IX. Brigadier General George H. Gordon, U. S. Volunteers, is assigned to duty in the Department of the Shenandoah, to take command of the brigade now under Brigadier-General Greene, and will report in person to Major-General Banks.
* * * * * * *
By order of the Secretary of War:
WAR DEPARTMENT, June 19, 1862.
Major-General McDOWELL, Manassas:
The following dispatch has just been received from General Banks:
WINCHESTER, VA., June 19, 1862-12 m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Reports here confirm the information received by you yesterday. Important movements are undoubtedly contemplated by the enemy in the valley and heavy re-enforcements are on their way. General Shields is still at Front Royal, and ought not to be withdrawn until further developments of immediate events. I had full conversation with General Wool last night at Baltimore. He is preparing Harper's Ferry for defense. The railroad authorities are very active, and at Harper's Ferry there is also much activity. My headquarters will be opposite Front Royal to-morrow.
N. P. BANKS,
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
FRONT ROYAL, June 19, 1862.
Colonel SCHRIVER, Chief of Staff:
Out reconnaissance yesterday found enemy's pickets 2 miles this side of Luray. The officer in command says he thinks that town occupied by about 400, and the rest of Ewell's command about 5 miles behind. This returned about 11 last night. The other, through Chester Gap, went as far as Flint Hill; no indication of any enemy.
I have just returned from a conference with General Sigel and General Crawford. We agree that Fremont's position is not a good one, and that he ought to fall back at once to Middletown or behind Cedar Creek.
General Sigel, with his command, is at Middletown. A force properly stationed I think will be able to operate by interior lines against either or both forces coming from Luray or Harrisonburg. They will keep no force in Luray and no stores to move across the river, but keep a small force there to police the town and watch their approach.
Our pioneers are building a bridge. General McDowell [?] has sent us his pontoons. I don't think the enemy is coming in this direction at all. I don't think, if he even comes, he will come in two columns, without any communication between them, on the Strasburg and Front Royal roads. If he advances north I think the chances are he will not take the same route. He is more likely to take the Luray pike to Sperryville, join Longstreet, and break upon our lines on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge, as he did on the west.
I am ready t move now, and only wait for General Banks' pontoon