intended to replace Jackson's force, which is greatly demoralized and broken. It consists (Ewell's) of Taylor's brigade, Louisiana, 4,750; Trimble's, 3,000; Early, 3,000, and cavalry, 2,000. Such is our best information.
N. P. BANKS,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE,
Princeton, May 6, 1862.
I have the honor to report my arrival at Princeton with the Thirtieth Regiment and the section of McMullin;s battery. I now have the Twenty-third and Thirtieth and five companies of the Second Virginia Cavalry and one company of artillery.
The country is clear behind us. Our men will be ready to move to-morrow, as far as recovery from fatigue is concerned. I wish on their account to have permission, if it be right, as my information will or will not indicate, to move to Giles Court-House, or seven to the depot or railroad in front. The supply of forage and provisions is here small. Giles is comparatively full. Our own safety will be insured by this move unless the obstacles be great. I will do nothing rash, but as your orders seemed positive not to move beyond Princeton without orders I await your permission. I shall hold my brigade ready to move the moment permission is given. I can leave a small force here without risk, and beg you to grant permission to move to secure the supplies in front from destruction and seize points that may act as something to obtain hereafter. This, however, is chiefly urgent on account of the necessity of subsisting ourselves from the country as far as possible. My courier will await at Raleigh for your reply.
E. P. SCAMMON,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.
McDOWELL, May 6, 1862.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of 4th instant received. I believe Jackson's movement to be a feint for relief of Johnson. He cannot move from Port Republic toward my advanced position without leaving Banks in his rear, which, the former experience, he will not do, and the latter would have the opportunity to attack him in the rear as he moves in this direction. I shall not retire beyond this point, but in case of an attack by a superior force will await re-enforcements-Schenck's and Blenker's force. I cannot give up the country now in our possession. Why cannot they move up rapidly, and then push on vigorously together and clear the department before the May days are over? I may, in case of threatened attack, move on some 7 miles to Shaw's Ridge and make a stand there, if permission is granted. I will try and report to you from Staunton within forty-eight hours.