shall have every probability of accomplishing what we desire. I should like to know how it accords with the information you have got latest.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
[May 17, 1862.-For Stanton to McDowell, directing co-operation with McClellan, see Series I, Vol. XI, Part I, p. 28.]
MAY 17, 1862.
Brigadier-General GEARY, Commanding at Rectortown:
Agreeably to the instructions of the War Department you will please report to and receive your further orders from Major-General Banks, to whose command you have been reattached.
NEAR RECTORTOWN, VA., May 17, 1862.
Major-General BANKS, Strasburg, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that since May 5, in obedience to orders from the Secretary of War, I have made my reports to Major-General McDowell. At the time of my detachment from your division my command was guarding the line of this railroad from Front Royal to Salem, which was farther extended upon the 10th ultimo to Manassas, giving me 52 miles to guard.
My command was therefore now disposed as follows: At Front Royal, one company infantry and one company cavalry; at Shenandoah, one company infantry; at Happy Creek, one company infantry; at Linden, one company infantry; at Markham, two companies infantry; at Piedmont, one company infantry and one company cavalry; at Rectortown, five companies of infantry, one company of artillery, and two companies of cavalry; at Salem, one company of cavalry; at White Plains, one company infantry; at Thoroughfare Gap, one company infantry and one company cavalry patrol, and at Manassas, one company infantry; my headquarters being 1 1/2 miles west from Rectortown.
The only changes in these stations have been the withdrawing of a company form the Shenandoah to re-enforce Linden on the 15th, and to-day the detachment of one section of artillery to re-enforce Front Royal, and the withdrawal of the company at Manassas to this point.
I represented to Major General McDowell that this great extension of my command, guarding many points requiring protection, rendered all of them subject to harassment, with more or less danger to each; also the very winding and circuitous form of the railroad, and the great natural advantages afforded the enemy in the increasing denseness of the foliage and rapidly rising grain, screening him from view until he could approach very near our line; also that Colonel Munford, with about 600 cavalry, together with other forces amounting to nearly the same number, threatens us from the south, devoting attention to the destruction of the road; that the numerous ranges of mountains are filled with passes and places of refuge and defense of which the enemy