War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0605 Chapter XXXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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to add that you are correct in the interpretation you have placed upon the order assigning you to the command of the right column. The order ceases to have effect upon the arrival of the troops at Middletown.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ENGINEER BRIGADE, Harper's Ferry, July 8, 1863-7 p. m.

General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

Dispatch just received. I have telegraphed to the depot at Washington that 50 pontoon trucks be sent at the earliest possible moment. I shall trust to the army wagons here whose teams are sent me, to carry the necessary planking. I shall need 50 teams of 8 mules, and 25 teams of 6 mules each, with their wagons, and 2 teams of 6 mules each, without wagons, to be sent here to meet the trucks. On the other side of the river there appear to be less than 100 men. They shot 2 of the river there appear to be less than 100 men. They shot 2 of our men yesterday, and have been firing this afternoon.

H. W. BENHAM,

Brigadier-General.

CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 8, 1863.

The following copies of a dispatch from the President to the major-general commanding, and of the reply to the same, are communicated to corps commanders, in the earnest hope that they will use their best efforts to assist the commanding general in meeting the wishes of the President.

By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosures.]

WASHINGTON, July 8, 1863-12. 30 p. m.

Major-General MEADE:

There is reliable information that the enemy is crossing at Williamsport. The opportunity to attack his divided forces should not be lost. The President is urgent and anxious that your army should move against him by forced marches.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 8, 1863-3 p. m.

(Received 3. 20 p. m.)

General HALLECK:

My information as to the crossing of the enemy does not agree with that just received in your dispatch. His whole force is in position