War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0326 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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the two bridges across the North Fork, and isolating us from General Fremont's army in this direction and cutting off the Twenty-sixth New York Regiment from General Ord's division.

The fords are impassable. In attempting one, over a small tributary, three of my staff were swept away and nearly drowned. The river will be down in a day or two, though it is still rising. But a day, or half a one, is sufficient for Jackson's purpose.

General Shields asks, as a condition of being able to stampede the enemy to Richmond, some cavalry of a kind I am unable to give him. The Rhode Island is as good as I have; and as to his preventing the enemy's escape "somehow," I fear it will be like his intention of crossing the "river somehow." His command is not in a condition to go to the places he names.

It has occurred to me that possibly the enemy, having effected his purpose here, may now go to Richmond or Fredericksburg without being stampeded to do so.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

FRONT ROYAL, June 3, 1862.

(Received June 4, 5.30 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I sent an aide-de-camp yesterday a. m. to overtake General Shields with information of General Fremont's presence in the valley above Strasburg. I have just received the following in return:

LURAY, VA., June 3, 1862 - 4 a. m.

General MCDOWELL, Commanding:

Your dispatches received. We have heard the sound of cannon on the Strasburg turnpike yesterday, and judged it was Fremont's men. My advance last night reached the Shenandoah River to cross to New Market, but found bridges burned. This will retard us. We must cross to-day somehow. Let Fremont know that I will follow his rear. We have caught him now. Jackson knows I am in his rear, because several fled from here on our approach. Elzey is said to be at Thornton's Gap.

Yours, sincerely,

JAS. SHIELDS,

Major-General.

The "somehow" in which the general is to cross the river to-day, swollen as it is by the heavy rains, is not so clear, and the delay defeats the movement. I have heard nothing from General Fremont since my telegram of this morning. A small supply of food came to-day in wagons. It will give us another day's supply, and may enable us to wait for the railway. I this moment learn as a cause for the delay on the railroad that out of all the locomotives but two are now doing duty. We are literally from hand to mouth, and may have trouble.

IRVIN MCDOWELL,

Major-General, Commanding Department.

DIVISION HEADQUARTERS,

Gainesville, June 3, 1862.

Colonel E. SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff:

SIR: After Augur's brigade of infantry and two of Patrick's regiments had got away from Catlett's by railroad on the afternoon and