War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0178 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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pardon me for making a few suggestion, in addition to those of General Elliot, which I inclose, on the importance of holding this point: First. This place is the key to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Let this point be abandoned, and our forces withdrawn to Harper's Ferry, and no force that it would be practicable for our Government to place at Harper's Ferry, and at points along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad west of that place, would or could secure it against raids from the enemy occupying this place as a base . That railroad never has been nor never can be kept from destruction while this place is occupied by the rebels. Secondly. The fortifications on the hill near this place are now so perfect, and all approaches to them so well protected by outworks, that I can hold them against five times our number . Thirdly. The Union men and women of this and adjoining counties have been so often disappointed and abandoned to the demons of treason, that they had become very timid and doubtful, but our six months' occupation here has begun to give them confidence in, and many of them have come out and taken a decided stand for, the Union, and in both town and country the Union sentiment has recently been rapidly improving. Men and women are coming in daily in large numbers and voluntarily taking the oath of allegiance, and I am told that the leading influential secessionist of this place, in private counsel among themselves, have determined, upon the first serious reverse to their cause in Virginia, to come out boldly and take the stump for reconstruction . Fourthly. There is a large amount of wheat in this and the surrounding counties, of the last two years' crops, still unthreshed, which the rebs would get, if we abandoned the country to them . I am, therefore, decidedly of opinion that every dictate of interest, policy, humanity, patriotism, and bravery requires that we should not yield a foot of this country up to the traitors again . With much respect, I am, general, truly, yours, &c.,

R. H. MILROY,

Major-General .

[Indorsement .]

HEADQUARTERS EIGHT ARMY CORPS, Baltimore, Md., June 14, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded to the General-in-Chief The original not received until this morning, but in the meantime your orders to abandon Winchester and fall back to Harper's Ferry have been made still more peremptory.

ROBT. C. SCHENCK,

Major-General .

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., EIGHT ARMY CORPS, Winchester, Va., June 12, 1863.

Major General R. H. MILROY,

U. S. Vols., Comdg. Second Div., Eight A. C., Winchester, Va.:

GENERAL: By request, I respectfully submit my views in regard to the occupation of this place by the United States forces . With the force under your command, including that at Berryville, the fortifications commanding the town, and

outworks, can be held against two or three times its number.