ive cavalry force is but about 800, mostly inexperienced men and untrained horses. The arrival of Colonel Holliday's Vermont cavalry, the use of which I obtained here "for a short time," is demoralized by the suicide of the colonel at Strasburg on Friday. It will not be of value for active service, judging from the representations made to us of the condition of the prominent officers. We have so many mountain valleys to scout and such an extended line to protect that, independent of the necessity of strong cavalry in action, we need a large and efficient cavalry force. We are now greatly inferior to the enemy in this arm of the service, in which we should be stronger.
Jackson is lying between Mount Jackson and New Market. We hope immediately to strike him an effective blow. Captain Hunt, of the Engineer Corps, will explain to you more fully than can be written the plans of action, which I hope may meet your approval.
There are no rebel forces in the mountains between the commands of General Sumner and my own, except perhaps 200 or 300 scouts in different parts of the mountains. Our scouts report no rebel forces at Luray, Washington, or Sperryville, where their troops have been heretofore reported.
General Johnston we believe to be at Gordonsville-perhaps farther south. Some of the deserters from the enemy report having heard it said in their camp that Johnston was within 15 miles of Richmond. These facts may be of service to General Sumner.
It is of great importance on this line that we should be informed of every event that transpires on the east in front of Manassas and near Richmond.
Pardon this tedious statement; I write amid many interruptions.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Fifth Army Corps.
Statement of the number and disposition of troops in the Fifth Army Corps, commanded by Major-General Banks.
Organizations. Detached For
General Shields' division, in front of --- 6,093
enemy and in rear of Edenburg.
Colonel Gordon's brigade (three regiments), --- 2,100
on the right of Shields' division.
First Brigade (William's division), at the --- 2,300
Cavalry with the army --- 800
Seven companies First Vermont Cavalry, just --- 600
Artillery with forty guns, with the army --- 800
110th Pennsylvania Volunteers, (Shields' 500 ---
division), at Winchester, Va.
66th Ohio Volunteers (Shields' division), 700 ---
at Strasburg, Va.
1st Regiment Potomac Home Brigade 800 ---
(Williams' division), at Charlestown, Va.
7th Virginia Volunteers (Shields' 800 ---
division), along the Baltimore and Ohio
Seven companies cavalry, on patrolling duty 500 ---
in the vicinity of Winchester.
General Abercrombie's brigade, with one 4,500 ---
battery, at Warrenton Junction.
Colonel J. W. Geary, 28th Pennsylvania 1,860 ---
Volunteers, with one battery and one
squadron of cavalry, on the road here.
Seven companies infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Batchelder, guarding supply train. 500 ---
Four companies cavalry, patrolling roads 300 ---
Total. --- 23,093