War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0256 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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MANASSAS, May 27, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Washington:

Your telegram just received. I have already reported. The three brigades of Shields' division between this and Thoroughfare Gap will continue their march to-morrow to Front Royal. The brigade at Warrenton will join the division by the Warrenton turnpike. Ord's division will follow as soon as it all gets up. We shall thus, while feeling for the enemy, still cover Washington. The only rumors we have as to the present position is of his being in the direction in which we are marching.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General.

CATLETT'S, May 27, 1862.

General MCDOWELL:

Where is Banks? Is Harper's Ferry safe? Where has the force gone that attacked banks? Is there any information as to the force before General Geary?

SHIELDS.

WASHINGTON, May 27, 1862.

General SHIELDS, Catlett's:

Banks is at Williamsport and safe. Harper's Ferry is held by Brigadier-General Saxton. General Geary reports the enemy to be marching by Aldie to cut off his communications, and thinks he has the whole of the enemy upon him. Saxton reports rumors of intention to attack him.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General.

CATLETT'S, May 27, 1862.

General MCDOWELL:

I would prefer subsistence and forage at Manassas to re-enforcements at present. I do not believe the enemy is before Geary, but will ascertain that fact to-day. I regret that these men have been pushed forward, as I think unnecessarily. The whole, in my opinion, is a disgraceful panic, and if he permits me to act on my own judgment I will not call for assistance until I know for a certainly there is an enemy in front of me.

SHIELDS.

CATLETT'S, May 27, 1862.

General MCDOWELL:

I will open communication with Geary at Thoroughfare early this morning. I will support him if necessary. I will push forward my men and supplies to Manassas to-morrow early. I have plenty subsistence and forage.

SHIELDS.