HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD, Harrisonburg, June 7, 1862-9 p. m. (Received June 9, 7.40 a. m.)
The attacks upon the enemy's rear of yesterday precipitated his retreat. Their loss in killed and wounded was very severe, and many of both were left on the field. Their retreat was by an almost impassable road, along which many wagons were left in the woods, and wagon loads of blankets, clothing, and other equipments are piled up in all directions. During the evening many of the rebels were killed by shells from a battery of General Stahel's brigade. General Ashby, who covered the retreat with his whole cavalry force and three regiments of infantry and who exhibited admirable skill and audacity, was among the killed. General Milroy made a reconnaissance to-day about 7 miles on the Fort Republic road, and discovered a portion of the enemy's forces encamped in the timber.
J. C. FREMONT,
Honorable E. M. STANTON.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. General 'S OFFICE, Washington, June 8, 1862.
Major General JOHN C. FREMONT, U. S. A.,
Commanding Mountain Department, Mount Pleasant, Va.:
GENERAL: I inclose herewith for your information a manuscript copy of General Orders, Numbers 62.* The Secretary of War directs that you take position with your main force at or near Harrisonburg, with the double object of guarding against any operations of the enemy down the valley of the Shenandoah, and also, in conjunction with your force under General Cox, against any such operations in Western Virginia.
The cavalry force known as Bayard's cavalry brigade, with the artillery and battalion of Bucktail Rifles, heretofore under command of Major-General McDowell, but now operating with you, will be immediately ordered to rejoin General McDowell at Fredericksburg.
Major-General Banks is instructed to take position in force at or near Front Royal, on the right or left bank of the Shenandoah, with an advance at Luray or other points in supporting distance of you, and also to occupy with sufficient detachments the former positions of General Geary on the line of the Manassas Gap Railroad as far as the Manassas Junction.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD, Camp near Port Republic, June 8, 1862-9 p. m. (Received June 10, 9.30 a. m.)
The army left Harrisonburg at 6 this morning, and at 8.30 my advance engaged the rebels about 7 miles from that place, near Union Church. The enemy was very advantageously posted in the timber,
*See Thomas to Banks, same date, p. 541.