War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0314 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

so as to reach its destination to-morrow morning early. It must have the right of way throughout, as General McClellan needs the ammunition, to be used in the battle to be fought to-morrow. It is expected that you will use every possible effort to expedite the passage of this train.

By order of the President of the United States:


Secretary of War.


Washington, D. C., September 17, 1862 - 12 p. m.

Honorable THOMAS A. SCOTT, Harrisburg, Pa.:

I have telegraphed to the officers of the Northern Central and of the Cumberland Valley Railroads to expedite a train loaded with ammunition, of which General McClellan is in great need, and for which he telegraphed since 10 o'clock p. m. We start the train in about an hour. If we could have the assurance that you would attend personally to securing the right of way for the train and otherwise expediting its passage, we should have strong hope that it would reach its destination early in the morning - in time for the ammunition to be used in the expected battle of to-morrow. At all events, we should know that nothing would be left undone within the limits of possibilities to get this ammunition to General McClellan in season.


HEADQUARTERS, September 17, 1862.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of yesterday this moment received. General Burnside directs me to say that immediately upon the receipt of the order of the general commanding, which was after 12 o'clock, he ordered his corps to be in readiness to march, and instead of having Captain Duane post the division in detail, and at the suggestion of Captain Duane, he sent three aides to ascertain the position of each of the three divisions, that they might post them. These aides returned shortly before 3 o'clock, and they immediately proceeded to post the three columns. The general then went on an eminence above these positions to get a good view of them, and whilst there, during the progress of the movement of his corps, an aide from General McClellan came to him and said that General McClellan was not sure that the proper position had been indicated, and advising him not to hasten the movement until the aide had communicated with the general commanding. He (General Burnside) at once went to General McClellan's headquarters to inform him that he had seen large bodes of the enemy moving off to the right. Not finding the general commanding, General Burnside returned to his command, and the movement was resumed and continued as rapidly as possible. General Burnside directs me to say that he is sorry to have received so severe a rebuke from the general commanding, and particularly sorry that the general commanding feels that his instructions have not been obeyed; but nothing can occur to prevent the general from continuing his hearty co-operation to the best of his ability in any movement the general commanding may direct.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.