War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0150 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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enemy, driven from Yorktown, will rapidly concentrate all his available force with a view to an attempt on this city. It is proper you should know of this rumor, because of the character of the population under your eye.

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major-General, U. S. Army.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 9, 1862.

General BANKS,

New Market, via Mount Jackson:

It has become necessary, in the present state of things, to remind you of the orders of the 1st instant, for yourself to take position at Strasburg of its vicinity. New Market seems somewhat distant to fall within the meaning of the order, and might find you out of position should circumstances make it necessary for you to move to the support of McDowell.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 9, 1862.

General McDOWELL:

In the order placing you in command of the Department of the Rappahannock and in subsequent orders you have been considered as charged with the safety of the capital. The distribution of troops within your department is subject to your orders, the preferences of the President being merely suggested. The movements of the enemy in your front are believed to have been defensive, founded on an apprehension of your advance on Richmond. Whether the enemy will feel strong enough to take an offensive attitude we have here no means of determining as yet. A report from General Fremont conveys his opinion that Jackson, with Johnson and Ewell, are in his front threatening Milroy. The following is the copy of a dispatch just sent to General Banks, as advisory, from this office. Copies of all telegrams received this morning have been sent both to yourself and General Banks.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 9, 1862.

General BANKS:

Opinions from General McDowell and General Fremont are contradictory with respect to Jackson, Johnson, and Ewell. General McDowell reports a rumor that Jackson is to command in his front. General Fremont reports his opinion that Jackson is threatening Milroy and is within 7 miles of him, advancing from three directions. General Banks should ascertain whether the enemy is in force in his front or Numbers If the enemy is not in force, General Shields should march with all speed to support General McDowell, using railroad via Manassas Gap as far as possible. By this route supplies, can meet him, and he