Unless you think it absolutely necessary I shall hesitate to leave my post at present, but will give you full report of my forces, their positions, and those of the enemy. Captain Hunt, of Engineer Corps, left here to-day. He understands perfectly the position of affairs in this valley and my own views and plans, and at my request will report to you on Tuesday next. You will find him to be very intelligent and well posted as to the aspect of military affairs, and I commend his views to your favorable consideration.
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
Near Alexandria Seminary, April 5, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
The advanced brigade of Franklin's division and one of the regiments of Woodbury's Engineer Brigade got just beyond Manassas by railroad yesterday. The artillery and cavalry of his division are on the march via Fairfax Court-House and Centreville, and will reach Manassas to-day. Four of the trains which took out the first brigade were all blocked up this morning between Fairfax Station and Manassas, being out of wood and water. They have since been supplied, and are now back. Franklin's second brigade moves this morning.
I have a report from General King this morning that his division, which left yesterday afternoon, will bivouac at Bull Run to-night and Bristoe to-morrow. If it continues to rain he may be temporarily delayed at Bull Run till he can repair the partially destroyed bridges. McCall's division will succeed King's.
To insure promptness, concert of action, and that I may be able to afford understandingly all the aid of the troops, and at the same time avail myself to the best advantage of the resources which the Department has prepared for the purpose, I beg to suggest that the officers of the military rail department be sent with me, so that the road may be rebuilt in the shortest possible time and operated with the greatest dispatch and safety.
Would not the working down south over a line of railway against efforts of the enemy of a large body of troops in the shortest possible time be an operation sufficiently interesting and absorbing to induce Mr. McCallum to accompany the army? His fertility in resources and his great energy would, I should think, find, find abundant occupation. General Wadsworth suggests that he might find it practicable as well as agreeable to come.
Washington, April 5, 1862.
Brigadier-General Abercrombie telegraphed from Warrenton Junction yesterday as follows:
Colonel Geary has just arrived at this point, and will proceed to-morrow to Warrenton on his return to White Plains, as ordered. He reports a practicable route for