War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0018 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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General Garfield should continue his operations under General Buell's instructions. I wrote you by mail yesterday, expressing my favorable opinion of the plank of operations you proposed.*

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, March 24, 1862.

General ROSECRANS, Wheeling:

The protection of the Baltimore and Ohio road is of great importance, as you are aware, and while you remain in command I hope no effort will be spared to guard so much as is within your department from disaster.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH CORPS,

Strasburg, March 25, 1862-7 a.m.

General S. WILLIAMS:

Our force is at Strasburg this morning. Camped last night near Cedar Creek. The troops were so much exhausted that it was impossible to reach the enemy. His retreat is a flight. We pursue rapidly this morning. Shall begin reconstruction of bridge at Front Royal. Reported by rebel Jackson's aide that they were assured of re-enforcements to 30,000, but we don't credit it. General Sedgwick reported he should move under your orders at 5 last night. General Abercrombie, First Brigade, Williams' division, is at Aldie. Have ordered him to leave for Manassas. Donnelly and Gordon, Second and Third Brigades, are on this line. If practicable, shall ask permission to send them to Manassas, via Strasburg and Front Royal. Will report to-night on this subject. Donnelly's brigade marched 32 miles yesterday. Our advance moved at daybreak this morning.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General.

STRASBURG, March 25, 1862-10 a.m.

General WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

We need greatly one or two engineers. There are none with the column. Captain Abert is at the bridge, Snicker's Ferry. We are in pursuit of the enemy, 4 miles below Strasburg. Our artillery did fearful execution upon them yesterday. Dead bodies and wounded men were left along the road in numbers.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General.

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*Reference probably to letter of March 22, p. 7.

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