HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
Front Royal, Va., June 5, 1862.
Major General JAMES SHIELDS,
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of the 4th by the hand of Captain Haycock.
I am intrusted by the major-general commanding to say in reply that subsistence and beef on the hoof left here for your division day before yesterday, and must have been received before this.
The floods have carried away the Bull Run Bridge and have done other damage on the line of the road, but it is rapidly being restored, and no serious detention in the driving forward of supplies to this place is anticipated.
As far as the means of transportation belonging to your division and the condition of the roads will go you can depend on obtaining supplies from this point. In order to do this to the full extent of your means your wagons must be employed for that purpose, and your men must either carry their knapsacks or do as Jackson's men did, leave them behind them.
The wagons must not be made to carry anything not absolutely necessary, and a rigid inspection must be ordered to see that this rule is observed. We cannot catch a light-footed enemy and carry such heavy weights.
You report the roads beyond Columbia Bridge as being impassable for wagons, and of course for artillery. How, then, do you propose at this time to get your division to Staunton?
The major-general commanding is as anxious as you to accomplish something, even in spite of the elements, with your gallant division, and will give it any facility in his power.
To whatever distance you may, from your better knowledge of the roads and country, feel yourself justified in going, the general wishes you to have all you force well in hand, with the parts in supporting distance of each other.
The grass is now of the best, and you must do as we do in Texas and on the plains, graze your horses, unless you can get grain in the country. In taking it you will please instruct your quartermaster to be governed by the orders on that subject communicated to him through the chief quartermaster at department headquarters. Whatever private property is taken you will cause the officer taking it to send here immediately a duplicate of the receipt given the party from whom the supplies are taken.
All the bridges across the Shenandoah are swept away.
Bayard's brigade of cavalry is still with General Fremont. As soon as you gen near enough to each other the general wishes it to join you. Please to inform him when you have the opportunity. General Fremont must now be at or near New Market.
Part of Ord's division has been caught on the other side of the river and cannot get back. As soon as it can move, the larger part of his division will go to Luray, and King's division is ordered to-day to Warrenton town. Can the country through which you are operating support more than your own division? Please answer immediately as fully as possible on this head.
When, probably, if the weather continues fine, can you count on the roads being passable for artillery beyond Columbia Bridge?
The Secretary informs us that Major-General Pope, at the head of