HDQRS. DEFENSES OF WASHINGTON, Numbers 34.
October 14, 1862.
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2. Instead of relieving Brigadier General J. B. Carr in the command of the First Brigade, Second Division, Third Corps, as heretofore ordered, Brigadier General Robert Cowdin will report to Brigadier General J. J. Abercrombie for assignment to the command of the Second Brigade of his division.
By command of Major-General Banks:
RICHD. B. IRWIN,
Captain, Aide-de-Camp, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers 282.
Camp near Knoxville, Md., October 15, 1862.
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5. Captain J. C. Duane, Corps of Engineers, is assigned to duty as chief engineer of the Army, of the Potomac; this assignment to have effect from September 8, 1862.
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By command of Major-General McClellan:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 15, 1862.
Major General FITZ JOHN PORTER,
Commanding Fifth Corps, near Sharpsburg:
GENERAL: The commanding general has received reports from signal stations which render it not improbable that the enemy's forces have left the vicinity of Bunker Hill and Winchester. General Hancock, with his own division and 1,500 additional infantry and a force of cavalry, has been ordered to make a reconnaissance to-morrow at daylight, moving his infantry as far as Charlestown and sending on his cavalry in the direction of Bunker Hill and Winchester until they find the enemy in force. A cavalry party is also to follow the line of the railroad as far as they can toward Opequon Creek. The commanding general directs that you send out a reconnaissance composed of the cavalry ordered in the telegraphic dispatch to you (1.45 p. m.) and 5,000 or 6,000 infantry, to proceed in the direction of Kearneysville, Leetown, and Smithfield, under command of a competent general officer. Please direct him to keep his cavalry scouting all the approaches from the direction of the Opequon on his right. The infantry will not go beyond Leetown. The cavalry will proceed as far as Smithfield, if practicable, and communicate with the cavalry under General Hancock from Harper's Ferry. The troops will move without knapsacks and with two days' rations. Please instruct the commanding officer to communicate frequently with you during the progress of the reconnaissance, and to open communication with General Hancock's command as soon as practicable after starting. On accomplishing these instructions the troops will return to their camps on this side of the Potomac. The accompanying map is sent for the use of the commanding officer during the reconnaissance.
Yours, very respectfully,
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.