Washington City, May 30, 1862 - 9.30 p. m.
Major-General MCDOWELL, Rectortown, Va.:
I send you a dispatch just received from Saxton at Harper's Ferry:
The rebels are in line of battle in front of our lines. They have nine pieces of artillery, and in position, and cavalry. I shelled the woods in which they were, and they in return threw a large number of shells into the lines and tents from which I moved last night to take up stronger position. I expect a great deal from the battery on the mountain, having there 9-inch Dahlgren bearing directly on the enemy's approaches. The enemy appeared this morning and then retired, with the intention of drawing us on. I shall act on the defensive, as my position is a strong one. In a skirmish which took place this afternoon I took 1 horse. The enemy lost 2 men killed and 7 wounded.
It seems the game is before you. Have sent a copy to General Fremont.
May 30, 1862 - 2.30 a. m.
Our forces are retiring across the river at Harper's Ferry, supposed to be from the advance of the enemy.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON, May 30, 1862.
Major-General MCDOWELL, Rectortown:
A dispatch from Grafton says as follows:
Prisoners belonging to Thirty-third Virginia Infantry brought into Romney last night confirm what deserters said about jackson, Ewell, and Johnson being around Winchester with about 20,000 men. They have had scouts out 10 miles from Winchester.
EDWIN M. STANTON.
May 30, 1862.
Accounts from Harper's Ferry state that our troops are now being driven over the river. The attack commenced at 2 o'clock this a. m.
JAS. S. WADSWORTH.
MAY 30, 1862.
I received the President's telegram, sending me a copy of a dispatch from General Fremont, in which the general said he would