The crossing will be continued as rapidly as the means at hand will permit. Nothing but the physical difficulties of the operation shall delay it.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 27, 1862-11 p. m. (Received 11.35 p. m.)
Brigadier General HERMAN HAUPT:
Please take immediate steps to enable you to forward supplies, via Orange and Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroads, for this army, at the rate of 700 tons per day; also be prepared to repair the Orange and Alexandria Railroad beyond Manassas Junction, wherever it may be damaged. Please communicate to the General-in-Chief the information you gave me yesterday in regard to the Fredericksburg Railroad, and consult with him as to the possibility of repairing that road in season to use it for the purpose of this campaign.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
PLEASANT VALLEY, October 27, 1862.
MY DEAR MAC: I have been worrying about the discomfort, I may say suffering, of my men over the river, and have tried to think correctly as to the movement ordered for to-day. These are my conclusions, which you can take for what they are worth.
The plan is to occupy the opposite bank in sufficient force to enable Reynolds, and probably another corps, to pass. This has been done, and now it would seem that there is no necessity to cross the remainder of the Ninth Corps until it becomes necessary to get out of the way of Reynolds, and, if your will allow me, I will keep in constant communication with him and see that the road is clear for him.
The movements in the advance, I understood from you, were not to be made until sufficient supports arrive to continue them. It would, therefore, seem better to hold the forces at Lovettsville until near the time that these arrive, of course, keeping the cavalry well out. If the enemy is retreating, your plan may be changed; if the is going to fight, you want our force concentrated.
Now, the whole of this epistle, my dear Mac, means this, that I don't want to move any more troops during this storm than is necessary, for the reason that the advance may become very much reduced in strength by sickness by the time the supports get up, and I want to avoid this as much as possible, always keeping the Ninth Corps out of the way of others.
If the force over the river should be attacked, I can move the force here to its support at once.
Shall I be governed by these views? You know what the effect of these short and frequent movements, in weather like this, will be upon the men.