move my whole command now, relying upon this support. I will need my whole command at Stanardsville (where they say Longstreet has gone), Port Republic, and Waynesborough. The officer who is here
from General Fremont says they estimate Jackson's force at 25,000 men. This, I think, is far overrating them, but they must not be despised, and I want my force within supporting distance to act against them. I hope the major-general commanding will be satisfied with my course.
I venture to keep a few of the Rhode Island cavalry, that I have had shod and put in some condition, until this is over, but if they are required at Front Royal I will send them back at once. We stand in need of salt meat, hard bread, coffee, and sugar. One-third of my command are without shoes, and sans culottes in a literal sense of the word; but we will soon have time to refit. If shoes are in Front Royal, as I hop our quartermaster, Johnson, has some, I want them forwarded to Luray and Conrad's Store. The baggage of all kinds is put in depot here, and the empty wagons are sent back for bread and salt.
There is one matter I deem it my duty to request you to bring to the notice of the commanding general. In the dispatch to the department announcing the entrance into Front Royal any mention of my division is omitted. The brigade that entered is not named, whereas the Rhode Island cavalry, temporarily attached to this command, is put forward in attractive prominence. Our division is alive to this, because always treated thus in the other department until we got disgusted, and I have constantly assured this command that with Major-General McDowell we would be with a soldier who would do us justice. Since they caught sight of the report about Front Royal I regret to say that a feeling is commencing that may lead to the same result. i know it is not possible to give satisfaction of even an allusion to the brigade or division that operated, while the names of others were dilated upon, was something not expected, and creates disappointment.
For my own part, in my humble way I try to do justice to every portion of my command. When any regiment or company performs a service I mention it. This kind of military justice I deem due to them, and I know the major-general commanding is too generous and just, as well as too experienced a soldier, to act upon the principle of the Shenandoah Department.
I will act upon the assumption that the general commanding will send down two brigades, one to Luray, one to near Columbia Bridge, immediately. Beg him to save the hard bread for us, as there is an abundance of flour here, and a force in position can use it.
Three scouts have reached me this moment from General Fremont. They left him at Harrisonburg at 4 p. m. yesterday. They were dressed like rebels, and my pickets detained them last night. They report the following:
General Fremont is at Harrisonburg; Jackson's rear guard 4 miles on the road to Staunton. The bridge across the North River, on the turnpike, has been burned by some of my cavalry. This has stopped their march on Staunton, and turned them on the road to Port Republic to escape by Waynesborough. The advance of my column near Port Republic report that the enemy's train is on the other side of the river waiting for the water to fall. I have let General Fremont know this, and sent orderlies to keep me informed. Thus you will see he is caught, if these suppositions and dispositions are all right. I hold in my hand an order issued yesterday by B. H. Greene, commissary of subsistence