War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0523 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH,

May 18, 1862-10.30 p. m.

No indications of infantry in the valley. Colonel De Forest, with detachment of Fifth New York Cavalry, encountered two companies rebel cavalry this morning and drove them through Woodstock an scoured the country in our front. no signs of enemy in this vicinity with this exception. Three hundred rebel cavalry reported 10 miles from Front Royal, in Chester Gap.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 21, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Strasburg:

Please report immediately the number and position of the force in your command, and whether any, and what, of Colonel Miles' force has been removed from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Also the position and number of the enemy so far as known to you.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

STRASBURG. VA., May 21, 1862-5 p. m.

(Received 8.15 p. m.)

Your dispatch just received. My force at Strasburg is 4,476 infantry, two brigades; 2,600 [1,600] cavalry; ten Parrott guns, and six smoothbore pieces. The larger part of this force is at work on fortifications and constructing lines of defense. I have on the Manassas Gap Railroad, between Strasburg and manassas, 2,500 infantry; six companies cavalry, and six pieces of artillery. There are five companies cavalry, First Maine, near Strasburg, belonging to Colonel Mile' command. No other troops of his command are here. Of the enemy I received information last night, direct from New Market, that Jackson has returned to within 8 miles of Harrisonburg, west. General Fremont telegraphed me this morning that Jackson had moved from Shenandoah Mountain toward my front, and other information from different sauces confirms these reports. I have no doubt that Jackson's force is near Harrisonburg and that Ewell still remains at Swift Run Gap. Their united force is about 16,000. I shall communicate by letter more at length the condition of affairs and the probable plans of the enemy.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

STRASBURG, May 21, 1862-10.30 p. m.

(Received may 22, 9.30 a. m.)

Nothing of importance to-night. Our cavalry encountered Ashby's men near Woodstock this p. m., driving them into town, and killing 4,