War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0279 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

be at Front Royal as soon. We must not disappoint the expectations of the President, if extraordinary exertions will enable us to fulfill them. Tell me how much subsistence you have now on hand and how many beef cattle. Will not a short march this afternoon and an early one to-morrow bring you to Front Royal by the time indicated?

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding Department.

RECTORTOWN, May 29, 1862.

Major-General MCDOWELL:

May I ask if there is any news from General Banks or of the enemy of the Shenandoah Valley by way of Washington?

JAS. SHIELDS.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT,

Manassas, May 29, 1862.

Major General JAMES SHIELDS, Rectortown:

General Saxton reports from Harper's Ferry that he drove the enemy yesterday through Charlestown; that they were re-enforced and came back with 7,000 infantry and nine pieces of artillery, before which he retired in good order.

General Banks reports the enemy on his front in force. Yesterday it seemed to be the opinion in Washington that the enemy intended crossing the Potomac and threaten, if not actually march on, Washington. General Fremont is at Moorefield, and is ordered, as we are, by the President to push after the enemy with all speed. The question now seems to be one of legs - whether we can get to Jackson and Ewell before they can get away. General King reports from Fredericksburg that has received information from person from Hanover Junction that Anderson's army of 15,000 men had gone by way of Gordonsville to loin Jackson. I have ordered King's division to Catlett's, thence to Warrenton and to White Plains, to follow after us.

The Secretary of War suggested, at the instance of General Meigs, to send part of King's division to Washington to guard it from an attack from Jackson, who might come it from near Harper's Ferry.

But not feeling there was any danger of an attack from that quarter, I have not changed King's destination. You see from all this how important it is for us to get forward to settle this difficulty in one way or another.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

MAjor-General, Commanding Department.

HEADQUARTERS, Manassas, May 29, 1862.

Major-General SHIELDS, Rectortown:

Taking things as they are, how soon can you have your advanced brigade at Front Royal? There are important reasons, sent me in cipher, for knowing this.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General.