War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0118 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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force which was here when we advanced, which they estimate loosely. I suppose it may amount to 3,000 men-infantry, artillery, and cavalry. Has the Walker battery of six pieces, four 6-pounder Parrotts and two brass howitzer. They expect to fall back as soon as they are pressed, and go to Hanover Junction, where they are to join Jackson's force, now retreating from Gordonsville. This they heard this morning. At Hanover Junction or Hanover Court-House they expect to make a stand. Last Sunday an order was read on parade warning the men to be ready to fall back at a moment's notice. A detail of 8 men from each company of a regiment was made to stay behind and burn the railroad bridges. On Monday they cut and split the wood and placed it on the bridges, which are ready to be fired. It was given out they were to fall back to Hanover Junction. Jackson was to do the same, and is now on his way there from Gordonsville. When the force which came from Manassas fell back from Gordonsville to Yorktown, Gordonsville was abandoned till Jackson passed through. When they brought the artillery for Anderson's force from Richmond part came by railroad and part by the common road. The roads were so bad, and are now so bad, that they cannot possibly be used for their retreat. I have sent over what remains of McCall's division. All reports of our movements in the New York papers appear in the Richmond papers of the last dates.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding Department.

NEW MARKET, April 30, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

All quiet. Some alarm excited by movement of enemy's cavalry. It appears to-day that they were in pursuit of Union prisoner who escaped to our camp at Alma Bridge. He reports Jackson at foot of Blue Ridge. Ordnance train sent over mountains. The day he left, Jackson was to be re-enforced by Johnson and to make attack via Luray. Another report says Jackson is bound for Richmond. This is the fact, I have no doubt. Johnson is west of Staunton 6 miles; Milroy in his rear. Jackson is on half rations, his supplies having been cut off by our advance. There is nothing to be done in this valley this side of fortifications this side of Strasburg.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

NEW MARKET, April 30, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Further reflection and full consultation with all leading officers confirm opinion expressed in my dispatch of 29th instant. There is nothing more to be done by us in the valley. Nothing this side of Strasburg requires our presence. Fortifications there, now finished, were planned by Captain Hunt, to protect our lines below with small force. Enemy will not return unless small force in upper part of valley tempts them to try for a victory. Our force never in so good condition or spirits. Can move across mountains from New Market via Luray or Madison