War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0533 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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and passed through Winchester two hours after our engagement. Saw the dead carried away. He says the rebel force was very large-not less than 25,000 at Winchester and 6,000 or 7,000 at Front Royal; that the idea was general among the men that they were to invade Maryland. He passed Ashby yesterday, who had twenty-eight companies of cavalry under his command; was returning from Martinsburg, and moving under orders, his men said, to Berryville. There were 2,000 rebels at Martinsburg when he passed that town yesterday. These reports cam e to me at the same time I received General Saxton's dispatch and the statement from my own officer that 4,000 rebels were near Falling Waters, in my front.


Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M STANTON.

WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862.

Everything is quiet this morning. The Signal Corps reports a camp of one company in the vicinity of Back Creek; no evidence of enemy elsewhere in that direction. Sixty to one hundred wagons were sent to General Saxton to-day.


Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of war.

WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862-12 m.

Major-General BANKS,

Williamsport, Md.:

General McDowell's advance should and probably will be at or near Front Royal at 12 (noon) to-morrow. General Fremont will be at or near Strasburg as soon. Please watch the enemy closely, and follow and harass and detain him if he attempts to retire. I mean this for General Saxton's force as well as that immediately with you.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 29-2.30 p. m.


Information from the front 11.30 a. m. is that enemy is drawing in his pickets to Martinsburg.


(Copy to McDowell.)

WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862.

Your dispatch received at headquarters 3.30 p. m. My command is much disabled, but we will do what we can to carry out your views.

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding.