War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0301 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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and cattle to Thoroughfare Gap? Must the officers' horses be sent across to Thoroughfare or can they go in the cars.

RUFUS KING,

Brigadier-General.

RECTORTOWN, May 31, 1862.

Brigadier-General KING:

Colonel Haupt says the cars will be ready to return from Catlett's at 7 o'clock to-morrow morning; therefore send out and hurry your brigades of infantry so as to be ready.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General.

CATLETT'S, May 31, 1862.

General MCDOWELL:

General Augur with his staff and two regiments of infantry (the Sharpshooters and Fourteenth Brooklyn) are now on board the cars, and will be ready to start in a few minutes. We shall load up the regiments as fast as they arrive. I shall accompany Patrick's brigade, leaving Gibbon's to bring up the rear.

Contrary to my direction the beef cattle and subsistence train from Fredericksburg, which halted 10 miles from here, have started back in charge of General McCall's cavalry and escort. I have sent to recall if possible. An order telegraphed to General McCall might reach them in season. The teamsters on that train all belong to my division. Shall I start the cavalry, artillery, and division train for Thoroughfare Gap without waiting for the cattle and subsistence train? Ought not an infantry regiment march with them as guard?

RUFUS KING.

HEADQUARTERS DETACHED BRIGADE,

Upperville, Va., May 31, 1862.

Major-General MCDOWELL,

Commanding Department of the Rappahannock:

GENERAL: I have already sent you three reports, but as yet have received no response to either. We have driven the enemy's pickets from Middleburg and between that and the river across it. My scouts yesterday crossed the river at Berry's Ferry, at which place a sharp skirmish occurred between our advanced guard and the enemy's pickets. Our men pursued them to within 6 miles of Winchester, driving in their pickets and scouts. My advanced guard now occupies Ashby's Gap, which I deem an important point, particularly as the enemy were so desirous of holding it themselves. A portion of my command also holds Snicker's Gap. There are two important gaps below that (Vestal's and Keys'), at which places troops should be stationed. Having only one regiment of infantry, I cannot spare sufficient force to occupy those positions. I also regard Aldie as a very important point, which would be advisable to be guarded by a small detachment of troops.

Before you receive this communication my command will be in Ashby's