AQUIA, December 13, 1862.
I have been trying to get a detail out to work to-night loading bridge timber, but must give it up. Another difficulty arises from the fact that there is not a stick of wood on the road, except near Aquia Creek, and no possibility of keeping any. The construction engine has been compelled to run to Aquia for wood. Two hundred men will be at the river by daylight, to commence raising the bridge. I will endeavor to get 300 or 400 civilians as a construction corps for the bridges beyond Fredericksburg; soldiers are too uncertain. I have telegraphed for every man who can be spared from the Orange and Alexandria Railroad to be sent here by daybreak to-day by orders in regard to ammunition. I have positively forbidden any detention to regular trains, except by orders from you or from myself, but, when a necessity exists, an extra will be furnished. It is all-important that the regulars should run to schedule. If thrown out of time, everything is stopped, as we can seldom get the use of the wire, even to give orders for trains.
DUMFRIES, VA., December 13, 1862-3 p.m.
I arrived here with the main body of the Eleventh Corps yesterday, and the last division is just coming in. The road from Fairfax Station, by Wolf Run Shoals, to Dumfries has become nearly impassable during the last two days, but we are now pretty much together. Just before our advance guard reached Dumfries yesterday morning, 500 of the enemy's cavalry had entered the town and taken some sutlers' wagons, on their way to the main army' also a telegraph operator and 20 cavalry, who were out as escorts.* From General Slocum I have just received the following report:
FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, VA., December 13, 1862.
One of my division has arrived at this place. The other encamped to-night at Chantily. I can move forward to-morrow, if desired. If practicable, however, I would like to remain here one day, to have artillery and cavalry horses shod.
I directed General Slocum to march, under all circumstances, to-morrow, and to join me without delay, even if his cavalry must reaming one day behind.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 13, 1862.
Your dispatch just received. We are hotly engaged. The commanding general wishes you to move up as rapidly as possible, without exhausting your troops.
JNumbers G. PARKE,
Chief of Staff.
*See account of this affair, December 12, p. 689.