War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0688 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

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abandoned the right bank of the Potomac and cannot injure you in any possible manner, the commanding general desires you to detail towards Cumberland, as assistance, a section of artillery, a squadron of cavalry, and three regiments of infantry, using for the purpose the transportation of other regiments. No risk, however, must be run to endanger your own force, lest you be cut up in detail. The burning of Harper's Ferry may be a decoy, and hence the general enjoins the utmost caution upon you and Captain Newton and every officer. Just at this time, when a movement is made, the danger is the greatest. If you can hire a man to go to Cumberland and tell Colonel Wallace what you have decided to do, the general desires it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.

WILLIAMSPORT, MD., June 15, 1861.

Major F. J. PORTER, Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I wrote to you, directed to Chambersburg, in reply to your letter as to sending forward assistance to Cumberland. It is impossible for us to send the force you speak of for many reasons, as we are without sufficient transportation, and we shall have to send to-morrow evening or Monday morning to Hagerstown for subsistence. Moreover, in the absence of more reliable information in regard to Harper's Ferry, and the country between this and Winchester, and hence to Martinsburg, the hazard would be too great, even if we were in condition to move. I have no doubt my letter will reach you at Hagerstown, although it was addressed to Chambersburg, as it was sent to Captain Holabird, at Hagerstown, to be forwarded to you, and he, no doubt, is aware of your intended arrival at Hagerstown, and will retain my little note, or memorandum, to hand to you. My present object is to repeat this, and, further, to add that I have taken measures to be possessed of information of a definite description as to Harper's Ferry, and as to the neighborhood in our front on the opposite side of the river, including Martinsburg, to be reported to the commanding general to-morrow as early as possible at Hagerstown.

I will be happy to learn the views of the commanding general and to receive his instructions. I have also taken measures to have information from Winchester and from Cumberland as speedily as possible. It is said that the fire of about thirty rounds of artillery was distinctly heard this morning near Winchester; this, however, may be incorrect. In consequence of what has transpired Captain Newton does not send your message to Colonel Stone.

Very truly, yours,


Brevet Major-General, Commanding.

WILLIAMSPORT, MD., June 15, 1861.

Major F. J. PORTER, Asst. Adjt. General, Chambersburg, Pa.:

MAJOR: Yours of this date is received. We are endeavoring to obtain reliable information as to Harper's Ferry and the other side. There may be a deep-laid plot to deceive us. To reach Cumberland would