rear, as if a mighty power was propelling them. I see no cause for alarm, though I think this order may cause it. McDowell moves to Gainesville, where Sigel now is. The latter got to Buckland Bridge in time to put out the fire and kick the enemy, who is pursuing his route unmolested to the Shenandoah or Loudoun County. The forces are Longstreet's, A. P. Hill's, Jackson's, Whiting's, Ewell's, and Anderson's (late Huger's) divisions.
Longstreet is said by a deserter to be very strong. They have much artillery and long wagon trains. The raid on the railroad was near Cedar Creek, and made by a regiment of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, and a section of artillery. The place was guarded by nearly three regiments of infantry and some cavalry. They routed the guard, captured the train and many men, destroyed the bridge, and retired leisurely down the road toward Manassas. It can easily be repaired. No troops are coming up, except new troops, that I can hear of. Sturgis is here with two regiments. Four were cut off by the raid. The position of the troops is given in the order. No enemy in our original front. A letter of General Lee, seized when Stuart's assistant adjutant-general was taken, directs Stuart to leave a squadron only to watch in front of Hanover Junction, &c. Everything has moved up north. I find a vast difference between these troops and ours, but I suppose they were new, as to-day they burnt their clothes, &c., when there was not the least cause. I hear that they are much demoralized, and needed some good troops to give them heart, and I think head. We are working now to get behind Bull Run, and I presume will be there in a few tactics in the inverse proportion. I would like some of my ambulances. I would like also to be ordered to return to Fredericksburg to push toward Hanover, or with a larger force to push toward Orange Court-House. I wish Sumner was at Washington, and up near the Monocacy, with good batteries. I do not doubt the enemy have large amounts of supplies provided for them, and I believe they have a contempt for this Army of the Potomac, and so do our companions. I was informed to-day, but the best authority, that, in opposition to General Pope's views, this army was pushed out to save the Army of the Potomac-an army that could take care of itself. Pope says he long since wanted to go behind the Occoquan.
I am in great need of ambulances, and the officers need medicines, which, for want of transportation, were left behind. I hear many of the sick of my corps are in houses on the road very sick. I think there is no fear of an enemy crossing the Rappahannock. The cavalry are all in the advance of the rebel army. At Kelly's and Barnett's Fords much property was left, in consequence of the wagons going down for grain, &c. If you can push up the grain to-night please do so direct to this place. There is no grain here or anywhere, and this army is wretchedly supplied in that line. Pope says he never could get enough.
Most of this is private, but if you can get me away please do so. Make what use of this you choose, so it does good.
Don't let the alarm here disturb you. If you had a good force you could go to Richmond. A force should at once be pushed on the Manassas to open the road.
Our provisions are very short.
F. J. PORTER.