HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
Opposite Fredericksburg, May 25, 1862.
Major General JAMES SHIELDS,
GENERAL: I have received intelligence from the War Department that the enemy has carried the position at Front Royal and attacked and forced General Banks to retreat from Winchester upon Harper's Ferry.
Agreeably to the instructions to that effect from the President two divisions, yours and General Ord's, have been pup in motion to move upon and intercept the enemy and capture or drive him from the valley. Your knowledge of the country makes it unnecessary to give you instructions as to the particular routes to be taken to secure this end.
For the purpose of supplies your division will move via Catlett's Agreeably to the instructions of the Secretary of War one brigade, Ord's division, will embark at Aquia for Washington. The other will march by the same route as yours have taken.
As the national capital is an object of extreme solicitude, you will so arrange your movements as not to uncovers it.
You will keep me constantly informed as to your movements.
Agreeably to the desire of the Secretary of War you will proceed to Washington to confer with him personally on this matter.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.-By a recent direction of the Secretary of War the second brigade will go by Alexandria.
FREDERICKSBURG, May 25, 1862.
Colonel SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff:
The troops of Field and Gregg certainly (and Anderson probably) fell back last night to Hanover Junction. I send contrabands.
M. R. PATRICK
BALTIMORE, May 25, 1862.
(Received 3.40 p. m.)
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War:
We have no cars yet returned from the movements of yesterday and last night, estimated at 5,000, from Washington, Baltimore, and line of road. We had cars for Colonel Maulsby's regiment at Monocacy since 1 p. m. yesterday, but they did not arrange to load until this a. m. We have sent to-day from Relay House 600 New York Sixtieth, and have arranged for prompt shipment of Delaware regiment, expected here at 7 this p. m. We have cars now prepared and waiting here for 500 Purmell Legion and the artillery ordered through General Dix. One thousand men of Maine and other regiments, guarding road east and west of Harper's Ferry, have been gathered and transported. We have just