tails of information of the field works, &c., at W---, which you were kind enough to say you would send me within a day or two.
All rebel troops, except pickets, have been withdrawn from Martinsburg and fallen back to Winchester. Rumor suggest two objects in this movement: the first is, that they contemplate moving to Richmond; the second is, that Jackson will move again on Romney. My own impression is that they stand at Winchester.
The report of Mr. Faulkner's speech is confirmed by Colonel Leonard, who says it is undoubtedly correct.
The day has been observed by all classes of people here; salutes were fired, and "the address" was read to a very large concourse of soldiers and citizens. The services were impressive, and will produce an excellent effect here.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DIVISION, FREDERICK, MD., February 23, 1862.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff,&c.:
GENERAL: My letter of Saturday missed the messenger by accident. It is forwarded to-day. We shall accomplish all contemplated under the march in my orders received this afternoon. If the pontoon train arrives to-morrow we shall occupy Harper's Ferry to-morrow night, and be on the road to Charlestown in the morning. It is expected Colonel Geary will seize the heights to-night. If the bridge is thrown across by Captain Duane we shall cross at night with 6,000 men, one regiment of cavalry, and 16 pieces of artillery. The cavalry will march the wagon roads, the artillery be divided between cars and road, as the weight is too great for travel at this season; their arrival will be delayed some-what on this account. Colonel Leonard can cross at Williamsport with 1,999 men; General Williams, if not engaging the enemy with General Lander, will have 3,000 more men; and should it prove that no encounter with the enemy at Bath or in that vicinity will take place, ought we not to put in execution the plan of attack on Winchester, if the anticipated battle does not occur outside? This is favorable opportunity. The roads to Winchester are turnpikes and in tolerable condition, and the only roads that are passable. The enemy is weak, demoralized, and depressed. The result is sure, if we can compass the force contemplated in the conference with the General Commanding. In co-operation with General Lander and General Burns, with the increase of artillery and a regiment of regular cavalry, we will not ask odds of fortune. Our force alone is not sufficient, but we will gladly risk it.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, yours, &c.,
N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding Division.
FEBRUARY 23, 1862.
T. T. ECKERT,
I consider a favorable morning for landing of more importance than the presence of the Ericsson. I would not wait for her. If the additional force is sent, will it not be advisable include Fredericksburg in the programme? The force directed against the batteries will soon be