War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0642 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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and place on record, assuring you at the same time of my personal confidence and regard.

Yours, truly,


Secretary of War.

Numbers 39. Reports of Major General John C. Fremont, U. S. Army, commanding the Mountain Department of operations May 24-June 17, and including instructions from the President and Secretary of War.*


May 24, 1862-9.45 a.m.

Major-General FREMONT, Franklin:

Yesterday the enemy attacked and drove Banks' force from Front Royal, and are threatening Strasburg and Winchester. If you can operate so as to afford him any support do so.


Secretary of War.

FRANKLIN, May 24, 1862.

(Received 2.30 p.m.)

General Banks informs me this morning# of an attack by enemy.

This is probably by Jackson, who marched in that direction some days since. Ewell's force with him. General Banks says he should be re-enforced immediately. May I ask if you will support him? I have no information concerning the real situation of affairs in Eastern Virginia. My own movements are being directed to the object proposed in plan approved, and in connection to the speediest possible support of General Cox, while at the same time protecting country behind our lines from New Creek to Flat Top Mountain, where General Cox now is. Between him and the railroad is a largely superior force. Enemy seems everywhere re-enforced and active. Under the circumstances my force cannot be divided and if I abandon this line and move eastward to the support of General Banks this whole country to the Ohio would be thrown open, and General Cox also immediately exposed to disaster. If conditions elsewhere will permit General Cox to fall backward and upon my lines, I could in such case over him without much exposure. Want of supplies has kept this force at Franklin. Beef is now secure, but during the last eight days there has been but one ration of bread, two of coffee and sugar, and nothing else. There is nothing but beef now in camp. This want of food has been nigh to produce disorder, and rendered advance hazardous. Transportation collected at New Creek will begin to tell to-day, and the few days' advance supplies will be accumulated here which are required for active operations. Continued rains have flooded the streams. Raining to-day. Needing much the use of my cavalry. I telegraph to General Meigs asking that he authorize the chief quartermaster and my quartermaster here to purchase


*See also general report of operations from March 11 to June 26, pp. 3-35.

+See Banks to Stanton, May 23, p. 525.