War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0631 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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

(Received 10.24 p.m.)

Everything is now quiet. Pickets out 3 miles on the road toward Winchester and Charleston. Three companies of cavalry near Charleston. Six companies of infantry on Bolivar Hill, on outpost service. Three regiments of infantry on a commanding height in front of the village. The remainder of the forces are guarding the bridge and the passage of the river. I have had all the contrabands at work moving the stores across the river, to provide against a possible contingency. I feel sure that I have made the best disposition of the force here. To-morrow if sufficient re-enforcements arrive, I shall occupy Bolivar Heights in force. Your assignment to the command of operations was received at 10 o'clock. I will do all in my power to merit your confidence.

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 25, 1862.

General SAXTON, Harper's Ferry:

I fear you have mistaken me. I did not mean to question the correctness of your conduct; on the contrary, I approve what you have done. As the 2,500 reported by you seemed small to me I feared some had got to Banks, and been cut off with him. Please tell me the exact number you now have in hand.

A. LINCOLN.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 25, 1862-12 p.m.

General SAXTON, Harper's Ferry:

Banks appears to have reached the vicinity of the Potomac safely and intends to cross at Williamsport to-night. He does not know how you stand at Ferry. Have you opened communications with him? You should send a messenger immediately.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT.,

May 26, 1862.

Brigadier-General SAXTON,

Harper's Ferry:

Artillery will be forwarded in the course of an hour from here. Please report the present condition of things.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.