War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0013 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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shell which burst near him. A prisoner brought in to-night says the enemy were under the impression our troops had left Winchester, and Jackson's forces were on the road from Strasburg under the same impression. The last brigade of Williams' division left for Manassas this morning.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

GENERAL ORDERS,

WAR DEPT., ADJT., General 'S OFFICE,

Numbers 28.

Washington, March 22, 1862.

I. A military department, to be called the Middle Department, and to consist of the States of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and the counties of Cecil, Harford, Baltimore, and Anne Arundel, in Maryland, is hereby created. Major-General Dix, U. S. Volunteers, is assigned to the command; headquarters at Baltimore.

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By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

CAMP CUSTIS, VA.,

March 23, 1862.

Colonel SIR P. WYNDHAM:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of your orders, on the 20th instant I proceeded to Dumfries via the Telegraph road. I passed through the camps of four brigades. Considerable numbers of tents were left in the camps, but they were old and worthless. I counted thirty-two large Confederate army wagons, which were mostly in good condition, and had been left by the rebels on account of the scarcity of horses and almost impassable condition of the roads. I ascertained that the rebels had two trains of pack mules. I also found considerable flour and hard bread, which had been taken from the camps by the farmers and is still in their possession, as I had no transportation. On the farm of a Mr. Weaton, on the Brenstville road, is a large quantity of officers' baggage belonging to General Whiting's brigade. In fact, in this vicinity at almost every farm there is something concealed. I have reliable information that in the vicinity of Bacon Race Church there is a large quantity of stores, among which is a quantity of hospital stores. At Neabsco Mills I found an ambulance, which was said to have been taken from our troops at Bull Run.

The inhabitants are mostly Union men, and even the most bitter secessionists admit their cause to be lost. I ascertained that the Prince William Cavalry and the Hampton Legion were about 6 miles southwest of Dumfries, and were pressing Union men into their ranks. The inhabitants besought me to ask that a small force of cavalry be sent in the vicinity of Occoquan to give them protection.

There is considerable grain in this vicinity, but little or no hay. The nature of the roads would not allow a baggage train to bring away any quantity of stores just at present. On the 21st the fords were all impassable, and the horses being much jaded, I did not go beyond Neab