You have been more despondent lately than one gifted like you by Providence should be. You owe it to the Giver of good gifts and our cause to throw such a weight off your faculties, to leave them their full value..
Name by telegraph anything the quartermaster can send and you shall have it; it is almost too late now for anything but forage..
Hampton must move off as cunningly as possible. The river, probably, will not be fordable..
J. E. JOHNSTON..
I shall ask French to ride up to see you. Make an appointment with him by the courier who will carry this. The mode of disposing of the guns must be determined upon between you. As senior, your destination being the same, you will be commander, whenever a common one is necessary..
Report to General Holmes be letter when you start. I informed you some time since that you would join him. I send a letter to him, which need not be sent until to-morrow, or when your letters [are sent?], should it be inconvenient to send sooner..
WINCHESTER, March 6, 1862-6.10 a. m..
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,.
Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:.
GENERAL: I forward herewith a copy of a report made by Mr. Herbert Umbaugh,* who recently visited Cumberland for the purpose of procuring information respecting the enemy's movements. His information is from various sources-one from a surgeon in the United States Army through a loyal brother. It appears that Lander is still in command of his troops near Paw Paw, and that he did not go to Kentucky, as I wrote to you. The accumulation of army stores in cumberland looks ominous. I have written to the Secretary of War favoring the raising of the force for operating against the railroad,a nd did not pass it through your hands, but sent Mr. U. direct with it to Richmond, as I was well satisfied that it would need with your approval, as such a force can do more in that way towards retarding an advance and crippling the enemy than in any other way. Whilst Mr. U. is a bold man and Mr. Parsons a gentleman of character and influence, yet I do not expect so much from them as indicated, but much is to be expected..
Yesterday the enemy advance from Martinsburg to Bunker Hill. So Leonard, the commander, has effected a junction with the Charlestown forces via the Charlestown and Smithfield road. Leonard, before leaving Martinsburg, sent his baggage in the direction of Williamsport. His column was about 2 miles long, composed of seven regiments of infantry, four companies of cavalry, and probably six pieces of artillery..
It would be dangerous for me in the present condition of the roads to attempt to move up the Sourth Branch of the Shenandoah from Front Royal. The information that I received yesterday respecting that road makes it even worse than I had before supposed it to be..
If I move from here to Front Royal, and I should have to fall back any farther, I would join you..