War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0049 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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doah, for my command, I thought it my duty to make to the Department of War an immediate and full statement of the forces, position, and condition of the Fifth Army Corps.

The corps consists of two divisions; the first commanded by General A. S. Williams; the second commanded by Brigadier-General Shields. The full force of both divisions is now about 23,000 men, including infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Our effective force, however, at this time for operations in the valley of the Shenandoah and vicinity is reduced to 12,600. The accompanying sheet will show the positions of the main force and the various detachments that were necessarily made.

After the occupation of Winchester by my command I was ordered by General McClellan to move General Williams' division to Manassas for the occupation of the country in front and the reconstruction of the railway in the direction of Strasburg. My impression was that the movement was to be immediate, in order that the embarkation of troops movement to other points might not be delayed and the grand movement of the army embarrassed by a failure here.

Immediately upon my return to Winchester from Washington I put Williams' division in movement for Manassas, where I had promised it should be on the 25th of March, and, according to my instructions to precede this division, I left Winchester on the 23rd March for Manassas. The battle on that day at Winchester recalled me, and I ordered back all the brigades of the division within my reach. Abercrombie's had advanced too far, and is now at Warrenton Junction, in pursuance of my orders. This reduces my corps 4,500 men. Colonel Geary's regiment, with squadron of cavalry, reduced it again 1,800 men, lessening my force in consequence of this movement 6,300 men.

Our advance from Harper's Ferry has placed under our protection 100 miles of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, 32 miles of the Winchester Railway, and the towns, villages, highways, and bridges upon a line of 70 miles, over which our trains of supply are constantly passing. In addition to this, the valley we occupy is of such a character that we are compelled to protect our flanks by detachments far in our rear, at the very head of the valley. These military necessities, not to speak of the sick, hospital attendants, &c., have reduced our effective force by a further detachment of 4,000 men, leaving, as I said, but 12,633 men for immediate action.

The enemy has from 6,000 to 8,000 men, is well supplied with both light and heavy artillery, and is supported by a regiment of very superior cavalry. They are likely to be re-enforced to some extent by the rebel forces hitherto at Fort Alleghany, about 26 miles east of Cheat Mountain, 2,600 strong, and from Monterey and one other point, Huntersville, the forces of which I do not know, but relieve them not to be large.

General Fremont telegraphs me they are retreating generally all along his front, with a purpose, he believes, of concentrating at Staunton. This corresponds with our information. We may reasonably look, therefore, for an increase of Jackson's force to this extent, but not much beyond. I do not believe that Johnston can safely strengthen him.

This statement, which I believe quite correct, would show that our forces will soon be no more than equal to the enemy. We ought to be strengthened, as soon as it can safely be done, by the return of Abercrombie's brigade. We are informed that Geary's regiment is on the road here. The heaviest of our batteries is nine of the 12-pounder howitzer guns. A battery of 20-pounder guns would add very much to our strength. If it were possible it should be forwarded. Our effect-

4 R R-VOL XII, PT III