War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0554 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD, AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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these wings and corps to correspond directly with Washington in reference to all such things as resignations, leaves of absence, discharges, recruiting service, &c., about which they necessarily know more than I do. I would have to be governed by their suggestions at any rate, and the attention to these matters in detail would surround me with a large number of additional staff officials, and embarrass me with a responsibility which I cannot assume.

3d. To make General Seth Williams an inspector of the different staff departments of the command, by which means I will ascertain if these duties are properly performed by the persons to whom they are delegated.

4th. To keep my own adjutant-general, Lieutenant Colonel L. Richmond, at my headquarters, and to use as far as possible my own staff officers, with promotions necessary to their positions. I shall make as few changes as possible; but I am very anxious to keep my staff as small as may be, and to throw the labor and detail upon the officers immediately in command of the troops.

With an approval of these suggestions, I will endeavor with all my ability to bring this campaign to a successful issue. If they are not approved, I hope specific instructions will be given, and the General-in-Chief may rely upon a cheerful and implicit obedience. The General-in-Chief will readily comprehend the embarrassments which surround me in taking command of this army, at this place, and at this season of the year. Had I been asked to take it, I should have declined; but being ordered, I cheerfully obey.

A telegram from you, approving of my plans, will put us to work at once.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding Army of the Potomac.


November 7, 1862-9.50 a.m.

Brigadier-General SICKLES,

Commanding Division, Manassas Junction:

I am instructed by the major-general commanding to state, in reply to your telegram of last night, that he did not intend you to hold the position at Cedar Run with a large force, and that it might be well to leave a small force at the bridge, with orders to fall back in case they were attacked in force. This desire is simply to save the bridge, if possible. He also desires you to report the fact to Major-General McClellan for his decision.



Assistant Adjutant-General.


November 7, 1862- 1 p.m.

Brigadier-General SICKLES,

Commanding Division, Manassas Junction:

I am instructed by the general commanding to state,in reply to your telegrams of this date, that he does not believe there is any considerable