last night to take up a stronger position. I expect a great deal from the battery on the mountain, having here nine 9-inch Dahlgren's bearing directly on the enemy's approaches. The enemy appeared this morning, and then retired with the intention of driving us out. I shall act on the defensive as my position is a strong one. I a skirmish which took place this afternoon I lost 1 horse; then enemy 2 men killed and some wounded.
It seems the game is before you. Have sent a copy to General McDowell.
WASHINGTON, May 31, 1862-1 a.m.
Major-General FREMONT, Moorefield, Va.:
Major-General McDOWELL, Rectortown, Va.:
I have just returned from Harper's Ferry. The enemy has been before that place and threatening an attack for two days. Deserters report that Jackson is in command, and that in a speech made to his men in Charleston on Wednesday morning he promised them less marching and better fare in a few days, when they would enter Maryland. It is supposed that the attack on Harper's Ferry has been delayed by an apprehension of the advance of your force to cut off retreat. When do you expect to reach Winchester? Where is Shields?
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS MOUNTAIN DEPARTMENT,
Wardensville, May 31, 1862. (Received 8.30 p.m.)
Your telegram of 31st [30th?] received. Main column at this place. Roads heavy and weather terrible. Heavy storm of rain most of yesterday and all last night. Our cavalry and scouts have covered the roads 10 to 15 miles ahead. The enemy's cavalry and ours now in sight of each other on the Strasburg road. Engagement expected to-day. The army is pushing forward, and I intend to carry out operations proposed.
J. C. FREMONT,
To the PRESIDENT
(Copy to McDowell.)
Five miles from Strasburg, June 1, 1862.
Our advance reached this point last night, became engaged this morning. Main body reached here at 10 a.m. to-day. Advance is under Colonel Cluseret, aide-de-camp. He has eight pieces and two small regiments. Was attacked by enemy in considerable force. Reported by prisoner 15,000, with 8,000 coming up. We hear nothing of McDowell. Our force marched hard all night, and crossed the Shenandoah during a uninterrupted storm. Expect to bring up our entire force by night-fall. Our advance holds its place, and I shall accept battle in our present position, which is an excellent one. Will do more