HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, August 17, 1863.
Commanding Officer Cavalry Corps:
In reference to the report of Brigadier-General Custer of the 13th instant, I am directed by the major-general commanding to request that you will transmit to these headquarters a copy of the instructions sent to that officer, and to say that it is the manifest duty of every officer engaged in the duty General Custer is instructed with to arrest every one who disregards a parole or pledge; that paroles or accepted pledges from these headquarters to residents can form no proper excuse for not arresting those paroled or pledge, when they commit any act whatever of disloyalty; that the instructions from these headquarters do not render him,or any other officer, powerless to act whenever any good reason exists for arrest, but on the the contrary, gives ample power when there is reason to suspect any act directly or indirectly disloyal. Authority could not be wider than this, unless it extended beyond the limits possessed even by the commander of this army. But if the power existed, the loose statements upon this subject contained in the letter of General Custer do not impress the major-general commanding with the suitableness of intrusting to that officer the discretion he suggests, of dealing with those within the limits of his command as he might choose.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General, and Chief of Staff.
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 17, 1863-2 p. m.
Harper's Ferry, W. Va.:
You will send five companies of your command to report to General W. W. Morris, at Baltimore, for guard duty at Fort Delaware.
H. W. HALLECK,
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 17, 1863-2. 25 p. m.
Bvt. Brigadier General W. W. MORRIS,
General Lockwood has been directed to send you five companies from Harper's Ferry for guard duty at Fort Delaware.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS, New Berne, N. C., August 17, 1863.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Dept. of Va. and N. C., Fort Monroe:
On the 15th, I received a communication from Admiral Lee, U. S. Navy, to the effect that the iron-clad on the Roanoke at Edwards Ferry was nearly completed.