SPERRYVILLE, VA., July 22, 1862.
Colonel GEORGE D. RUGGLES:
General Orders, Nos. 5 and 6, received, and instructions concerning Luray Valley. I have ordered a strong expedition from Thornton's Gap to Cave Hill and Honeyville and across the Shenandoah Valley toward New Market.
The enemy has some cavalry and artillery between Harrisonburg and New Market, but no strong force. Different reports lead me to believe that no re-enforcements have been sent to Harrisonburg. Our position here is unchanged. Colonel Cluseret is stationed between Hazel River and the Madison road; has sent a strong scouting party 15 miles southwest of Hazel River without encountering any force of the enemy except a few bushwhackers. He made two of them prisoners, and also sent in a deserter from Ewell's division. His name is John Malloull. He is from Baltimore formerly, and left Ewell's division on the march from Port Republic to Richmond some four or five weeks ago. He says that Ewell had 8,000 or 9,000 men. They were First Maryland, Sixteenth Mississippi, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Louisiana, Tenth and Thirteenth Virginia, Thirteenth Tennessee, and some other regiments, also five or six batteries. The Sixteenth Mississippi had 800 men, the First Maryland 800 to 900, all well armed. The Ashby Cavalry is from 2,500 to 3,000 strong. He learned from some of the enemy's cavalry that Jackson would cross at Raccoon Ford, on the road from Orange Court-House to Culpeper Court-House.
I will send Malloull to General Wadsworth at Washington, to be disposed of there, as he wishes to go to Baltimore, where he has a brother, at Numbers 287 Franklin street. He wishes to enlist in a Maryland regiment. He says that the bridge at Rockingham, on the Shenandoah, is burned. Colonel Koltes, who crossed the Shenandoah on the road from Luray to New Market, reports that there is no bridge at that point and that the ford is pretty deep. There is a bridge at Front Royal, unless destroyed by the last freshest. I will send a more special report in regard to the bridges and fords as soon as I am enabled to do so. Spies have gone in the direction of Charlottesville and Staunton. The cavalry regiment mentioned by you has not arrived yet. Please inform me if I can appoint the examination board and the military commission. I can hardly get on without them.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA, Washington, July 22, 1862.
Major General FRANZ SIGEL,
Commanding First Army Corps, Sperryville, Va.:
Under the provisions of General Orders, Numbers 5, from these headquarters, you will seize for the use of the United States all horses and mules in the vicinity of your command, especially in Culpeper Country, that are not absolutely needed by the inhabitants of the country. You will also seize all stores and supplies in the same vicinity that are not absolutely necessary for the maintenance or subsistence of the inhabitants,