War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0532 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Near Purcellville, Va., November 2, 1862-4.30 p. m. (Received 8 p. m.)

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

A good deal of artillery firing on the right and front. I do not yet know whether it is at Snicker's Gap, or with Pleasonton, at Uniontown. I go toward the sound at once. It seems as if there might be serious resistance not far from here. I shall know more soon, but you can rest assured that the Army of the Potomac will retain its good reputation. The troops are not all up yet, but are moving forward as rapidly as possible. I directed General Franklin to cross the river, and as soon as he could supply himself with the necessary articles of clothing, which he was unable to get at Hagerstown, to push forward. We are still too weak in cavalry, but I will do the best in my power with what I have got. As I close, the artillery firing quite heavy.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Wheatland, November 2, 1862-10 p. m. (Received November 3, 12.45 a. m.)

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

I have just received a dispatch from General McClellan, dated at Snicker's Gap, 6 p. m., stating that he has full possession of the gap. When Hancock arrived there it was held by the enemy's cavalry, who were at once driven out. A column of from 5,000 to 6,000 infantry advanced to retake it, but were dispersed by the fire of our rifled guns. The position is a strong one from either side. It is said that Jackson and A. P. Hill are in the valley opposite. Pleasonton had driven the enemy's cavalry several miles beyond Union at 3 p. m., exploding one of their caissons and capturing 10 of their wounded, left behind.

R. B. MARCY,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, November 2, 1862-9.20 p. m.

Major-General PORTER:

GENERAL: Report just received from commander of Forty-fourth New York:

Relieved Fourteenth Indiana, my outposts over the hill. Enemy's camp-fires can be seen in the woods in the valley below. The enemy's cavalry have appeared twice to-day; driven back both times by the Fourteenth Indiana.

My reply:

If enemy appear, drive them back, as Fourteenth Indiana did. Report number of the enemy, apparently, in the valley below, judging by their fires, and the extent of their camp; also what distance do they lie from you. I send the two orderlies. Send in a full report at daybreak, or shortly after, and give us every information. Watch the enemy's movements closely, and keep a good lookout for everything moving in your front, and report it.

I have sent the sharpshooters on the hill, as directed, but they were late in getting there. I will be found in your tent; mine not here.

Yours, truly and respectfully,

BUTTERFIELD.