May 9, 1862.
General SHIELDS, New Market:
There are not cars enough on the Manassas Gap Railroad to transport you force of 10,000 men, 2,500 horses, with artillery, ammunition, and baggage. The advantage of that route is, that forage and any other supplies needed on the march can be sent from this depot to meet you at such points as you may designate, and thus relieve you from the difficulty expected by both yourself and General Banks of insufficient supplies, which it is understood has detained you.
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
NEW MARKER, May 9, 1862.
GENERAL: Your last dispatch is just received. My detachments are coming in and I will be able to move on Sunday morning. My command, after getting rid of all sick and disabled and unfit for service, will amount to over 10,000, 356 wagons, 2,500 horses, including cavalry and artillery and all. For the sake of expedition I preferred going by railroad from Front Royal, if the transportation be sufficient; please to let me know. I can have transportation at Front Royal in time, also forage, of which I am wholly destitute. I will need horseshoes on my arrival. If the railroad transportation be insufficient please to let me know. Is it competent to go through to Luray and Washington to Warrenton, or must I go by Chester Gap? The railroad would, I find, be the quickest, if the railroad cars are sufficient; if so, it would be necessary to send forage to Front royal at once.
I can commence the movement to-morrow if sure to go by railroad. I calculate on being in Front Royal on Monday night. If cars and forage are there to meet me I could commence moving on Tuesday morning, to march with ten days' rations, a full supply of ammunition, little baggage and tents, only fifteen to a regiment, and with very scanty hospital stores.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
CATLETT'S, May 9, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON and General MCDOWELL:
Contraband just from Culpeper Court-House says rebel cavalry driven from there by our cavalry. Reconnaissance returned day before yesterday-about 200. No troops between this and Culpeper Court-House, and none beyond up to Rapidan. From there to Orange Court-House about 3,000 scattered along railroad. None at Gordonsville. Forces from there, under Ewell, gone to join Jackson. Please keep me informed of movements of troops near. Is restriction against crossing Rappahannock still in force?
GEO. L. HARTSUFF,