War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0016 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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NEAR HARPER'S KIRBY,

October 16, 1862-8.30 a. m. (Received 9.30 a. m.)

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

Your letter of the 13th just received from Colonel Perkins. I sent, at daylight this morning, heavy reconnaissances to Charlestown, Leetown, &c. As i hear sharp artillery firing in that direction, I go to the front to see what the truth is. This may delay my reply to your letter, which shall be sent, however, as soon as practicable.

Have not yet received the shoes, &c., necessary for the men, nor have I any reply from General Halleck in regard to my suggestion as to sending troops from Washington to guard Lower Potomac from Seneca Creek, and thus make Stoneman more available.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Camp in Pleasant Valley, October 17, 1862.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

SIR: Your letter of the 13th instant reached me yesterday morning by the hands of Colonel Perkins.

I had sent out strong reconnaissances early in the morning in the direction of Charlestown, Leetown, &c., and as sharp artillery fire was heard, I felt it incumbent to go to the front. I did not leave Charlestown until dark, so that I have been unable to give Your Excellency's letter that full and respectful consideration which it merits at my hands.

I do not wish to detain Colonel Perkins beyond this morning's train; I therefore think it best to send him back with this simple acknowledgment of the receipt of Your Excellency's letter. I am not wedded to any particular plan of operations. I hope to have to-day reliable information as to the position of the enemy, whom I still believe to be between Bunker Hill and Winchester. I promise you that I will give to your views the fullest and most unprejudiced consideration, and that it is my intention to advance the moment my men are shod and my cavalry are sufficiently renovated to be available.

Your Excellency may be assured that I will not adopt a course which differs at all from your views without first fully explaining my reasons, and giving you time to issue such instructions as may seem best to you.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 18, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK,

Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 14th instant, inclosing a copy of one from the Quartermaster-General, has been received.

In this letter you say you are informed by the Quartermaster-General that every requisition from me for shoes and clothing has been filled and the articles forwarded as directed. General Meigs may have ordered these articles to be forwarded but they have not yet reached our depots, and unless greater effort, to insure prompt transmission is made by the department of which General Meigs is the head, they might as