ble on him in our present advance. Whichever has the advantage of a previous study of the configuration of the country, water-courses, roads, ridges, extension of roads, &c., with the best order for marching, and the best routes of direction, will have so far the advantage. Should your attack be unexpected by General Lee, I do not fear the result.
WM. H. FRENCH,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF QUARTERMASTER,
Camp on the Antietam, Md., July 12, 1863.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I have the honor of calling your attention to the loose and irregular manner in which private property is taken by certain officers in this army. Citizens are calling on me daily, and presenting papers for property taken, but on which no disbursing officer could make payment. This irregularity exists principally in the cavalry and artillery service. I have issued orders to officers of the quartermaster's department, stating the circumstances under which private property can be taken, and that payment must be made for it at the time, or the proper papers given. My records are not with me at present, or I would send you copies of my orders on the subject. The instructions given, however, are as follows: No private property can be taken for the use of this army as far as relates to the quartermaster's department, excepting by an officer of that department, and he must have the authority of his commanding officer for taking it. Payment must be made at the time, or properly certified accounts given, on Form No. 12, and the property must be accounted for on the returns of the officer signing the certificate. The accounts must also be approved by the commanding officer. Papers given in this form will be paid on presentation to Captain John McHarg, assistant quartermaster, at Frederick City, who has been detailed for that purpose. I respectfully request that a similar order may be issued from your office, stating the circumstances under which private property can be taken for the use of this army, and that all officers may be held to a strict accountability for the proper observance of it. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General, and Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS, Harper's Ferry, July 12, 1863.
Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:
I have ordered a brigade, under General Briggs, 1, 648 men, to Boonsborough, to report to your headquarters. The engineer troops were straggling, and pilfering the neighborhood. The roads in Sandy Hook stunk for want of a little drainage.