HEADQUARTERS FIRST MICHIGAN CAVALRY,
Near Front Royal, June 22, 1862.
Brigadier General S. W. CRAWFORD,
Commanding First Brigade:
In compliance with your verbal order of the 21st instant I have the honor to report that I proceeded to Front Royal, and thence on the Luray road to Milford, leaving my camp about 3 p. m.
About 6 miles from Front Royal, near what is called the Manor Line, I learned from citizens that Captain Marshall, of the Confederate service, with a company of cavalry, reported to be from 50 to 60 in number, bivouacked on what is called the Manor Farm, on the night of the 20th, and that early on the morning of the 21st he left that vicinity with his command with the avowed intention of attacking some weak point on the Manassas Gap Railroad and destroying the track. From the Manor Line to Milford nothing of interest was discovered. Upon interrogating the citizens between these places a majority of them professed to know nothing of the whereabouts of General Jackson or any part of his force, but other and more loyal ones acknowledge that the enemy were in force in and about Luray.
Upon arriving at Milford I readily obtained the information desired from Union inhabitants of the town. It was fully believed that General Jackson is moving toward the Manassas Gap Railroad with his troops, lightly equipped, for the purpose of intercepting General Shields. It was also well known to these citizens that General Ewell, with his entire command, was at Luray; that his advance of four companies of cavalry were quartered a short distance from Milford, on the Luray road, at that time.
I was also credibly informed that a strong detachment of cavalry was on my left and rear, on a by-road. Not deeming it prudent to camp for the night with so strong a force in front and flank, I ordered a retrograde movement, and reached the river about 2 a. m. to-day.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,
CHAS. H. TOWN,
Major, Commanding First Michigan Cavalry.
BALTIMORE, MD., June 22, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I have just returned from Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg. I cannot spare the Eighty-seventh Regiment, for the following reasons: We want all the spare regiments to guard the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. I have two and a half regiments at Harper's Ferry that can be relied upon, although two of them are three-months' men, but one of them is not instructed in the drill of the regiment. In order to guard that place I ought to have at least another regiment. I want a regiment to guard Martinsburg and a place called New Creek, both important points, where there is a large amount of public properly, especially at New Creek, where there is property valued at $1,500,000, intended for Fremont's troops. We ought to have at least two companies at the Point of Rocks and two at Monocacy, and certainly one company each at various other points on the road. For Harper's Ferry I intended the Eighty-seventh Regiment, and for Martinsburg and New Creek the Sixty-seventh.