War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0535 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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WASHINGTON, May 30, 1862-10.15 a. m.

Major-General BANKS,

Williamsport, Md., via Harper's Ferry:

If the enemy in force is in or about Martinsburg, Charlestown, and Winchester, or any or all of them, he may come in collision with Fremont, in which case I am anxious that your force, with you and at Harper's Ferry, should so operate as to assist Fremont if possible; the same if the enemy should engage McDowell. This was the meaning of my dispatch yesterday.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 30, 1862.

(Received 4.45 p. m.)

Your communication received. Have sent part of our force to Antietam Ford, near Shepherstown. Will do all we can to harass the enemy's rear. No indication of enemy this side of Martinsburg, and we believe no considerable force there.


Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 31, 1862-10.25 a. m.

My advance troops, Fifth New York Cavalry, Colonel De Forest commanding, entered Martinsburg this morning, and passed several miles beyond, where they encountered the enemy's cavalry. They captured several prisoners, a wagon, muskets, ammunition, and an American flag. There does not appear to be a large force in that neighborhood. My command, I regret to say, is not in condition to move with promptitude to any great distance, but everything that can be done will be to press and harass the enemy. Colonel De Forest reports that Colonel Kenly is at Winchester, wounded. My troops are yet much scattered, and want army blankets and cooking utensils, that are required for any movement. We shall move into Martinsburg a larger force to-day.


Major-General, Commanding.


Secretary of War.

WILLIAMSPORT, May 31, 1862.

(Received 11.40 p. m.)

We have no report from our forces at Martinsburg to-night. It is quite possible that the demonstration of the rebels against Harper's Ferry is to cover their retreat. They operate between Charlestown and Berryville. Berryville, which they occupied early in our movement, covers Snicker's Ferry. This will take them east of the Blue Ridge. They are probably preparing means of crossing at that point. All