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Counties, Virginia, for the offices of collector and surveyor, that all my information from these counties was very satisfactory. I have to-day received a letter from General Lockwood, in which he says that he summoned all the magistrates of Accomac County before him; that they all took the oath of allegiance, as well as the sheriff and his deputies and clerks. He adds: “After this there was quite a rush of smaller officers to do likewise.” He was to go in a day or two after to Northampton and pursue the same course. He has made but a single arrest for disloyalty.
I consider the restoration of these counties to the Union complete, and if our troops were to be entirely withdrawn I am satisfied that there would be no movement against the Government. Of the 3,200 men seut froin here I have brought back 3,100. There are about 1,000 left in the two counties. As soon as convenient I trust you will appoint a collector and surveyor. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. DIX,
HEADQUARTERS IIOOKER'S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, December 13, 1861. Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac: The commander of the Second Brigade reported to me this morning that the rebels had established a battery opposite to Maryland Point, where the channel makes in close to the Virginia shore, which promised to give our transports and other vessels some little annoyance in ascending the river. Not being able to give it a personal inspection, I made application to the officer commanding the second division of the Hlotilla for information concerning it. In reply I learn that it is a field battery, and the one to which I have before alluded. It is a light field battery of six rifled pieces, planted on the bank of the river during the day and removed at night. It has a regiment or two, as supports, in its vicinity.
I am further informed that vessels, in order to pass up and down the river, have to pass within three-quarters of a mile of the Virginia shore, and in case it is required of them, in my opinion, some of the guns of the flotilla can with advantage exchange shots with this battery, as it is entirely exposed; they have longer range, and are not more exposed than the enemy. But for the broad river I might possibly surprise them, but to do that with steamboats is almost an absurdity; I have more confidence in being able to whip them than I have in being able to surprise them or even of capturing their battery.
About 2 o'clock a. m. two steamers passed from the upper to the lower flotilla, when they were saluted with two discharges from the enemy's heavy rifled gun. It fairly shook the earth on this side of the river. This was the only effect of it. Our vessels fired a few shots in answer and passed on.
I can remark no changes either in location or number of the rebel encampments. Very respectfully, &c.,
JOSEPI HOOKER, Brigadier. General, Commanding Division,
HEADQUARTERS IIOOKER'S DIVISION, Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, December 15, 1861. Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac : To-day the enemy have exposed a battery of two pieces on a bluff bank, nearly midway between Cockpit and Shipping Points. It is directly across the river from the head of Stump Neck. The battery is concealed from view by the forest in which it is planted, but from the reports of the pieces and the accuracy of fire it is the opinion that the guns were taken from what is called the Maryland field battery of 12. pounders, which is encamped in the vicinity. We will know more of this in a day or two. The river is narrower at this point by a quarter of a mile than at Shipping Point, but as the channel hugs our shore a little closer than at Budd's Ferry, the difference of range cannot be material. I am not yet prepared to say that it will add to the annoyance of vessels navigating the river.
I desire to call the attention of the Major-General Commanding to the hazards of my position from the closing of the river by ice. From the present time until the 1st of March the navigation is liable to be in: terrupted from this cause, and in 1855 it was continuously suspended for a period of six weeks. It is not an unusual occurrence for the Potomac to be frozen over to its mouth. This will prevent supplies reaching us either from Washington or Baltimore.
I have not visited Liverpool Point for several days, but learn that our mechanics are making good progress with our store-bouse. Very respectfully, &c,
JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
(WHEELING,) December 15, 1861. Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Washington, D. O.:
I have the honor to report, for the information of the Commanding General, my return to this place. The general orders of the 30th have been executed, except as to the four more regiments to Kentucky. The state of affairs now existing should be brought to the General's attention, as it may require bis orders for a delay. There is a strong force reported on the headwaters of Sandy, not in my department. There is a direct turnpike road from Charleston to Sandy and from Sandy to Raleigh. Our stores are ordered up to Fayette, Gauley, Charleston, &c. Would it not be well not to thin still more the scattered forces until we see if an expedition cannot be arranged to cut off this rebel force? Sandy region ought, it seems to me, to belong to this department. Will the Commanding General allow me to come to Wasbington and see him in reference to these and many other details relating to the good of our service ?
W. S. ROSECRANS.
Washington, D. C., December 16, 1861. Brig. Gen. B. F. KELLEY, V. S. Service, Romney, Va.:
The news from Virginia is that you are to be attacked by some 7,000 or 8,000 men, probably from Winchester. It is supposed troops enough to repel them have been ordered to join you.
L. THOMAS, Adjutant General.
FREDERICK, MD., December 16, 1861–9 o'clock. Colonel LEONARD, Williamsport:
Let the Illinois regiment go at once. Be ready to move yourself. Messenger on the road.
N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.
FREDERICK, MD., December 16, 1861–10 p. m. Colonel LEONARD, Commanding at Williamsport :
SIR: We have report to-night at 9 o'clock that General Kelley may be attacked to-night-perhaps from Winchester. Be ready to assist him with all your disposable force. The Fifth Connecticut Regiment will leare at day break for your post, with a section of artillery. You can order them on to Romney, if necessary, and call upon us for more troops, if they are wanted. Do not fail to be ready to move at the first call. Send messengers towards Kelley for news and telegraph us often. The Adjutant-General telegraphs to night that you should dispose of the arms sent to Williamsport as follows.: Three thousand for the Lamon brigade; two thousand to be sent to Romuey, by the way of Hancock, for the Pennsylvania regiments. This was the first order, and it is repeated again to-night by telegraph. Be on the alert, and keep us posted. We had a verbal report from Colonel Link, Twelfth Indiana, that rebels threatened to cross the river to-night at or near Sharpsburg. Do you know that danger of that kind exists? The messenger said he had lost his dispatches, but gave us the substance. Very truly, yours,
N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Division.
Washington, December 18, 1861. Brig. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS, U. S. A., Wheeling, Va.:
The General-in-Chief says it is not necessary for you to come to Washington. General Buell has made dispositions for the Big Sandy Valles. Co-operate with him if necessary, and also look to valley of Guyandotte, especially Logan Court-House.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, December 19, 1861. I. Inasmuch as some misunderstanding appears to prevail on the subject of passes within the limits of this army, the existing regulations on the subject are republished for the benefit of all concerned.
1. No civilian can cross the Potomac into Virginia without a pass signed by the provost-marshal of Washington, or given at these headquarters, or at the headquarters of the army.
Civilians not suspected of disloyalty do not need a pass to enable them to travel within the section of country north of the Potomac.
2. No civilian nceds a pass to cross the Potomac from Virginia into Washington.
3. Division and brigade commanders and provost-marshals (except the provost-marsbal of Washington) have no authority to grant passes to civilians to cross the Potomac at all, unless the civilians be employed in connection with the army, in which case that fact will be stated on
4. Division and regimental commanders, the military governor and commander at Alexandria, and the commanders of bodies of troops not brigaded south of the Potomac may give passes to officers and soldiers and to civilians connected with the army to cross and recross the bridges and ferries.
Commanders of troops not brigaded will state on the pass the fact of their exercising such command. If the individual passed over be on official business, the pass should so state. A soldier's furlough or an officer's order of leave of absence, issued from the proper source, are sufficient evidences of authority to cross the Potomac going on leave.
5. No wine, beer, or ardent spirits, unless they be for hospital or subsistence stores, or the private stores of an officer, for his own use, (when they should be so marked,) shall pass the guards at any bridge or ferry on the Potomac or the guards of any camp or barracks, without a pass from the provost-marshal of Washington to cover the stores, or from these headquarters.
6. Loyal citizens, residents within our lines south of the Potomac, after having visited Washington, must have, to return to their homes, passes signed by the provost-marshal of Washington. Certiticates as to their loyalty, from brigade or division commanders within the limits of whose command they reside, would have the effect to enable the provost-marshal to decide promptly upon the propriety of furnishing them
7. Commanders of the troops about Washington north of the Potomac can give no passes to any description of person to cross the river.
II. All fast riding or driving by officers and soldiers in the streets of Washington is prohibited.
The provost-marsbal is directed to enforce this order.
Officers dispatching mounted messengers conveying papers will state upon the envelope of the dispatches the gait the messenger is to takewhether a walk, a trot, or a gallop.
The same directions may be indicated by the seals on an envelopeone seal for the walk, two for the trot, and three for the gallop. Officers will be held responsible for the instructions they give to mounted orderlies as to the gait of the messenger.
III. Quartermasters will instruct their wagon-masters and teamsters that trains passing through the streets of Washington shall leave an interval equal to the width of the street between every 10 wagons. Unnecessary locking of wheels is prohibited.
IV. Neither division nor brigade commanders can give leaves of absence to officers or furloughs to soldiers to leave this army at all. Neither officer nor soldier can pass beyond the limits of this army without permission from these headquarters. Leaves of absence for forty-eight hours and furloughs for the same period, not to go beyond the limits of this army, may be given by the division and brigade commanders. The commanding generals at Baltimore, Frederick, and Poolesville are excepted from the above restrictions, in so far that they may approve furloughs for soldiers, restricting them to cases of urgent necessity and for short periods of time, and may grant leaves of absence to oflicers for forty-eight hours to pass beyond the limits of this army.
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There are frequent cases of commanding officers ordering individuals to proceed beyond the limits of their superiors' commands without their consent or authority. This practice must be discontinued. The rights of command can only be exercised within the proper sphere of coininaud. By command of Major-General McClellan :
S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAMP BAKER, LOWER POTOMAC, MARYLAND,
December 20, 1861. Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac : GENERAL: In compliance with instructions received from your office this evening, instructions have been given for requisitions to be prepared for forage and subsistence stores for this division for six weeks, They will be forwarded to the proper officers by tomorrow morning's steamer.
A small schooner passing down the river under gentle sail drew the fire this forenoon of all the rebel batteries. She presented so fair an object, and was gliding along so leisurely, that the enemy were tempted to expend some eighty or ninety shots on her, but she passed them all unharmed. If ever they should succeed in crippling one of our vessels, and attempt to take it, you must not be surprised to hear of a conflict ou the water. It will be necessary to rescue her, whether of any value or not, for the effect it will produce on my troops. If I cannot control their irritation at these frequent exhibitions of power, it appears to me to be my duty to prevent their witnessing any of its triumphs.
I have received this evening another report from Major Chapman, dated the 18th instant, of the operations of his command in the southern extremity of the State. Inclosed you will receive such extracts from it as will be of interest or value to you.* The prisoner James B. Loker will be forwarded to the provost-marshal in Washington tomorrow morning. Directions will be given for the captured mail and money to be delivered with this report. The property reported as having been taken will be forwarded as soon as received.
The intelligence, energy, and good conduct displayed by Major Chapman and his command in the service in which they are engaged merit and will receive my commendation.
The Third Indiana Cavalry have been on the wing almost all the time since they joined me, singly and in bodies, and I have yet to learn of the first irregularity. The conduct of the enlisted men is as exemplary in the absence of authority as it is when present. It seems that no example, no tenptation, can lead them astray. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.