HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, April 15, 1863.
Your dispatch of 9 and 10.35 o'clock, of this date this moment received. As you stated in your communication of yesterday that you would be over the river with your command at daylight this morning, it was so communicated to Washington,and it was hoped that the crossing had been made in advance of the rise in the river. If your artillery is your only hinderance to your advance, the major-general commanding directs that your order it to return, and proceed to the execution of your order without it. It is but reasonable to suppose that if you cannot make use of that arm of the service, the enemy cannot. If it is practicable to carry into execution the general instructions communicated to you on the 12th instant, the major-general commanding expects you to make use of such means as will, in your opinion, unable you to accomplish them, and that as speedily as possible. This army is now awaiting your movement. I am directed to add that in view of the swollen condition of the streams it is not probable, in the event of your being able to advance, that you will be troubled by the infantry of the enemy.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
April 15, 1863-8 p. m. (Received 9.15 p. m.)
A. LINCOLN, President of the United States:
Just heard from General Stoneman. His artillery has been brought to a halt by the mud, one division only having crossed the river. If practicable, be will proceed without it. All the streams are swimming.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D. C., April 15, 1863.
It is now 10.15 p. m. An hour ago I received your letter of this morning, and a few moments later your dispatch of this evening., The latter gives me considerable uneasiness. The rain and mud, of course, were to be calculated upon. General S. is not moving rapidly enough to make the expedition were unusually fair weather, and all there without hinderance from the enemy, and yet he it s not 25 miles from where he started. To reach his point he still has 60 to go, another river (the Rapidan) to cross, and will be hindered by the enemy. By arithmetic, how many days will it take him to it? I do not know that any better can be done, but I greatly fear it is another failure already. Write me often. I am very anxious.
KELLY'S FORD, VA., April 15, 1863-4 p. m.
Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Eleventh Corps:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of 6 a. m., April 15, has just been received. After arriving here yesterday at 3 p. m., I sent an orderly to your head-
* Copy of this dispatched forwarded by Hooker to the President and Secretary of War, April 16.