War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0229 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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FALMOUTH, May 25, 1862.

(Received 10.15 a. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Shields' division is moving toward Catlett's. King will follow as soon as the advance of Shields will permit. McDowell will take command of the whole in person. General McDowell, Shields, and King agree that the forces at this place can move against the enemy in the valley-First, by way of Front Royal, by way of Catlett's and Warrenton. By this route the column can be best supplied, both the movement in this direction is least liable to cut off the enemy, who can retire before our troops can get up. Second, by way of Catlett's, Warrenton, and Washington, and Thornton's Gap, to Luray. Third, by way of Orange Court-House and Gordonsville, to Charlottesville, which is their depot. This is the most decisive movement, and by destroying this depot and breaking up the railroad there the enemy must fall back. This movement has the advantage of keeping the forces still in position of operating on the enemy in front of Richmond. Shields' division could go to Charlottesville, and the others move south on the forces in front and keep them from going against him. The enemy in front of this place has retreated to Hanover Junction. Would not time be saved by bringing General Shields to Washington for consultation? His information and judgment are excellent, and his coming would not delay the movement of his division.

S. P. CHASE.

FALMOUTH, May 25, 1862.

(Received 10.28 a. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

Lynch says "they" are retreating from Winchester, without saying who. If Banks retreated, does it not increase importance of Shields' coming to Washington, especially as his division will not be retarded thereby, and if not moved elsewhere he can rejoin it to-morrow morning? If he is to come, I want to bring him through in six hours. Answer immediately.

S. P. CHASE.

WASHINGTON,

May 25, 1862-10.50 a. m.

Honorable SALMON P. CHASE:

Bring Shields along with you.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

FALMOUTH, May 25, 1862.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

Is it best that General McDowell should command in person or remain here? The considerations on both sides will suggest to you at once.

S. P. CHASE.