War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0233 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

May 25, [1862].

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Washington:

I am examining 15 deserters from the rebel army, with a view to report to you what has become of Anderson's army.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General.

FALMOUTH, May 25, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

I have just examined a lieutenant, 3 sergeants, and a corporal, who came in from the enemy as deserters this morning. They are, with the exception of one Frenchman, from the North, pressed into service. They are all men of fine intelligence. The lieutenant and the sergeants, who came from the same battery, are positive the army has fallen back from Richmond. The first orders was to go at 1.30 o'clock p. m. to Hanover Junction, they having heard of McClellan's right wing being at Hanover Court-House, and having destroyed the railroad to Gordonsville at that place, which made them fear for their communications. This was subsequently revoked, and an order was read on parade directing the command back to Richmond to take part in the great battle now about to take place there. Two other men thought that the force was going to join Jackson, who was going to get in the rear of my army and was going to join Jackson, who was going to get in rear of my army and was going into Maryland. This was only surmise. The order for Richmond was written and published. My advance is 8 miles beyond Fredericksburg. I hope soon to be able to tell you more precisely where the enemy is. One thing is certain, that whether they left here to join Jackson or not they have not done so yet, and that all the grand masses Geary reports must come from some other place than here. They left here by stealth and with dread of being attacked. They went at night, and for a distance by by-roads. They thought I had 60,000 men.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

Opposite Fredericksburg, May 25, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I have a report that Hartsuff's brigade left here at 5 o'clock for Aquia, and that the cavalry and artillery marched at 6 o'clock via Stafford Court-House and Dumfries.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

May 25, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Rickett's brigade of Ord's division have taken up the line of march for Aquia. It is just 3 o'clock.

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Major-General.