War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0522 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA., AND MD.

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Numbers 1. Reports of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Shenandoah, of operations May 14-June 16, and including instructions from the President and Secretary of War.

STRASBURG, May 14, 1862-3.30 p. m.

(Received 5.30 p. m.)

Nothing new has occurred to-day. The enemy has not moved beyond Mount Jackson in this direction except by its cavalry, and then to return again. General Hatch stills occupies Woodstock with cavalry. I have declined to order the bridges burned or the telegraph destroyed as inconsistent with the purposes of the Government, unless absolutely necessary to our safety. Very heavy rain all day.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON .

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 16, 1862-4 p. m.

Major-General BANKS:

Please place two of your regiments to guard the railroad from Strasburg to Front Royal, so as to allow Geary to direct his force on other points that are threatened. Answer immediately whether you can do so and how soon thy will be in position.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

STRASBURG, May 16, 1862-13 m.

I will send two regiments to protect the road between this place and Front Royal by to-morrow noon, 17th instant. This will reduce my force greatly, which is already too small to defend Strasburg if attacked.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

STRASBURG, May 17, 1862-12 m.

(Received 12.45 p. m.)

Owing to the absence of cars my regiment will not reach Front Royal till toward night. It has to march on the railroad, but will be in season to protect bridges, &c. About 100 of the enemy cavalry reported at Columbia Furnace, on line with Woodstock. No infantry in that neighborhood. Ewell's force reported by deserters who left him Tuesday to be still at Swift Run Gap.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.