Manassas, July 23, 1861.
GENERAL: I respectfully inclose herewith a note just received from Colonel Stuart. The President knows the person from whom the colonel received the information and the value of his statements. He came with a Mr. Magraw to as permission to come within our lines to look for the body of a friend; taking this course, they said, because a rule established by their authorities forbids flags of truce in such cases. Colonel Stuart is directed to treat them as prisoners. Should they be permitted to go to the North from Richmond, I suggest that the sea furnished their best route.
The last paragraph indicates a diversion in Western Virginia effected by the recent battle.
Colonel A. W. McDonald has just reported to me, and been ordered to repair through Staunton to the forces assembling to operate against the troops commanded by McClellan.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
HDQRS. ADVANCE BRIGADE, ARMY OF POTOMAC,
Fairfax Court-House, July 23, 1861-10 a. m.
GENERAL: I arrived and halted beyond the town at 9.30 a. m. Three wounded officers here. I had already sent scouting parties around. The enemy's operations may be known by the papers inclosed. The retreat continued in utter disorder into Washington City; 50,000 said to be engaged. I send a letter from Arnold Harris, from whom I got the last information. I have retained him and Magraw and party as prisoners, and urge that the request he makes be refused. He says McClellan has been ordered to succeed McDowell at once. I send a late file of papers obtained from him. They say there is no force this side of Alexandria; 50,000 men are to be mustered out of service in fifteen days. Banks has been ordered to relieve Patterson.
J. E. B. STUART,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES,
Richmond, Va., July 24, 1861.
Major J. GORGAS,
Chief of Ordnance, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
MAJOR: A letter has just been received from General Wise, commanding in the valley of the Kanawha, in which he says he is almost without ammunition. Will you have sent to him, by the Central Railroad, to Lewisburg, a full supply, suitable for the arms with which his force is supplies?
R. E. LEE,