War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0282 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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spikes, the bridges to the latter place will be reconstructed by to-morrow evening.

SHIELDS.

RECTORTOWN, May 29, 1862.

General MCDOWELL:

I have not yet heard from General Geary, nor has he yet arrived at Aldie. Let me suggest that 1,000 troops is sufficient to guard the railroad and station at Catlett's; 1,000 infantry and 400 cavalry sufficient to guard the railroad from Manassas to Front Royal. One company of cavalry at Ashby's Ford is an good as a thousand. All the rest be poured into the valley at once. This railroad can completed in two days to Front Royal. That point will furnish us with ample supplies for any operation in the valley if the road is well managed. I would be in Front Royal to-night but for mismanagement of commissary train. I will now take leave of you to put my command in condition to move, hoping to have the pleasure of conversing with you to-night at any hour you may name.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT,

Manassas, May 29, 1862.

Major-General SHIELDS:

What you suggested as to force for guarding railroad had already in effect been ordered.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding Department.

RECTORTOWN, May 29, 1862.

Colonel SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff:

My four brigades are now here in hand. The cavalry, four companies, still at Catlett's. Pray relieve them. My eight companies of cavalry only give me 200 men; not enough. Can you give me more cavalry?

Nothing delays me but the commissary train - off the track. I will take up my line of march for Front Royal at 5 o'clock to-morrow morning if train or subsistence arrives.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Major-General.

RECTORTOWN, May 29, 1862.

Colonel E. SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff;

The train has just arrived. Now all is well. The last men of the division have just left town. I start by 5 a. m.

JAS. SHIELDS,

Major-General.