3. The absolute necessity for the employment of a large force, say 3,000 men, of mounted infantry for the movable columns. Infantry are of no service in ridding a country of an enemy composed almost exclusively of mounted troops.
As further directed by the General-in-Chief, I made such inquiry into the conduct of Major Showalter, Sixth Virginia Volunteers, as was possible. In retreating from of the railroad to Pittsburg, with so large a force as he is represented to have had (500 men and four guns), Major Showalter appears to have been impelled by a most discreditable panic. The excuse of want of supplies would not appear to be sufficient, for when he had arrived on the line of the Cheat River, between Morgantown and Uniontown (a position admirably adapted for defense, and one which he was importuned to hold by the Governor of Western Virginia and by the military authorities of Pittsburgh), he was informed that an abundant supply of provisions would be immediately furnished him.
It is due to Major Showalter to add, that in consequence of his absence as a witness at Fort McHenry, I was unable to interrogate him.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM F. BARRY,
Brigadier-General, Inspector of Artillery.
MAY 14, 1863.
Respectfully referred to General Schenck, to be returned to these headquarters with his report on the case of Colonel Showalter.
H. W. HALLECK,
May 14, 1863-12 m.
Major-General MILROY, Winchester, Va.:
General Heintzelman reports 400 rebel cavalry near Leesburg, and 500 near Upperville. Stahel has sent all he had available, being only 400 of First Michigan Cavalry, in that direction, but seems to think they must not go far. They can consequently be of little help to your detachment of First New York Cavalry. McReynolds should re-enforce with more cavalry, if he has any, or support with a regiment of infantry.
ROBT. C. SCHENCK,
May 14, 1863-8 p.m.
Colonel [J. N.] Schoonmaker has returned from his scout. He went 15 miles beyond Beverly, on the Staunton turnpike; found no rebels. They have all retreated. The rear guard left Beverly last Saturday. It was reported to him that there was yet a small force at Elk Water. The rebels have carried off a large number of horses and cattle from Barbour, Upshur, and Randolph Counties. They took them as well from the secesh as Union men.
Nothing new from General Roberts to-night.
B. F. KELLEY,