HDQRS. THIRD ARMY CORPS, ARMY OF VA.,
Near Cedar Mountain, Va., August 15, 1862.
King's division will move at 9 o'clock to-morrow morning on the road east of Cedar Mountain to such a point as the chief engineer may hereafter designate.
By command of Major-General McDowell:
S. F. BARSTOW,
HARRISON'S LANDING, August 15, 1862.
(Received August 18.)
General M. C. MEIGS,
Your dispatch of the 13th is just received.* We have embarked troops from this point to the full extent of our ability. Colonel Falls and others will tell you so. When we reach Yorktown and Fort Monroe the army will be sent off rapidly. Up to this moment the thing could not have been done faster. I believe I comprehend the whole question. I have the will to execute your orders, and I shall be ably assisted by Captain Sawtelle and our other officers and agents. The movement to the rear has commenced. This river will be clear of vessels early to-morrow. Captain Sawtelle will go by water in charge of the fleet and to make arrangements for embarkation at Yorktown, Newport News, and Fort Monroe. I shall go by land to conduct the trains, & c. Rely upon us, general; there shall be no unsatisfactory delay that we can avoid in the quartermaster's department. The vessels sent to us should assemble at Fort Monroe.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Aide-de-Camp, and Chief Quartermaster.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
August 16, 1862-8.30 a. m.
Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
My whole force was advanced and is posted near the Rapidan. It is impossible, without crossing the river, to establish the camps near it, on account of low, wet ground. The hills are all on south side. The enemy is nearly in his old camps, at and beyond Gordonsville and Liberty Mills. Unless he has received re-enforcements he will not stand. According to your instructions I shall not cross Rapidan for the present, but will at least make strong reconnaissance and demonstration toward Louisa Court-House by the old road to Richmond, which crosses at Raccon Ford.
The weak point of my position is the left. There is danger that forces coming from Richmond may unite with Jackson, advancing from Louisa Court-House, near Germanna Mills, and thus interpose between me and Fredericksburg. So soon as McClellan's movement is understood I have little doubt this will be done. The line on Rappahannock as far up as the forks is strong and safe, with small force at Fredericksburg. I would suggest for your consideration whether the mass of the forces