safety. I think we are now just in condition to do all you can desire of us in this valley-clear the enemy out permanently.
N. P. BANKS,
HARRISONBURG, April 28, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
If Jackson retreats from his present position there is no reason for our remaining longer in this valley. If he does not, we can compel his retreat or destroy him. Then a small force, two or three regiments, falling back to Strasburg, which has been fortified for this purpose, will safely hold all that is important to the Government in this valley. General Fremont's forces will in like manner cover Staunton. If we leave a force of 4,000 or 5,000 in the upper valley it will invite attack, as at Winchester, and be insufficient for defense. If no force is in the valley except at Strasburg the enemy will not return. The whole of my command can then move from New Market to Madison by the mountain road, which is the best turnpike in Virginia, at three days' notice, from which we can occupy Culpeper Court-House, Orange Court-House, or Gordonsville, joined by General Abercrombie. The enemy will then be expelled from the whole of this region. With certainty this is the safest and most effective operation, in our view, in which we can be engaged. Our supplies can be drawn as now via Strasburg, or from Front Royal via Manassas road on good pikes, or by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Madison will be impregnable in our hands, and in co-operation with Fremont we can possess Gordonsville any day the President may wish. This is a safe and long-considered movement and is possible. Flour, beef, and forage are plenty in the country about Madison. I submit these views with great deference, and pray permission to put them in execution as early as the Department may desire. There are not more than 15,000 rebels on the north of the Virginia Central Railroad.
N. P. BANKS,
CHARLESTON, April 28, 1862.
Colonel ALBERT TRACY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Wheeling:
On Thursday the position of my troops will be as follows: Two regiments at Flat Top and holding passes of New River; one at Raleigh; two at Fayette; one at Gauley Mountain; two at Gauley Bridge; one at Summerville; one at Salines and vicinity; one at Charleston; one guarding lower part of Kanawha. I purpose making a post at Chapmanville, and use two regiments in guarding the whole valley. Will arrange the main force in advancing, as by order of General Fremont. Major Clary should hurry forward part of our transportation this week. I except to move my headquarters to the front some time this week, and it is important I should know the permanent arrangement of quartermaster and commissary on my personal staff.
J. D. COX,