Miles, and the artillery companies. Tell Captain Newton, if you please, the general would like to see him, to go to Maryland Heights, where he designs sending a force to protect the new bridge. Keep quiet about the move.
The commanding general wishes you to designate a regiment from your division to go to Cumberland. If to go, orders to prepare it will be sent to you to-morrow, if transportation can be obtained.
I am, &c.,
F. J. PORTER,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
Williamsport, June 17, 1861- 7 1/2 o'clock p. m.
Major F. J. PORTER, Assistant Adjutant-General:
MAJOR: I have the most extraordinary rumors here within the last half hour. It is said by many persons here, the most reliable apparently that are around us, that General Johnston is this evening with a very large force at Martinsburg. It is said he has 15,000 men, and that he is marching upon this at this time. Mr. Pendleton, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Lamon, and others assure me the information is reliable. The best troops have left here and I have no artillery to defend the ford. Something must be done at once. It will require all my efforts to collect the remnant of this demoralized command now scattered everywhere. I have no means of accounting for this unexpected movement. I hear nothing of Colonel Wallace, and it seems impossible to obtain any one to cross the river. It appears to me the troops should all return here. This information is confirmed by several parties, and no one is willing to cross the river. I am entirely unable to account for this movement, but there appears to be every reason to think it is true. Unless it is impossible I would advise that all the troops should be returned here and concentrated, or wherever we are to assume our strongest position. Colonel Burnside might be reached and the Wisconsin regiment should be sent for. I have not one moment to lose and have no one to rely upon but myself. I would like to have some officer or two upon whom I can rely. I do not think I can defend this ford without artillery. Send me word if the troops sent to-day are within your reach, and what you would wish me to do.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Hagerstown, Md., June 17, 1861.
General CADWALADER, Williamsport, Md.:
GENERAL: Have halted Thomas, Miles, and Burnside, sent for a battery at Carlisle, and have the whole force here ready to move to you. Hold your command well in hand. Contest the ford with good marksmen. Keep your command together to make a good stand till re-enforced.
By order of General Patterson:
F. J. PORTER,
P. S.-The general sends Colonel Starkweather to you at once. Keep the general informed by express.