War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0443 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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see Railroad. My own conviction is that the true course in not to destroy, but to seize and hold it, so that the whole line from the Potomac to Memphis may be opened as speedily as possible, and used as a new base of operations for the whole army, except that which is advancing from the sea-board. Some intimations lead me to the belief that such will be the policy adopted, and I am daily looking for instructions on the subject in answer to views submitted by myself early in the north.

The present condition of matters in the Shenandoah Valley and the delay both at Richmond and in Southern Tennessee make some delay here a matter of policy, since the progress of events elsewhere must now completely draw attention away from this quarter and leave me at liberty to act at the proper moment with less liability of interruption.

From the statement I have made of the enemy's troops it is evident we have no occasion to doubt the result of meeting them, if we properly concentrate our own, and are not in danger of finding them at liberty to use the railroad for a rapid concentration from distant points.

Changes are reported to be making in the command of departments in Virginia, and the report of General Buell's advance in Tennessee must be either confirmed or authentically denied in a very few days. Within such short period also I confidently anticipate dispatches from department headquarters which shall remove any doubt as to the general police in which we are to take part, and I wish to be prepared for continued action and rapid movements, either to disperse and destroy the force in front with a view to holding the railroad or to cut it as a line of communication for the rebels.

The result of your advance to Union and Salt Sulphur is good. You will, however, appreciate the necessity of letting the movements of the two columns of the division be made in concert and secure permanent results.

I keep all parties of the enemy behind the East River. They very rarely venture even a cavalry scout for this side.

Whatever information you are able to obtain in regard to the road by Salt Pond to Bladesburg [Blacksburg?] or Christiansburg you will forward, as well as a report of the country in which you passed for military operations.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. COX,

Brigadier-General.

BALTIMORE, MD., June 29, 1862-9.25 a. m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

In reply to your dispatch of yesterday: In the city, infantry, 2,659; artillery (regulars), 173; artillery (volunteers), 600; cavalry (volunteers), dismounted, 778. Total force, 4,300.

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Baltimore, Md., June 29, 1862-10.20 p. m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Brigadier-General Kelley informs me by telegram that the enemy has dispersed the troops at Moorefield, and it is anticipated that their