General Milroy is a fighting man, and will render a good account of himself and his army to the American people if he is supplied with this force and the posts above mentioned are occupied-Luray and New Market. It would be securing the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, also cutting the rebels off from Western Virginia.
Why not collect your forces at Martinsburg and Haper's Ferry, and throw them up to General Milroy at New Market and Luray? Likewise gather up your forces at New Creek and Romney. Station them at Moorefield or Franklin, or advance them to Harrisonburg. By so doing you render all West Virginia safe. Cut the rebels off from their supplies and hiding-places. Let me again urge it upon you-prevent the rebels from having the benefit of the coming crop.
Send on all your broken-down horses that you have at Washington, Alexandria, or in Hooker's army, and let them be fed and recruited up in the splendid pasture lands of the rebel farms in the Valley, which are all going to waste. Send agents along, that they may scour the country and gather up all arms and saddles belonging to the United States or so-called Confederate States. Be in earnest, and give them no quarter, for they are determined to break up an destroy the Government if they can. Their whole dependence now is on the expected division in the North-that the Democrats will resist the conscription, and thus assist the South.
Excuse my boldness in thus addressing you. As to who and what I am, I refer you to Major-General Milroy or to Major-General Banks or any of his staff.
You most obedient servant,
Mount Jackson, Shenandoah County, Va.
MAY 26, 1863.
Brigadier-General AVERELL, Weston, Va.:
Three thousand horses will be given you as rapidly as purchased. Send officer to Wheeling to confer with Governor Peirpoint and make arrangements for your camp at Bridgeport.
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
May 27, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Allow me to request that you will have me furnished with a copy of Major-General Halleck's report* on the strength and location of the troops in an around Washington. This information may be of vital importance to me. General Butterfield, now at Willard's, will bring it to me to-morrow morning, should you make no objection. I called to see you again last night, but you had left the War Office. I regret it.
From information forwarded to the major-general commanding the army this a. m., it seems that the enemy will soon be in motion. It was derived from deserters, but I place a good deal of confidence in it.
*See Halleck to Stanton, May 18, p. 504.