War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0249 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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will telegraph in about one hour further particulars. I am taking steps to communicate with Banks.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

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

(Received 9.20 a. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

I have set all the carpenters at work to plank the bridge, so that teams and men, and, if need be, artillery, can cross, as well as cars. That work will bes accomplished in two or three hours, rendering a repetition of Ball's Bluff impossible. The cannon are being placed in position.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

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

(Received 2.45 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Have just returned from a short reconnaissance toward Charlestown. No enemy about, and the people report none have been nearer to this point than 12 mile. The force that pursued Banks stopped their pursuit at Martinsburg, and, it is reported, returned toward Winchester, as they said, to obtain re-enforcement. I do not anticipate an attack upon this place at present. It is reported that the railroad west of here is uninjured, the enemy not being disposed to stop to unsure property. Their sole object seemed to be to drive Banks across the river. Can obtain no definite information about Banks or the enemy, except that neither of them is at Harper's Ferry. I shall return tonight.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 26, 1862-3.10 p. m.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary, Harper's Ferry:

Banks telegraphs from Williamsport that the enemy is driving in his pickets across the river. Everything of importance safe-guns, ordnance trains, and nearly all the trains. I think you had better remain twenty-four hours longer.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 26, 1862.

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War, Monocacy:

Push on as fast as you ca. Banks said to be safe at Williamsport.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.