can readily avail themselves; that the force at this point is compelled to forage for the whole line, and that from the impoverished state of immediate vicinity we have to penetrate some distance into the interior-for at least 8 or 10 miles; that I cannot afford re-enforcements from one point to another without weakening one and rendering it liable to destruction.
These facts I urged as an immediate necessity for re-enforcements and the concentration of my command to the westward of this point. Under the orders of to-day I have the honor of submitting them to your consideration. The difficulties presented in the topography of this section render the protection of the road and transportation upon it a difficult and dangerous task.
Being threatened by bodies of guerrilla cavalry, I have adopted every available means to render my position as tenable as possible, by fortifying them, in the erection of block-houses, abatis, and other defenses against cavalry, and my detachments, performing unusually arduous duties, are instructed to maintain their positions at all hazard.
On the 15th instant I ordered a company of infantry from Piedmont to Linden, there to remain stationed. A detachment of 17 men, guarding the company wagon, reached there a short time before the main body of the company, which was on a train. They were attacked by a body of cavalry, variously estimated from 300 to 600, coming upon them from four directions. Our men resisted them, keeping up a sharp fire under shelter of the depot, which was riddled with bullets. My men were overpowered; 1 was killed and 14 taken prisoners, 3 of whom were wounded. When the balance of the company came up the enemy hastily retired under fire and with some loss.
There are some excellent recently built hospitals, cable of accommodating about 3,000 sick, at Front Royal. They were erected by the rebel army, and contain many conveniences.
JNO. W. GEARY,
HEADQUARTERS MOUNTAIN DEPARTMENT,
Franklin, May 17, 1862. (Received 4.45 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Our troops at Princeton are reported to have been attacked by an overwhelming force under Humphrey Marshall. Where is General Morgan? Will you not, in anticipation of danger, direct all spare Indiana troops to re-enforce General Cox? In my judgment, in view of the force we shall have to encounter at Shenandoah Mountain and the Force opposed to General Cox, two regiments from Maryland should be immediately ordered to New Creek, to keep open our line of communication.
J. C. FREMONT,
May 17, 1862-7.10 p. m.
Major-General FREMONT, Franklin:
General Morgan was at Cumberland Ford when last heard from. It