In compliance with the orders given after the President was here, the advance of Shields' division reached here last night, and has moved to Bristoe. The sick, foot-weary, and part of the baggage and stores left Front Royal last night. General Shields and the remainder of his division left Front Royal this morning at 5 o'clock. My reasons for wishing to get General Shields here were:
1st. That the movements I am ordered to make depend on it.
2nd. His position at Front Royal-with nothing in advance of him, and beyond the support of General Fremont, and with a river separating him, which General Banks' force seems reluctant to cross-was not such as I wished him, in the condition he is, to remain in.
General Shields' division is, I learn, in a bad state, morally and materially-officers resigning and even men deserting.
I am improving and sitting up, and hope soon to regain my bodily activity.
WAR DEPARTMENT, June 21, 1862.
Major-General BANKS, Front Royal:
By direction of the President I made inquiry of General McDowell respecting Shields' division, and whether it could safely remain longer at Front Royal. He replies that a portion of it had reached Manassas last night, another portion near on the road, and that Shields started this morning. He further said the division was not in condition for service, and was in jeopardy of attacked at Front Royal, and hence he had deemed its removal necessary.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE KANAWHA,
Flat Top, June 21, 1862-9 p. m.
Colonel GEORGE CROOK,
Commanding Third Brigade, Meadow Bluff:
SIR: Your dispatch of this morning announcing your movement to Salt Sulphur is just received. Unless there were some reasons which made your immediate movement important, or which prevented you from informing me sooner, you should have arranged so that I might have known it in time to have made preparations for a combined movement of both columns, as I informed you my purpose was in my last written letter to you.
While it is very desirable to strike the enemy's detachments, the most important problem on this line is to be able to make such a sustained advance as to reach the railroad. To do this requires a march of from five to seven days in advance and the same in return, including time for action at the point reached and casual delays. As our transportation is insufficient to keep us so far in advance, I have been trying to get supplies in advance enough to make the expedition practicable. This has been slow work, but I shall have accomplished it in two or three day. I now fear that your movement independently will delay
27 R R-VOL XII, PT III