landing on Aquia Creek for forage and subsistence. As you have limited forage, and as there is forage in the country through which you march, you will obtain it from the farmers, ordering receipts to be given, having it taken up regularly on your quartermaster's returns and accounted for.
Report both to this place and to Aquia Creek as soon as you can, and as often and as minutely as possible, both as to the strength and position of the enemy.
In the uncertainty as to the state of affairs you may find at Fredericksburg, and in the fullest confidence in your ability and discretion, as well as in your enterprise, no specific orders as to the manner of posting your troops need be given. The object to be attained is to defeat the enemy wherever you find him; to save the bridges if you can do so; to follow up the enemy by cavalry if he is retreating, and be on the watch against surprise. Keep your men from marauding or straggling by the most rigid and inflexible discipline you can enforce, not hesitating to shoot on the spot any one whom you may find firing houses, committing violence on women, or other crimes. This is due to the masses of good men you have the honor to command.
If you find it will aid you in getting forward place the infantry by the cavalry, that they may hold on to the stirrup and have their arms carried by the latter.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.
WOODSTOCK, April 16, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Jackson has moved below New Market with his infantry force. Ashby still here. The approach of General Fremont's troops toward Staunton excites alarm. Blenker is at Berry's Ferry, opposite Millwood, in Shenandoah; Colonel Geary at White Plains, protecting bridge-builders. Cars run over the bridge at Harper's Ferry all day, and also over the road. Rain all day. General Rosecrans left Woodstock this morning. Had full interview-opinions concurring.
N. P. BANKS,
WINCHESTER, VA., April 16, 1862.
E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Blenker left Hunter's Chapel March 10. They have been since that wandering without tents, shelter, or knapsacks, with but four wagons per regiment at first. Their clothing is worn, shoes gone, no pay since December. Not much wonder they stole and robbed. Shoes and clothing should be sent, and the Paymaster-General ordered to pay for January and February immediately, to arrest demoralization.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
6 R R-VOL XII, PT III