use any troops within your reach in General Wool's department and in Western Virginia. General Banks' command is also under your direction, with the single restriction that he is not to remove troops from Washington till he has notified me of his orders.
Since you left Washington I have advised and suggested in relation to your move ments, but I have given you no orders. I do not give you any now. The Government has intrusted you with defeating and driving back the rebel army in your front. I shall not attempt to control you in the measures you may adopt for that purpose, You are informed of my views, but the President has left you at liberty to adopt them or not, as you may deem best. You will also exercise your own discretion in regard to what points on the Potomac and the baltimore and Ohio Railroad are to be occupied or fortified. I will only add that there is no appropriation for permanent entrenchments on that line. Moreover, I think it will be time enough to decide upon fortifying Front Royal, Strasburg, Wardensville, and Moorefield when the enemy is driven south of them and they come into our possession.
I do not think that we need have any immediate fear of Bragg's army. You are within 20 miles of Lee's, while Bragg is distant about 400 miles.
H. W. HALLECK,
On the 29th I sent the following:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 29, 1862 - 1.15 p. m.
On the 25th instant I sent you a dispatch requesting you to decide what steps should be taken to guard the line of the Potomac when this army leaves here. To this I received your reply that I had been intrusted by the President with defeating and driving away the rebel army; that you had given me no orders heretofore, did not give me any then, & c. Under these circumstances, I have only to make such arrangements for guarding this extended line as the means at my disposal will permit, at the same time keeping in view the supreme necessity of maintaining the moving army in adequate force to meet the rebel army before us.
The dispositions I have ordered are as follows, viz: Ten thousand men to be left at Harper's Ferry; one brigade of infantry in front of Sharpsburg; Kenly's brigade of infantry at Williamsport; Kelley's brigade, including Colonel Campbell's Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, at Cumberland, and between that point and Hancock. I have also left four small cavalry regiments to patrol and watch the river and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from Cumberland down to Harper's Ferry.
I do not regard this force as sufficient to cover securely this great extent of line, but I do not feel justified in detaching any more troops from my moving columns. I would therefore recommend that some new regiments of infantry and cavalry be sent to strengthen the forces left by me. there should be a brigade of infantry and section of artillery in the vicinity of Cherry Run, another brigade at Hancock, and additional brigade at Williamsport, one regiment at Hagerstown, and one at Chambersburg, with a section of artillery at each place if possible. This is on the supposition that the enemy retain a considerable cavalry force west of the Blue Ridge. If they go east of it, the occupation of the points named in my dispatch of the 25th instant will obviate the necessity of keeping many of these troops on the river.
There are now several hundred of our wounded, including General Richardson, in the vicinity of Sharpsburg, that cannot possibly be moved at present.
I repeat that I do not look upon the forces I have been able to leave from this army as sufficient to prevent cavalry raids into Maryland and Pennsylvania, as cavalry is the only description of troops adequate to this service, and I am, as you are aware, deficient in this arm.
GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,
To which I received on the 30th this reply:
WASHINGTON, October 30, 1862 - 11.30 a. m.
Major General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:
Your telegram of yesterday was received late last evening. The troops proposed for Thoroughfare Gap will be sent to that place whenever you are in position for their co-operation, as previously stated, but no new regiments can be sent from here to the Upper Potomac. The guarding of that line is left to your own discretion
with the troops now under your command.
H. W. HALLECK,