War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0257 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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General MCDOWELL:

I will have 5,000 men at Manassas at 8 this a. m., and I will have all my command at Manassas at an early hour to-day.

SHIELDS.

CATLETT'S, May 27, 1862.

General MCDOWELL:

I think there is no force before General Geary except the cavalry of the mountains. I think the whole is a panic. I don't think there is 10,000 of the enemy at any point in the Shenandoah Valley. I will send on my cavalry and scour the country in advance toward Front Royal as far as possible to-day. I want no assistance. My own division is sufficient for present emergencies. General Geary was not, in my opinion, in the slightest danger. All I will need is some forage and subsistence at Manassas to push me forward to Front Royal.

I beg General McDowell to tell the President and Secretary of War that I will clear the valley of the Shenandoah of the enemy as far as I advance. I regret the panic that has been created in Washington - that the force that created it was an insignificant one. Tell him that I hope to return to Fredericksburg as soon as I drive the enemy out of the valley of the Shenandoah. Ask if he has any special orders to give me other than what I have.

SHIELDS.

CATLETT'S, May 27, 1862.

[General MCDOWELL:]

DEAR GENERAL: I have your expedition below will be reorganized promptly. I hope to clear the valley of the enemy us quick as I can march. I hope to rejoin you by the route you and I understand. It will be only a few days' delay if I have subsistence and forage. Good morning. I will now take leave of you for the present and communicate with you at Manassas to-day.

JAS. SHIELDS.

CATLETT'S, May 27, 1862.

General MCDOWELL:

First Brigade is within 5 miles of Manassas. Thirty pieces of artillery with them. Second Brigade close to First. Third Brigade 5 miles from Catlett's, Fourth Brigade and cavalry here.

SHIELDS.

MANASSAS, VA., May 27, 1862.

Major-General MCDOWELL,

Commanding Department of the Rappahannock:

GENERAL: I have seen General Geary, who is here. The whole panic is causeless. I am ashamed of it. Evidently the force which

17 R R - VOL XII, PT III