War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0542 MD., e. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Washington, February 27, 1862-10 p. m.

General MCCLELLAN,

Sandy Hook:

Hooker has been instructed as you desire. I will push preparations for the other plan to-morrow.

R. B. MARCY,

Chief of Staff.

[5.]

WASHINGTON, February 27, 1862.

Major General G. B. MCCLELLAN,

Harper's Ferry:

As I learn you are not expected back for several days I again telegraph you, though it would require a lengthy letter or verbal communication to communicate fully my views. In the first place I state explicitly that I consider any operation which involves re-embarking and leaving the enemy in possession to be most unwise, and to involve not merely risk, but strong probabilities of disaster. Second. I believe that a floating force may be landed at Freestone Point, or higher up, conjointly with the passage of the Occoquan by Heintzelman; that the united force could defeat the enemy's force between the Occoquan and the Potomac and take those batteries; probably the united force should be three divisions. Third. The operation involves the co-operation of three divisions and of the navy, an dshould be directed by yourself in person or by a general officer placed in command of the entire force. Fourth. The discretionary authority General Hooker now has should be immediately revoked. Fifth. Having taken the batteries in this manner, the guns may be hsipped to Washington and the forces withdrawn behind the Occoquan if deemed best. Sixth. Whatever method is adopted, it is too important to run any risks of failure, and would be best executed by yourself in person. Seventh. If it is not judged best to make an imposing movement beyond the Occoquan, it is better to let the batteries alone than to undertake to silence them by landing and disembarkation.

J. G. BARNARD.

[5.]

WASHINGTON, February 27, 1862.

Major General G. B. MCCLELLAN,

Harper's Ferry:

I returned last night. I conisder the landing where proposed too hazardous. The ground is not known. It cannot be well known nor the arrangements made to repel assault by the enemy, who is warned and prepared to meet it. Even if the landing were not objectionable, I should consider that part of the project which involves the reembarking and leaving the field in possession of the enemy to involve the probability of terrible disaster. The way, and the only way, to take those works is to occupy the ground behind them.

J. G. BARNARD,

Chief Engineer.

[Indorsement.]

Shall I direct General Hooker not to move until further instructions? General Barnard recommends this.

R. B. MARCY,

Chief of Staff.

[5.]