HEADQUARTERS, May 25, 1862.
Brigadier-General PATRICK, Fredericksburg:
General McDowell wishes to know the state of affairs this morning. A cavalry force will be sent you early this morning to assist you in making a reconnaissance with a part of your brigade to see if the enemy have returned.
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH PROVISIONAL ARMY CORPS,
Camp near New Bridge, Va., May 26, 1862.
GENERAL: The commanding general directs me to inform you that he will be absent to-morrow with a portion of the command (Morell's division). You will be in command and receive orders direct from general headquarters. Colonel Hunt will receive orders from you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRED. T. LOCKE,
CAMP NEAR MECHANICSVILLE, May 26, 1862.
General J. G. BARNARD, U. S. Army,
Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac:
SIR: I have the honor to report that yesterday Lieutenant Farquhar accompanied me in an examination of a portion of the Chickahominy between the turnpike and Meadow bridges. We had an escort, consisting of a squadron of Sixth Cavalry and four companies of Forty-ninth New York. Both bridges were occupied by the enemy and the woods adjoining. We struck the woods about half a mile below the railroad and found them very thick with undergrowth and very wet and marshy, particularly toward railroad, and the belt of woods broad. The stream was winding, the main channel generally about thirty feet wide and from four to six feet deep where tried; bottom fine gravel, in some surface sometimes eighty or ninety feet in width. The banks were generally not much above water, but in some places abrupt. The current in channel was rapid. The rain probably he has made the stream much deeper than usual and caused the lowlands to be also very wet. There is a good eal of timber is pretty large. In general the portion examined did not present favorable points for crossing. The approaches would require much labor. General Stoneman's headquarters were moved this morning to Mechanicsville, about which his troops are in camp.
Very respectfully submitted.
C. SEAFORTH STEWART.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CORPS, May 26, 1862.
Brigadier General J. G. BARNARD, Chief Engineer:
GENERAL: I send a rough sketch of the position to-day occupied by this corps.* General Hooker's position is very strong at White Oak
*Sketch not found.