HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Near Alexandria Seminary, Va., March 31, 1862.
It is the intention of the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac that the three divisions of the First Army Corps near its headquarters shall embark together at Alexandria for the Lower Chesapeake, to disembark most probably under fire, and to enter at once upon active hostilities. The time and order of the embarkation will be the subject of a future order.
The divisions will be put into transports with this view, their embarkation to be superintended by each division commander.
Each division will take with it all its artillery, and the regiments of cavalry now with the troops will embark with the divisions to which they are at present attached.
There will be prepared five days' cooked rations, to be issued to the men, and three to be kept in bulk with each company for issue to the men immediately preceding their disembarkation. In addition, four days' will be taken in bulk by each brigade.
Commanders of divisions will give such orders as will insure 40 rounds of ammunition in each cartridge box and 20 rounds in each man's knapsack (unless wagon transportation can be got for them). The remaining 40 (or 60, as the case may be) will be taken in bulk by each brigade, making in all 100 rounds per man.
Forage for four days for all the public animals and for officers' horses, exclusive of that required for them in transports, will be taken by each brigade, one of the brigades to take enough for the division headquarters.
The reserve ammunition for the artillery (100 rounds), the 40 rounds of infantry ammunition, the four days' provisions in bulk for each brigade, and the four days' forage will be placed, for each brigade, in a separate vessel, which will constitute a brigade depot until a permanent one can be established. These will be so placed that each article may be obtained through separate hatchways, and so arranged that articles of the same kind shall be over each other, to facilitate the procurement of the same.
The surplus room on these vessels will be filled up in equal proportion of days' consumption of subsistence and forage; and it will be the duty of division commanders to see that these vessels are stored by brigade quartermasters and commissaries in the mode prescribed above.
It is understood that the boats can be obtained on application to the quartermaster in Washington (Colonel Rucker), and the Subsistence and Quartermaster's Departments on the requisitions of the division commanders.
The chief quartermaster, chief commissary, medical director, and ordnance officer will take the necessary steps to establish, at the earliest practicable moment, depots for forage, subsistence, medicines and hospital stores, and ammunition at some convenient point or points sufficient to keep the entire corps supplies with these things, and the chiefs of their departments at division headquarters are to be informed of the location of these depots.
Requisitions for ammunition, subsistence, and forage, approved by division commanders, will, without further reference, be filled at the depots indicated as above.
As soon as possible after the disembarkation of the corps means of land transportation must be procured by the chief quartermaster