HEADQUARTERS ENGINEER BRIGADE, Washington, July 4, 1863.
General S. WILLIAMS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Army of the Potomac:
I have the satisfaction of reporting that the one hundred pontoons, excepting one, stove [in] by accident, have been safely brought through to Georgetown, together with eighteen barges, loaded with army stores. Lieutenant Beers, of the Fiftieth New York Engineers, with his 90 men, have accomplished this by their incessant labor since Monday.
He reports the second lock below Edwards Ferry to have been destroyed by the rebels, and the reach above dry, and nine barges, about one-half loaded, to have been burned; that they had jammed a barge in the wing walls of the lock this reach, and burned it, and broken up the four gates of the lock below. These gates were brought up, repaired, and worked by ropes, so that this line of boats, requiring forty-three separate lockings at each lock, was brought through successfully by last night.
He reports his conviction that the rebel Colonel [E. V.] White recrossed near Seneca with many of the captured cattle and mules.
H. W. BENHAM,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SUSQUEHANNA, Harrisburg, Pa., July 4, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: As yet a few of the New York regiments will not be mustered for any period. Some of them came here to serve thirty days; others for three months. The latter would only be mustered for thirty days, seeing that the former had that privilege. The consequence is, thirty days is the maximum term.
I am aware of the necessity that existed in hurrying forward troops, but if the emergency continues, I beg that all troops be mustered before leaving their respective States. It I could only take what troops are under my command to Meade's army, and distribute them for the time among his regiments, that would be the sure way of defending Pennsylvania.
I have seriously considered this plan, and it may possibly be necessary to carry it into effect. I have sent a large force to occupy the enemy by its numbers, in the mountains between Carlisle and Gettysburg. The rains, however, have so raised the streams that the force has been cut in two. A large part will not be able to get beyond Carlisle.
D. N. COUCH.
CLARKSBURG, W. VA., July 4, 1863-9 a. m. (Received 2. 40 p. m.)
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Rumors from Beverly this morning indicated that the enemy was repulsed in his attack of yesterday. A portion of my re-enforcements reached Beverly last evening; balance of the way. Will report so soon as I receive particulars.
B. F. KELLEY,