War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0627 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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not arrived. One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania is here,and will go on toward Winchester taking every precaution against surprise. Five companies of the Maryland Cavalry are getting ready to go out on the turnpike toward Winchester to obtain information. Shall hold the One hundred and ninth Regiment here for the present. The telegraph says this morning that General Banks is retreating from Winchester. I do not think the information altogether reliable. It may be the enemy have got possession of the telegraph.

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON.

HARPER'S FERRY, May 25, 1862.

Heavy firing was heard near Winchester this morning. To obtain reliable information is difficult;there are so many reports in circulation, started undoubtedly by the enemy. Cavalry for scouting purpose is very much needed. The five companies here are in a shocking condition-horses not shod, and no saddles. The latter have arrived and will be issued at once and the scouts started. I fear it will be to-morrow before they will be ready. One regiment has gone this morning to re-enforce General Banks; the other regiment will go on as soon as I am satisfied it will be prudent to leave the railroad bridge unprotected. If the whole movement of the enemy is not a feint in force to cover a movement on Manassas there is a possibility they may move on this place.

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

HARPER'S FERRY, May 25, 1862.

(Received 12.20 p.m.)

In case we are attacked two light batteries and two 8-inch howitzers would be of great service to command the river and bridge. There is no artillery here. The facilities for obtaining accurate information are so limited, and so many rumors of danger are in circulation, that I find it difficult to estimate its exact extent. One of the most reliable reports is that General Banks is in full retreat on Martinsburg, the enemy in pursuit as far as Spencer [?] Station. I shall stop the regiment sent forward to Winchester this morning at Charleston, to fall back on this point if it is necessary. I think it would be of no service to General Banks, as I cannot yet inform myself of the strength or purpose of the enemy. I want all the assistance I can get. I cannot realize yet that we are in any immediate danger here.

R. SAXTON.

Brigadier-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 25, 1862-2.10.

General SAXTON, Harper's Ferry:

I have ordered General Dix to send you some artillery from Balti-