If I do not hear from you soon I will continue my march until I get within striking distance of him.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
T. J. JACKSON,
LEBANON WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS,
May 17, 1862-5 a. m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of yesterday and that of Colonel Munford of the previous day have been received.* I desire you to encamp beyond New Market on next Wednesday night. If any of the troops at Gordonsville cannot join you for want of transportation, please direct them to send their cooking utensils and entrenching tools by railroad to Staunton, and, with four days' cooked rations in their haversacks, to march at dawn on next Monday morning via Fisher's Gap for New Market. Let us, relying upon God for success, prepare for attacking Banks. I can only give you these general instructions. If your cavalry, or any part of your force, can, consistently with these instructions, damage the Manassas Gap Railroad or otherwise operate against Banks, I hope that it will be done. You may expect to hear from me daily until we meet. Give me all the information you can respecting Banks' movements.
Very truly, yours,
T. J. JACKSON,
P. S.-You must regard the preceding instructions as based upon the idea that Banks is not leaving the valley. My own opinion is that he does not design leaving the valley. If Banks is crossing the Blue Ridge, you should, by moving nearer him and by every other practicable way, try to keep him in the valley. Ascertain whether you can cross from Luray to Edenburg, and get all the information you can respecting the country. It may be necessary for me to follow you through Luray and cross the Shenandoah at Front Royal, but this cannot be determined upon until we know what the enemy is doing. See whether you can get enough boats, &c., to build a bridge at Front Royal.
Do not breathe this plan to any one.
HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT,
Mount Solon, May 17, 1862.
[General R. S. EWELL:]
GENERAL: Your dispatch, informing me of your crossing the mountain in consequence of Shield having done so, has been received. I shall continue to move down the valley for the present. For the purpose of carrying out he order for organizing the Maryland Line, I have detached the First Maryland Regiment from Elzey's brigade and assigned it to Brigadier General George H. Steuart. Should you need the regiment I have directed General Steuart to remain with you, but so soon as he can be spared I wish you would direct him to return to the