WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, July 4, 1863-5. 45 p. m.
Brigadier-General HAUPT, Hanover:
Adams Express, by Mr. Shoemaker, superintendent, proposes to organize and send forward a hospital corps, to assistant in caring for and removing the wounded, with stores, supplies, men, and vehicles-spring wagons. They ask transportation to Westminster, by Summit Railway, for men and material.
The Secretary of War has consented, and referred them to you for such transportation as can be furnished by rail without interfering with forwarding of the supplies which the army needs to enable it to pursue the enemy; advising them at the same time that probably the best and speediest route will be, with their spring wagons, over the turnpike roads from Baltimore to Westminster. Also that latest reports show 1, 100 ambulances with the Army of the Potomac. Let nothing interfere with the supply of rations to the men and grain for the horses.
By order of the Secretary of War:
M. C. MEIGS,
OXFORD, PA., via HANOVER PA., July 4, 1863-11 a. m. (Received 11. 15 a. m.)
Night has overtaken me at Oxford, 7 miles east of Gettysburg. We have been at work on a large bridge near this town, which is considerably damaged. It will require two hours to-morrow to finish it, when we will proceed to Gettysburg. A portion of the track is torn up. I have found the foreman of repairs, and he will commence to repair the track at daylight. About a mile of the telegraph wire is down, and wire carried off. I have sent my engine to the Junction for men and material to repair it.
When an office is ready, and line in order to Gettysburg, the operator will report to General Meade's headquarters. Persons just in from Gettysburg report the position of affairs. I fear that while Meade rests to refresh his men and collect supplies, Lee will be off so far that he cannot intercept him. A good force on the line of the Potomac to prevent Lee from crossing would, I think, insure his destruction. By 11 o'clock to-night about 2, 000 tons of supplies should have been forwarded, since yesterday morning, to Meade's army, if so much has been offered for transportation. I had arranged for 1, 500 tons per day on the Western Maryland Railroad. The reopening of the Northern Central Railroad from Hanover Junction to York will permit the rapid and convenient removal of wounded to that city, which is an excellent location for hospitals. I expect to have this completed by to-morrow (Sunday) night.
[JULY 4, 1863.]
Chief Quartermaster, Headquarters of the Army:
The Secretary of War directs that no efforts be spared to bring in the wounded. I can allow one hour and a half to unload cars at