the regular channels, every Sunday morning. The reports will state where and by whose authority the officers or men are absent, and, if absent on duty, the nature of such duty. They will be signed by the several commanders through whose headquarters they pass.
By command of Major-General McClellan:
[AUGUST 2, 1862. - For General Orders, Numbers 147, organizing the Ambulance Corps, see Vol. XI, Part I, pp. 217-219.]