HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
Front Royal, Va., June 4, 1862.
Major General E. O. C. ORD,
GENERAL: The general commanding has seen your communication of this date respecting the disposition of your command in respect to the bridges over the river. He now wishes you to inform him of the condition as to supplies of Colonel Christian's regiment and the battery of artillery with it and of the means you have adopted for sending them to those troops in future.
The general directs that you adopt proper measures to prevent the lodging of drift timber against the bridge near this town and to do all you can to prevent its being carried away. This is all-important.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.
LURAY, June 4, 1862.
I have just issued orders to have all who are sick and unable to march [sent] back to Front Royal, and with the residue, if it be humanly possible, I will ascend the river, cross it, and take Jackson in the rear. My command are already destitute of everything in the way of shoes, and will soon be destitute of provisions and forage. Already the Rhode Islanders have broken down, and my own brave division will fail unless supplies are forthcoming. There are none to be had at Front Royal. I have asked for subsistence and it has not come. The railroad has failed.
We must make quick work with Jackson, as it is all bad.
Major-General, Commanding Division.
COLUMBIA BRIDGE, VA., June 4,
Via Front Royal, June 5, 1862 - 1.45 p. m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
The advance of my command is at Conrad's Store, opposite to Harrisonburg, 20 miles from here. All the bridges on Shenandoah are burned. The river is a torrent, owing to incessant rains for three days, and utterly impassable. The enemy is on the pike between Strasburg and New Market - I think at Rude's Hill; but this is only conjecture. Our forces in his rear keep you advised. I cannot now take him in reverse, owing to the inundation. Roads have become impassable. I want hard bread, salt, sugar, and coffee. Send me these. We have too many men and no supplies. While the river is up I could move on Stanardsville - his depot - and destroy the road, if I had supplies. The rains have saved him at present from annihilation. Give me bread and I will do it yet. I cannot fight against the elements, but give me bread to keep me alive and they will never leave this valley. Their force is inconsiderable, not, in my opinion, 7,000. I will stampede them down to Richmond if you give me plenty of bread.