War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0123 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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WHEELING, May 1, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

The plan of operations which the President approved is now being carried into effect. Obstacles of weather, floods, and deficient transportation are being overcome, and all movements made in reference to it.

J. C. FREMONT,

Major-General, Commanding.

McDOWELL, May 1, 1862.

General FREMONT, Wheeling:

The extent of late attack by guerrillas was 20 wagons and about 80 horses lost. Am compelling neighborhood to furnish horses for another train. Have now several parties out after the guerrillas of Highland and Pendleton.

Information received from scouts, deserters, and refugees is that Johnson's force is at Westview, 6 miles west of Staunton, ready to retreat upon any advance by us, and rapidly gathering all the militia, subsistence, forage, and transportation he can and sending it east. The greatest excitement is said to have existed in Staunton and in Johnson's camp upon the occasion of a reconnaissance by a company of our cavalry with six infantry companies last week, and Johnson had everything packed to leave, but seeing it was only a reconnoitering party, he remained and redoubled his efforts in stripping the country of subsistence and forage. He should be driven out immediately. My aide has just returned from Schenck. Will keep my communication open with him.

Captain Lowry is here.

R. H. MILROY,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

Aquia, May 2, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

The quartermaster of King's division, who was sent after lumber in the ferry-boat, went 35 miles below Fredericksburg. He reports enemy's cavalry extending from a few miles below Fredericksburg toward Port Royal, at which point, according to all accounts he received, there is a force of some thousands, prepared to board the first steamer that comes along. This report, except as to the thousands, is in confirmation of the account given by the deserters day before yesterday. Until I can occupy in force the opposite bank of the Rappahannock and send out strong cavalry parties we use the Rappahannock River only because the enemy suffers us to do so. I think the Navy Department should be so informed. The quartermaster reports quantities of horses, mules, and grain on the south side, and plenty of lumber suitable for our purposes. I have a further report from General King that Field, who commands in our front, has moved his force, 4,400 strong, with two batteries, to the Sycamores, being an advance of some 3 miles. I am led to believe that this force and that of Anderson can be defeated with great loss to them by the force under my command at Fredericksburg, and that