sacks. The enemy is threatening the railroad and has attacked and driven off the guard at Front Royal.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HARPER'S FERRY, May 23, 1862.
(Received May 24, 12.5 a. m.)
LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General, or
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
General Banks has requested me to bring all the troops I can to Strasburg. I have ordered six companies Sixtieth New York, four companies First District Regiment, six companies [First] Maryland Potomac Home Brigade, and that the president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad will send troops to me to exclusion of freight. The general informs me a large force is marching on him from Front Royal.
D. S. MILES,
Colonel, Commanding Railroad Brigade.
Numbers 6.] FLAT TOP, May 23, 1862.
(Received 11 a. m.)
The enemy in front have fallen back to line of East River and Rocky Gap, occupying nearly the same position as before Marshall marched on Princeton. Unless my force is increased, a forward movement from here before the rest of the army approaches from the north will be liable to the same difficulty of intercepted communication.
Marshall made 70 miles by forced marches to join Heth. I am examining the feasibility of going by Pack's Ferry, joining Crook at Union, and moving on Christiansburg and Newbern. The keeping up of supplies and forage is the grand difficulty. Of course it would leave the line unguarded and would be a hazardous movement, but brilliant if successful. There is no danger of the rebels attacking me here. They have an outpost of a few companies at Princeton.
J. D. COX,
FLAT TOP, May 23, 1862.
Colonel GEORGE CROOK,
Commanding Third Brigade, Lewisburg:
Let me know what success you have in getting supplies. The intolerable slowness of the organization of transportation at Gauley Brigade has prevented the aid going to you which has been ordered. So far as I can learn, the whole rebel force from Covington to Cumberland Gap is now between New River and Tazewell Court-House. Try to keep me informed of everything you learn about them. As soon as practicable I shall arrange a combined movement, of which you will be modified.