force has developed itself welld own toward the Ohio River. The small force now in Guyandotte Valley (two regiments) suffices to guard against all but a large force. Such a force requires one to be organized to meet it. This can best be done here. In view of all these things, the large accumulation of office business, and the fact that it will require four or five days for the trip without means of telegraphic communication, I would like the general to say precisely what he would have me do.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
HDQRS. FIRST REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS,
Camp Hooker, December 20, 1861.
Lieutenant GEORGE H. JOHNSTON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: I have the honor to report that heavy firing was kept up on the schooners coming up the river. The officer of the day, Captain Chamberlain, reported to me that the vessels were becalmed and not moving. I directed him to take a boat and go to their relief. He reports that he found two schooners which had fouled in the middle of the river and could not proceed, their officers being apparently paralyzed. The command was given to Captain Chamberlain, who disentagled the vessels and then towed them up, one at a time, beyond the upper battery. Nearly opposite Possum Nose Battery he found another schooner at anchor with the crew all below; he started her off and then went down the river, where he found, nearer the enemy's shore than ours, a schooner at anchor; she had a shot through the foresail and immediately on receiving it had hauled down their sails, dropped anchor, and her crew had gone below, closing the hatch; there was no one to be seen when he boarded her. Either of these schooners could have been captured or burned by the enemy with the greatest ease. If there were rockets at my disposal I could easily signal the fleet in case of any attempt to put out from the other shore. The PAGE is at her old moorings in Quantico Creek the report of my pickets of her being out the other night is probably correct.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
GEO. D. WELLS,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers 194.
Washington, December 21, 1861.
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4. Brigadier General John G. Parke, volunteer service, is relieved from the operation of so much of Special Orders, Numbers 180, of December 11, as assigns him to duty with Stone's division, and will report at once for duty to Brigadier-General Burnside, commanding division, at Annapolis, Md.
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By command of Major-General McClellan: