Farmers who hold claims for forage and other supplies are seriously incommoded, and in some instances distressed, by the non-payment of their demands. Those along our line of operations refuse to bring in supplies, which consequently have to be brought from a distance over roads which the season makes almost impassable, and in some parts impracticable, for wheeled carriages. This necessity for transportation is further increased by the fact that the interior of the country has been the field of operations for both armies, and is in consequence about destitute of supplies. Under the circumstances the chief quartermaster anticipates the greatest difficulty in supplying our advance posts-a difficulty which will be further increased by the necessity, now imperative, for advanced movements on our part.
The number of animals in the department oft for use has become so reduced as to interfere seriously with the movements of the troops and lately to check them effectually. In addition to the horses which General Meigs, in his answer to my requisition, tells me he has ordered for Johnson's and Rigby's batteries, horses are required for other batteries, in order that they may be in a condition to be used: For the Third Virginia Battery, 130 horses; for Captain Hyman's battery of First Ohio Artillery, 50 horses; for McMullin's battery, First Independent Ohio 40 horses; for Simmonds' battery, detached from First Kentucky, 50 horses.
I have to ask that you will order horses to be supplied for these, as well as those called for in Major Clary's requisition, which has been laid before you. For the want of these I think it safe to say the efficiency of the department has been to a certain extent neutralized.
Officers commanding our advance posts inform me of the gathering of rebel cavalry and infantry at various places in Pendleton, Pocahontas Greenbrier, and other counties.
Governer Peirpoint just now informs me that a guerrilla force is being organized to act through the mountains, with the object mainly to plunder and harass Union Citizens. Indications along our entire line go to show that the rebel force in our front is preparing to withdraw. Last night General Milroy was ordered to advance with the intention of occupying Fort Baltimore [Alleghany], and general now it seems that on our part movements in advance have become necessary.
J. C. FREMONT,
WOODSTOCK, April 4, .
By the unexpected detachment of Abercrombie's brigade and other details necessarily made our effective force of infantry is reduced below 11,000 our cavalry less than 1,000. This is too small a force for the work we have in hand. Shield's division reports 6,000 and Williams' less than 5,000 fit for duty. Cannot Abercrombie's brigade, the strongest and best of the corps, be ordered back to this line? Our line covers more than 60 miles, and detachments seem to be required everywhere to guard roads, bridges, and railways.
The citizens rate our forces from 12,000 to 20,000.
N. P. BANKS,