SANDY HOOK, July 8, 1863-2. 30 p. m.
General S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:
My train has just arrived here by cars. The bridge sent by canal arrived at 2 a. m. The enemy's sharpshooters are still on the other side, and the bridge in the canal was hauled down out of range by the advice of General Briggs, to whom my officer had reported by my direction. General Warren's dispatch just received. The trucks for pontoons can only be obtained within two days by ordering them by railroad from Washington and having the right of way. The Antietam Creek, at the late battle-ground, I learn is only about 10 or 12 yards wide. If wanted there, I would suggest another bridge as by rafts.
We can probably mount pontoons for 30 to 50 yards of bridge upon pairs of army connected by long poles, but could not get 1, 000 feet, really, without much time. Shall I telegraph for the trucks?
H. W. BENHAM,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS, July 8, 1863-3. 20 p. m.
I do not know the strength of the Boonsborough Pass. I have twenty-four pieces of artillery and 3, 300 old infantry. I am obliged to leave behind the Vermont brigade (new troops), about 1, 700 strong, because they have already made one march to-day, without rations. They may follow after rations are issued, for which immediate orders have been given. If the Pass requires more infantry, you can send them. It may be too late on my requisition. The Vermont brigade are ordered to follow in an hour. If the Boonsborough Pass is worthy of being held, I think a large force is necessary. The pass at Crampton's Gap was held by 5, 000 infantry against an equal number.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 8, 1863-3. 45 p. m.
Commanding Officer First Corps:
Your dispatch of 3. 20 received. The Eleventh Corps is also ordered to the South Mountain Pass, and the Sixth Corps will be held in hand as a support.
We have no later intelligence from the enemy than that contained in General Kilpatrick's dispatch, with a copy of which you have been furnished.
Very respectfully, &c.,