The loyal sentiment of the inhabitants of the place and vicinity is much stronger than I expected to find, and has increased during the past there months, because of the belief of loyal people that the country would be occupied by our troops, and that they would not again be subjected to the ravages of the rebel forces. From observation and information, I am satisfied that in this vicinity there is a large amount of wheat, the crop of two seasons, not yet threshed, ; this would afford subsistence to the rebels, should they occupy the country. I do not know the military necessity for an evacuation of the place, but would regret it very much, should there be occasion it. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L ELLIOTT,
Brigadier- General, U. S. Volunteers.
APPENDIX F. HARPER'S FERRY,
January 6, 1863.
Colonel WHIPPLE Assistant Adjutant-General, Baltimore:
Major Russell has just returned from a scout as far as Winchester. Went yesterday by way of Charlestown and Berryville, returned via Bunker hill and Smithfield . All quiet ; neither saw nor heard of any rebels in his route . He brings me the same report contained in your dispatch, but says it is only rumor. There may be, and probably is, a force in the upper part of the Valley, but I don't believe A. P. Hill is there . If you deem it best, I would suggest that the regiment and battery you have at Baltimore be sent to Milroy . Please give me orders in regard to holding abandoning Winchester in case we are threatened by a strong force .
B. F. KELLEY,
Brigadier-General . -
HEADQUARTERS MILROY'S DIVISION, Winchester, Va., January 6. (Via Harper's Ferry.)
Major-General SCHENCK, Baltimore:
Information is received that A. P. Hill and Loring are approaching this place by way of Staunton and New Market in heavy force . I can hold this place, but need re-enforcements, especially cavalry. Could not a force sent from Washington toward Luray and Port Republic to cut them off?
R. H. Milroy,
HARPER'S FERRY, Va., January 13, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-General, Baltimore:
The following just received from General Milroy:
General KELLEY:Have received information from two sources to-day that a large rebel force is approaching this place, half to attack by Front Royal and Valley pike, the other to go