General Hooker recommends an attack in front with a small force, ant turn the enemy's position with your main body. I shall, therefore, send Buford to the right, let the infantry take the left, and you the center; a brigade of your command and one of the infantry to act as reserve, and occupy your present position at Middleburg. Hurry Colonel Taylor up. His brigade ought to be the reserve. Very respectfully,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
June 20, 1863.
Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, Washington, D. C.:
General Pleasonton will probably engage Stuart's entire cavalry force to-morrow at an early hour near Aldie. The loss in horses will doubtless be great. He has been fighting every day with splendid effect, but, of course, with a daily loss of horses. Please do all you can to have as many good horses ready as possible. It is most important. Both armies are now using their cavalry.
Brigadier General, and Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac.
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington City,
June 20, 1863.
Brigadier General R. INGALLS,
Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I am informed that on the route of the march of the Eleventh Corps a large number of horses and mules were abandoned. It is said, though I know not on what authority, that some 1, 100 were abandoned on the route. Let this be inquired into, so that if there has been carelessness and unnecessary waste, the guilty may be punished, and, if the report be slanderous, the department may be prepared to answer it. Quite a large number of horses and mules branded "U. S. " are found in possession of sutlers and other civilians, and are being seized on this side of the river. I am told that many of these persons show what purport to be certificates of officers or quartermaster that they have sold these horses or mules to persons claiming them. As no officer has a right to sell a Government horse or mule until condemned and branded (C), these certificates will be disregarded, and the animals seized and turned over to the quartermaster at the depot. Many such are spread throughout the lower counties of Maryland, and will be seized wherever they come within reach of the Government officers or police. It requires great vigilance and severity to protect the public interests during such rapid movements as are now in progress. I call your attention to every report, not doubting that you will be able to correct, to punish, to prevent, or to procure explanations defending the officers against charges of carelessness, if these charges are unfounded. It is our duty to be prepared to meet these charges. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
M. C. MEIGS,