War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0628 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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more. I will send some from here to-night. Put yourself in communication with General Dix, and call upon him as well as upon me for anything you want.

EDWIN M. STANTON.

HARPER'S FERRY, VA. May 25, 1862.

(Received 2.25.)

All the reports I receive go to show that General Banks is hotly pressed and in full retreat toward Martinsburg. There is a panic, and so few troops here I am satisfied that it is not best to send troops to Winchester, as it is now in the possession of the enemy. The troops s have left Charleston, and are falling back upon this place. This was done before the regiment I sent forward this morning reached there. I do not thin, with our present force it will be wise to reoccupy it. I shall send two regiments to occupy Bolivar Heights a commanding position near this place, and the force here is too small to follow up the force before which, General Banks is retreating, and at the same time defend this place, which I shall do to the last.

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

HARPER'S FERRY, VA., May 25. 1862,

(Received 3.20 p.m.)

Stragglers have come in from Winchester and report that General Banks attacked the rebels this morning in front of Winchester and was driven back into the town. Our troops burned the town. General Banks' army is disorganized and in full retreat on Martinsburg. The enemy is in full pursuit. It may be necessary for us to fight the enemy with the river in our rear or withdraw to the other side and defend the bridge and the crossing. We feel the want of artillery severely.

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 25, 1862-4.15 p.m.

General SAXTON, Harper's Ferry:

If Banks reaches Martinsburg is he any the better for it? Will not

the enemy cut him off from thence to Harper's Ferry? Have you sent anything to meet him and assist him at Martinsburg? This is an inquiry, not an order.

A. LINCOLN,

HARPER'S FERRY, VA., May 25, 1862.

(Received 5.30 p.m.)

Stragglers continue to come in large numbers. General Banks' column too much frightened to give a clear account of affairs. They represent his rout as complete. They report that 15,000 men are mov-