War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0254 OPERATIONS IN. N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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WAR DEPARTMENT,

May 26, 1862.

Brigadier-General KELLEY:

Have you heard or seen anything of the rebel force that has been operating against Banks in the Shenandoah, at Winchester, and Martinsburg? Do you know of any movement by the enemy west of Martinsburg? State also where you last heard from General Fremont and where he is. Answer fully all you know or have heard on these points.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

BLENKER'S DIVISION,

Camp, eight miles from Franklin, Va., May 26, 1862.

Major General JOHN C. FREMONT,

Commanding Mountain Department:

GENERAL: According to your orders of yesterday afternoon, I will do my utmost to reach Petersburg this evening with the division. In consequence of the obstacles thrown in our way by the wagon trains of General Schenck's brigade, we were prevented from proceeding farther. The roads were at several times positively blockaded by the upsetting of wagons, to such an extent as to prevent even the infantry from passing by. We were compelled therefrom to interrupt our march every mile or two, which will account for our little progress. I trust to make good the delay by our march of to-day. I will proceed with the artillery and cavalry, because up to this moment our rear has in no way met with any evidence of the presence of the enemy. In case therefore of the enemy. In case therefore of any desire on your part for re-enforcement in Petersburg, I will hasten the progress of both artillery and cavalry, in order to be there this evening. The infantry will follow as far as circumstances will allow. I expect therefore to receive your orders. We arrived here last night at 8.30 Weather very dark.

Just at this moment I received the report that a large part of our baggage and provisions is still at Franklin in consequence of the above-mentioned obstructions in the road.

I am, general, respectfully,

LOUIS BLENKER,

Brigadier-General.

ON THE ROAD,

One mile north of Paint Bridge, May 26, 1862.

Colonel ALBERT TRACY,

A. A. G., Mountain Department, Headquarters on the Road:

COLONEL: I am here getting my infantry regiments together, to make a rush with them to Petersburg to-day. My artillery is behind General Stahel's wagon train (which obstructs the road) and cannot possibly get forward.

My men, who have been without food since yesterday at noon, are at length getting some hard bread distributed to them at the river. I find nothing more at this point except sugar, coffee, and salt. When they get up here I will have them fill their haversacks for the day's provision. The horses suffer most, however, and their condition just now is of most importance. Those in my batteries are entirely without forage,