War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0284 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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in hand, with the parts in supporting distance of each other. (See proceedings of December 18.)*

On the 4th of June, seeing that Jackson had been driven through Strasburg by Bayard's brigade of my troops and General Fremont's army, and was now on his retreat up a narrow valley, where a rear guard could hold an army in check, and that it was only a pursuit which could end in nothing decisive for us, I thought the time for resuming my operations from Fredericksburg, which I had been ordered to lay aside for the present, was come. In order to be able to do so I made the communication of June 4 to the Secretary of War, (appendix to proceedings, December 16),+ proposing that the limits of General Fremont's department might be extended east to the middle of the Shenandoah Valley; and to compensate General Banks for the part taken from him to extend the limits of his department to the east, taking from my department the much larger country known as the Piedmont District.

I did this that the forces of Generals Fremont and Banks might be united in and hold the valley; in order, as I then stated, to "free the forces of the Department of the Rappahannock to act either in conjunction with those under Major-General McClellan against Richmond, as was arranged, or, if not needed there, to go offensively on the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad toward Gordonsville," &c.

On the 6th of June I received from the War Department, the order to send McCall's division from Fredericksburg to General McClellan by water down the Rappahannock; to place such additional forces as I might deem necessary at Fredericksburg for the security of that place, and informing me that the President reserved the directions to be given as to the residue of my force. (See dispatches of June 6 from Secretary of War and Adjutant-General, appendix to proceedings of December 19).+

On conferring personally with the President, he directed instructions to be given me, June 8, to the effect that "after having first provided adequately for the defense of the city of Washington and for holding the position at Fredericksburg, I should operate with the residue of my force as speedily as possible in the direction of Richmond, to co-operate with Major-General McClellan, in accordance with the instructions heretofore given. (See appendix A, proceedings December 19).+

I had, June 7, given orders to move the headquarters to Manassas, and June 8 I gave the orders for General Shields to march, via Warrenton, to Fredericksburg, and two brigades of Ricketts' division to march to Warrenton. The latter order was modified at the instance of the Secretary of War, and only one brigade ordered to move till General Banks should occupy Front Royal.

From this time forth the dispatches brought before the court will show but a constant struggle on my part to get my forces out of the valley to concentrate them upon Fredericksburg. The expended movement of General Shields up the valley and the repulse of two of his brigades, the reports given by Generals Banks and Fremont of the enemy's purpose to come again down the valley, confirmed by a dispatch from General McClellan (see proceedings December 19)++ that re-enforcements for Jackson had left Richmond, combined to delay the movement ordered on the 8th.


*See Schriver to Shields, June 5, 1862, in "Correspondence, etc.," Part III, p. 340.

+See "Correspondence, etc.," Part III.

++See Stanton to McDowell, June 12, in "Correspondence, etc.," Part III, p. 373.