War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0135 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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slaves are flocking to the Federal army by hundreds. As many as 80 have gone off at one time from the river plantations, and it is said there is scarcely a slaveholder in Fredericksburg who has not lost one or more of his negroes.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

NEW MARKET, May 5, 1862-10 p.m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War: In accordance with orders received yesterday the forces were withdrawn from Harrisonsburg to this place. The enemy, we are informed, are moving up on the east side of the mountains to attack Columbia Bridge. Precautions have taken to prevent.

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

Opposite Fredericksburg, May 6, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I made yesterday afternoon, with a regiment of cavalry, an examination of the roads leading out of Fredericksburg to the south. We came on the enemy's cavalry pickets, drove them in, captured one of them. He represents Field's force to be now at the Sycamores, on the Bowling Green road, about 14 miles from the town. There has been some picket firing between the enemy and Bayard's brigade across the river some miles below.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

Opposite Fredericksburg, May 6, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

A person just come in from Richmond reports the arrival of another regiment day before yesterday at Guiney's Station, to join General J. R. Anderson's force. Lieutenant-Colonel Macomb, Topographical Engineers, whom I sent to examine, reports an encampment of the enemy at the mouth of the Massaponax River, a few miles below the town-a small earthwork, with two embrasures pointing down the river, covering some obstructions in the channel. The force is opposite the camp of Bayard's cavalry. No Richmond papers could be obtained to-day. It is removed that Norfolk has been evacuated.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE BRIGADE,

Near Rectortown, Va., May 6, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I have the honor to report that I have not yet been relieved from the eastern section of the railroad, and that the limited force I am