War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0578 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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mander as utterly worthless. I have about 1, 000 men that I did not march, having been demoralized at York. Have six guns and six mountain howitzers in the field. In a day or two will have ten.

I shall strictly carry out any order you may give, having been notified by the War Department to that effect days ago, and do it with pleasure. My dispositions have been made in reference to the character of my troops, topography of the country, and to assist your heroic army.

D. N. COUCH,

Major-General.

HARRISBURG, July 6, 1863.

General MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

It is reported by cavalry and other scouts, 12 m. to-day, that troops and trains were passing through Fayetteville south, in haste; also near Greencastle. [A. G.] Jenkins is guarding the flank toward Mercersburg with a large force.

D. N. COUCH,

Major-General.

HARRISBURG, July 6, 1863-3 p. m.

Major-General MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

To-night General Smith will probably by at Newman's Cut, 3 miles west of Cashtown, on the Chambersburg road.

D. N. COUCH,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Gettysburg, July 6, 1863-4. 40 p. m.

Major-General COUCH:

The General-in-Chief has directed me to assume the general command of all the troops you have in the field. This, in view of my ignorance of the number, organization, and position of your troops, is a very difficult matter. Lee, from all I can learn, is withdrawing toward Hagerstown and Williamsport. I propose to move via Middletown and South Mountain. If the condition of the roads and the impediments in his way should delay him, I may have an opportunity of attacking him. In this you can co-operate either by directly re-enforcing me, by moving down the Valley and establishing communication with my army, or the movement may be confined, as I previously desired it to be, to a simple demonstration.

In these points I do not wish to hamper you with instructions, but leave to your knowledge of your troops and the necessity of the defense of the Susquehanna. I think I have inflicted such injury on Lee that he will hardly contemplate another demonstration against Harrisburg. Still, if I have to meet with disaster, such a contingency should be held in view. I would like your opinion, with the remark that all the assistance I can get will be not only needed, but most gratefully received. General Smith being very near me, I have ordered him to this place, where a force should be left to cover our withdrawal and protect the hospitals and public property.