War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0186 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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FALMOUTH, May 14, 1862.

(Received 10.30 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

It has just been reported to me by Brigadier-General Patrick, who commands in Fredericksburg, and who has just returned from a visit to the outposts on the Gordonsville plank road, that a body of two regiments of infantry and two squadrons of cavalry came up the road from Gordonsville this afternoon about 5, and hurried of a few miles from town toward the east, and joined General Anderson's army at Massaponax. It is supposed this is from the enemy's forces heretofore operating in the valley of the Shenandoah. They were seen by our pickets as as by residents.

IRVIN MCDOWELL.

[May 14, 1862.-For Colonel John W. Geary's report of operations in Loudoun County from February 25 to may 6 see Series I, Vol. V, p. 511.

WASHINGTON, May 14, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: In obedience to your instructions on the 12th ultimo I started for Strasburg in search of Blenker's division, and on my way dispatched messengers in search of it from Harper's Ferry and from Winchester, at which latter place I received your dispatch informing me that it was at Salem.

I reached Strasburg on the morning of the 14th, and having informed myself of the route from Strasburg to Salem, I took advantage of my proximity to General Banks to fulfill another part of your instructions, by going to his headquarters at Woodstock and consulting with him.

On the 15th I returned to Strasburg, telegraphed you what I had done, and made such suggestions about the movements of the troops as Generals Banks and Shields had agreed to be desirable.

On the 16th I returned to Winchester, where, soon after my arrival, my messenger returned from General Blenker, who acknowledged the receipt of my orders, and informed me that he was at Paris, and that after crossing three regiments and two companies of the Third Brigade at Berry's Ferry the old ferry-boat sprang leak while crossing a company, sank, and precipitated it into the river, drowning 3 commissioned officers and 38 non-commissioned officers and privates, and, in consequence thereof, he should go with the remainder of the division to Snicker's Ferry, where Captain Abert, Topographical Engineers, had erected a better ferry. He also informed me that they were short of provisions, forage, horseshoes, and horseshoe nails, clothing, shoes, stockings, picket-ropes, and ammunition; without tents or shelters, and without ambulances or medicines, for any important work, and that the troops had not been paid since the 31st of December.

I immediately advised the War Department of the condition of the division, and took steps to fit it out for a campaign with the least possible delay.

To expedite the dispatch of the supplies I proceeded to Harper's Ferry; arrived there on Saturday night, and saw the great freshest