War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0461 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 21, 1862-11.30 a. m.

Brigadier-General NEWTON, Cherry Run:

Your dispatch received. The commanding general directs you to ascertain the strength of the enemy at Hedgesville, and then, if there is any possible chance of worsting him, to attack him there, even though you may have to draw back thereafter. Upon getting possession of Hedgesville, push forward your cavalry to Martinsburg, to ascertain whether Jackson is there, and in what force. Send citizens out from Hedgesville for the same purpose.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

GEO. D. RUGGLES,

Colonel and Assistant Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 21, 1862-10.30 a. m.

JOHN W. GARRETT,

President Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Baltimore, Md.:

General R. B. MARCY, Washington City:

General Newton telegraphs from Cherry Run this morning that General Devens made a personal reconnaissance as far as Back Creek. No enemy. Captain Duncan, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, penetrated to within a quarter of a mile of Hedgesville. Force of enemy variously estimated there now. The railroad has not been cut up about Paxton's Cut. The cut has not been injured.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 21, 1862-8 p. m.

Brigadier-General ROBINSON, Poolesville:

The rebel force reported in the neighborhood of Knoxville last evening proved to be only a foraging party of the enemy. No portion of the enemy has as yet passed east through Snickersville.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

GEO. D. RUGGLES,

Colonel and Assistant Chief of Staff.

WASHINGTON, October 21, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: In applying for authority (as I did about the 1st of September) to expend $50,000 upon the fortifications around Washington, I had not had time to make a thorough study of the matter, and asked this sum to meet the most obvious demand for additional works. An attentive examination of the whole line shows me that much modification and much auxiliary work is necessary in all the works heretofore built. The inclosed extract* from a letter from Colonel Kelton, assistant adjutant-general, will explain this.

No work is so indefinite as an extensive system of field defenses like this. There is scarcely any limit to the amount of work which may be be-

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*Not found.

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