HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
August 31, 1862-10 p.m.
Commanding OFFICER OF HOWE'S Brigadier, COUCH'S DIV.,
Alexandria (care of Captain Ferguson):
If your men are all landed you will march without a moment's delay, via Little River pike, to join General Couch, near Centreville. Your men will carry two days' rations in their haversacks and boxes filled with cartridges. You will report the time you depart, and take back all the stragglers you can that you meet on the road.
If you have wagons, you will carry some extra ammunition.
By order of General McClellan:
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
Washington, August 31, 1862.
Major-General BANKS, Manassas, Va.:
How late news can you give of General Pope? If possible keep up your communications with him.
H. W. HALLECK,
ALEXANDRIA, VA., August 31, 1862.
(Received 10 a.m.)
His Excellency the PRESIDENT:
We escaped any injuries to the track or bridges last night. We sent forward trains until 2 a.m. They all reached their destination, which affords, I think, an ample present supply of subsistence and ammunition. We sent 88 cars. The trains were all guarded-the tops filled with riflemen and strong guards at all the bridges. We asked Manassas a short time ago if firing was heard. He said Numbers Fairfax just answered no firing heard. I sent out one of General Couch's regiments about 12 last night. The other reported for duty after 2 a.m. It was of no use to send it at that hour, as no train was ready.
ALEXANDRIA DEPOT, [August 31, 1862]-12 m.
General R. B. MARCY:
I do not think that any additional force to guard the road will be required. We have enough to protect against small parties, and we cannot be furnished enough to defend the road against an army. Cavalry scouts would be very useful if we could get them. As to troops, our means of transportation depend entirely on the rapidity with which cars are unloaded and returned. We can probably send out 5,000 men in five hours. We are annoyed by a drunken rabble who came out as purses by permission of the War Department. I telegraphed that if the battle was over the companions of the wounded could attend to them; if it was not over, the presence of citizens was highly objectionable.
I have requested that guards be placed at end of Long Bridge to keep any but physicians from crossing over.