War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0249 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. General 'S OFFICE,

Numbers 186. Washington, April 24, 1863.

Brigadier General J. H. Van Alen, U. S. Volunteers, will report to the commanding general, Army of the Potomac, for assignment to duty.

By command of Major-General Halleck:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,

April 25, 1863.

Colonel J. P. Taylor,

Commanding at King George Court-House, Va.:

Your letter of this date has been received and laid before the commanding general, who directs that you at once measures to carry into effect your proposition to send a detachment down the Neck for the purpose of capturing any small parties of the enemy that may be found in that quarter, of breaking up contraband trade, of seizing mails being conveyed to and from the enemy's lines, seizing any supplies intended for the enemy, and making arrest of such citizens as shall appear to be active engaged against us.

The general wishes your party to move rapidly, and accomplish as much as possible inside of four days. The movements should, when practicable, be made at night, so as to take the enemy by surprise. Great care and direction should be exercised in making arrest. The party will find an abundance of forage on the Neck. All provisions and forage likely to be used by the enemy, and not needed by our own troops, will be destroyed.

Captain Mann, commanding company of Oneida cavalry, has been directed to report to you temporarily with a small party, and the general wishes you to employ him in co-operation with own detachment. The general wishes to have Heathsville visited.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,

April 25, 1863.

Colonel J. P. Taylor,

Commanding Cavalry Picket:

The major-general commanding approves of your proposition to send an expedition down the Neck for the purpose of capturing any dismounted men that are on this side. Captain Mann, of the Oneida cavalry, with a small force, will be send down in order to strengthen the detachments that you send down. It is desired that you should send two detachments, one to operate by the River road, the other to move on a parallel line at the same time by the road running along the center of the Neck. In order to accomplish the purposes of seizing any parties there and capturing any mails at Warsaw, Farnam's, Leeds Heathsville, or any of the towns on the route, it will be necessary that you should make rapid marches and take these places by surprise.

General Reynolds, of the First Corps, will send a small party of cavalry down on the Potomac side of the Neck, to move to-night, to

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