HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
June 16, 1863-11 a. m.
His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
Please accept my suggestions in regard to what should be done in the spirit with which they were give. They were suggestions merely, for I have not the data necessary to form an enlightened opinion on the case. Upon general principles, I thought those were the movements to make. You have long been aware, Mr. President, that I have not enjoyed the confidence of the major-general principles, I thought those were the movements to make. You have long been aware, Mr. President, that I have not enjoyed the confidence of the major-general commanding the army, and I can assure you so long as this continues we may look in vain for success, especially as future operations will require our relations to be more dependent upon each other than heretofore. It may be possible now to move to prevent a junction of A. P. Hill's corps with those of Ewell and Longstreet. If so, please let instructions to that effect be given me. As will appear to you, the chances for my doing this are much smaller than when I was on the Rappahannock, for, if he should hold the passes stoutly, he can cause me delay. You may depend upon it, we can never discover the whereabouts of the enemy, or divine his intentions, so long as he fills the country with a cloud of cavalry. We must break through that to find him.
WASHINGTON, D. C.,
June 16, 1863-11. 30 a. m.
I do not think there is reliable information that the enemy ha crossed the Potomac in any force. Where his main corps are, is still uncertain, and I know of no way to ascertain, excepting through your cavalry, which should be kept near enough to the enemy to at least be able to tell where he is. My suggestion of yesterday, to follow the enemy's advance, by moving a considerable force first to Leesburg, and thence as circumstances may require, is the best one I can make. Unless your army is kept near enough to the enemy to ascertain his movements, yours must be in the dark or on me conjecture. Tyler is in command at Harper's Ferry, with, it is said, only 9, 000 men, but, according to returns of the 11th, he should have at least 13, 600. Heintzelman, as you must be aware, commands this department. Besides the divisions of Abercrombie and Stahel, near you, he has little or no movable troops. Telegraph direct to him in all matters connected with the use of his troops.
H. W. HALLECK,
WASHINGTON, D. C.,
June 16, 1863-3, 50 p. m.
Army of the Potomac:
There is now no doubt that the enemy is surrounding Harper's Ferry, but in what force I have no information. General Schenck says our force there is much less than before reported, and cannot