HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS D'ARMEE, Near Washington, Va., July 21, 1862.
DEAR SIR: By the inclosed dispatch* you will see that General Pope has been greatly disappointed at the result of the reconnaissance contemplated toward Gordonsville and Charlottesville. If it had been carried on successfully it would have been of great importance to us all. You will know better than I whether this was possible under the circumstances. In compliances with the request embodied in the dispatch I hope you will take occasion immediately to make such an explanation of the facts sa the case will warrant.
With very great regret for the disappointment, shared, I am sure, by us all, I am, general, very truly, yours,
N. P. BANKS,
NEAR WARRENTON, VA., July 21, 1862-10.30 a. m.
DEAR SIR: Major-General Pope directs that you keep your cavalry busy, first on one flank of Ewell and then on the other. He desires you will not only watch, but harass the enemy, to prevent his doing the same to you. Colonel Colgrove reports on the 19th that his regiment, with 325 cavalry, is the only force at Culpeper. It is the most central point for operations against the enemy as against us, and should be strongly held. Please report where the other regiments are to-day.
Do not fail to push and press the enemy from this point, and ascertain his force, position, and plans. Report often. I have no news of you since the 19th. Please report your position and present plans at once. There is no general news more than you will find in the paper inclosed. Can you obtain a report of the loss of the company of cavalry, how it occurred, &c.?
Very truly, yours,
N. P. BANKS,
WARRENTON, July 21, 1862-12.15 a. m.
Commanding Army of Virginia:
The distance from Warrenton to Culpeper is said to be 25 miles. Between this and the river, 7 miles, it is a turnpike; from the river to Culpeper is a dirt road, which is good in ordinary weather. Just now it is muddy, but fast drying. The river stall impassable for teams, but falling fast. The distance from Warrenton to General Banks' headquarters is said to be 24 miles, and is a turnpike road.
I will communicate with General Banks by his messenger, who returns in the morning. General King informs me all is quiet in his front, and that he has sent a party on an expedition for thirty-three hours by your order. He does not inform me of the object.
*See Pope to Banks, July 20, p. 485.