HAGERSTOWN, MD., June 20, 1861.
General GEORGE A. McCALL,
I received express from Wallace stating he had at 1 p. m. yesterday started his baggage for Bedford, and was waiting to see and feel the enemy. No aid could be sent from here to do him any good. It was exposed to be cut by the enemy at many points. He was told if hard pressed at any time to fall back on Bedford, a friendly county, where every one would turn out to aid a gallant band. Until last night at 12 o'clock I h ad no idea of danger to him, he having reported the day before that no enemy was near him or at Romney. If you receive information leading you to believe Wallace haws retired on Bedford, and you can give him aid, please act upon your own good judgment.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT N. E. VIRGINIA, Arlington, June 20, 1861.
Brigadier-General RUNYON [and others
General Tyler reports enemy concentrating in his front. Hold all your command in readiness to move at a moment's warning. If you have time, cook a day's rations.
P. S.-To Colonel HUNTER.
Have the Sixty-ninth Regiment move forward to Ball's Cross-roads.
By order General McDowell:
W. H. WOOD,
Captain, Third Infantry, Acting Inspector General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 20, 1861.
Honorable JOHN SHERMAN,
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant, and regret to learn that any embarrassment to the successful movement of the forces under command of Major-General Patterson occurred in consequence of orders issued from here by the General-in-Chief.
It has been my aim and purpose to furnish General Patterson all the force and aid to enable him to accomplish a gloriously successful result, and to that end I ordered as many troops arriving at Harrisburg to follow in his train as I could, until the apparent change of circumstances at Harper's Ferry and its neighborhood seemed to make it apparent that it was more important to increase our force here than there. It may be true that if the General-in-Chief had been on the spot and understood the condition of things there as they are now stated by you to have existed at the date of the order issued by him for the return of Burnside's artillery to this place, he would not have issued it. Of that, of course, I cannot undertaken to speak, and do not mean even to express an opinion. Certain it is, however, that this Department, and, indeed, the whole administration, has but one safe course before it in this emergency, and that is to be guided by the counsels of the General-