Sandy Hook the road is impassable for wagons, and had great trouble in marching over it. We arrived at Sandy Hook at 8 p. m. I passed the night in the road, with horses saddled and every man ordered to stand to horse (having observed something suspicious in the appearance of the inhabitants), after having placed my pickets for the night. At 10.30 an alarm was created by the firing of our pickets posted on Chester Gap road. The men were immediately ordered into the saddle, but no enemy could be discovered. Another alarm was created at same post at 2 a. m., when a scouting party was sent out, when the enemy fled to the mountains.
At 4 a. m. we marched toward Washington, via Flint Hill, which point we reached at 8.30 a. m. We made observations in the vicinity of that place and discovered 18 or 20 infantry, stragglers from Jackson's army, who took to the mountains at our approach. From Washington we proceeded to Sperryville, 6 miles, and saw no signs of the enemy. We made thorough examination of the country in that vicinity, but could not discover the presence of the enemy. It was reported by the negroes that General Ewell was in Luray in force and that Jackson had sent to Richmond for re-enforcements.
We counter-marched to Sandy Hook, and while feeding the horses there were fired upon by guerrillas to the number of 53, armed with long-range rifles, who upon being pursued field to the mountains. We then returned to Front Royal unmolested.
The officers and men under my command behaved in a manner highly creditable.
I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,
Major, Commanding Detachment.
WASHINGTON, June 22, 1862-12.30.
The following has been received from General Banks:
MIDDLETOWN, June 21, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Your dispatch just received. We know of no immediate danger from enemy which requires Shields' division to move. A substantial bridge for artillery, wagon trains, and everything has been completed across both branches of the Shenandoah, over which he could pass with his whole force in case of an attack. Our cavalry returned to-night from Sperryville and report no enemy, and we have still another detachment toward Luray, which yet indicates no danger.
If McDowell has information which renders this sudden and general movement of General Shields' force-the withdrawal of railroad power and everything, operator and all-necessary (which the railroad superintendent informs me is ordered), we, who are subject to the same dangers, ought at least to know what it is.
N. P. BANKS,
Last evening I was informed that the whole force of Shields, all the transportation, and the telegraph office, were removed precipitately from Front Royal, leaving about fifty miles of telegraph wire to be taken by the enemy. I think some effort should be made to secure it. If you have any information affecting General Banks' security you will, of course, inform him.
EDWIN M. STANTON.
Secretary of War.