ter early to-morrow. General Williams will move two regiments in that direction at daybreak, with a detachment of cavalry and two sections of artillery. You will follow with your brigade to Bunker Hill, keeping within supporting distance, and in the event of combined action upon Winchester, you will, as senior officer, assume command of the forces on that line and co-operate with the troops of this line under such orders as may be hereafter issued. The column of reconnaissance here will move upon the Barryville road as soon after daybreak as possible..
General Dana is ordered to our support from Poolesville. The advance parties will avoid any general action.
Will communicate again in the early morning.
By order of--
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. GENERAL BANKS' DIVISION,
Near Charlestown, Va., March 9, 1862-12 p. m.
3. Information has been received that the enemy has abandoned the batteries on the Lower Potomac and is preparing to abandoned Manassas. General Sedgwick is therefore ordered to put his command in condition to move at 7 a. m. to-morrow, and will order General W. A. Gorman to make a reconnaissance towards Winchester, on the Berryville road, to-morrow morning at daybreak, with one battery of artillery and two squadrons of cavalry.
4. Information has been received that the enemy has abandoned the batteries on the Lower Potomac and is preparing to abandon Manassas. General J. J. Abercrombie is therefore ordered to put his brigade in condition to move at 7 a. m. to-morrow.
5. It is believed that the rebels have withdrawn their batteries on the Lower Potomac and are preparing to abandon Manassas. Pursuant to instructions, we shall make a strong reconnaissance in the direction of Winchester at daybreak to-morrow morning, Monday. You will put your brigade in readiness for immediate movement, and with at least two regiments, a detachment of cavalry, and four pieces of artillery, push forward at daybreak in the direction of Winchester for purposes of reconnaissance, avoiding any general engagement with the enemy until dour forces may be combined.
General C. S. Hamilton is instructed to move to Bunker Hill and keep within supporting distance, and in the event of combined operations General Hamilton, as senior officer, will assume command of the forces upon that line, and act under such orders as may be hereafter issued from these headquarters.
By command of Major General N. P. Banks:
R. MORRIS COPELAND,
HALL'S HILL, VA., March 10, 1862-1 a.m .
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
You have entirely misunderstood me, and the idea I intended to convey was simply that I could not, under the pressure of the new aspect of affairs, immediately carry out the President's orders as to the for-