fitted, and very well drilled. They are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Regiments of Maine Volunteers. They are at this time being paid off.
There is also a full regiment of cavalry, better mounted, I venture to say, than any regiment in the service. Further, there are five batteries of light artillery, three of which are full to the maximum.
These men are anxious to march and are all most desirous of going into active service. If there are expeditions going South or elsewhere, I would earnestly ask, if not deemed incompatible with the public service, that this force of nearly 5,000 men, now in this State, should be attached to one of them. There has been a newspaper rumor that General Heintzelman is to be placed in command of an expedition of this character. I know not, of course, whether there is any truth in the rumor, nor do I seek to know; but I hope you will allow me to say that if it shall be true I should rejoice to know that our Maine troops were honored with a place in his command.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ISRAEL WASHBURN, Jr.
WAR DEPARTMENT, January 28, 1862.
(Care Cooper & Hewitt, New York.)
How many mortar beds will be completed by 15th of February?
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
NEW YORK, January 28, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
The mortar beds will all be completed by the 15th of February.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 7.
Washington, January 29, 1862.
By direction of the Secretary of War, private letters received by officers of the Army for transmittal through the lines of the U. S. troops to persons living in the enemy's country will not hereafter be forwarded, but will be sent to the Dead-Letter Office, in the city of Washington. Exception to this rule is made in favor of letters addressed to officers and men detained as prisoners by the insurgents.
By command of Major-General McClellan:
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., January 29, 1862.
In respect to contracts:
The urgent necessity that required the immediate purchase of arms, clothing, and other military supplies from foreign countries having ceased, it is