trying circumstances and in the endurance of hardships necessarily attendant upon some of our movements; also their unflinching determination and zeal in moments when danger was imminent.
In obedience to orders from the Secretary of War, on May 2 I established a line of mounted couriers between Front Royal and Strasburg, with relays at intervals, until repairs to the telegraph were made. I was informed by a telegram from Major-General McDowell, bearing date May 5, that I should from that date report to him; and upon May 8 I received the following dispatch:
WAR DEPARTMENT, --- -, 1862.
Colonel JOHN W. GEARY:
Report daily to this Department; also to General McDowell, from whom you must take your instructions.
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
In closing this report, which I respectfully submit to you, permit me to express my high apprecation of the many great favors you have bestowed upon my command, as well as myself, while in your division, our connection with which we have always had occasion to be proud of. We have been recipients of many high honors at your hands, and in your selection of us to fill posts in which we could serve the cause of our country most effectually and susceptible of credit to ourselves. Your orders, which have always been replete with urbanity, we have taken pride in executing to the best of our ability, and our severance from your command, with which we have been assimilated since our earliest appearance in the field (a period of ten months) is not without its many regrets to one and all .
I have the honor to be,
JNO. W. GEARY.
Commanding Department of the Shenandoah.
MARCH 5, 1862.-Skirmish at Bunker Hill, Va.
Report of Brigadier General Alpheus S. Williams, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, BUNKER HILL, VA.,
March 6, 1862-10 a.m.
MAJOR: I reported yesterday afternoon my arrival here. We found a small picket of cavalry and a few infantry, several of whom were taken-furloughed men-who probably preferred being captured. I send them forward this morning to Provost-Marshal Andrews.
The information I get from Winchester is that Jackson is being considerably re-enforced, some say very strongly; that the slopes of the hills west of Winchester are strongly entrenched with rifle-pits and several earthworks with heavy guns. The works near the railroad southeast of Winchester you are probably well advised of. Jackson, Loring, and Kirby Smith are said to be at or near Winchester, but it does not seem possible to get any reliable information of number of troops. A good many of the Virginia, militia are home on furlough. One man recently in Winchester reports Jackson as saying that he left Winchester once to whip us at Manassas, and now he is going to do the same for here unless these intrenchments are very strong. I trust he will prove a false prophet. General Shields I knew was at Martinsburg after I left yesterday. I could get nothing reliable about the position