War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0647 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY.

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Army in Field, May 29, 1862.

Your dispatches of 8 and 10 p.m. were received by me this morning at 2.5 by courier. The President's order will be obeyed as promptly as possible, and I am now engaged in drawing forward my force. My reconnoitering parties out last night 22 miles, to Wardensville, report Jackson's force 4 miles below Winchester; rear guard at Strasburg headquarters, Winchester. Reconnaissance returned to Romney at 11 last night from 15 miles out. Report Jackson, Johnson, and Ewell at Chester, and rebel cavalry sent from Winchester toward Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg.



Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862-12 m.

Major-General FREMONT,

Moorefield, Va.:

General McDowell's advance, if not checked by the enemy, should, and probably will be at Front Royal by 12 (noon) to-morrow. His force, when up, will be about 20,000. Please have your force at Strasburg, or, if the route you are moving on does not lead to that point, as near Strasburg as the enemy may be by the same time. Your dispatch Numbers 30* received and satisfactory.



Near Moorefield, May 29, 1862.

Our advance occupies to-night the bridge at Lost River, 16 miles ahead. The scouting party of Maryland cavalry, sent out last out last evening under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Downey, drove the enemy's pickets through Wardensville this morning, killing 2. Colonel Downey's horse was shot under him. My command is not yet in marching order. It has been necessary to halt to-day to bring up parts of regiments and to receive stragglers, hundreds of whom from Blenker's division strewed the roads. You can conceive the condition of the command from the fact that the medical director this morning protested against its farther advance without allowing one days' rest, the regiments being much reduced, and force diminished accordingly. I could not venture to proceed with it in disorder, and cannot with safety undertake to be at the point you mention earlier than by 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon. At that hour I will be at or near it, according to position of the enemy. Companies in the rear are marching night and day to bring up the entire force. Will be on the road early to-morrow morning, and couriers will be provided to bring on your answer, which please send to-night, and let me know if General McDowell's force can be so controlled as to make this combination.




(Copy to McDowell May 30.)


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