HAGERSTOWN, June 18, 1861.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
From General Cadwalader's report apprehensions existed of serious attack at Williamsport from force of fifteen thousand men. On that returned to him Colonel Miles, about to take rail, and Thomas marching by me, and telegraphed Doubleday to bring his artillery from Harrisburg, and protected Cadwalader with the whole command. His division had not then recrossed the Potomac. The command now are this side; one man shot. Captain Doubleday just arrived with battery and fitting it out. Miles ordered at once to join you. Reliably informed that about fifteen thousand, exaggerated to thirty-five thousand, dotted from Martinsburg to Winchester. Under circumstances shall I send to-morrow all the regular troops? Too much fagged to march to-day. Like to retain artillery and some cavalry. Threatened attack on Cumberland a ruse to draw off forces from here. No troops at Romney. Can demonstrate in your favor via Frederick and Leesburg. Shall I occupy Harper's Ferry after putting up bridge? I write by mail.
HAGERSTOWN, MD., June 18, 1861.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. General U. S. Army, Washington City:
COLONEL: Finding, on my arrival here on the 15th instant, the enemy still in the vicinity of Martinsburg, I directed, in order to be able to carry out the original plan approved by the General-in-Chief, General Cadwalader, strongly supported, to cross the river at Williamsport and establish himself within the bend opposite and intrench himself. This was executed before I received the call for the regular troops with this column. It had, I think, the happy effect of causing the troops threatening Cumberland to retire.
That night, on receipt of the order from the General-in-Chief and direction to "keep within your [my] present limits," I ordered the regular troops to be put in motion for Washington, and the volunteers brought back to this side, and in time for all to have returned by day-light. The execution of the order was deferred by the volunteers, and at night the inclosed report (Numbers 1)* was received from General Cadwalader. Presuming the enemy, who knows all our movements, had taken advantage of the withdrawal of the regulars to attack the remnant of two brigades, I at once turned Colonels Thomas and Miles, then here, to the support of General Cadwalader, and provided ample force to drive back any enemy in this vicinity. As soon as the force was on this side I detached the regular infantry, in compliance with the original order, for Washington. This fact I telegraphed to-day, and asked permission of the General-in-Chief to retain Thomas and Doubleday, the former too fagged to march, except under great necessity. The delay in returning that force to the General-in-Chief was at the time a necessity, and I feel confident he will pardon it.
The telegrams of the General-in-Chief indicate a desire for me not to advance beyond the Potomac. At present I cannot advance with any large force, as my means of transportation are so limited. I should be
*See Cadwalader to Porter, June 17, p. 698.