War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0248 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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CATLETT'S, May 26, 1862

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Five thousand of my division are within 5 miles of Manassas this moment; also thirty pieces of artillery; General Kimball commanding. He is instructed to enter Manassas at early light to-morrow morning, open communication with Colonel Geary, support him, picket railroad, &c. The rest are moving forward from here. All went by ordinary road cars. Will take baggage, stores, &c. There is no danger of Manassas now, even if there are 18,000, as Geary says; but my opinion is that the force is small, and that this is a panic. To-morrow will show. If Jackson is here we will give him a bloody reception. It will be worse than Winchester, and will avenge Banks.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Major-General, Commanding Division.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 26, 1862.

Major-General SHIELDS,

Catlett's, or on the road:

General Geary reports as reliable that Jackson is advancing with a large force, estimated at 20,000, through Middleburg, to cut off his connection by Aldie Gap and Hopewell Gap. He also reports heavy forces south of him, and that he cannot successfully resist. He thinks he can make Manassas, and he has been directed to fall back and unite at Manassas with General Duryea, who is ordered back from Bristoe. Your division should march at speed upon Manassas.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

MANASSAS, VA., May 26, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Have arrived. Can get no information. One car here. No wood. Got no axes to cut it with. General Duryea has gone to Centreville. No one here knows where enemy is. Colonel Geary is retreating, they say, about 12 miles from here.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Commanding Division.

P. S.-My advance is started from Catlett's.

HARPER'S FERRY, VA., May 26, 1862.

(Received 8 a. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Eight o'clock. Have arrived here. Find 3,000 men, including Cooper's regiments, in a state of great demoralization, because of the terrible stories told but the runaways from Banks, who came straggling in. I