Today in History:

101 Series I Volume XXI- Serial 31 - Fredericksburg


is, that if we are detained by the elements it would be much better for us to be on that route.

I hope the General-in-Chief will impress upon the Secretary of War the necessity for sanctioning the changes which I now propose to make in this army.

First. To divide it into three parts-right wing, left wing, and center-under command of the three ranking generals.

Second. To do away with the very massive and elaborate adjutant-general's office at these headquarters, and require the different commanders of these wings and corps to correspond directly with Washington in reference to all such things as resignations, leaves of absence, discharges, recruiting service, &c., about which they necessarily know more than I do. I would have to be governed by their suggestions at any rate, and the attention to those matters in detail would surround me with a large number of additional staff officials, and embarrass me with a responsibility which* I cannot assume.

Third. To make General Seth Williams an inspector of the different staff departments of the command by which means I will ascertain if these duties are properly by the persons to whom they are delegated.

Fourth. To keep my own adjutant-general, Lieutenant Colonel L. Richmond, at my headquarters, and to use, as far as possible, my own staff officers, with promotion necessary to their positions. I shall make as few changes as may be, but I am very anxious to keep my staff as small as possible, and to throw the labor and detail upon the officers immediately in command of the troops.

With an approval of these suggestions, I will endeavor, with all my ability, to bring this campaign to a successful issued. If they are not approved, I hope specific instructions will be given, and the General-in-Chief may rely upon a cheerful and implicit obedience.

The General-in-Chief will readily comprehend the embarrassments which surround me in taking command of this army at this place and at this season of the year. Had I been asked to take it, I should have declined; but, being ordered, I cheerfully obey.

A telegram from you approving of my plans will put us to work at once.

Captain E. M. Neill, of my staff, will bear these dispatches to you.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding Army of the Potomac.

General G. W. CULLUM,

Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.

[Appendix C.]

Falmouth, Va., November 19, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on the receipt of the telegram of the General-in-Chief, informing me that the President approved of the plan of operations on this line, arrangements for a move were commenced by drawing in the extreme right to the neighborhood of Warrenton, and, as soon as the whole command was supplied with three or four days' commissary stores and a day or two of forage, the column was moved.

General Summer, with his two corps, took the road to Falmouth, ar-