War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0013 Chapter XXXI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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graph, a day or two since, 20,000 blankets and a sufficient supply of shelter-tents to be sent direct from New York to Harper's Ferry.

All the power of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and of the Cumberland Valley Railroad has been used, under the direction of Brigadier-General Haupt, invested by the Secretary with special and full powers to do anything necessary to expedite the forwarding of supplies to the army under General McClellan. It is nearly impossible to supply such an army, having over 30,000 animals to feed, by means [limited] to two railroads. The canal will be repaired and ready for use in a few days. It was hoped that water could have been admitted to it to-day. This, if boats can be found to navigate it, will increase the power of this department to forward supplies considerably. I understand, however, that everything called for has gone forward. What has been intercepted and destroyed by the rebel cavalry in rear of the army at Chambersburg and on the railroad I have not yet learned.

Respectfully,

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 12, 1862-12.45 p. m.

Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

It is absolutely necessary that some energetic measures be taken to supply the cavalry of this army with remount horses. The present rate of supply is 150 [1,050*] per week for the entire army here and in front of Washington. From this number the artillery draw for their batteries.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

Washington, D. C., October 13, 1862.

Major-General McCLELLAN:

MY DEAR SIR: You remember my speaking to you of what I called your overcautiousness. Are you not overcautious when you assume that you cannot do what the enemy in constantly doing? Should you not claim to be at least his equal in prowess, and act upon the claim? As I understand, you telegraphed General Halleck that you cannot subsist your army at Winchester unless the railroad from Harper's Ferry to that point be put in working order. But the enemy does now subsist his army at Winchester, at a distance nearly twice as great from railroad transportation as you would have to do, without the railroad last named. He now wagons from Culpeper Court-House, which is just about twice as far as you would have to do from Harper's Ferry. He is certainly not more than half as well provided with wagons as you are. I certainly should be pleased for you to have the advantage of the railroad from Harper's Ferry to Winchester but it wastes all the remainder of autumn to give it to you, and in fact ignores the question of time, which cannot and must not be ignored. Again, one of the standard maxims of war, as you know, it to "operate upon the enemy's communications as much as possible without exposing your own." You seem to act as if this applies against you, but cannot apply in your favor. Change positions with the enemy, and think you not he would break

*See McClellan's report, pp. 77,78