far as known, of all these absentees. It would be impossible, situated as we are the field, to organize a clerical force in the provost-marshal's department sufficient to classify and forward, properly arranged, the names for the purpose of apprehension of deserters and the return of absentees improperly so. I would respectfully request that these returns may be placed in the hands of some bureau at Washington, with a view of informing the provost-marshals of the different States or the proper authorities of the names of all parties absent, and where they are likely, to be found, in order that they may be returned to duty.
This return shows a total of 85,123 officers and men* absent from this command when first placed in my charge.
Very respectfully, &c.,
CIRCULAR.] CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
February 15, 1863.
The commanding general directs that the road from the Fitzhugh house (General Sickles' headquarters) to the bridge across Potomac Creek, half a mile below the railroad bridge, thence to Stafford Court-House, passing about 1 mile to the westward of Brooke's Station, be put in such condition as to be practicable for artillery at all times, corduroying it where necessary throughout its whole length; the corduroy material being of sufficient length, if possible, to form a double-track roadway.
The commanding officer of the Third Corps will furnish working parties, tools, and teams for the part of the road between the Fitzhugh house and Potomac Creek. The commanding officer of the Eleventh Corps will do the same for the part between Potomac Creek and Accakeek Creek, and the commanding officer of the Twelfth Corps the same for the part between Accakeek Creek and Stafford Court-House. The commanding officer of each working party will be held accountable for the return of all tools used in the work. Each corps commander concerned will designate an officer to superintend the work upon the portion of the road assigned to him, and the commanding officers of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps are authorized to select in concert such line for the road between the bridge across the Potomac Creek and Stafford Court-House as they may think best. The commanding general desires that this work may be pushed to completion as rapidly as possible.
By command of Major-General Hooker:
(To commanding officers Third, Eleventh, and Twelfth Corps, and Lieutenant Comstock, chief engineer.)
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,
February 15, 1863.
* * * * * * * * *
V. The troops of the Third Division will be brigaded as follows: The One hundred and twenty-first, One hundred and Thirty-fifth, One hundred
* Viz, 2,935 officers and 82, 188 enlisted men.