War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0202 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to report that my whole command reached here last night about 1 a.m. The absence of the trains for rations from shall probably set out in the cool of the evening.

We made prisoners near Ashland yesterday of 9 men of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry and 3 men of the Twenty-eighth North Carolina. We have reason to believe that there was a small cavalry force of 50 or 60 men watching. There is at this place yet about 70 barrels of flour and about 25 bags of corn meal, besides a few naval stores-Confederate property. Trains of wagons also pass this way yet for provisions. I think it would not be safe to leave a small guard here over the stores for any length of time, and even the wagon trains should have a small escort after we are withdrawn, if it intended to use this as a route. The news of our leaving will travel very rapidly around to Richmond from Mrs. Lee and others. I found this morning that Mrs. Major Dashiell, of the Confederate Army, is also our prisoner here at the hotel, her presence having been kept a secret. She became alarmed and asked for protection and advice. She says the advance of our pickets was wholly unexpected. There may be others similarly cooped up.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

P. S.-I return this by the orderly who brought up instructions.

WASHINGTON, May 31, 1862.

Major-General McCLELLAN:

A circle whose circumference shall pass through Harper's Ferry, Front Royal, and Strasburg, and whose center shall be a little northeast of Winchester, almost certainly has within it this morning the forces of Jackson, Ewell, and Edward Johnson. Quite certainly they were within it two days ago. Some part of their forces attacked Harper's Ferry at dark last evening and are still in this morning. Shields, with McDowell's advance, retook Front Royal at 11 a.m. yesterday, with a dozen of our own prisoners taken there a week ago, 150 of the enemy, two locomotives, and eleven cars, some other property and stores, and saved the bridge.

General Fremont, from the direction of Moorefield, promises to be at or near Strasburg at 5 p.m. to-day. General Banks at Williamsport with this old force and his new force at Harper's Ferry, is directed to co-operate. Shields at Front Royal reports a rumor of still an additional force of the enemy, supposed to be Anderson's, having entered the valley of Virginia. This last may or may not be true. Corinth is certainly in the hands of General Halleck.



Camp near New Bridge, May 31, 1862.

Brigadier General P. ST. GEORGE COOKE,

Commanding Regular Cavalry:

The commanding general directs that you detach two squadrons of