The dispatch is dated of last night, and the point he says he will be at 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon is " Strasburg, or as near it as it may be to the enemy at that time." I direct Fremont to come to time as fixed by himself, and you will act your discretion, taking this information into your calculation.
PIEDMONT, May 30, 1862.
(Received May 31, 5 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Washington, D. C.:
I was disappointed on arriving at this place at 12 m. to find General Ord's division here, only 5 miles from its camp of last night (though I had ordered them to leave their knapsacks), and in much confusion. I reproached General Ord for the condition of his command and for its not being farther ahead. He pleaded sickness, and that he had not been well for several days, and was now unable to hold a command, which he turned over to Brigadier-General Ricketts. I have told General Ricketts to have his division at Front Royal by to-night.
I have received a report from Brigadier-General Geary, who says some of his command have gone through Ashby's Gap over the river, driving in the enemy's pickets. King's division is on the road by rail from Catlett's, but the road is not yet in good running order, and I do not count on the general's being up even with his infantry till to-morrow. The First Brigade had not left as late as 11 a. m. I hope the railroad bridges will all be repaired by to-day and the cars running within a mile of Front Royal to-night.
RECTORTOWN, May 30, 1862.
(Received 7.30 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
I have not heard from General Shields since he left this morning. His command is in front. General Ord's two advanced brigades are 5 miles in front of this. His brigade is between this and Thoroughfare Gap. Bayard's brigade is at Thoroughfare Gap by this time. I passed him on my way here. King's division is near Catlett's, and if we can, with Mr. Haupt's invaluable aid, extricate the trains from the confusion into which they have all been thrown by our driving things ahead so fast, I hope to have part of his infantry as far as this by to-morrow.
This place is filled with stragglers and broken-down men from every brigade. We are little by little getting things in order. Cannon firing has been heard from the front during the day. Nothing has been heard from General Geary, who is to the north of us. General Shields has not as yet sent back word of his progress. Half of his provision train is still here. I received here the telegram from the President concerning General Fremont.