FREDERICK, July 8, 1863.
(Received 4 p. m.)
General M. C. MEIGS,
Colonel Price was ordered to remain at Gettysburg with a regiment of cavalry until relieved. Captain Rankin, however, has just reported that General Smith has not arrived, and no troops are there. I will report the facts to General Meade when I join him at Middletown to-night. I saw citizens carrying off arms, and doubt not it will require coercive steps to recover them. A large quantity, though, was already delivered at the depot, which had been gathered from the field. The people there are doubtless loyal, but they seemed to be very simple and parsimonious, and evinced but little enthusiasm.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Frederick, Md., July 8, 1863.
Brigadier General H. W. BENHAM:
The proper arrangements having been made for the laying and the care of the pontoon bridges at Harper's Ferry from the trains now en route to that place by railway and canal, you will return to Washington, organize your bridge material, and the balance of your brigade, remaining there; and you will have prepared as early as practicable a light field bridge of canvas pontoons, of about 1, 200 feet in length; for the expedition of which you are authorized to visit Baltimore or New York City.
By command of Major-General Meade:
SANDY HOOK, July 8, 1863.
SIR: I am in command at Harper's Ferry of five iron-clad cars, proof against musketry, and, I think, against 12-pounder solid shot. I expect five more to-morrow. I intended to rebuild the track over the Harper's Ferry Bridge, and press on building the road and the telegraph as far as I could go, perhaps even to Martinsburg. I am not afraid of the heavy masses of the enemy, provided they cannot get heavy artillery to work at me. May I build the bridge to-morrow and go on? I will have a corps of railroad men and sufficient material. Will you at least permit me to build a part of the bridge, leaving a gap which can be filled in an hour?
River rising here rapidly; a few pontoons coming down with current.
JOHN R. MEIGS,
Lieutenant, Commanding Iron-Clads.
[P. S.]-I have clumsily mounted in my cars a 6-pounder and four mountain howitzers.