War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0632 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

HARPER'S FERRY, VA.

May 26, 1862.

If the artillery arrives in time so, that we can command the bridge, &c., we can hold it with less disaster. The want of artillery is the only thing that would make no think of withdrawing to the other side.

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

HARPER'S FERRY, VA.

May 26, 1862.

I have had as careful an estimate made of the force here as is possible at present. It amounts to 6,700 men. Many more are on the way. A portion of the artillery has arrived, including one light battery. No signs of the enemy yet.

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT.

HARPER'S FERRY, VA., May 26, 1862.

(Received 1.35 a.m.)

Yes.* I sent scout out 3 miles on Winchester road. No enemy this side of Charleston. Ashby's cavalry, 1,500 strong, are near Charleston. Is it better, if we are attacked to-morrow, to risk an engagement on this side of the river, with the river in our rear, or retreat to the other side and guard the bridge?

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General.

E. M. STANTON.

WASHINGTON, May 26, 1862.

General SAXTON, Harper's Ferry:

You must judge of that yourself, as the emergency arises, and act according to the circumstances, in which you are yourself placed. Whatever you do will be approved. You should be on the watch and expect an attack at an early hour in the morning, and be sure to hold your position until artillery arrives. Mr. Watson thinks they will arrive about daylight.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

HARPER'S FERRY, VA., May 26, 1862.

(Received 2.10 p.m.)

I can get no reliable information to-day of the locality of the enemy. Many reports are circulated that we are to be attacked at this place, and that they mean to force their way into Maryland by way of Har-

---------------

*Probably answers inquiry in Stanton's dispatch of May 25, 12 p.m., p. 631.

---------------