To recapitulate, in brief, the Second Division was originally formed of poor materials, and of regiments for the most part badly organized or half full, and with incompetent officers. It had but a short time for drill and discipline before entering upon active and continuous service. It was exposed, without proper preparation, to the severest labors and marches. It was unfortunate in the early loss of many of its best officers, and has been subjected to frequent changes of its commanders. Its losses by decease and battle have been very great. Its first report after arriving at this post, of twelve regiments present, was, for duty, 1 general officer, 113 field, staff, and company officers, and only 2,266 enlisted men. The Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers (a regiment of fifteen companies) must alone have made up nearly one-third of this report. The other regiments of the division, so reduced in officers and men, were, and I fear are,much disheartened and demoralized, in spite of an increase from convalescents and other sources in the regiments since that report of over 600 men.
Brigadier-General Geary has reported for duty, and is now in command of the division. General Greene, however, is absent on sick leave. The brigades and regiments are still without their proper commanders, one general officer and one colonel present.
Since the departure of General Sumner, I have resumed command of the division, and shall at once cause the necessary inspections to be made (especially in respect to the arms and ammunition), and enforce a strict attention to the orders and regulations.
Further reports will be made, embracing the names of such officers as are found incompetent or willfully neglectful of their duties.
I inclose a copy of General Greene's report of list of regiments, commanders, &c., dated September 25, referred to within.* The inspection reports sent me I beg to retain a few days, to make note of points requiring especial attention.
I have the honor to be, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,
A. S. WILLIAMS,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
October 16, 1862.
Brigadier General D. N. COUCH,
Commanding Second Corps:
General McClellan directs that, without reference to any movement in the morning, you at once send a strong brigade to Halltown, with a battery, to occupy the position where he was to-day.
A. V. COLBURN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 16, 1862-10 a.m.
General GEORGE STONEMAN, Poolesville:
Your troops can be withdrawn from west of the Monocacy. General Burnside will guard the river from the mouth of the Monocacy to Harper's Ferry. His troops are now there.
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.