guns. No troops known to have lately left for other parts of the country. Mostly in winter quarters. Troops well armed. Roads bad. Railroad form Manassas to Centerville progressing; 300 "miners" at work on it. Provisions plenty.
Conclusion: Informant entitled to credit; his statement believed truthful.
CHARLESTOWN, VA., March 8, 1862.
General R. B. MARCY,.
Chief of Staff, &c., Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Inclosed you will please find a diagram of our positions on the base of the Smithfield road.* Our line extends from the Shenandoah to North Mountain substantially, and our pickets cover that line for 1 1\2 miles in front. We learn by dispatch from General Williams that General Shield's forces were to arrive at Martinsburg last night. If so, this will make our contemplated strength complete.
Our troops are in good health and spirits, eager for work. I do not yet know General Shields' strength, and therefore cannot state our exact force. We have given out here that our chief of object is the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway. Our troops are, however, pressing forward in the direction of Winchester, and will gradually press upon Winchester.
Beyond the point we now occupy I have received no instructions from the Commanding General-whether we are to move on as a force destined to effect a specific object by itself or to perform a part in combined operations. I shall be glad to receive more specific instructions. If left to our own discretion, the general desire will be to move on early..
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, March 8, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: The police commissioners appointed by the legislature of Maryland under the late act reorganizing the police of this city called on me last evening and announced their readiness to enter on the discharge of their duties. The act fixes the 10th of this month as the day on which their appointment takes effect; but they are not to assume their office until after the Government of the United States shall have notified them of the withdrawal of the provost-marshal and police established under its authority. This may be safely done at once, provided a provost-marshal and not exceeding 20 policemen are appointed to perform special duties, as suggested in my letter of 31st January.
I also mentioned in that letter that an appropriation of $15,000 per annum would be necessary to meet the expenses incident to the maintenance of such a force, including their compensation, which should be paid once a month. Will you please authorize me, if you approve the measure, to appoint such a force and fix their compensation? I ought also to be authorized to notify the police commissioners that the Government withdraws the provost-marshal and policemen appointed by its direction.