War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0343 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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skeleton regiments should be filled up at once, and officers appointed to supply the numerous existing vacancies. There are instances where captains are commanding regiments, and companies without a single commissioned officer.

Franklin's corps marched to Williamsport yesterday morning to reenforce Couch. They now occupy that place, the enemy having retreated on their approach. Williams' (Banks') corps occupies Maryland Heights. Sumner's corps is en route for the same point, and Meade's (Hooker's) corps will probably follow it soon. I propose, as soon as the pontoon bridge can be railed (it is expected to arrive to-day), to cross these troops and occupy Harper's Ferry and Charlestown, with a view of pushing them out into the Shenandoah Valley as soon as practicable. Burnside's and Porter's corps are here. The enemy still continues to show his pickets along the river, and with a large force drove back the last reconnaissance that was attempted on the other side. A large body of the enemy was reported last night as moving from Charlestown toward Bunker Hill, and I am of the opinion that the mass of their army is retreating in that direction. I am sending out scouts in every direction, and will keep you advised of all I learn of the movements of the enemy.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

September 22, 1862. (Received 5.30 p. m.)

Major-General HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

I urgently request that the president of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company be asked to repair the canal at once. That he should do so is indispensably necessary of ulterior military operations. I also request that all the small steamers plying on the canal may be sent to Harper's Ferry as soon as the repairs shall have been completed. By my direction, my chief quartermaster telegraphed last evening a dispatch similar to this to General Meigs, who replied, raising objections on the same score of want of protection to the canal. I do not require suggestions of this kind. I shall be responsible that full protection is afforded it.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Near Sharpsburg, September 22, 1862 - 4.45 p. m.

JOHN W. GARRETT, Esq.,

President Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Baltimore, Md.:

I would be very much obliged to you if you would immediately have the railroad bridge over Potomac, at Harper's Ferry, fully repaired. I shall reoccupy the town mentioned to-morrow. I beg to assure you that so long as I remain in command, no harm shall again occur to this bridge from the hands of the enemy.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.